The Honda Ridgeline is not a truck in the most traditional sense. Its unique design met with great success as it included a storage trunk in addition to the pickup bed. In fact, the original model of the 2006 Honda Ridgeline won Motor Trend's Truck of the Year in 2006. Yet since automobile manufacturers rebuild and redesign a previous vehicle every five to eight years, the 2009 Honda Ridgeline is considered to be a mid-line model. The changes in the 2009 Ridgeline are made to refresh the vehicle to make it seem both new and improved.
Budgets of manufacturers are rather tight at the moment, and thus, the changes are relatively conservative. The most obvious and noticeable alterations to the 2009 model are cosmetic in nature. A few new tweaks for increased functionality in terms of handling and safety are included as well.
Body Style: Pick up
Engines: 3.5-liter V-6
Transmission: five-speed automatic
Models: Honda Ridgeline RT, Honda Ridgeline RTS, Honda Ridgeline RTL
To keep the Ridgeline updated with the quickly changing pickup market, the 2009 model has several fresh alterations. All 2009 Ridgelines come standard with a trailer hitch. Two additional cargo tie-downs are included in the back, which make a total of eight for the vehicle. Several new technology-based features are added to both the RTS and RTL models. Also, all versions of the 2009 Ridgeline were equipped with valuable new safety properties, such as daytime running lights and active front seat head restraints.
With its smooth crew cab look, the Ridgeline was always a popular choice for those who want the power of a pickup with a city feel to it. The multiple adjustments on the exterior of the 2009 Ridgeline embrace a sleek appearance. Both the headlights and grille are more integrated into the overall design, with a new standardized color and shape for the front and rear light housing areas. The modified front bumpers give it a rougher look by adding a small step-out rim to meet directly with the wheel arch. The rear bumper also received a size upgrade, as it wraps around the side of the vehicle to reach the more pronounced wheel flares.
The cosmetic updates on the interior of the vehicle are rather expansive. Revised meters were created along the lines of a three-dimensional style, and the steering wheel design was reshaped. Enhanced controls, buttons, and specialized displays for the audio, air-conditioning, headlights, and cruise control come standard. For audio lovers, all models have MP3/WMA compatible systems. Also, the RTS and RTL include an MP3/auxiliary input jack. The actual interior space of the Ridgeline is rather impressive since there is above-average legroom when compared to traditional midsize pickup trucks, such as the Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier.
Performance & Handling
The all-aluminum 3.5-liter V-6 engine is relatively the same as the 2009 Ridgeline's predecessors, but it does get a new magnesium dual-stage intake manifold, which actually raises the torque by two and the horsepower by three. The five-speed automatic transmission is kept standard in all models. However, to help improve overall responsiveness, slightly different gear ratios are offered. The real advancement in the 2009 is in terms of the throttle response off idle. It was greatly improved to strongly jump from a full-stop and make the truck feel like it has more power off the line. Stability in handling for the 2009 Ridgeline is made very strong due to the basic build of the vehicle that boasts a four-wheel independent suspension while maintaining a unibody design. This stability is great for sure handling under heavy loads and even helps on curving terrain.
The 2009 Honda Ridgeline comes standard with electronic stability control, traction control, child seat lower anchorage, and a tire pressure monitor. In terms of airbags, it has full-length side curtain airbags with a special sensor to detect rollover situations and front-seat-mounted side airbags. New safety features for the 2009 model include dynamic head restraints for the front seats as well as daytime running lights.
EPA Fuel Economy
2009 Honda Ridgeline: 15/20 mpg city/highway
- Exterior appearance
- Technology friendly features
- Increased safety
You Won't Like
- Fuel economy
- Low-grade towing capability
A stylish pickup truck great for passengers and light cargo.
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