Ch-Ch-Changes: 2009 Honda Ridgeline

By David Thomas  on August 6, 2008

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/80/-517641712-1425510780580.

As full-size pickups take a hit from high gas prices, a vehicle like Honda’s Ridgeline should be perfectly placed as an alternative for truck buyers. That’s why Honda has given the Ridgeline some subtle updates for 2009, with minor design tweaks to the front end and interior. Most of the changes, however, won’t make or break a buying decision between an ‘08 and an ‘09. In fact, we’re not sure anyone will even notice there were changes made.

There’s a full photo gallery of the 2009 model below, including a few pics of the ‘08 for comparison purposes. The biggest change inside is to the instrument cluster, it seems, and there’s a new steering wheel. Black is a new interior color as well.

On the power front, the 2009 gets three — yes, three — more horsepower than the 2008, up to 250 hp, but towing capacity remains the same at 5,000 pounds, as does its mileage rating, at 15/20 mpg city/highway. Oddly enough, you can buy a GMC Sierra Crew Cab with a 295 hp V-8 engine and get 15/20 mpg and tow 8,000 pounds. But we digress.

The Ridgeline comes in four trims: RT, RTS, RTL and RTL with Navigation.

We’ve picked out the most interesting of the 50 changes Honda provided us with below. Six of those 50 were accessories.

Exterior Styling and Features

  • Grille (design)
  • Front bumper (design)
  • Rear bumper (design)
  • Integrated trailer hitch (standard for RT, RTS and RTL)
  • 7-pin trailer wiring connector (new for RTS and RTL)
  • Fog lights (RTL)
  • 18-inch alloy wheels (RTL)

Powertrain

  • Horsepower and torque (increased)
  • Transmission gear ratios (lower for better acceleration)

Interior Styling and Features

  • Steering-wheel design
  • 3-D-look speedometer, tachometer and IP meter designs
  • New front-seat active head restraints
  • New trip computer
  • New MP3/WMA compatibility
  • Auxiliary audio input jack (RTS and RTL)
  • New black interior color
  • Power lumbar support (RTS)
  • New integrated rearview camera (RTL w/Navi)
  • New Bluetooth HandsFreeLink (RTL w/Navi)
  • Air conditioning controls (more ergonomic) — this is actually a terrific idea
  • Air conditioning display (larger icons)

Honda


Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon.  Email David