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2009 Honda Ridgeline

Overview
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2009 Honda Ridgeline Review

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When compared to the traditional pickup truck, the 2009 Honda Ridgeline may look a bit quirky. From its flying-buttress sheetmetal connecting the cab to the bed to its unit-body construction and four-wheel independent suspension, the Ridgeline is anything but conventional. Intended to appeal to younger buyers with an appetite for weekend adventures, the Ridgeline is designed less for work and more with play in mind. It offers a roomy cabin for four with a great set of front bucket seats and a unique storage compartment below the bed that's perfect for hiding valuables. The Ridgeline's eight inches of ground clearance and advanced VTM-4 all-wheel-drive system can tackle just about any obstacle, making it ideal for traversing deep snow as well as going off-road.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a medium-sized pickup with outstanding resale and build quality, the 2009 Honda Ridgeline may be just the ticket. A locking weather-resistant trunk positioned in the cargo bed floor is easily accessed via the dual-action tailgate, which flips down in the normal way or swings open like a door.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need a pickup for serious payload and towing duties, the 2009 Honda Ridgeline will not be your first choice. Towing capacity and offroad capabilities, while suitable for target buyers, fall short of many traditional body-on-frame pickups.

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Honda Ridgeline gets a major refresh job, with a new grille, new front and rear bumpers and an updated interior. Other changes include more horsepower from the 3.5-liter V6 and a standard trailer hitch on all models.

Driving the Ridgeline

Driving Impressions Refined solidity is the byword, along with a comfortable highway ride. On some rougher surfaces, though, quite a bit of road commotion is transmitted. Except for bit of engine noise...

under hard acceleration, there is very little truck-like sensation inside. The Ridgeline handles moderate off-road treks with ease and, when towing a maximum-weight trailer, or with its bed filled, you hardly realize you're pulling a load. Still, the 2009 Honda Ridgeline has a heavy overall feel, due in part to its all-wheel-drive componentry, which cuts a bit into agility. Passing power is adequate, but not wholly energetic at all speeds. Four-channel anti-lock braking (ABS) incorporates electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist for more effective "panic" stops.

In-the-bed Trunk
Why didn't anyone think of this common-sense idea before? On the down side, if you plan to load up the cargo bed, don't put important items inside the trunk because they won't be accessible.

Dual-Action Tailgate
Even if you're not reaching for the trunk, the ability to open the tailgate to the side rather than flipping it downward can be handy.

2009 Honda Ridgeline Details
2009 Honda Ridgeline photo Interior

Five passengers can ride in the Ridgeline, though rear knee space is marginal. Handy storage spots are all over the front compartment, including a huge, easy-to-reach glovebox. In the rear, the 24-degree seatback angle matches that of an Accord sedan. Under the rear seat is 2.6 cubic feet of storage, and a mountain bike can fit inside with the rear seat flipped down. Engineers have concentrated on neat details, like heater elements in the windshield that turn on automatically when needed, to prepare the wipers in cold weather. Side-impact airbags and side-curtain airbags with rollover sensing are also standard and Honda claims a five-star rating in government crash-testing.

Exterior

Even up front, the Ridgeline is different, with a new look Honda refers to as a "more chiseled appearance." Built on a relatively long (122-inch) wheelbase, the Ridgeline is nearly a foot-and-a-half shorter than a Ford F-Series CrewCab. Fitted with four lights, the five-foot cargo bed is made of SRC composite, and the In-Bed Trunk holds 8.5 cubic feet. Honda claims bending rigidity is 2.5 times that of a traditional pickup, while torsional rigidity is 20 times stiffer. Up to 1,100 pounds of cargo can go into the bed, and the Ridgeline can tow a 5,000-pound trailer.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In addition to the Variable Torque Management 4-Wheel Drive system (VTM-4), standard equipment for the RT trim includes air conditioning, cruise control, heated wipers, a tilt steering column, power sliding rear window, 100-watt six-speaker CD stereo, Vehicle Stability Assist, Brake Assist, Tire Pressure Monitoring and Electronic Brake Distribution. Up one level, the RTS adds painted alloy wheels, seven speaker audio system with subwoofer, an eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar support and dual-zone automatic climate control. The top-of-the-line RTL adds leather upholstery, a power moonroof, XM Satellite Radio and heated front seats. Honda claims the Ridgeline was the first pickup with standard electronic stability control.

Optional Equipment

The only factory option is the navigation system available on the RTL; it's equipped with voice recognition and Bluetooth and can display reception details of the available XM Satellite Radio. In addition, there are dozens of available dealer-installed accessories.

Under the Hood

The Ridgeline's 3.5-liter V6 is plenty strong, making 250 horsepower and giving the Ridgeline good off-the-line acceleration, ample cruising power and surprisingly good fuel economy. The engine can be loud at full-throttle, but not annoyingly so, and, typically for a Honda V6, it's also quite smooth. Honda is legendary for its durable engines and the 3.5-liter unit in the Ridgeline is no exception.

3.5-liter V6
250 horsepower @ 5700 rpm
247 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20

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2009 Honda Ridgeline Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 664 Ratings for the 2006 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

A Great Quality Vehicle for a Retired Person

By on Saturday, April 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Solid, safe, and comfortable vehicle to operate."

Cons: "Gas mileage needs to be improved on."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I am very pleased to have this vehicle. I had wanted it for years, but I simply had to get other things dealt with prior to retirement. In a world here in West Texas where most people work hard and need a heavy duty truck for small business and big business needs, the Ridgeline still has its place with the older retired and semi-retired groups. It's not meant for heavy-duty work as such. It is meant for basic jobs that older folks engage in from recreational to light work. The vehicle is smooth running and very pleasant to operate. My wife is starting to use it to do things with and likewise enjoys the drive. It is also a safe vehicle to use. At this stage, we are going to keep this vehicle probably 5-10 more years and then maybe think about trading it in or reselling it. At that point, it will have served its purpose. I am very pleased to drive it."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great compromise between truck and automobile

By on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great features for the price"

Cons: "limited hauling capability"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I traded in my 2008 Ford 150 Lariat for a 2014 Honda Ridgeline RTL. The positives are that the vehicle was about 15000 less than a comparably equipped 2014 Ford F 150 Lariat. To date we have put 5800 miles on the Ridgeline and so far so good. The vehicle is not as spacious as the F 150 but we never really hauled anything in our previous vehicle. Real world mileage for the Ridgeline is 15 to 16 in town with up to 20 to 21 on the highway. Considering it is part time four wheel drive that is not too bad. The Ridgeline drives great and I think it will hold its resale value. My only complaint would be the controls for the air/heat,etc which look very dated. That being said if you are looking for a truck for occasional light hauling the Ridgeline is a great choice. If you are looking for a truck for heavy duty carrying the Ridgeline would not be my choice. Overall a great suburban truck!!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great, bulletproof, all-weather capable vehicle

By on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Flawless AWD, Great transmission, in-bed trunk"

Cons: "Fuel Economy, Polarizing styling"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love my 2007 Ridgeline RTL. As of this time I have over 108,000 miles on it and have just done normal maintenance oil changes, VTM, Transmission chnages, Tires at 55-60K, brakes at 60K, and kept up with the 100,000 mile service. My Ridgeline still runs like new. Styling is somewhat polarizing - love it or hate it I cannot beat the utility of the truck. I use the in-bed trunk all the time, and work on top of a mountain. I have make my way to work regardless of the weather and have many times driven by typical 4WD trucks stuck in ditches etc. I love the automatic functions of the AWD system and having it primarily FWD works better in my opinion for folks that don't tow very often. The only low-point with the vehicle is fuel economy. I'm averaging 17-18 MPG in Spring through Fall. With Winter blended fuels, I get 15 MPG. After an accident, I had a loaner Chevy Silverado that got 20 MPG. In my opinion Honda has got to get this truck to 25 MPG to be successful in the next generation. I am waiting on the next-gen, hoping Honda hears many of us and gets it right."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

10 years of driving this vehicle this month.

By on Saturday, April 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "safety,drive, space, a real pleasure to drive."

Cons: "would prefer greater mileage, but its not that bad"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Purchased in April 2005, have almost 100,000 miles. Excellent condition. Extreme safety features, great for trips, lots of space and storage. Very comfortable ride. Gas mileage very reasonable 14-23mpg. Interstate driving gives the best mileage even at 60mph. Gave up our 2nd vehicle because wife would not drive it, if the Ridgeline was in the drive way."

9 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Nice ride, easy to drive, looks good

By on Saturday, April 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Good looking truck & very reliable"

Cons: "The only engine made lacks power and is noisey."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"A goodlooking truck that still looks up to date in style even after six years. Truck is fun to drive. The extras are great. One of its best features is unique trunk under the bed. Truck handles well and is a joy to drive, although the engine is somewhat noisy and lacks power.Tires lasted for 62,000 miles. I've had no mechanical problems whatsoever."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

I like it a lot.

By on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Under bed trunk is nice and holds a lot."

Cons: "steering wheel not very adjustable."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"The only real complaints I have are, 1 The steering colum needs to be more adjustable. 2 Needs to get better gas milage. I get an average 17.5 just running around. Best ever, all highway on a trip was 24.5 mpg. Very nice light duty pickup."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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