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Riding and handling like a good sedan, the Ridgeline rewrites the book on pickups. It's a truck that isn't a hardship to drive. Further, it has many unique innovations, including a tailgate that opens vertically or horizontally and a lockable trunk. The roomy cab is nicely detailed and easy to access, with comfortable seats. While not designed for serious off-roading, Ridgeline also scaled our demanding rock hill.
Alerts
There are 7 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard. Blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking available from 2017.
Road Test

Riding and handling like a good sedan, the Ridgeline rewrites the book on pickups. It's a truck that isn't a hardship to drive. Further, it has many unique innovations, including a tailgate that opens vertically or horizontally and a lockable trunk. The roomy cab is nicely detailed and easy to access, with comfortable seats. While not designed for serious off-roading, Ridgeline also scaled our demanding rock hill.

Towing capacity is a relatively modest 5,000 pounds and the bed is relatively short. At 15 mpg overall, fuel economy only matches that of some full-sized trucks. And even though Honda built this first-generation Ridgeline from 2006-2014, updates during that time were few and far between, so don't expect modern electronic features in the latest Ridgelines.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
crew cab
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3.5-liter V6 (250 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2009 Honda Ridgeline owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

“calipers froze in the on position at he right back and wore out the rotor on that side so they replaced both back brake systems. They also decided to service the front brakes and replace what was needed”

Norm D., SK (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)

“the rear calipers freeze-up during winter driving.to fix problem you have to have the slides cleaned and lubed”

William B., NY (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

“No serious problem - only regular brake mainteannce due to normal wear”

Robert S., QC (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTS 3.5-L V6)

“I have paid to have the brakes serviced many times over the years but the brakes still need repair or replacement sooner than my previous vehicles (Toyota)”

Anonymous, ON (2009 Honda Ridgeline RT 3.5-L V6)

“had the original brakes on for over 60,00 mi and they needed new pads”

Kathleen K., CO (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)
Premature brake wear

“after 5not years i had to change out my brake pads (not to bad right) but after only one year i need to do it again used only factory Honda parts”

Michael B., WI (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)

“rear pads not free to move one pad only wore out”

Anonymous, NB (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTS 3.5-L V6)

“The area where the calipers move in and out is exposed to the elements and collect dirt, causing the calipers to not fully release, so some dragging of brake pads resulted”

Anonymous, ON (2009 Honda Ridgeline Unsure 3.5-L V6)

“brakes/rotors replaced twice since owning. first at about 30,000 miles and lastat about 52,000”

R K., MI (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)
Rotors

“the rotor on one back wheel was damaged due to the caliper freezing in the on position”

Norm D., SK (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“Bushings were worn and required replacement”

Anonymous, MD (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)
Power steering leaks

“leak in rack and pinon mechanism”

Anonymous, NM (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)

“Mechanic found a loose clamp. Once clamp was replaced, the problem was resolved”

David P., NS (2009 Honda Ridgeline Unsure 3.5-L V6)
Shocks or struts

“Replaced both rear struts while doing Honda service bulletin 14-077”

Anonymous, WY (2009 Honda Ridgeline RT 3.5-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

“Front end, knocking”

Anonymous, NL (2009 Honda Ridgeline Unsure 3.5-L V6)

“It is not a real truck so u can't travel over real bumpy roads line u could with a Ford F-150”

Robert F., TX (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)
Wheel bearings

“They were bad and needed to be replaced”

Troy B., MD (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)
Ball joints

“Loud clicking sound when I turn at low speeds. Unable to ascertain cause; causing $3000 in replacing entire front end (and clicking still persists)”

Shane B., BC (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)
Power steering pumps and hoses

“Power steering pump started making loud noises”

Ronald L., FL (2009 Honda Ridgeline Unsure 3.5-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

“outside body panel clips are flimsy and tend to break”

Anonymous, TX (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTS 3.5-L V6)

“molding around rear wheels has come loose; reattached with a zip tie”

Anonymous, TX (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTS 3.5-L V6)
Loose interior trim or moldings

“leather trim separates”

Anonymous, TX (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTS 3.5-L V6)

“The left rear door does not shut properly causing it to rub on the body of the truck causing wear on the paint surface. Told the dealer at the first oil change. They told me there was nothing they could do and suggested I use touch up paint. Been rep”

Lois M., OH (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)

“Paint faded on top of cab above front windshield. Area was repainted by dealer (HONDA) since it was a paint defect”

Anonymous, CA (2009 Honda Ridgeline Unsure 3.5-L V6)
Rust

“Seal around windows traps moisture causing rust. None on lower body/rocker panels where you would expect. Lots of salt on roads here”

Anonymous, MI (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)

“Suspected improper priming / surface preparation. Paint blistering and rust forming from underneath on upper sides of vehicle. NOT due to rock chips”

Harris F., AB (2009 Honda Ridgeline 3.5-L V6)

“Paint flaked off in two small areas on the roof. Not visible until I was on a step ladder to dry and wax the roof. Cleaned them and use three coats of touch up paint to try and seal them. Holding so far”

Lois M., OH (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)

“Where small chips in the paint have occurred, they have turned into rust areas”

Gregory C., NY (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTS 3.5-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

“Cold air blowing into passenger floor - mechanic couldn't locate source - or stop the cold”

Owen P., IL (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTS 3.5-L V6)

“Water leak when washed or rain on the driver's side door. Leak was fixed and was from trim on roof line above driver's door”

Anonymous, CA (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTS 3.5-L V6)
Wind noise

“Interior cabin noise was never great, but as the vehicle ages it does get worse”

Gregory C., NY (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTS 3.5-L V6)

“Wind noise at certain speeds. Cannot ascertain where it is coming from, but the whistling sound is noticeable”

Shane B., BC (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

“drivers side door has a loud air leak that the dealer is unable to resolve”

Anonymous, NH (2009 Honda Ridgeline RT 3.5-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen difficult to see

“Auto day/night setting does not work. Probably a sensor, I just leave it on daytime mode”

Anonymous, WV (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“Failure of the Alpine built Navigation DVD Reader. Had to remove and send in to Alpine for repair”

Jim M., CO (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)

“Entire Nav and radio went out, had to get it replaced under Certified warranty. Was out when I bought car, dealer lied and said it was indoors so not working”

Anonymous, WV (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

“Very poor connectivity”

Carl Y., NY (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Warning lights

“The check oil message frequently appears even though the dipstick shows it is full. The Honda dealer verified the error code but can't explain why it is happening”

Anonymous, CA (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)

“Warning system blinks on randomly. Appears to be some sort of short or electrical system problem. No idea what it is”

Anonymous, NH (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)

“warning light flashes on and off indicating low oil, however after checking oil numerous times the oil level is fine, something wrong with sensor”

Anonymous, WA (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)
Cruise control

“the cruse main button does not work. it is always on”

William B., NY (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Seat controls - movement

“rear seat folding mechanism broke on both seat sections. very expensive to fix”

John H., VA (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)
Sunroof

“Jams. Twice since owning-minor annoyance”

Anonymous, MI (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

“1. Tailgate side opening latch requires 2-3 tries to open 2. Bed cover brackets and adjacent trim get more and more damaged from periodic removal & replacement of bed cover”

Anonymous, DE (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)

“The tail gate is supposed to open hinging up, and down flat, or hinge sidewise in the vertical position. It has failed several times in the life of the vehicle to swing in the alternative sidewise manner like a normal gate”

B L., BC (2009 Honda Ridgeline Unsure 3.5-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

“Catastrophic engine failure due to sludge buildup. Oil changes done by following vehicle maintenance minder”

Harris F., AB (2009 Honda Ridgeline 3.5-L V6)

“hole in lifter”

Anonymous, GA (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTS 3.5-L V6)

“replaced under dealer warranty”

Anonymous, PA (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)
Timing belt or chain

“It was not a failure, it was recommended by Honda and was VERY expensive”

Anonymous, MA (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

“relay for the AC”

Anonymous, NB (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTS 3.5-L V6)
A/C compressor

“Stuck Relay valve caused the compressor to run all the time. A known issue with ridgelines”

Nels H., NM (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“Broken wire in emissions control system required main body wiring harness be replaced under warranty. NOTE: Entire vehicle is covered by factory, bumper to bumper warranty until April 2016 or 160,000 Km”

E B., SK (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL 3.5-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

“Needed one of the front driveshafts replaced”

Anonymous, BC (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTS 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

“Transmission light came on, code indicated a failure with the internal solenoid”

Gregory C., NY (2009 Honda Ridgeline RTS 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Coolers and lines

“Overheating light came on during long 1000km road trip”

Anonymous, AB (2009 Honda Ridgeline Unsure 3.5-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

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