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2009 Honda Ridgeline Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Honda Ridgeline was new.


Performance: 8.0

Although the 2009 Honda Ridgeline does not have the performance capabilities and capacities of traditional trucks, writers say it's sufficient for shoppers using it for play, not work.

  • "And there's the great thing about the Ridgeline - it drives neither like a car nor a pickup, but like the chunky crossover it's built from." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The 2009 Honda Ridgeline is very comfortable and pleasant to drive as pickups go." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

Unlike most trucks, the Honda Ridgeline only provides one engine option -- a V6. A few reviewers find that engine to be underpowered, especially for hauling and towing. The Honda Ridgeline's transmission is a five-speed automatic, which the majority of reviewers say is well-mated to the V6

  • "Ridgeline is on par with rival compact pickups with V6s--but behind Dodge Dakota with its available V8. The engine also may be taxed when asked to meet Ridgeline's 5000-lb towing capacity or 1546-lb maximum payload." -- Consumer Guide
  • "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." -- PickupTrucks.com
  • "Still, the 3.5-liter V-6 pulls this thing around fairly well, although quick sprints require revving it into its upper limits." -- Automobile Magazine

Handling and Braking

Reviewers are generally pleased with the Ridgeline's ride and handling, which they describe as pleasingly untruck-like. Also contributing to good ride quality is the Ridgeline's integrated closed-box frame with a unit-body construction, which is more similar to a crossover SUV than a regular truck platform

  • "The steering is sufficiently responsive, and the truck can hold its own when tossed into a corner with some verve." -- PickupTrucks.com
  • "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." -- Edmunds
  • "Drives more like a car or minivan than a typical pickup. Still, Ridgeline's height and heft mean a fair amount of body lean and noseplow in fast turns. Steering feel is too light at low speeds, but a relatively tight turning circle aids parking lot maneuverability. Braking is strong and sure." -- Consumer Guide

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