It may look more conventional but the 2017 Honda Ridgeline unveiled at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show last week, unlike other offerings in the midsize pickup segment, retains the unibody construction of the first generation model.

2017 Honda Ridgeline introduction at the 2016 NAIAS

2017 Honda Ridgeline

One of the highlights of last Monday's media day at the 2016 North American International Auto show in Detroit was the unveiling of the second-generation Honda Ridgeline midsize pickup.

2017 Honda Ridgeline front 3/4 view

Those of you who are familiar the first-generation model will remember that, in addition to its unconventional unibody construction, it also sported a number of unique styling cues that set it apart from the rest of the pickup world.

2017 Honda Ridgeline rear 3/4 view

Honda, for its part, hopes that model's flying buttress-clad box, rather than its construction, is what turned potential customers off. That's because despite the new model's more conventional "three-box" pickup look, its construction remains very much unique to the segment.

2017 Honda Ridgeline showing optional in-bed trunk

At its intro, John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, had this to say about the decision to carry over its uncommon construction: "We are bringing our unique technology and original thinking to the market in a new and challenging concept for a Honda pickup. We think we've got a better idea, a truck that uses its unibody construction and Honda packaging magic to deliver more of the things that many of today's truck customers want and need with none of the things they don't."

2017 Honda Ridgeline swing-out tailgate detail

Scheduled to reach dealer showrooms during the first half of this year, Honda believes that the majority of pickup buyers in the midsize segment choose one for its utility, rather than ultimate carrying and towing capacity. As such, the company promises that the new 2017 Ridgeline will offer these buyers:

2017 Honda Ridgeline dashboard detail

• The segment's best handling, ride quality, cabin quietness and all-weather traction capabilities
• Class-leading space – with the largest cabin and the only 4-foot-wide flat bed space (between wheel arches) in the midsize pickup segment (although the bed, itself, is just 5'4" long)
• Targeted top-in-class acceleration, EPA fuel economy ratings and third-party collision safety ratings
• A standard dual-action tailgate (hinged at the bottom and along the left side) and optional In-Bed Trunk and in-bed audio system – make it "the ultimate tailgating vehicle"

2017 Honda Ridgeline front seating detail

The 2017 Ridgeline shares its architecture with the current Honda Pilot and Odyssey and is powered by the same 3.5-liter, direct-injected i-VTEC V-6 engine and conventional 6-speed automatic transmission found in both those vehicles.

Like the Pilot, the new Ridgeline will also be available, for the first time, with an all-wheel-drive configuration that features Intelligent Terrain Management with Normal, Sand, Snow and Mud modes.

2017 Honda Ridgeline bed detail

Inside, three-zone climate control, push-button start, a color TFT center meter and a 60/40-split and folding second-row seat are all standard, while options will include leather trim and an 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility.

2017 Honda Ridgeline center console detail

Will all this be enough to lure midsize pickup buyers away from more conventional body-on-frame offered by the competition? Only time will tell, although here at Lot Pro we're looking forward to getting our hands on one for an initial drive.

2017 Honda Ridgeline rear window detail

2017 Honda Ridgeline prices

We'll also announce pricing and further specifications on the 2017 Honda Ridgeline when they're released, which we suspect will be much closer to its on-sale date.

2017 Honda Ridgeline front end detail