2009 Honda Ridgeline VP
2009 Honda Ridgeline VP
2009 Honda Ridgeline VP. Click image to enlarge

Manufacturer’s web site
Honda Canada

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Inside Story is a review of interior comfort features, cabin controls, storage options, trunk space and under-hood accessibility based on a seven-day evaluation.

Review and photos by Michael Clark

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2009 Honda Ridgeline

Regular visitors to this column have probably noticed the latest in a string of automotive descriptors in the past month: ‘omni-ute’. The Honda Ridgeline is running mighty close to being an Honourable Mention in this category. What else would you call a crew cab pick-up, which still manages a trunk space that rivals most cars? The usual responses from the auto scribe community speak of the ‘Anti-Truck’, or ‘The Truck For People Who Don’t Like Trucks.’ Bushwah. Everybody likes trucks, especially when something needs to be hauled. What they don’t like is trucks that don’t fit in suburban garages, high teens for litres of fuel used per 100 kilometres, and parkability that requires either a) a crew of spotters, or b) a very long walk across the parking lot.

Apart from cosmetic facelifts, the 2009 Ridgeline is wearing the majority of its initial launch metal, and interior solutions. This week’s tester is the VP trim level, with an MSRP of $36,290. (Pricing shown does not include freight, taxes, regional or promotional incentives.)

The Cockpit/Centre Stack
2009 Honda Ridgeline VP
2009 Honda Ridgeline VP
2009 Honda Ridgeline VP. Click image to enlarge

The three-spoke wheel is tilt-only, with cruise control tabs found on the right-hand spoke. The five-speed column shift automatic can lock out the ranges north of third gear for towing requirements. There are no additional truck-specific gauges, such as transmission temperature. The driver’s information screen provides dual trip meters, oil life percentage, and fuel economy in average and real time. Access is provided at dash level, in front of the shifter arm, below the differential lock. Intermittent wiper controls are found on the turn signal stalk. The wiper bed is heated for easier swipes in the winter months.

The rubberized dial of the headlamp control does not specifically speak to an auto setting, though the headlamps will turn off 15 seconds after the key is removed. Fog lamps, cargo area lamps, and the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) cancel switch are found below the headlamp switch. The driver’s door pod sports an auto up/down switch for the driver pane. While many rear power sliding windows place the switch in the centre stack or overhead, the tab is found to the rear of the window switch bank. When the window lock is engaged, the locked windows lose their illumination for night driving.

The power mirror control tab, located at the front of the window bank, includes a separate electric defrost switch. The reason becomes evident at the HVAC controls, where no electric defrost exists for the rear slider. The VP uses manual A/C controls, with the overkill of an HVAC mode display screen, when an illuminated switch would do. (Wethinks the screen is meant more for the auto climate system of the EX-L trim.) The audio head unit is a single-CD affair.

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