• 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD Gold Mine Hill Off-Road Review [Video]

    2017 honda ridgeline gold mine hill off-road review mountains
    2017 Honda Ridgeline

    We already know that the second generation Honda Ridgeline has very good utility; it is fast, rides smooth, and handles canyon roads with confidence. How does it handle the loose dirt, rocks, and steep inclines of the Rocky Mountains? Our Gold Mine Hill trail is the measuring stick of off-road performance for all SUVs, crossovers, and trucks with moderate 4×4 capability. If a vehicle completes all three stages of the Gold Mine Hill, then it will do really well in a variety of slippery conditions.

    Nathan took this 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD Black Edition to the trail to see how it does.

    The Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5L V6 which produces 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque and pairs to a 6-speed automatic transmission. This crossover truck has a highly sophisticated AWD system that provides for torque vectoring in higher speed cornering situations. The AWD system thinks for itself, but it allows the driver to switch between sand, mud, and snow modes.

    Check out the complete video of the Gold Mine Hill off-road review here.

    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    31 thoughts on “2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD Gold Mine Hill Off-Road Review [Video]

    1. Is Nathan OK? He pulled out the hoodie when the sun is still out, and then he puts it away when it starts to snow. What’s Up With That? Looks like the Gold Mine Hill can be broken into two routes now. The easy side and the you won’t make it in the snow side! Way to go Ridgeline. Nice update on the Gold Mine Hill condition too, Nathan. Or is your hoodie out, because you can feel the snow starting to creep back towards the the Gold Mine Hill? I couldn’t figure out if Andre had his hoodie on too? Nice job you guys.

    2. How about a summary chart of vehicles that have and have not successfully completed this hill?

      1. That would be great, and have the distance traveled before they could not continue and the determining factor as to why.

    3. I have no respect for Gold Mine Hill anymore. A Minivan with the same AWD system would have made it. Mark a trail and cut some trees and make a more challenging hill for the summertime. Add some tree stumps and logs to climb over. As the front end of the truck sunk the skirt went down in the dirt, had it caught something when you had to back up it would have broke off. Same kind of thing happened to me on an icy snowbank with a GM. My bumper became frozen plastic kindling. Only cost 3000.00 to fix it plus a tube of Ben Gay at the Pharmacy and I was fine.

      1. Please remember that the Gold Mine Hill was chosen specifically to not be very difficult. Many crossovers cannot complete the final (3rd) stage of the trail.

        We have the Cliffhanger 2.0 as the difficult off-road trail, but this route is unreachable in the winter. This is why you will us using Gold Mine Hill in the winter and get stuck with many trucks.

        We keep our minds open. If we find a better off-road trail for testing, we will use it.


        1. I think the off road truck market is going to grow bigger and the mash-ups are nice to watch. I can’t imagine that those roller ramps would cost a lot. Be a controlled environment to see which truck has the better traction advantage with no bias on tire selection. Most 4×4 ‘s the one front tire with traction won’t do anything. We have seen the articulation challenge with the Raptor and Power Wagon. Another challenge that would be nice to see is a controlled approach and departure ramp that raises and lowers to see the real world limitations of each truck rather than just the specifications. Like what is the approach on the GM’s without an air dam. Problem without the air dam though is significant bumper damage as there is no warning or protection if you bottom the bumper out. Be interesting to see the real world numbers.

          1. And with the roller ramp you could really test all these different modes on the new 4×4 configurations to see what is truly going on

    4. You again on low hanging skirts , u need a monster truck , you definitely shouldn’t settle for less than a power wagon.
      Your one of the only guys I know that judge a truck by clearence.

      1. Im looking into the Power Wagon. I drove the 2016. They offered it to me for 19,000 off MSRP brand new. Still thinking about it but want to drive the 2017 and Canada doesn’t have any. I asked for a Supercharger and they will do it but it voids the warranty. Your friends likely live on black top with their trucks. You can see the pause from Nathan and Andre regarding the skirt clearance. Having a truck that low in Northern Canada brings this constant pause and worry. Owning a truck with a high bumper is priceless up here. Like walking around nude in your house, let your nut sack hang out and relax, having a low bumper is like being nude and your grandma shows up and your balls retract into your pancreas; every time you see a pothole or snow bank. Complete cock blockers. That’s what I am going to call them “Cock Blockers”

        1. Dude, Texas sells more trucks in one year than ALL OF CANADA put together (and I’m from the Canadian Prairies). Yeah, manufacturers should design a truck around the smallest market they have. Man, just put a lift on it already! The Power Wagon you drool over has one already from factory and guess what; you’re paying for it! So just pay to have one put on the GM. Man, our comments are getting predictable.

          1. When you lift a vehicle you run into problems. Its not torture tested that way and the guy that does the lift; guaranteed will f&ck it up. Modifications are bullsh%t. I know Murphy all too well. If the truck is not sold to me from the lot with a full manufactured warranty to back their vehicle then I don’t want it because it is likely it will be a headache and I don’t have time to it myself and it is not my problem. Im already paying a price for a vehicle and I want what I want for my money or they don’t get my money. I will stay with a cheaper truck until something comes along that’s worth my time and my money.

          2. Dpach Its still an oxymoron even for Texas to offer an off road based truck like GM does that has a skirt still attached to it with no bumper protection beyond 1 mil of paint and primer. Fine make pavement trucks all day but don’t offer off road models that can’t perform beyond what a small midsize car can already accomplish. Its ridiculous. As for the Ridgeline its a nice option for many truck buyers. I don’t have a problem with it. I had a problem with the off road course not being challenging enough where we separate true off road trucks from trucks like the Ridgeline. And the tranny overheat and did not get along with for the Ridgeline. Not something I would ever buy with my current wants and money.

        2. 19000 off wow ram wantin to sell some trucks . I’m from Indiana flat landers the kentucky folks call us thats some funny shit . I hate some cock blockers as well

        1. Go to any Canadian website and its 14,000 off plus if you own a truck you get another 1000 off at a Ram dealer. That’s 15,000 off plus tax before you even haggle. I was at 19,000 off at my dealer as I had two dealers competing for my business. And you can get 20,000 off right on the website for a 2500 diesel Ram right now.

          1. I guess that explains RAM beating Chevy in truck sales; they have to give them away with $20K off. You get what you pay for.

    5. Thanks, Thomas. I found some closer to home and will be checking them out. Like most who drive them this is not a need but a want. Then again my Tacoma always served me well enough.

    6. Even my Tacoma is a want and not a need. Any Jalopy can get the job done for cheaper. Depends on what you want to spend. The Power Wagon still does not have the payload or trailering needed to be legal for the loads I CAN carry on a regular basis. I own a few properties so I do renovations constantly. Hauled 150,000Lbs of dirt from a driveway this year with my Tacoma and a 6 ton trailer and it got it done for cheap. And I have more to do for the next few years, then my friends will want help. I bottomed the motor out in 4×4 on the V6 Tacoma on rough terrain. I definitely could not have done what I did with a low bumper as the terrain would have wrecked the bumper on a GM or Ford. Even the Tacoma bumper picked up dirt in some of the ditches I got into. The 4 wheel lock on the PW and the winch would have been a great confidence boost, but the Tacoma got it done for cheaper and its a fun truck to have some leisure fun with in the back 40 with 0 worry of bumper damage when your running it at high speed through the trails, that is priceless whether its a need or a want.

    7. Thomas the Troll did an excellent job of diverting people from the subject at hand…As the moderators at most forums say ‘STAY ON TOPIC’…

      The Ridgeline did a similar job to the Pilot on Gold Mine Hill which is not too surprising. Even the older VTM-4 in the previous Gen 1 Ridgeline was pretty capable. The iVTM adds additional computer ‘assistance’ of course. Despite the comments on GMH, this is FAR more challenging than what 95% of people will ever do. The area where the NEW Ridgeline will really excel is in winter driving. The Honda/Acura AWD systems in general do a great job on slippery roads.

      1. Yes the system is so great it even overheats the transmission. I wish the Tacoma had AWD similar to what the 2003 Audi A6 had that I owned. It has traction so that is great, better than 4×4 for the majority of on road situations. Still useless as a truck for many buyers who need more clearance. We all seen the worry from Andre and Nathan that they may damage the truck, not a nice feeling. Even steep driveway transitions are a pain in the ass for these vehicles.

    8. Hey everyone this is part of what makes these forums fun! I understand we are talking about the Honda vehicle. This will not meet my needs or wants but I must admit Honda did a much better job this time around. If my only need was some very light camping on light trails and an occasional trip to Home Depot then I think the Honda should be considered. In my opinion putting a bed on something does not necessarily make it a truck from a pure utility standpoint and even Nathan seemed to struggle a bit calling it that. I will admit that this vehicle likely meets the needs of a lot more people than most are willing to admit. I just don’t want one and won’t buy it but certainly won’t give anyone else a hard time for buying one.

    9. Thomas isn’t going to hear it . If its not a monster truck , it’s a no good cock blocker son of a buck. Your alright in my book Thomas .

      1. My Tacoma is stock. Not at all a monster. Just a factory truck that can have off road fun with dam good on road manners under full factory warranty without bullish:t modifications. Same as the Rebel and out of reach Raptor. Z71,FX4 are oxymorons off road packages for the stupid. Where is this book. I want to read it

    10. Andre, will you be doing the fuel mileage test with the CM trailer in Ike Gauntlet video soon ?

      I’m curious to see how it handles the highway running. I think the Ridgeline could be a good choice for my needs, Goldmine Hill doesn’t exist here in Kansas City,just snow sometimes in the winter.

    11. Hopefully the answer is “yes” but will you be able to do a real-world review of the new Ridgeline in a *decent* amount of snow? I live in western mass, and I wonder if this thing would make it through an “average” un-plowed neighborhood say about 12 inches of snow. (with or without weight added into the in-bed trunk)
      Thanks and keep up the great work!

    12. I have no idea what Nathan is talking about. The Ridgeline did not do great. It spun quite a bit even on part two. It should have made it up part three if it had a competent AWD and traction system.

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