The 2009 Honda Ridgeline competes with a wide range of compact and mid-size trucks, most of which have more traditional layouts with burly frames and unforgiving leaf-spring rear suspensions.
The Explorer Sport Trac is the closest in concept to the Ridgeline; it has a shorter bed, but there's an optional V-8 that outdoes the Ridgeline, at least for low-speed hauling.
Even though the design is dated, it's still quite attractive.
The Nissan Frontier is another possibility; it's especially rugged in look and feel and comes in a variety of trims, including an off-road-focused model.
Those considering the Frontier should also take a look at the Equator, which is mechanically identical to the Frontier but with styling that many would judge more attractive.
The Equator also has a better warranty.
The Toyota Tacoma is another possibility; it's the choice for the frugal, thanks to its strong resale value and decent performance with the economical standard 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine.
Another possibility is the Dodge Dakota, but the mid-size Dakota handles and maneuvers like a larger truck.
Although the 2009 Ridgeline is priced higher than many of these models, all the heavy-duty towing components come standard; otherwise you'll have option boxes to check.
|2009 Honda RidgelineBrowse Used Listings||2009 Suzuki EquatorBrowse Used Listings||2008 Dodge DakotaBrowse Used Listings||2008 Ford Explorer Sport TracBrowse Used Listings||2008 Nissan FrontierBrowse Used Listings||2008 Toyota TacomaBrowse Used Listings|
|15 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy||14 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy||13 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy||14 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V6||Gas I4||Gas V6||Gas V6||Gas 4-cyl||Gas I4|
|4WD Standard Pickup Truck||2WD Small Pickup Truck||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|4WD Crew Cab RT||2WD Ext Cab I4 Manual||2WD Ext Cab ST||RWD 4-Door V6 XLT||2WD King Cab I4 Manual XE||2WD Reg I4 MT (Natl)|
|Four Wheel Drive||Rear wheel drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Crew Cab||Small Pickup||Extended Cab 6'7" Bed||4 Door||King Cab||Regular Cab|
|Automatic w/OD||Manual||Manual w/OD||Automatic||Manual||Manual w/OD|