2009 Honda Ridgeline Review

Pros & Cons

  • Agile handling for a truck, functional and comfortable cabin, innovative cargo management system, high safety ratings, dent-resistant composite bed.
  • Uncomfortable rear seat, only one available engine, limited off-road capability.
List Price Estimate
$6,735 - $10,787

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2009 Honda Ridgeline provides an appealing combination of truckish utility and relatively carlike handling, though it's not a good choice for heavy-duty applications.

Vehicle overview

For those who don't require the biggest and baddest pickup on the market, the 2009 Honda Ridgeline has a lot to offer. Honda's first take on an American-style truck has served as an appealingly carlike alternative to traditional pickups since its debut a few years back. Based on the previous-generation Pilot SUV's unibody chassis, the crew-cab-only Ridgeline handles better and rides more smoothly than most trucks. It falls short in terms of hauling and towing capacities, though, so truck shoppers who require brawny performance may find this Honda less than satisfying.

In addition to its relatively carlike handling and ride, the Ridgeline offers a comfortable five-passenger cabin. It also boasts an innovative steel-reinforced, fiberglass-composite bed that's immune to rust and dents. This unique design features a flat raised load space with an 8.5-cubic-foot locking trunk that's hidden beneath a hatch in the floor and accessed by a convenient dual-action tailgate.

For 2009, the Ridgeline receives a handful of updates aimed at keeping it fresh in the rapidly changing pickup world. Every Ridgeline now comes standard with a trailer hitch, and there are modest stylistic revisions inside and out. Other changes include two additional cargo tie-downs out back (for a total of eight), a 115-volt power outlet on the RTL model, an auxiliary input jack on higher trim levels and a smidge more power under the hood (3 extra horsepower and 2 more pound-feet of torque).

Although it's out of its element when taken off-road or tasked with serious towing or hauling, the 2009 Honda Ridgeline offers lots of versatile space for people and cargo. It's also more driver-friendly than traditional trucks, and we prefer it to the conceptually similar Ford Explorer Sport Trac. Limitations notwithstanding, the Ridgeline is an appealingly unconventional pickup that's well worth a look if you don't need the functionality of a full-size truck.

2009 Honda Ridgeline models

The 2009 Honda Ridgeline is a midsize crew-cab pickup truck with seating for five. There are three trim levels: base RT, midlevel RTS and luxurious RTL. Standard features on the Ridgeline RT include 17-inch steel wheels, an integrated trailer hitch, a power-sliding rear window, remote keyless entry, air-conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, full power accessories, a trip computer, cruise control, a 60/40-split rear seat with underseat storage, and a six-speaker CD stereo with MP3 playback capability. The RTS model adds 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat and an upgraded seven-speaker audio system with a six-CD changer, an audio input jack and steering-wheel-mounted controls. The top-of-the-line RTL adds 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a moonroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a 115-volt power outlet and satellite radio.

A navigation system with Bluetooth and an integrated back-up camera is available on RTL models only. Accessories include a motorcycle bed extender and a bed-mounted bicycle carrier, among numerous others.

2009 Highlights

The Honda Ridgeline receives an array of minor but useful updates for 2009. A trailer hitch is now standard on every model, and top-of-the-line RTL models equipped with the navigation system receive Bluetooth and a back-up camera. On the safety front, active front seat head restraints are now standard across the lineup. There are also a handful of exterior and interior styling tweaks.

Performance & mpg

Under the hood of the 2009 Honda Ridgeline is a 3.5-liter V6 that generates 250 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. This power is routed through a five-speed automatic transmission to a standard all-wheel-drive system called VTM-4 (for variable torque management four-wheel drive). The 2009 Honda Ridgeline can tow up to 5,000 pounds and handle payloads of up to 1,550 pounds, which is a little below average for a V6-powered compact/midsize pickup. EPA-estimated fuel economy checks in at 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined, which isn't very impressive given that a four-wheel-drive, V8-powered Ford F-150 is rated at up to 16 mpg combined.


The Honda Ridgeline comes standard with antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control, active front head restraints, front-seat-mounted side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor. In government crash testing, the Ridgeline earned a perfect five-star rating for occupant protection in both frontal and side-impact crashes. Similarly, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety bestowed its highest "Good" rating on the Ridgeline for both frontal-offset and side-impact crashes.


The 2009 Honda Ridgeline is very comfortable and pleasant to drive as pickups go. Its speed-proportional power steering offers good response and feedback, and the Ridgeline's ride is smooth and refined, though off-road trails are best left to more purpose-built competitors. The V6 makes sophisticated noises, but it lacks the low-end grunt required for serious truck duty.


The Ridgeline's front bucket seats are well-shaped and comfortably firm. Taller drivers will bemoan the lack of a telescoping steering wheel, however. There's above-average rear legroom compared to traditional midsize pickups like the Frontier or Tacoma. Interior storage compartments abound, and additional cargo space can be accessed by flipping up the Ridgeline's 60/40-split rear seat. Beneath the 5-foot bed is a hidden lockable trunk space replete with a drain plug that enables it to double as an ice-filled food or beverage cooler. Pray you'll never have a flat tire with a full load, though, as you'll have to empty the contents of the bed and trunk to get at the spare tire located inside.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2009 Honda Ridgeline.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

So Far So Good at 91,000 miles
RTS 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
I bought my 2009 new and have no complaints at 109000 miles I have completed required services and no issues have arisen except airbag recall which was taken care of at the dealer.. I think this truck is perfect for a family of 5 who needs a vehicle that will pull a boat or travel trailer under 5000 pounds, carry those itmes that don't require a large powerful and expensive truck. This truck rides like a car and is comfortable. If you have a small family, this truck will fill your needs and I strongly recommend you check it out. At this mileage I have noticed a slight decrease in gas mileage on the highway with cruise control. I have seen 24mpg in earlier times but now see 22-23 max. I still haven't replaced the brake pads yet as they still show within spec. Tires have been replaced at 70,000 miles with Michelin LTX. If you don't intend to do any off road 'Truck Stuff' I would recommend properly rated touring tires for a quieter ride. There has been no issues with the engine or transmission. The trunk space below the deck is perfect. We can shop for groceries and place them in the trunk and lock and not worry about someone helping themselves as we leave the vehicle elsewhere. Overall this truck has been a perfect family utility carrier, comfortable and reasonably economic. I would recommend the Ridgeline for those families needing utility.
Why stop?
Word is that Honda will no longer build the Ridgeline. Too bad. Yes, it is different, but who else has the in bed trunk? I carry enough tools to fill it and I can keep a clean truck without loading and unloading daily. The ride is great and it pulls my boat with ease. I hope someone takes this concept and continues. If you really need a truck, buy one. BUT, if you just need a truck once in a while, the Ridgeline is great. I'm on my 3d one, so I was sold by the versatility and pleasant drive.
It's a Keeper
Has all the things in need in a pickup, all I read is that they have no power etc. BS. I traded in a 02 Silverado 5.3 V-8 and can honestly no tell much difference at all. But the gas mileage is much better. Don't listen to Non-Owners they're full of it. Only listen or talk to owners for there input.
Better value for your dollar!
Rob Riegel,10/25/2015
RT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
I bought my 09 RT used from a very reputable dealer one year ago with 80 k miles. 20k miles later and no major issues. Every time I take it in for service my mechanic is amazed to see how clean it is inside where oil cap screws in. I use Mobil 1 full synthetic oil with proper oil filter. Engine runs strong and gets up to 23 mpg on the highway with a light load and not towing anything. I have not towed anything yet. Great handling on dirt roads and muddy roads and there was not a need to use 4wd feature. Acceleration and shifting is good. Climate control is good. Height and visibility is good. Stereo system sound is ok. Plenty of storage, which is really awesome. Interior fabric stains too easy from water. Love the sliding rear window. Love the extra storage in the cab and in truck bed, which beats the storage of a Toyota. There is ample passenger space. Love the way the rear seats fold up to load extra cargo. Transmission has a little clunk, but it's normal. It's from how I operate the accelerator pedal as trans picks up the slop. I can get about 380 miles per tank of gas. Full synthetic oil change every 5,000 miles and I service the fuel system with one can of sea foam at every oil change interval. Once a month I fill the gas tank with non ethanol gas. I'll be due for 4 wheel brake service soon and 4 new tires. I compared this truck to a certified Toyota Tacoma. Toyota has a nice reputation, but I got a better deal on this truck and it's got everything that I need at a fraction of the cost. Paint chips to easily, but that's where touch up paint comes in handy. Suspension, steering, brakes and any of the power options work great. No report on the 4wd yet, because I have not used it. Cruise control works great and the TPMS is accurate. I like the 5 ft bed. It's not to big and not to small. This is a very practical truck for the working man and I chose a 285.00 a month payment vs a 400.00 a month payment of the Toyota Tacoma certified(2 door single cab 4 cyl 2009). I'll expect 400k miles on this Honda motor. Once the motor is tired then I'll replace it, because this truck serves a better purpose for me than any other general truck. It's like a small military truck.lol. People keep trying to buy my truck and I tell them no. The only thing that concerns me is the air bag recall. The part won't be available until later in the year.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2009 Honda Ridgeline features & specs 


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2009 Honda Ridgeline

Used 2009 Honda Ridgeline Overview

The Used 2009 Honda Ridgeline is offered in the following submodels: Ridgeline Crew Cab. Available styles include RTS 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (3.5L 6cyl 5A), RTL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (3.5L 6cyl 5A), RT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (3.5L 6cyl 5A), and RTL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB w/Navi (3.5L 6cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Honda Ridgeline?

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Which used 2009 Honda Ridgelines are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Honda Ridgeline for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Honda Ridgeline.

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Should I lease or buy a 2009 Honda Ridgeline?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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