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2019 Honda Ridgeline Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2019 Honda Ridgeline Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: RT vs Sport vs RTL & Black Edition
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

What 2019 Honda Ridgeline Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

Although the 2019 Honda Ridgeline may not have the ability to tow a massive load or dominate challenging off-road terrain, it is easily among today’s best pickup trucks for families. You will love the Honda Ridgeline’s sedan-like handling and superior ride comfort. Meanwhile, a spacious interior gives your passengers more than enough room to kick back. Some modern advanced safety technologies are offered as well.

Of course, you definitely can’t overlook the Ridgeline’s bulletproof reliability. When giving the proper maintenance, it should last you for years to come. With a total of six trims in the lineup, some buyers will have a hard time making a choice. Let’s take a more in-depth look at how the available Ridgeline trims differ from each other.

Compare the 2019 Honda Ridgeline RT vs Sport Trims. What is the difference?

With a starting price of slightly less than $30,000, the base Ridgeline RT is the least expensive model. Luckily, it does not cause you to forgo great features. All versions of the new Ridgeline come equipped with Honda’s durable i-VTEC V6 engine, which pushes out a satisfying 280 horsepower and more than 260 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is also found throughout the Ridgeline lineup. Keep in mind that the Ridgeline RT does not offer an AWD system. However, the standard tow hitch enables you to easily attach a trailer.

Some great cargo features are found on the base Ridgeline RT. In fact, no other truck in the segment boasts an in-bed trunk. A lock enables you to secure your valuables from thieves. When you’re not using the trunk to haul around extra stuff, it can double as an ice chest. A drain plug is integrated into the trunk. You can also take advantage of the dual-action tailgate, which can be opened in two different ways.

On the inside, there are some features to help make your everyday commute more enjoyable. While a multi-angle backup camera helps you to spot obstacles from the rear, Bluetooth pairs to your phone enabling you to stream music and make calls. Push-button start enables you to fire up the engine without using a key. Some of the other standard equipment includes a 5.0-inch display screen, a USB port, and a 4.2-inch driver information display. No advanced driver-assist technologies are available for the base RT trim. However, parking sensors are optional.

For an extra $3,500, you can move up to the Ridgeline Sport. Although the Sport trim is not far more luxurious than the base model, it does provide a few more creature comforts. Tri-zone automatic climate control and remote engine start are the main upgrades. Keyless entry also comes equipped on the Sport trim.

When doing a side-by-side comparison of the base model and the Ridgeline Sport, you’ll notice the Sport trim’s special exterior treatments. It comes equipped with 18-inch gray wheels and blacked-out exterior trim. Fog lights are found on the Ridgeline Sport as well.

Compare the 2019 Ridgeline Sport vs RTL Trims. What is the difference?

Expect the Ridgeline RTL to feel more luxurious than the Ridgeline Sport. Heated leather seats in the front create a more relaxing atmosphere during the winter. A 10-way power driver’s seat also helps you to obtain more comfort. To ensure a quieter ride, Honda equips the Ridgeline RTL with a noise-reducing windshield. The one-touch sunroof is another one of the RTL trim’s highlights. Along with the available AWD system comes heated outside mirrors.

In terms of appearance, a unique set of 18-inch machine-finish wheels help separate the Ridgeline RTL from the Ridgeline Sport. Don’t expect to see any other big differences in exterior styling.

Compare the Ridgeline RTL vs RTL-T Trims. What is the difference?

On the outside, the RTL-T trim looks very similar to the RTL trim. However, LED daytime running lights come equipped on the Ridgeline RTL-T. A lot of buyers will be lured by the RTL-T’s additional technologies. Designed to help eliminate distracting blind spots, Honda’s passenger-side LaneWatch camera system gives you an extra peace of mind.

You will also enjoy an upgraded Display Audio infotainment system, which provides an 8.0-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Satellite-linked navigation makes traveling out of town more rewarding. Other niceties include an auto-dimming rearview mirror, satellite radio, and two additional USB ports.

Compare the Ridgeline RTL-T vs RTL-E Trims. What is the difference?

The Ridgeline RTL-E comes loaded with all of the RTL-T trim’s features plus more. When driving the Ridgeline RTL-E, you’ll enjoy an enhanced sense of security. Unlike the lower trims, it benefits from Honda Sensing. This advanced safety package includes some very helpful advanced driving aids. While forward collision mitigation can bring you to a full stop during emergencies, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert directs your attention to unseen vehicles. Lane-keep assist, road departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control also come in Honda Sensing. Parking sensors are standard on the Ridgeline RTL-E.

If you do a lot of tailgating at football games and racing events, you’ll love the Ridgeline RTL-E’s truck-bed audio system. Six hidden speakers in the bed enable you to play music from outside the truck. LED cargo lights help illuminate the bed. There’s also a more powerful 540-watt sound system on the inside. Meanwhile, the two-prong power outlet will come in handy when camping and using electric tools.

Some people will find the Ridgeline RTL-E to be a bit more comfy. Driver-seat memory settings and a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel come standard. You can also take advantage of the power-sliding rear window, which allows fresh air to creep into the cabin. An armrest is provided for passengers sitting in the front seat.

The Ridgeline RTL-E shares many of the Ridgeline RTL-E’s styling cues. However, it benefits from LED headlights. All-wheel drive comes standard.

Compare the 2019 Ridgeline RTL-E vs Black Edition Trims. What is the difference?

The Ridgeline Black Edition is not noticeably more upscale than the Ridgeline RTL-E. However, it does have a special feel. An exclusive set of 18-inch black alloy wheels help give it a cool look. Crystal Black Pearl paint covers the exterior. Red ambient LED lighting and black leather upholstery give the interior a splash of excitement. A black headliner is also featured on the Black Edition trim.

Final Thoughts

Although the base Ridgeline RT may have a higher MRSP than some competitors, it’s far more practical than the typical pickup truck. The standard in-bed trunk is a major convenience. Although the Ridgeline RT’s standard engine is strong, the lack of an AWD system forces you to sacrifice some towing capabilities.

Unlike the base model, the Sport trim can be equipped with all-wheel drive. It also looks quite stylish with its gray-painted alloy wheels. However, is remote engine start and tri-zone automatic climate control worth the price increase? Your best bet is to skip the Ridgeline Sport and go for the slightly more expensive RT-L trim. It provides heated leather seats and heated outside mirrors.

The mid-level Ridgeline RTL-T may be the best value in the entire lineup. It comes equipped with Honda’s nifty LaneWatch system, which uses a tiny camera to help enhance visibility on the highway. Satellite-linked navigation and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone support are also found on the RTL-T trim.

Most people will agree that the RTL-E trim is quite luxurious. Standard all-wheel drive and an integrated speaker system in the bed make it perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. While the Honda Sensing safety package may give you an additional sense of security, some of the driving aids are too sensitive. Furthermore, prices for the RTL-E trim start at nearly $42,000. For some buyers, this will be just a bit too much money.

If you simply want bragging rights, feel free to choose the range-topping Black Edition trim. It’s essentially a dressed-up version of the RTL-E trim.

2019 Honda Ridgeline Key Features

All versions of the new Ridgeline pickup come equipped with Honda’s popular V6 engine. While the base RT model is only available with front-wheel drive, Honda’s i-VTM4 AWD system is available on the upper trims. This is a must-have feature for the drivers who must travel on slippery road surfaces. Intelligent Traction Management gives you four driving modes to choose from: normal, snow, sand, and mud.

Fortunately, AWD-equipped Ridgeline models are still able to deliver up to 25 mpg. Front-wheel-drive models are just a touch more efficient. While AWD Ridgeline models can tow up to 5,000 pounds, FWD models can pull up to a 3,500-pound load.

Lower trim levels come equipped with a 5.0-inch infotainment system, which can’t be controlled by touch. However, it’s actually easier to use than the available Display Audio touch screen. Unlike the upgraded interface, the base infotainment system has traditional volume knobs. A standard USB jack enables you to plug in an iPod. Nevertheless, you’ll have to get the Display Audio interface in order to enjoy Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone support.

If you want Honda Sensing, you’ll need to step up to the range-topping models. While Honda Sensing may seem like a great upgrade, some of the driver-assist technologies are entirely too sensitive during normal driving situations. The forward collision mitigation system has a tendency to give false alarms.