2009 Honda Ridgeline review – is this Honda a REAL truck? Or just a rolling identity crisis?

The Bad Ideas Garage reviews this 2009 Honda Ridgeline “truck” thing. Read our commentary below to learn more:

Hello and welcome to another episode of the bad ideas garage my name is steven and this is a 2009 honda ridgeline rtl now the ridgeline has got a lot of really interesting perceptions of what the ridgeline is is it a truck is it a big van what the heck is it well i’m going to be reviewing this and giving a little bit of my thrilling commentary about what the honda

Ridgeline is and i personally think it is a nice truck it’s a good alternative for those people who want to have a utility vehicle you know some all-wheel drive be able to go to home depot and stick stuff in the back without having any problems and so you don’t have to drive a crossover and so you don’t have to drive a minivan that’s why this vehicle exists enjoy

Our episode now as i said there are people who are critical of this vehicle because even though it looks like a truck the underpinnings are not really a truck it’s a unibody frame which means that it shares a lot of the underpinnings with other honda products things like the honda odyssey the honda accord depending on which generation that this is now this

Is a 2009 model and so it’s a little bit more trucky than some of the earlier models and this is actually the first time that i’ve ever been in one of these we do have a 2001 honda odyssey and that was when honda was thinking about what sort of products can they share and what sort of things can they use in some of their more global platforms and so the way that

This card drives is actually really similar to our 2001 honda van so when i drive this later today it’s going to be interesting to see how much is this car like that van because honestly a van drives really nicely and sometimes trucks get kind of a bad rap because of the body on frame chassis they don’t necessarily drive as nice and so i know that honda has been

Touting this as yes this is something that is very utilitarian you have the space in the back for truck things however you don’t have to deal with the truck ride and i have a feeling that that’s something that i’m really going to be enjoying as i drive this truck later so what i’m going to be doing in this video is i’ll give you a nice tour of this honda ridgeline

And give some driving impressions as i drive around the beautiful willamette valley today to let you all make an informed decision about is this truck sort of thing something that you should buy if you’re looking for a family vehicle with the utilitarian bed usage of having a truck but you don’t necessarily want to be driving a body unframed vehicle all right so

We are going to walk on into the ridgeline this one comes with the uh fob as usual as a lot of honda products and this one let’s uh go ahead and start with just getting things out of the way you of course have your power door locks and your power mirrors and your power windows etc uh you have a back window that goes down that’s pretty cool this one is the rtl so

It has a sunroof which is all sorts of exciting and cruise control you know a lot of standard stuff you have your audio controls right here over here you have a cargo light you know things that you’d normally see in a truck anyways um and then your light control your stability control on off button that’s your fog lamps this particular one has a foot controlled

E-brake where you just press that this actually feels kind of old-school compared to you know maybe some newer vehicles but you have a four-wheel drive lock so this is a front-wheel drive vehicle that has a real real drive axle that can come live when you need it and so you can actually lock it in four wheel drive all the time by using that uh other things that

We have so you have your your dome light so if you want to leave you know have your downlights on all the time that’s what this button is this is for your climate control this one has heated seats um i do like that this has this is a usb port and then a standard um outlet for a cigarette lighter what else um you have a little bit of a storage compartment here i

Do like this is rubber and you have some cup holders right here that actually have i like the cutouts that you can actually put like you know water bottles there and such so but let’s go ahead and start this up it says welcome that’s really nice there we go so that sounds really nice um this one has you know about 106 000 miles on it which is pretty cool let’s

Go ahead and take a listen for a rev i honestly love the sound of this engine this actually has a cone mounted shifter which is which is really really weird when you you know want to put it into gear and stuff um this does have uh selectable gears to have your lower range and then this actually has the d three control right over here um yeah you know i’m not sure

Who would be able to use that or want to use it but there it is what else um this has a you know a couple different things it looks like you can use um an older hands-free system although this has a an after-market system in it so that’s not something that’s going to be in use tells you your tire pressure instant fuel economy and then it should sell you what your

Overall fuel economy is so um stephen who’s the owner of this tells me that his um fuel economy he wishes a little bit better um this is on his commute he gets just about 18 miles to gallon which is i guess not too far off from other trucks of the era modern trucks get a lot better fuel economy than they did back in the day but um you know this is a you know a 13

Year old vehicle at this point does your oil life what else do you have okay i’m gonna i’m gonna leave it i’ll leave it in a in english for no information available tire pressure is okay it tells your individual tire pressures that’s pretty cool all right so that’s what we got with that uh all right um so because this has an aftermarket um this used to be one

Huge unit and uh we actually were able to get insert to be able to get uh the aftermarket unit in place and uh you have a little storage copy here which is really nice other than that these seats are um they’re pretty nice i do like that we have the butt warmers if you see my other videos you know that i really like that um they are really they have they have a

Little bit of a nice bolster to them they’re um they’re really supportive i’ve been driving around a little bit now um in these and they are really nice seats um you have a you know a glove box down here which is really nice and big let’s go ahead and take a look in this back seat and so i’m about six feet tall and um i am more than comfortable back here a little

Map pocket back here which is nice of course you have your window control right there um it looks like you do have a power outlet there which is pretty nice a couple of hooks took things down you can control your air but you can’t control the temperature back here you pull down this center armrest right here um you have some of these really nice and wide cup holders

Again you can you can actually put a water bottle in there a little storage cubby etc i do like that this one is this really pretty blue color so we’re going to move into the whole tailgate situation so this does have an aftermarket um camera for the rear view which um the one that is right here that’s integrated didn’t work with the aftermarket head unit but

And this one has the special type r logo no this is not sadly the type r um honda uh ridgeline four wheel drive which is really too bad however uh one thing about this tailgate that i really like is that over here there is this release if i can get it to go there it goes all right and back here uh is your bed and so i really like that you have the one-way tailgate

Release like this but you can also take down the tailgate just like a regular tailgate right here and this has just you know lots of storage back here you know some people be like well you can’t stick a full sheet of plywood or whatever back here um i i get that but there is a lot of storage which is really cool uh more than enough for you know what a lot of people

Need to use and this one obviously has gotten a lot of use because you can tell the bed has um you know a lot of a lot of dings and dents etc uh in it all right so one thing right here is that this actually locks which is really cool and this is this is absolutely massive it also has a little water spigot right there just in case this gets wet or whatever this

Is huge so that’s where your spare tire goes you know and then my my buddy has his stuff down here for you know emergency roadside etc this is absolutely massive i mean you can just see it’s several feet deep and very wide and the cool thing is is locking so that’s something that you know not a lot of trucks have um however you get this massive huge gigantic space

Even though that you know there’s there’s a four wheel drive system under here you still got this massive gigantic uh i guess we can call it trunk so this one does have a tow hitch on it but i mean otherwise it’s a i think it’s a really nice looking car even though it’s a truck i guess i’m calling it a car so go me even i’m having troubles with that so before i get

The nomenclature wrong for yet another time we’re actually going to take this out for a drive i’ll give you my thoughts about what it’s like to drive this car truck honda ridgeline thing okay driving the 2009 honda ridgeline got keys right here let’s start up okay sounds like every honda v6 that i have ever driven but that’s okay apparently 61 degrees outside if

You can take my jacket off look at us we’re getting wild in oregon that we can now take our jackets off despite the fact the rest of the country right now is experiencing massive heat waves i’m borrowing this from my friend steven i’m going to immediately ruin all of his seat settings we’re going to have lots of fun all right we have a column shifter which is also

Very fun and i oddly feel like i am driving my dad’s van again he has a 2001 honda odyssey that has just about 400 000 miles on it this does feel staggeringly much better put together this has 106 000 miles on it and i don’t feel like i’m driving a truck it’s my first thing that i feel i don’t feel like i’m driving a truck uh the road that i live on is not the

Smoothest thing in the world it’s not too bad but it feels like i’m driving a big car which is not necessarily a bad thing okay well i mean i it feels a little heavier than other you know honda products that i’ve driven this actually might be the heaviest haunt that i’ve ever driven when i think about it and the statistics on this are pretty are pretty good um

In terms of what it can do and i know that some people are really critical of this because it’s not actually a truck let’s be real it’s fine um it still has really good towing capacity um the person that’s definitely not sitting next to me but i’m gonna ask him what’s the towing capacity five thousand pounds you know five thousand pounds that’s not bad um and

Uh the payload i think the payload is you can put a thousand pounds in the back i think that that’s what you what you can get but between those two stats it’s i mean that’s that’s more than enough for what people you know need to do okay yeah i mean it just it feels a little bit heavier maybe maybe that has something to do with it i know the underpinnings of this

Are very similar to other honda products at the time uh the transmission shifts very smoothly uh we have the four-speed and our honda van that is notorious for being very very bad i know that this one has a five-speed automatic which is a much better improved but just you know driving around town it feels a lot like the van that we have but um since this is a new

Car it does feel more refined i gotta say that and it’s just very it’s very smooth and unlike the uh the brand new dodge ram that i drive with my in-laws this feels a lot more car-like you do have a pretty good command of the road you don’t feel like you’re like sitting on top of everybody else like you do in a dodge ram it’s just it’s a nice compromise between

Everything so i’m going to do about 20 miles an hour and i’m going to get some beans okay i think it sounds pretty good that was definitely not fast it was also not flooring it so i didn’t get the kick down all the way to i guess second gear or whatever but that was pretty fun all right driving around town uh i think i’d much rather get this honestly than a full

Like a full-size or a size truck i’m obviously in a different demographic just driving around town you have you know normal obstacles you have to get around or whatever it just like on a road like this that has these little micro perforations for the ceiling that they do i can’t feel a thing and when i was driving that dodge ram you could feel you know every single

One of them now this is unibody again people criticize this card because not a real truck or whatever but it i mean i would much rather have because 95 of the time if i did actual truck stuff i’d still be driving like a regular daily car daily driver car so i’d much rather have the nicer drive probably a little bit of better fuel economy than you know the body

On frame rear wheel drive bias truck and give it some some beans again okay this okay i’m gonna preserve your gas i’m only gonna do this gup more times this is uh this is just not not the fastest vehicle in the world it doesn’t have too much body roll we’re gonna try this again okay all right okay so i was not pressing it down as much as i could that sounded

Really good a little bit of a turn here all right during the mill a little bit faster than the suggested speed and the car held great and now i’m doing 55 going down the road this just feels like a big car it’s exactly what people say this feels like a big car it does not feel like it’s a big huge massive gigantic wide truck overall driving impressions is that

I do like it i i mean i would probably buy this if i was in the truck market just because it drives like a car and for the vast majority of people that need a truck i mean you probably would be totally fine with something like this to be able to have the space in the back and you get a really nice ride that’s just like a really good thing about this is driving

Around these back roads it doesn’t matter how fast i’m going it rides it rides really really well i mean even if you have to tow i mean i guess a medium-sized boat this will do it for the one time per year you got to do it or whatever the heck it is for 5000 pounds you can also get a pretty decently sized um travel trailer as well obviously if you need if you

Buy something that’s bigger go get a bigger bigger truck go get a f-250 go get the diesel whatever because those are you know brilliant in their own right but for the vast majority of people this is great i set the cruise control on this and it’s just it’s comfortable it’s very quiet it’s extremely smooth and i guess that’s what you get when you have a unibody

Chassis so overall driving depressions are extremely positive and you have a soft spot for the j35 honda v6 sounds good so out here on the highway a little bit of acceleration my instant fuel economy is 20. 20 miles ago modern trucks uh really modern trucks like in the last you know five years or so have turbo chargers and um you know some weight saving

Stuff using more aluminum etc and also 10-speed automatic transmissions this car doesn’t really get any of that so the fuel economy on this reported by the driver is about 18 which i mean the epa rating is like it’s just about 18 overall between the city and the highway which that doesn’t really sound like that much however this car is 13 years old and you know

Modern trucks with a diesel and um you know 10-speed automatic i mean you can get 20 miles a gallon out of those really easily um but then again they’re also you know to get modern trucks they’re at least forty thousand dollars even when that’s used so car this price point i know that the gas mileage kind of sucks compared to what it could be but um in this era

You know a lot of trucks were in the teens and this was just a tick better it seemed like it probably could have been a little bit better because you don’t have a v8 and you don’t tow 10 000 pounds however in this time period it was it was a little bit better uh even though right now when gas is what five and a half down dollars a gallon and counter it’s at the

Pump in our honda van we get like 24 25 to the gallon ish it’s a little bit older weighs a little bit less but it’s kind of what you’re getting for you know this is still when it comes down to it’s still a full sized that truck is really close to that line see how close it was yeah see what the passing power is like straightening out and okay i was flooring him

As if i were passing somebody it made a nice noise it was smooth i moved like five miles per hour it’s not fast so those are my thoughts and a in-depth review for the honda ridgeline and there are several generations of this vehicle and if you’re looking for a utilitarian family vehicle or just something to drive around that maybe gets a little bit better fuel

Economy just a little bit than the other trucks of this era and you don’t want to buy a new truck that are you know 50 000 or so this is a really nice option it drives very very nicely it’s really smooth it feels like it’s got good power and the capability is pretty nice as well i really like that’s got a big trunk in the back it’s really comfortable to sit in the

Back even though i’m six feet tall things like that will go a really long way for the everyday practicality of this vehicle so i do recommend it if it’s something that you want to buy if you want to get a truck of course i love minivans so i would just as soon go drive a minivan but i also have small kids at home and i think that minivans are awesome and i am an

Anomaly in that so that’s the video that we have today put your thoughts and your comments in the comment section below as always thanks for watching the bad ideas garage we’ll catch you next time

Transcribed from video
2009 Honda Ridgeline review – is this Honda a REAL truck? Or just a rolling identity crisis? By Bad Ideas Garage