Reading the FP about the Ridge line and looking at the specs I thought to myself, “huh that’s pretty close to the Odyssey so why not just get that instead?” so I starting doing some research and it seems (at least to me) the Honda Odyssey is much more practical than the Ridgeline.
Things the Odyssey does better than the Ridgeline:
Cargo: Fold down the seats on the Odyssey and you suddenly have almost twice the bed as the Ridgeline and with both having similar payload (around 1600lbs) you can carry a lot more stuff in the Odyssey. Now I know what you’re thinking but if my cousin can transport his 750 Yamaha YZF to track days in his late nineties Rav4, you can fit a couple of dirt bikes in the back of an Odyssey.
People Carrier: A lot of family’s these days don’t have the kind of disposable income that would allow them to buy a people carrier and truck so they have to make a compromise. Minivan is the more practical solution here with the capacity to carry 8 people in a more comfortable fashion in addition to the superior cargo space.
Milage: The Odyssey gets 18mpg vs the Ridgeline’s 15mpg.
Okay so that lists the stuff for the Odyssey, on to the Ridgeline.
Things the Ridgeline does better:
Towing: Okay so the Ridgeline has a towing capacity of 5000lbs vs the Odysseys 3500lbs, but that comes at greatly reduced cargo room and 3500lbs towing capacity will fulfill most peoples requirements who would be looking at these vehicles.
Ground Clearance: The Odyssey falls short here as well with only 4.5", however that is fine for most of the dirt roads you’d be taking the Ridgeline down. Let’s face it, these are not the kind of vehicles you take off road in any fashion no matter what Honda tries to tell you about the Ridgeline.
Open Bed(tied): Open bed gives you a little more flexibility, but that fridge and/or antique bureau will load just fine in the back of an Odyssey when you lay it down (and is probably easier to load due to the lower ground clearance of the Odyssey) so we can call this one a tie.
There you have it, it seems that if you really want a practical vehicle get yourself a Odyssey. Now if you don’t mind me I’m going to go indulge in some self flagellation because I actually suggested someone buy a minivan...