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2009 Honda Ridgeline

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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 674 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
    9.4/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

This is a great light truck..

By on Saturday, November 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliability, safety, unbelievable resale..."

Cons: "Gas mileage is lower than anticipated"

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

"My second ridgeline. If you don't need over 5,000 lbs towing capacity or extreme off road chops, this truck is perfect. Great ride, good handling, very low maintenance. 4wd is excellent for on-road snow/wet use. This is not a vehicle meant for off road use."

21 people out of 25 found this review helpful

will have it repainted and keep it til it dies.

By on Saturday, October 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"Unlikely it will die, probably my son will end up selling it after a few years of using it out of boredom, I have driven it for 8 years now and still love it. Rear axle alignment is not really a problem as posed in other posts. Mechanic at dealership not worried but if you want a perfect alignment, there is a kit available with dealer. When I look at specs report on alignment I don't worry at all. Otherwise absolutely no issues with truck, except for a torn speaker replaced under warranty. (yes, guilty of cranking it up too much)."

7 people out of 12 found this review helpful

I can't understand why Honda discontinued it

By on Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Responsive, economical and versatile"

Cons: "If you want a heavy work truck, it's not for you."

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

"I intend to drive it into the ground. It rides like a large sedan and has plenty of power. The bed is short, but with the extender, I can carry most things I need/use. I call it my Costco truck. I can probably load every individual item Costco sells except a couch. I'm convinced it will be a classic. Yeah, it's ugly, but so am I. ;-)"

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Love this thing - bought it brand new.

By on Monday, September 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "EVERYTHING"

Cons: "none"

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

"Shame they stopped makin' em'. I don't think they where very popular. Everyone that rides in mine says it's very comfortable and rides better that most cars. I love the dual opening tail gate - why didn't someone think of that earlier?"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Very comfortable mid-size truck.

By on Thursday, September 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "handles good, easy to drive anywhere."

Cons: "None"

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

"This truck has ample power yet gets very good gasoline mileage even in the hilly terrain of WV. All around it's one of the best vehicles I have ever owned. I'm waiting for the 2017 models!"

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Vehicle has been great over all for 9yrs

By on Tuesday, September 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 129,191

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good value comfortable to drive feels like a car!"

Cons: "Short turning radius headliner alginment issues"

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

"Other than basic maintenance such as brakes,tires,batteries the vehicle has been more than reliable. Only current draw back is that with the humidity here in Florida the headlining is starting to fall and the paint is starting to peel from the mirrors and there are alignment issues in rear. I recommend mirror covers to prevent this or the paint protection package offered at point of purchase and frequent tire rotations and alignments when due. Has been a great vehicle otherwise, love the trunk and the Rhino-Liner bed. Does have a short turning ratio and needs a full size spare."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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