No joy for buyers hopeful of a Honda badge on a big, bruisy ute (or pick-up). Honda’s Ridgeline full-size pickup - which debuted at the Detroit Auto Show in January - is a non-starter for Australia.
And that’s a shame because Honda’s sharp-looking 3.5-litre V6 ute has received glowing praise from the North American media .
The Honda workhorse is manufactured and sold exclusively in North America where it is offered in either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive with a choice of two automatic transmissions – six-speed or nine-speed.
Towing capacity is rated at 3,171kgs while the maximum payload is 725kgs.
And the all-new Ridgeline is typical Honda in terms of high-tech engineering – the cargo bed is separate from the cab and is made from light-weight composite material, and the tailgate folds down like a conventional ute or can be opened to the side.
But according to Honda Australia Director Mr Stephen Collins, without a suitable ROI (return on investment) there is no sound business case to support the costs involved in firstly engineering and then manufacturing the Ridgeline in right-hand-drive.
“Apart from Australia there just aren’t that many right-hand-drive markets demanding a ute with a V6 engine and 3,000kgs towing capacity,” Mr Collins explained.