Road Test Review: 2009 Honda Ridgeline

2009 Honda Ridgeline

by Thom Blackett

Dare to be different: Four simple words that led us to try out for the track team when all our friends were playing basketball or to vote for a Democrat in Texas. Honda uses this same approach in developing its cars with mixed results. On the plus side are models like the Accord, a quick and efficient sedan or coupe availing its buyers to a spacious, well-appointed vehicle. Then there’s the Ridgeline, the market’s only unibody pickup that combines alienating looks with one of the truck world’s best rides. For 2009, Honda has improved things with a bit more power, added features and a mild facelift, making this a worthwhile consideration for light-duty buyers. In terms of class-leading efficiency and capability, the Honda Ridgeline steers the notion of being different in the wrong direction.

New for 2009

It’d be hard to decipher what’s different about the 2009 Ridgeline with only a quick glance. The blocky and polarizing style is still the truck’s trademark, but it has been toughened a bit. Tweaked front and rear bumpers add 0.2 inches to the overall length. The updated model has also been treated to two additional tie-downs in the bed, a standard trailer hitch, daytime running lights, a rearview camera integrated with the navigation system, a new bed extender and an interior designed to be more ergonomically friendly. In regard to the powertrain, the camshaft has been worked over to add more torque down low, the gear ratios have been revised to improve acceleration and the intake valves have been enlarged.

2009 Honda Ridgeline

Models and Pricing

Buyers interested in Honda’s pickup truck can choose between three well-equipped trims. Unlike its rivals from Toyota and Nissan, the Ridgeline exists only as a four-wheel-drive crew cab model.

Starting things off is the RT, priced from $28,670, including a $670 destination charge. Its features include a trip computer, a Class III trailer hitch, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, and something that’s not standard on most so-called entry-level trucks, a power sliding rear window. Honda has also tacked on a slew of safety items, such as front-, side-impact and side curtain airbags; electronic stability and traction control systems; a tire pressure monitor; and front active head restraints. The sound system cranks out a measly 100 watts, but it’s compatible with MP3 and WMA files.

Next in the Ridgeline family is the mid-range RTS model, starting at $31,775, including destination. The RTS offsets its higher asking price with a seven-pin wiring harness for towing and body-colored exterior trim. Tunes are courtesy of a 160-watt audio unit tied to a subwoofer, a six-disc CD changer and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls; an auxiliary input jack allows you to play tracks from your iPod. Rounding out the list of upgrades are a dual-zone climate control system, an eight-way power driver’s seat, deep-tinted rear glass, all-weather floor mats and 17-inch alloys replacing the RT’s steel wheels.

2009 Honda Ridgeline

The best-equipped Ridgeline is the RTL, which starts at $34,650, including the $670 destination charge. This is the model you’ll want to consider if leather upholstery, heated front seats and a power moonroof are on your wish list. Of course, you also might be interested in the 18-inch alloys rolling on 245/60 all-season tires, fog lights, satellite radio, a Homelink universal garage door opener and a 115-volt power outlet.

So far, the trio of Ridgeline trims has covered most of the bases, except for one glaring omission. That’s what distinguishes the RTL with Navigation, which starts at $37,000 (including destination) and features a touch-screen nav system with Bluetooth technology. This is the model we drove.

In typical Honda fashion, the 2009 Ridgeline isn’t available with any packages per se, other than a set of chrome alloy wheels that’ll set you back about $2,000. However, a number of accessories -- from side steps to a bed extender -- can be had. The list also includes a $225 full-size spare tire that replaces the standard spare, a worthwhile investment for anyone traveling off the beaten path.

Under the Hood

Equipment levels vary among the 2009 Honda Ridgeline’s trims, but they’re all packing the same heat under the hood. That’s where you’ll find an aluminum 24-valve, 3.5-liter, VTEC V-6 pushing 250 horses at 5,700 rpm and 247 pounds-feet of torque at 4,300 rpm. Those figures are up from 2008’s 247 horsepower and 245 pounds-feet of torque. In comparison, the Nissan Frontier’s 4.0-liter V-6 boasts 261 ponies and 281 pounds-feet of twist; the Toyota Tacoma’s V-6 comes up short in horsepower but, more importantly, offers 266 pounds-feet of torque.

A five-speed automatic transmission with a heavy-duty engine cooler is standard across the Ridgeline lineup as is a Variable Torque Management four-wheel-drive system, or what Honda refers to as VTM-4. An electric locking rear differential comes on all models, a feature that’s available only on the Frontier’s PRO-X model and as part of the Tacoma’s TRD Off-Road package. Unlike most pickups, which use coils up front and leaf springs out back, the Ridgeline’s suspension consists of front MacPherson struts and a rear multi-link setup with trailing arms. Other hardware bits include four-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist as well as a rack-and-pinion steering system with a heavy-duty cooler.

2009 Honda Ridgeline

Put it all together and you’ve got a truck weighing about 4,500 pounds, roughly equivalent to a comparable Frontier but 300-400 pounds heavier than a similar Tacoma. The Honda can carry up to 1,546 pounds and tows 5,000 pounds. That’s a better payload rating than you’ll get from a four-wheel-drive Nissan or Toyota – 1,348 pounds and 1,415 pounds, respectively. Towing is another story with the Frontier pulling up to 6,100 pounds and the Tacoma up to 6,500 pounds.

Powertrain Performance

Though we didn’t have the opportunity to test the Ridgeline under heavy load, we did manage to rack up a few hundred miles in less than 24 hours, giving us a clear indication of how the truck performs during routine driving. As noted, the 2009 model offers added power, and the transmission has been updated to deliver more low-end torque. Unfortunately, those changes don’t translate to anything you’ll feel with your right foot. Off-the-line acceleration is satisfactory and the tranny executes smooth shifts, but put the pedal down and the response is more casual than get-up-and-go. The 3.5-liter V-6 does put out enough grunt for high-speed passing and merging. The engine is connected to a well-modulated throttle and goes about its business with a fair level of refinement.

With an engine response that will leave its drivers content but not impressed, one might assume noteworthy fuel economy comes as part of the package. The 2009 Honda Ridgeline carries EPA ratings of 15/20 mpg city/ highway. We recorded 15.1 mpg. The majority of our time behind the wheel was spent during off hours cruising along Southern California’s freeways with a bit of light off-roading and short bursts of city driving tossed in. The result was disappointing, but in the Ridgeline’s defense, the Tacoma and Frontier are rated about the same. That’s not saying much when full-size Fords and Chevrolets can offer similar mileage along with greater power, capability and more sophisticated six-speed transmissions.

Ride and Handling

Honda has dropped the old-school, body-on-frame truck thinking and replaced it with technology that delivers a better ride than you’ll find in most any current pickup, including the coil-sprung Dodge Ram. The Ridgeline uses unit-body construction with an integrated boxed frame, meaning it’s designed more like a car or crossover vehicle. On roadways with expansion joints, there’s none of the rear-end bounce associated with many trucks, nor does the driver need to worry about axle hop on bumpy corners. Next to its competitors, the Ridgeline could be considered a well-mannered sedan. The steering is sufficiently responsive, and the truck can hold its own when tossed into a corner with some verve.

Given how future owners will likely drive their new Hondas, we returned to a washed-out fire road, one we’d previously traveled with a four-wheel-drive Frontier. There was no hard-core off-roading here, so the lack of a genuine low-range gear was not an issue (a locking rear differential is standard). We immediately noticed how smooth the ride was compared to our earlier trip, and as a result, we were able to cruise up the road at a quicker pace and with more confidence. During the steep downhill run, we noticed a bit of shuddering from the ABS but no fade or loss of brake response.

Comfort and Convenience

2009 Honda Ridgeline

Honda engineers fitted their pickup with an innovative locking, waterproof in-bed storage compartment that’s good for toting up to 8.5 cubic feet of gear. This is a crafty way to increase carrying capacity. Some owners have noted that the location of this compartment is a problem when the bed is full, especially with a load that can’t be easily removed such as loam or mulch. Furthermore, the compact spare is packed in there, too. You’ll have to schedule those flat tires for times when you’re traveling light. Despite the criticisms, Honda has managed to create storage space where there once was none (and even today is matched only by Dodge’s RamBox). Ignore what’s underneath the load floor and you’ll be looking at a box capable of accommodating a standard sheet of plywood. Access can be gained by dropping the tailgate in traditional fashion, or swinging it outward from the passenger side – great for unloading next to a curb.

There’s more to appreciate inside the truck, including a rear bench seat with gobs of storage underneath; lift the seat bottom and you can transport bulky items without leaving them exposed in the bed. The storage continues with a deep glovebox, a huge extendable center console and front door pockets (rear door pockets not available). The layout of controls in our RTL with Navigation wasn’t an issue, with two rubber-grip dials for the climate control system and well-marked buttons for the radio and navigation unit, which includes an integrated rearview camera. We’d prefer a simple tuning knob and an illuminated switch to tell us when the a/c was on (the script in the display screen can be hard to see), but those are minor points.

Comfort was hit or miss. Our 5-foot-8-inch author had a hard time finding a suitable driving position despite the power seat and adjustable steering column. However, others hopped in and got comfy right away. There’s plenty of room for drivers of most sizes and shapes, and passengers should have room to stretch regardless of whether they’re riding up front or out back. The padded armrests are a nice touch, but Honda wouldn’t be hurting anyone’s feelings with a few more padded surfaces -- not to mention leather upholstery that jumped up a grade or two.

In a future Ridgeline, we’d like to see an extended cab or regular cab added to the lineup, for those who prioritize hauling capacity over interior space.


2009 Honda Ridgeline

Honda has added even more content to its Ridgeline pickup for 2009, and you won’t find us complaining about the bump in engine output. The truck offers arguably the best ride and handling package in its class, while providing innovative features such as the dual-action tailgate and an in-bed storage compartment. In addition to the dearth of torque and the lack of a low range setting, the Ridgeline, like all similarly-sized trucks, needs to deliver better fuel economy. For about the same price, full-size pickups are now achieving nearly identical EPA ratings while boasting greater towing, hauling capacity and passenger space with V-8 engines. In this light, the case for a midsize rig isn’t terribly compelling, especially one that trails its rivals in the areas of power and capability.


Test Vehicle: 2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL with Navigation
Price as Tested: $37,000 (including a $670 destination charge)
Engine: 3.5-liter V-6
Horsepower: 250 at 5,700 rpm
Torque: 247 pounds-feet at 4,300 rpm
Transmission: Five-speed automatic
EPA Fuel Economy: 15/20 mpg city/highway’s Observed Fuel Economy: 15.1 mpg
Ground Clearance: 8.2 inches
Payload Capacity: 1,486 pounds
Towing Capacity: 5,000 pounds
Also Consider: Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford Ranger, Ford F-150, GMC Canyon, GMC Sierra, Mazda B-Series, Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma, Toyota Tundra


Very nice article finally someone say the truth on this truclet. I'm sure it's a nice piece of machinery but as you said the MPG is on par with real truck and it's possible to order an American truck in million of different configurations. Honda didn't revolutionize the truck market like some journalist try to sell it's nice but no truck Sorry

Simply put, its not a pickup, its an SUV with an open bed.

I am finding it harder and harder to read some of these articles and not notice the bias against Dodge. It used to not be so bad, but lately it is getting annoying. The author was quick to point out how Chevy and Ford could also get 15/20 mpg, (failing to mention the Dodge can as well), yet was happy to use the Dodge Ram in a negative comparison when referring to how smooth the Ridgeline rode. Sure they are little jabs, but they are unmistakeable.


The acutal quote was, "That’s not saying much when full-size Fords and Chevrolets can offer similar mileage ALONG WITH greater power, capability and more sophisticated six-speed transmissions." The Dodge Ram doesn't have a six speed and they were dead last in capability before the new F-150 with more capability came out and what does Dodge do? Dodge decreased capability.

@Moparior: The 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 has the best unloaded ride of any full-size truck. Having driven both trucks, the Ram is very close in ride quality to the Ridgeline.

WRT to fuel economy, the *best* EPA rating for the 2009 Dodge Ram is 14/20 mpg city/highway with either the 3.7-L V-6 or 5.7-L Hemi. The standard F-150 is rated at 15/20 with the 4.6-L V-8 and the tall geared XFE model gets 15/21 mpg (same as Chevy and GMC SFE models).

All I can say is that Honda clearly copied off of the Chevy Avalanche. You can see a clear resemblance in design between the two, both are "one" piece (doesn't have a separate bed), both have a noticeable slope after the rear doors towards the bed, and I'm sure there's other similarities.

But of course the Avalanche is full sized with a truck frame, and of course, who can forget the revolutionary mid-gate!

Sorry Honda. Assuming you haven't killed off the very idea of a unibody pickup truck with your Ridgeline, I'll buy a production A-BAT instead. If it does come out, at least it would be fuel-efficient.

Or maybe I'll just go with a Colorado or Ranger. But not yours.

I like many others eagerly aniticipated the arrival of the original vehicle. The spy photos had depicted something like a smaller Avalanche. My thinking is why didn't Honda just build a 3/4 Avalanche truck style? Unfortunately, the Honda is seen as somewhat of a joke in the truck world. Imagine this...who in their right mind would tow anything of any size with CV joints? Honda engineers just don't get it when it comes to trucks. I am not alone in my thinking...just look at the sales figures.

For what it's worth.........All I can say is that I've owned 16 different cars bought new in my lifetime. Cars bought new include 2 BMW x5s, 2 Mercedes E300, Porsche 911, Mercedes M350, etc., etc. For practical purposes, I can afford pretty much any car........and I drive everyday a Ridgeline, which in my opinion is the "best" all around "car" I've ever owned.....I'm about to buy my second Ridgeline as my present one is an '06 and has 49,000 miles. My second car has always been a 2 seater and in the last year , I think I put less tha 1200 miles on it.......guess I really like the Ridgeline. As I said.......for what it's worth.


Ran across the 09' test and comments. Just wanted to give a personal note from a long time Ridgeline owner.

I have used my 2006 RL to tow a 12' cargo trailer loaded to 5-6K pounds for 6 months out of the year. She now has over $120,000 miles of which 2/3 are towing. The tongue weight is excessive, not to mention the the bed is often loaded above the roof, and back seat loaded to the ceiling on many retail sales missions.

I will say this about the RL. It is hands down the absolute best, most functional, reliable and absolutely rock solid vehicle that I have ever owned. Never in over 80,000 miles of towing has the chassis squeaked, twisted or yawned. Other than the front speaker covers (which I fixed with two sided tape), not one single squeak or rattle has emerged. Not one. Besides the mention above I have only replaced reading light bulbs that have worked loose. Not a single other issue.
It handles the towing with some work on the V6, but is absolutely smooth as glass, comfy and drives like no other truck I've ever had.

Yes, this year the weight will push me to reluctantly get a heavier V8 truck. If Honda offered a heavier version I would not even shop around. But from my personal experience this vehicle is phenominal, and light years better than ANY truck I've owned or driven.

If you need to tow 10,000 pounds, or an off road monster, then look elsewhere. If you need a daily vehicle that can tow even large loads, but has the manners of a well built sedan for your daily commutes and weekend jaunts, then it's like nothing else out there.

I post over at www dot ridgelineownersclub dot com under the name livefaith in case you're wondering if this is legit.

Mark, to me you just proved every "truck " buyers point.It's not a truck,most people that buy a"truck"for work or towing ect.In many cases we drive them until the wheels fall off. Your not a "truck" buying type of guy, a truck buying guy would not even consider buy a uni-bodied truck
I have a 1991 ram that i bought in 1993,this truck hasn't cost me one penny until i put a plow on it in 2003.It finally it let a tranny go at 210,000 It now has 286,000 on the truck plows my place all winter.Water pump and U-joints and oil and some small stuff as it ages,is the only thing that trucks EVER needed.My point is I don't see this honda doing anything thing work related for 10 to 15 years and have a service life after retirement.Honda Ridgeline most likely is nice car but in my opion, should not be even considered a truck.

Can you say Discontinued! I'm sick of hearing how great this vehicle is and the wonders of Honda engineering.
1. Terribly MPG.
2. In bed truck lets just hope you dont get a flat hualing something.
3. Terrible turning radius.
4. windsheild wipers dont work in snow, have to park it with wipers at top of cycle lol. Great engineering.
5. 4wd that nobody know how to operate. If you want to 4wd dont go above 18 mph or it deactivates. Gotta pull vuses to full it. LOL.
That is just a few.

i dont know if these trucks are broken in before they do their tests... but everyone i know with a ridgeline regularly gets 27-31 mpg.
fuel economy increased drastically after 10 or 20,000 km, and keeps getting better.
in my experience, the ridgeline drives excellently, and tows med. sized trailers very well. not a single problem or conern in nearly 100,000 km.

27-31 mpg. Are you kidding me! This would be on the cover of every magizine new arcticle around if this was true. I've regular member of a ridgeline site and have yet to see anyone get better then 21 mpg. I only average 15-17 mpg in my company ridgeline.

Why do they say it can carry a sheet of plywood if all it has is a 5 foot bed? This is a SUV. not a truck.

Carries plywood becuase you cut the sheet into smaller pieces for hualing.LOL
Just ask the Honda Fanboys!

I've got an '06 Ridgeline RTL with Navi, and let's get off the subject of work truck. The Ridgeline is not one (in the traditional sense). What it is is a versatile, great riding, comfortable SUV with an open bed....making it suitable for many truck-like chores.

I use it for work transporting equipment in boxes that would not fit in a Chevy Suburban. The in-bed trunk provides a measure of security for items you'd rather not store in the cab....and it makes the Ridgeline a better tailgating vehicle than ANY truck on the market (great in-bed cooler).

My BEST mileage after 54,000 miles is 25 MPG highway...while averaging 21.5 MPG highway. City mileage of 15 MPG is on a par with some other trucks.
The ride and handling cannot be matched by a truck.

The Ridgeline is different, and in a sense created a category of its own. If you're hauling horses or rocks, buy a truck....not a Ridgeline. If you're looking for a very practical, multi-purpose and reliable vehicle, that won't beat you up throughout the course of the day, the Ridgeline is worth a serious look. When it's time, I'll buy another one in a heartbeat.

No, it's not a full-on pickup in the sense that the Ford, Chevy, or Dodge are...this truck is clearly targeted at the recreational use crowd--those of us who use trucks to haul their dirt bikes to the trail on the weekends (or sport bikes to the track), those of us who go camping regularly, tow a small boat or jet ski, or lug an ATV around. For this kind of use (what I use a truck for) it looks perfectly suited--put the gear in the trunk, the cooler in the back seat, and the bikes in the bed.

If you're a contractor building a house, this is clearly not for you. For recreational users, it's perfect. It's not for everyone but it clearly has a niche.

I've always thought of the Ridgeline as a feminized and less functional version of the Avalanche. I wouldn't even call it an SUV, more of an all-wheel drive minivan with a box.

As everybody knows, it is no substitute for a real truck. In fact, I think most buyers would be better served with a minivan. For its size and weight this thing should get a lot better mileage than it actually does, that is probably the most disappointing thing about it. I can put up with less capability if it gives me great economy in exchange, but it doesn't. Other than price, for my needs, I don't see any reason to choose this over an Avalanche, but many reasons not to.

It has its place, so long as people are honest with themselves as to what they are getting. Unfortunately, everybody I know who has one would be better off with either a real truck or a minivan.

I clearly see one obvious reason to choose the Ridgeline over the Avalanche. Its a HONDA!
yes I know, everyone has a Chevy with 249 million miles on it and it never brokedown.

I've owned 2 Silverados and both were good, not great but good. I can honestly say the Ridgeline is the best vehicle I have ever owned. That being said, I dont work construction or go 4-wheeling. If I did I would by "normal" pickup.
I do however, load my dirtbike and gear for a track day or drive some fire roads on my way to a trail ride. I also occasionaly pick up mulch/top soil/furniture/etc... that wouldnt fit in anything other than a pickup. The rest of the time I enjoy a nice smooth, great handling ride that no other pickup can match.
I can also take my wife and ours friends out to dinner some where classier than Denny's in this "truck"

I dont get the anger over calling this a "truck" Call it a pickup SUV if it makes you happy, or go beat up a Subaru Baja driver if you need to vent.
Ive been real happy with mine for 3 years and will be buying a new one this month.

I wonder how many went off about how Toyota couldn't make a truck when they first started their line of Tundra's and Tacoma's. And now they are widly accepted as "Trucks".

So, because Honda makes a truck that is unconventional, (in all reality), its not a truck... its an SUV. Well it looks like its got a bed to me... Trucks usually have beds. So what it has a Unibody frame. Who cares. Who is the person that actully said trucks can't be Unibody. Chevy has a truck that has a Unibody, but its still a truck. So how come the Ridgeline can't be considered a truck. Oh, I know why, its because its made by Honda. And Honda can't make trucks. Hmmm, I think the Ridgeline won the recent Baja Race.

You can easily use it for work. But what kind of work do you need it for. Heck, I see RL's in the Oilfields everyday. The only reason why I wouldn't choose a RL, I can get better power with the same gas mileage with a truck from the big three,a nd Toyota. But you know what. Honda ain't begging the Government for taxpayers money. With the exception of Toyota, and Nissan.

wooooooooooooooooow wonderfull

I think its a good vehicle for what it is. No its not going to tow a 10K trailer, or haul a skid of concrete in the bed But for the guy who wants to tow his jet ski's around on the weekend or haul some bushes home from Home depot its a great truck thats much easier to use as a commuter vehicle during the week. Its not for me but it would be a good vehilce for many people. I'm starting to see them all over now.

Make no mistake the Ridgeline is the perfect SUV/truck for weekend warriors and for transporting items (eg. lawntractors, snowblowers, etc) that don't fit in an suv. I think you could call it the MacGyver of suv's/truck's.

My wife and I own the toyota extended cab and today we drove the Honda Ridgeline for the first time. Boy, talk about impressed!
I'm pushing 60 and have owned dozens of vehicles in my lifetime......this is the best I've ever driven.
It's going to fit our life style perfectly. We both agreed the Toyota is going to be sold. It's been a great truck, but this Ridgeline is more than we ever expected.

Some of these comments are just plain ignorant! Better served with a mini van? Talk about hate speach! It is nothing like a mini van. Mini vans can't tow, and are not 4x4s. You can't haul anything worthwhile in a mini van. I don't have a Ridgeline but am looking to buy. I need to haul and I want comfort. Some people font care how miserable folks are in the back seat... I do!
I am also no stinkin' soccer mom, wanting to drive no stinking mini van, or compact "suv".
This vehicle has a market.
Sorry that tics do many folks off!

Ridgeline is a wannabe Toyota Tacoma quad cab. Except that the toyota is a real truck and can actually traverse off road trails, and is also easily modified for other duties. The Ridgeline is just not.

I've got to say I have read some of the most ignoranat posts i have ever read right here. Why is everyone SO fixated on classifying the Ridgeline, as if it'd be a better vehicle if we could say its a "truck"? All I hear is "its not a truck", SO, AND, what your point? If having a "real truck" means I need an ancient leaf spring suspension, and a poorly engineered designs rolling off domestic production lines I'll pass. What difference does it make if the Ridgeline isn't build like traditional trucks, when it meets the needs of it buyers? It doesn't matter how its classified. The Ridgeline works as advertised. And its as great as every editor says it is, and every truck of the year award proves it is. The construction of a truck doens't make it a truck, what it was designed to do is what makes it a truck. Proof is in the definition of the word "truck" which is: ANY various of vehicle DESIGNED to haul or pull loads, hum sounds like the Ridgeline is clearly a truck whether you like it or not. Not a "Honda Fanboy" just someone with common sense.

it would be a dream to drive this truck but its not a dream truck for heavy duty definetly...

I had an 06 leased and now own an 09 (purchased). I've owned dodge rams all my life and I absolutely like the dodge trucks. But when it comes to towing my boat (just a 20' boat, nothing 10,000 pounds), running to home depot, and then commuting to work every day... this truck is the way to go. They're comfortable as heck, fit in your garage, and in both vehicles I've never had a single issue beyond the routine oil changes (unfortunately I can't say the same for all the domestics I've owned). If you're not hauling 10k pounds you'd be mistaken not driving/looking at this thing... like one of the ads says (for a toyota truck) - just ask someone who owns one. And who cares if it's a truck, SUV, crossover... call it whatever you want. on my 09 new truck I'm averaging 18.4 mpg of mixed driving (which is similar to what I got overall on the 06 - actually a little higher)... it's at least 2-3 mpg better than I got on any dodge truck I've owned (not a knock on dodge - just my observations).

ty u all. i want to know if the ridgeline can tow a 27ft twin engine chevy 350s fiber class boat 45 houndred lbs ty jim

ford and chevy get better gas mileage then this out of date thing. Its sad when you drive a vehicle and have to get out look around and try and prove to people its a truck. really really sad. It is of course a minivan with the back cut out pretty simple to see.

Get with the program fellas REAL TRUCKS HAVE DIESEL ENGINES

I am looking at buying a RL and after reading all the comments I think I am even more inclined to buy one as people that knock it clearly are just good ole boys and never will accept anything new. Like anything you buy, you should buy it to fit YOUR needs. I don't buy a computer that is over powered to do video and graphics when i don't do that kind of stuff on my computer.

Much like the Ranger and Colorado, the Ridgeline is a truck for those that don't really need a truck. However, the Ridgeline also has the "sissy" factor to overcome.

It is clear to me, after reading all of these comments, that ignorance is truly bliss. Those who seem to actually own a Ridgeline seem to really like it. It's all of you other guys out there, who don't have any real experience with it want to wine about it. Get over it!!!

I have owned GM, Ford, & Dodge products, mostly trucks. I'm ashamed to say I will never own a America made vehicle again. I have had nothing but problems, mostly from the GM brands. I have all the maintenance done according to book. I don't abuse or mistreat in anyway. Call it a truck, car, suv or whatever! I have had NO problems at all. You have to look at what the Ridgeline was designed to do and it does it well. I would gladly pay 5 times as much for a ridgeline and have no problems than to get one of these so called trucks (gmc sierria, ford f-150, dodge dakota) and have it in the shop everytime I turn around. Just my two cents

I finally bought a Ridgeline EX-L (aka RTL in the US) and so far, I like it it. A lot.

My brother has a Ram 1500 '04 SLT and even he was amazed by the comfy ride. It doesn't tow enough for him though, but it does for me. 3 000 pounds was all I really needed and this truck does it very well.

I pushed my luck last weekend while off-roading... I ran over a big rock that I couldn't see under the snow. Crushed a rim and damaged the tire belt. All I needed was a new wheel and an alignement. I should be able to get my truck back tomorrow after work.

I'm impressed... I was doing 40km/h and hit the top plate quite hard on the front right wheel. I was really affraid that I had damaged the suspension, and maybe the sub-frame (cross beam) but it doesn't seem to be the case. Not at all. Yes, I'm lucky but the truck is very tough as well. Much more than you could think at first glance.

I have had 2 Ridgelines so far and also have had 2 Dodge Dakotas and a Ford Escape, let me tell you honestly, the Ridgeline Wins hands down the quality in this ride is 10 x better than Dodge or Ford, I mean no comparison, and the resell value ad at least $6K more then the other 2 again.
Honda wins hands down, knock it all you want, until you own one you cant talk!!!! and by the way when you do buy one you will never go back!!!

It is what we call in the outside world a double cab ute. For the uneducated ute is short for utility vehicle. Also built by ford as falcon utes and gm as holden utes. Great versatile vehicles that fill the gap between trucks and cars, great for small business in large cities or families who get away.

Usually people attack things (or other people) when they don't understand them or feel threatened.
If someone had a critical opinion about the Ridgeline after driving it and checking it over for a while, then fine.
It is not everybody's truck. And there are certainly enough trucks around to choose.
For people who want an open bed to carry more things than they can in a regular SUV it is perfect.
Because it is like a quality SUV in most all other ways with regards to cabin comfort, ride & handling.

Haha…I find it really funny all the “good ol’ boys” out here just absolutely hatin’ something they know absolutely nothing about.

I agree with the folks that have posted before me that, in no uncertain terms, if you need to put 3000 lbs. in the bed of your truck or tow 10,000 lbs, the RL is not the truck for you. But, if you need a “weekend warrior” vehicle, that will get your stuff back from Home Depot, tow your boat/ATV, haul your mountain bikes/ATV/dirt bikes, camping stuff, tow your pop-up, whatever, and be an awesome commuter vehicle…the RL will do it…do it in style…do it in comfort…and will be reliable.

I also find it amusing that folks (including the author of the review above) rip on the RL for getting the same gas mileage as a full sized pickup, when the Frontier, Tacoma, S-10 (I know I had one), and other mid-sized pickups get the same gas mileage. Also, for many RL owners, like myself, I could have bought a full sized pickup if I wanted to, but I didn’t/don’t NEED a full sized pickup; plus a full sized pickup will not fit in my garage. Also, don’t get me started on how full sized pickups get “about the same” gas mileage as a RL, because we all know that is BS. I know, I owned an F150, with the 5.7 liter Triton V8, and I was lucky to get 15 MPG…most times I got around 10-12…and got about 8 MPG in city driving. I have NEVER gotten under 16.5 MPG with my RL, and that was in %100 city/stop and go driving, and regularly average over 22 MPG on the highway (with 4 passengers and enough stuff for a camping weekend).

I currently have an ’06 RTL with just under 80,000 miles and it has been rock-solid. A few minor fit/finish issues that were fixed by the dealership the first couple months I had it but, since then, not a squeak or rattle. Every time I have anybody ride in my vehicle, they are impressed with how quiet it is, how it rides, and how comfortable it is for a truck.

I’ve owned about a dozen cars/trucks in my life and not one has been as reliable and/or enjoyable to drive as my RL. My last “Big 3” truck was nothing but a money pit. The last year and ½ I had it, I sank over $4000 in parts and labor into fixing that dang thing. Before I clocked 85,000 miles the following broke/needed to be repaired/replaced: Fuel gauge, trip odometer/main odometer, alternator, water pump, fuel pump, rusty leaf springs, fan for the heater, weather strip around 3rd door window, 4x4 system repair, and I won’t even mention the spots where the paint was coming off that I had to have repainted (that GM refused to fix even though it was obviously a manufacturing defect). A $1000 to have a fuel pump replaced was the last straw. After I sold it, the poor SOB who bought it had to have the tranny rebuilt, to the tune of $2500. In stark contrast, at 80,000 miles on my RL, I have had to do nothing but scheduled maintenance, install a new battery, and my RL has been pretty much perfect. All I need to do is put gas in it and go.

So, long story short, to all you Honda/RL haters out there, just keep hatin’ my RL, because after 5 years of ownership and almost 80,000 miles...I still love it! I can't say that for any "Big 3" vehicle I have ever owned!!!

The Ridgeline is not a heavy duty pick-up and is just as much a truck as any other small sized pick-up (Tacoma, Frontier...). Everyone who owns a Ridgeline loves it. It is a cool truck. You can't tow a 10,000 lb. trailer but it does what most people need who have trucks. The off-road is actually really good. It is kind of like a car/truck hybrid but I'd rather have that than some wabbly old Silverado or Ram. It's like a car on 22's with a jacked suspension, a solid build, a car like suspension, and a torqey V6 that can tow stuff.

I own a Ridgeline and i know it doesn't have the same "heavy duty" characteristics of a full size 1/2 ton truck. Frankly I don't need that. The Honda can tow 5000 lbs which is enough for a small fishing boat, a pop up camper, a wave runner or snow mobile. So I can't tow a horse trailer or a 30 foot camper, SO WHAT! How often do you really do that stuff? It is an SUV with an open bed. I can put dirty stuff in the back. or haul a snowblower or lawnmower around. I think it's great for what i do with it. It's a great safe family car too. Those of you who are genitally challenged and don't think it's "man" enough for you, then keep driving your lifted V-8 domestic with the big tires. My vehicle will handle better, I'll get better mileage, and it won't be in the shop (it's a honda remember)?

Oh yeah and those of you ignorant rednecks who think the Ridgeline copied the Avalance need to check your facts. They initially came out about the same time, and the Honda is so different than an Avalance to think that they one even remotely had anything to do with the development of the other is just plain stupid.

I'm probably going to buy one. It's best described as a family SUV with a truck bed. I've driven "real" trucks, and this rides better. Amazingly practical and comfortable. The Ridgeline is aimed at "Harry Homeowner," a soccer dad who has a couple kids to haul around and occasionally needs a truck bed. The 4WD is not for hard-core off-roading, but for handling snow or the occasional muddy road.

I don't think it's very attractive, but I care a lot more about value than looks. This will do everything I need, and nothing I don't.

There are some really dumb posts on here but I haven't seen a single one speaking of Ridgeline problems. that is because the Japanese have been making the best most reliable vehicles for at least the past 10 years! Just check out consumer reports and you'll find Japanese models at the top of the ratings in just about EVERY CLASS. The American car companies are just recently starting to build RELIABLE vehicles. In the past, US vehicles have been intentionally built to break so the big 3 can make more money on replacement parts. Oh, and as a result, the big US manufacturers were knocked on their butts by foriegn cars, so much so that they had to reach out to us for more money. I haven't seen Honda with their hand out, and to compare a Ridgline to a problem prone Chevy Avalanche is just hysterical. I had Honda's for the past 10 yrs from Civic to Accord to Ridgeline. I just traded in my 08 Ridgeline for a 2011 and will probably keep this one for good. No, I don't tow 10K pounds or I wouldn't have purchased a truck that only pulls 5K.. Duh.. other than that the Ridgline has won best small pickup awards from everyone year after year and just won the Baja race. So I would suggest waiting about 10 yrs before trying to compare any Japanese vehicle to an American one because the American big boys have just begun to come to the plate with reliability because the japanese forced them to..

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