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At five years old, the Honda Ridgeline is one of the oldest vehicles in Honda’s lineup. That’s expected to be fixed by next year, according to Vicki Poponi, Honda’s assistant vice president of product planning, at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show.

A new Ridgeline “is coming in ’11, for the 2011 model year,” Poponi said.

The midsize, unibody Ridgeline arrived in 2005. It did away with conventional leaf springs in favor of an independent rear suspension that gave it great ride comfort and enough room for an in-bed lockable trunk – the first in a pickup. The Ridgeline also featured all-wheel drive and a dual-action tailgate that folded down or off to the side, like a door, to allow unimpeded access to the cargo box.

But sales over the last year have fallen as the market for new trucks dramatically softened and the Ridgeline has aged.

Last year, Honda sold 16,464 Ridgeline pickups, down from 33,875 a year earlier, a drop of 51.4%.

“The customers love the Ridgeline,” Poponi said. “It’s really a unique truck. It’s its own segment. But because it’s a niche vehicle, they’re really aren’t many people out looking for it. It’s also a bit older than we like” Honda vehicles to be.

The 2011 Honda Ridgeline is expected to keep the same size and crew cab configuration of today’s truck but with improved aerodynamics and powertrain refinements to get better gas mileage.
 
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