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122 Posts
Great reviews and functionally an improvement, but the styling now sort of gives it away that its just a puny V6. The first generation at least looked the part of a big, beefy, offroad capable pickup truck. Now it looks more like a minivan with the back end cut open. Functionally, they got a lot of complaints that one styling element of the oridgelinal, the flying buttresses and sloping bedrails, made access to the bed very difficult from the side, and admittedly, it does. But it was unique and it looked cool. Now the bedrails are parallel to the ground which is more functional, but just like all those functional design features that make modern sedans all look alike, the new Ridgeline is a bit boring in appearance.
I agree - I do prefer the styling of the original vs the new one, especially the sloping bed and lack of a seam between the bed and the cab. Very unique. I've spent some time in the new one, and I'll admit, it is overall better. I especially like the fact that they moved the shifter from the steering column to the center console. Just wish they kept the old exterior styling. Old or new, the Ridgeline is ideal if you need a light-duty truck. I'm trying to get my wife to trade in our Suburban for one, but she loves the 'burb - even though we don't need it (kids grown & gone).


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3,491 Posts
I honestly dig the new one. They are making a small pickup that gets good mileage which nobody has really done since the nissan hardbodies were around. The rangers and s10's were ok, but garbage motors and not great mpg.

· Premium Member
10,234 Posts
Oh I'm not in the market for a truck, I go out of my way to avoid needing to own such a large, fuel heavy, boring to drive, maintenance heavy vehicle. There is a family yard truck that is going to come live at our place. I borrow it a few times a year for the odd time that I need to haul something that I can't carry nicely in my beater mk2, and there will continue to be a few trips like that to make in the coming years so I don't mind it living at my place for awhile. We'll be sharing it across a couple families so the cost and maintenance will be spread out.

The Ridgelines are pretty cool. My best friend has one, and I also borrow it on occasion when I need to haul something thats just too big for the supra but small enough that a medium duty truck can handle. Lots of times though its small bed and low weight capacity (and fragile bed, its made of fiber glass btw) means I end up having to borrow this full size yard truck anyways. But for a vehicle that size, the ridgeline certainly gets pretty good gas mileage and I find it plenty fast. I'm sure its slow with a trailer though. I think they sell quite well though Phil. I see them everywhere. And considering how many people who buy real trucks just end up DDing them solo, a truck with a unibody, relatively low weight and good gas mileage makes a lot of sense in this market.

Yeah, I understand the design change for the new Ridgeline, the bed is certainly more useful now, but it is completley unrecognizable as a Ridgeline. An aunt of ours just got one and I walked by it like 3 times before I realized what it was. It just looks like every other truck now.

Yeah what is up with the death of small pick ups? There is nothing like the great old 22r powered Toy pickups of the 80s and 90s left on the market. Everything is freakin huge and weighs 5000+ lbs now. There is a huge hole in the market place, a traditional small pickup would sell like hot cakes today I think, literally nobody makes one anymore for some reason.

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27 Posts
It's the first time I've seen how the Ford Taurus Wagon looks and I don't know... I have mixed feelings about how it looks. I mean, on one hand it's really appealing, and on the other hand there's something that's pushing me away from it :D

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1,282 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
It's the first time I've seen how the Ford Taurus Wagon looks and I don't know... I have mixed feelings about how it looks. I mean, on one hand it's really appealing, and on the other hand there's something that's pushing me away from it :D

I understand. There were 4 generations of Tauruses (Taurii?) and they all have a different look. The 1996-1999 were the most radical in look with an oval concept which is supposedly based on the Ford blue oval. I work for a company that had always purchased Taurus company cars and when I first saw this look in 1996 I was appalled. But it's funny how time changes things and now I actually find it appealing. It is recognizable from a distance.

In 2000 the wagon stayed the same from the windshield back, but they gave the nose a more traditional nose and head lights. In addition they restyled the dash and got rid of the oval center console. When I started looking for a wagon I was looking for a Gen 4 (2000 - 2004) with this more traditional look. However, after looking at them I started to think they were a little too much like everything else and I went for a Gen 3.

1999 Taurus front end

2000 Taurus front end re-design.

The wagons are what they are. The interior of the Taurus is very plasticy. The center console creaks when you lean on it, but from the perspective of a wagon that I will use to haul junk, I don't really want a high quality leather interior that will be easy to mar.

1999 Taurus center console

The Gen 3 center console is very difficult to swap a modern stereo into. Having said that, the stock stereo is WAY better than the ones that came in the Celica Supra. 2 aftermarket companies make adapters to mate newer stereos in that will accept USB inputs.

2000 Taurus center console

The airbag in the Gen 3 cars is a single stage type which does not use seat sensors for weight and position so if you want to swap seats you can do it without messing up the air bag deployment. From 2000 up there are sensors in the seat which will prevent you customizing the car without a great deal of effort. I have an old Recaro LS-C seat which is going to find its way into mine.

There is a great deal of commonality between years so I have swapped the stock 15" wheels for 16" stock aluminum ones from a 2000. The Gen 4 cars had larger front discs and with the 16" wheels you can easily swap up to the larger size.

Like I said before, the Duratec has reasonable power but its unrealistic to hot rod it.

The best thing is that there are reasonable Duratec cars out there from C$1000 and up. You can go crazy with them!

It'll never be a collector car, but it sure is practical.

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1,282 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I don't really know about Gen4 Taurus'. I've got a 1999 which is a Gen3. The Gen3 was 1996 to 1999 and Gen4 was from 2000 up.
The Gen4 has the restyled Integrated Control Panel (ICP) that wasn't football shaped any more.
I suspect that the cable harness changed between the two generations but that is strictly a guess.
The 2004 up Gen4 ICP definitely changed. They added an Airbag Indicator to the ICP so there must have been wiring changes for this year at least.

Vehicle Car Steering part Automotive design Motor vehicle

Gen4 2000-2003 ICP with manual heater controls

Laptop accessory Gas Computer hardware Machine Composite material

Gen4 2000-2003 ICP with manual heater controls.......
Motor vehicle Gas Automotive wheel system Auto part Machine

1999 ICP with manual heater controls

I could be wrong, but they look different to me
For the non-Ford people, the ICP is only a switch panel. The actual stereo is located in the trunk or cargo area of a Taurus. This makes putting in an aftermarket stereo somewhat more challenging.



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8,029 Posts
Dale, I forgot about this thread, and I'm glad I did...
Now, I'm questionning your car taste, knowing that you drive that.. 🤢

( j/k 😄)

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1,282 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·

If you think this is bad, then I'm afraid to tell you what my company car is...

A 2020 Chevrolet Equinox 😱
The horror... the horror....

Wheel Automotive parking light Tire Land vehicle Car

200 hp Dual Overhead Cam aluminum block and head, Porsche designed, Cosworth tweaked

Automotive air manifold Motor vehicle Auto part Automotive super charger part Nut

Magnesium Alloy Valve Covers
True dual exhaust
IMRC Intake Manifold Runner Control for low speed torque and high speed horsepower with both long and short runners.

While common now, back in 1996, these were significant features.

The 1996-1999 version is certainly an acquired taste. Over the years though, I've started to 'groove on the unique look'.
In 2000, the nose of the car was redesigned and looks a lot like a Buick Century. While more conservative, I think it's a bit boring!

The 1996-99 football shaped entertainment center is certainly an ergonomic disaster and the digital hvac controls are abysmal. Again, ahead of it's time. All hvac controls are totally useless now!

Bullwinkle. Dare to be different!

Now to find an AM Pacer! Oh yeah.....

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1,282 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
And while this is not the Duratec 3.0 V6, it IS a near stock 1999 Taurus

Motor vehicle Automotive design Vehicle Automotive air manifold Car

Just a grocery getter Ford Taurus

The SHO was flawed, but who cares? And take the damn stereo out and play music with the throttle

3.4L 60 Degree V8 aluminum block and heads
235HP @ 5800 rpm
Red Line 6,800 rpm
Compression ratio: 10:1
Built by Yamaha for Ford with Ford block and Yamaha heads

Every once in a while Ford goes crazy and builds cars that aren't quite 'normal'.
1967 GT40 Mark III
1969/70 Boss 429
Ford GT
1971-1974 De Tomaso Pantera
1996-1999 Taurus SHO with V8

These cars probably never made any money, but hey, they sure are remembered.
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