Honda Ridgeline

Honda has given the American market Honda Ridgeline pick-up truck a facelift and according to them the updates Ridgeline has 50 changes. The most obvious are the exterior looks thanks to revisions to the headlamps, taillamps, grille, and bumpers. Thanks to the revised bumpers the Ridgeline is now longer by 5mm, but all other dimensions including its 3099mm wheelbase remain the same.

Its 3.5 litre V6 is now up to 250 horsepower at 5,700rpm, up from 247 horses in the original Ridgeline. Torque is also up from 332Nm to 335Nm of torque at 4,300rpm. The torque band is also flatter now and starts off at a higher point before reaching its peak. The engines dual-stage intake manifold is now made of magnesium instead of aluminium. The intake valves are larger and there is now an airflow meter inside the air intake tract.

Power goes to all four wheels via a 5-speed automatic (now with revised ratios – gear 3 and 4 are approximately 5% lower) and a Variable Torque Management 4-wheel drive system, or VTM-4. The VSA stability control system works together with the VTM-4 system to ensure grip in all road conditions, and there is a VTM-4 Lock button on the dash to lock the rear differential in gears 1 and 2 at speeds of up to 30km/h.

The chassis is what Honda calls a “closed-box unit-body frame” which combines features from a ladder frame and a monocoque design. This reminds me of what Suzuki claims their Grand Vitara chassis is built on. Suspension design is fully independent with MacPherson struts at the front and a multilink suspension at the rear.

On the interior you get a new instrument panel and a new steering wheel design. New features include a 115V power outlet for the RTL model, MP3/aux input on the RTS and RTL, MP3 and WMA compatibility for the audio systems, and more ergonomics air conditioning, sunroof, cruise control and headlamp controls. The starter motor has also been improved and engine cranking is now quicker.

Look after the jump for plenty of hi-res images of the facelifted Ridgeline.

PHOTO GALLERY: 2009 Honda Ridgeline Facelift
Click thumbnails to view high resolution photo