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2022 Honda Ridgeline Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2022 Honda Ridgeline Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Sport vs RTL vs RTL-E and Black Edition

Compare the 2022 Honda Ridgeline Trims - Sport vs RTL vs RTL-E and Black Edition. What is the difference between them?

As a mid-size pickup, the 2022 Honda Ridgeline has good utility. It can be used to do quite a bit of heavy lifting, though it's certainly not as powerful as some other models in this market. Because it drives kind of like an SUV does, it should appeal to customers who don't necessarily need something that's too heavy duty. Another thing that some customers will like about the Ridgeline is that it has a comfortable and spacious cabin with advanced technology. This pickup truck has many convenient amenities, and it's capable enough to do its job well.

Leg room in the second row measures 36.7 inches. This is fairly generous given that it's a pickup. Five people can ride together in the cabin, and some extra storage space has been cleverly placed under the second-row seats.

There are many things that are standard across the lineup, and two of them are a dual-action tailgate and an in-bed trunk. The dual-action tailgate can either swing down like a traditional tailgate or swing open using a hinge system on one side of it. The in-bed trunk is unique to the Ridgeline, at least when looking at all the trucks in this class. It has a volume of 7.3 cubic feet, comes with a drain plug, and has built-in hooks and guides that can work with cargo dividers.

Honda makes four trims of this model. The Sport is the entry-level trim, and it has a nice amount of features. The RTL and RTL-E are the ones in the middle of the lineup, and the Black Edition is the top-of-the-line trim that comes with a bold style and the best benefits.


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

These trims run on the same type of engine. It's a V6 with a displacement of 3.5 liters, and it can crank out 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Though these numbers are not extraordinary, they're more than satisfactory for the average buyer. The Ridgeline, no matter what trim it is, can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Honda has given the truck some standard features that drivers will appreciate. One is Hill Start Assist, which can prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards after being stopped on a hill. There's also remote engine start, active noise cancellation, and an eco assist system that can improve mileage. The Ridgeline uses a nine-speed automatic transmission and comes with paddle shifters.

What's great is that this model comes standard with all-wheel drive. Specifically, it's an intelligent variable torque management AWD system, and it can respond appropriately when it notices any loss in traction. There are three special driving modes - snow, sand, and mud - that can help when conditions aren't the best.

Both the Sport and RTL use 18-inch wheels. On the Sport, there are Shark Gray alloy wheels, and on the RTL, there are Pewter Gray alloy wheels. They both have LED headlights LED fog lights, LED taillights, and lights in the truck bed.

While they both have body-colored side mirrors, the ones in the RTL are heated and have turn indicators and a memory function. The RTL benefits from having a power sliding rear window and a power moonroof as well. Those two components can be significant to some buyers, since they make it easier to open things up and bring more fresh air into the cabin.

As mentioned, the side mirrors on the RTL have a memory function. They can actually remember two different positions so that multiple drivers can each set their own preferences. This goes along with the memory system installed in the driver's seat on the RTL. That driver's seat has a ten-way power adjustment with power lumbar support, and it can be easily programmed to remember two favorite positions. Beyond this, the RTL has a four-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, and leather seats.

A few more things add to the enhanced elegance of the RTL trim in comparison with the Sport. The RTL has an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and illuminated vanity mirrors for the driver and front passenger. Plus, it has LED map lights. The Sport doesn't have these components, but it does have tri-zone automatic climate control, HomeLink technology, cruise control, smart entry, and push button start.

The only element that separates the Sport's and RTL's technology packages is SiriusXM. With SiriusXM, the RTL gives its passengers access to dozens of radio stations, and it's a highly sought after feature. Standard on both trims are HondaLink, smartphone connectivity, Bluetooth, a seven-speaker sound system with a subwoofer, and an eight-inch touchscreen. Many buyers are looking for touchscreens and smartphone connectivity, so this is something that definitely works in the Ridgeline's favor.

Further, these two Ridgeline trims have Honda Sensing driver-assist systems. Thanks to programs like collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, and lane keeping assist, they can keep themselves where they need to be. They can actively work to prevent certain accidents resulting from drivers accidentally swaying out of position or approaching vehicles in front of them too quickly. They do so by warning drivers about potential problems and fixing issues related to steering or braking.

Adaptive cruise control is standard, too. Only the RTL, though, has a blind spot information system and rear cross-traffic monitoring. While the other driver-assist technologies are great, these two programs in particular can be very useful when it's hard to see all around one's truck.

Compare the RTL vs RTL-E Trim Levels. What is the difference?

From a safety perspective, the RTL and RTL-E have similar equipment. However, the RTL-E gets one extra component, and that's automatic high beams. Depending on how much light there is, or if other vehicles are approaching the Ridgeline, the high beams can turn themselves on or off.

In addition, the RTL-E has parking sensors placed in the front and rear of the truck. These can warn drivers when they're getting too close to objects, and they can be effective at preventing minor scrapes and dents when maneuvering in tight spaces.

The RTL-E also gets to have better technology, as it relates to the infotainment system. Wireless charging is standard in this trim, and this can be really convenient for those who don't want to have charging cords cluttering up their space. The RTL-E has HD Radio in addition to SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and it has a more powerful eight-speaker sound system. This system has 540 watts instead of the standard 215 watts. Plus, there's a truck bed audio system, which can be activated through the touchscreen and can be controlled via a Bluetooth connection.

A major perk is that the RTL-E has navigation. Navigation is satellite-linked, and it comes with Honda HD Digital Traffic and voice recognition. It can be easy to look up directions and find routes that don't get people stuck in traffic.

For the most part, the amenities found in the RTL are the same as those in the RTL-E. However, there are some upgrades. The first is that the steering wheel is heated. This can keep people a little bit more cozy on winter days. There are also courtesy lights on the front doors, illuminated beverage holders in the front row, and blue ambient LED lighting that adds to the ambiance in the cabin.

Outside the cabin, there are some minor differences that some customers will like. The RTL'E's truck bed lights are LED versions, and the door handles are chrome instead of body-colored. Then, there's a 150-watt/400-watt power outlet in the truck bed, and this can be handy at times. The Daytime Running Lights are upgraded with LEDs, too.

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

Just by looking at these two trims side by side, one can immediately tell some important differences. The Black Edition, as its name suggests, has a blackout appearance that makes it look bold, athletic, and sleek. It has special Black Edition badging that indicates its presence at the top of the lineup.

Its 18-inch wheels are Gloss Black instead of Pewter Gray, and it has black chrome accents on its grille, window surrounds, and rear bumper. More black can be found on its skid plate, side mirrors, and door handles. It won't come as too much of a surprise that it comes standard with a Crystal Black Pearl exterior paint. It's actually also available in Platinum White Pearl, though this costs a bit extra. In contrast, the RTL-E is available in seven different colors.

Remember that the RTL-E has blue ambient lighting, which likely has broad appeal. With the Black Edition, that ambient lighting is changed to red. This goes along with the more aggressive nature of this truck, and it gives it more of a racing vibe. Red lights are in the door handle recesses, storage pockets, center console, and cup holders. There are red backlights for the touchscreen and multi-information display, too.

While both trims have leather seating, the Black Edition takes things to a heightened level. It has a black headliner and perforated black seats to match its dark exterior accents. Red contrast stitching stands out against this dark background. There's also a Black Edition logo on the front seats to give the cabin an air of exclusivity.


Final Thoughts

Honda was really strategic in designing this pickup truck. Considering its power, it can keep many people pleased, even if it's not going to be able to complete with the larger trucks in the industry. What helps the Ridgeline is that it has standard all-wheel drive and a few driving modes that can optimize performance in certain situations.

If someone is just looking for a basic truck that can handle its job and provide a comfortable ride around town, then the Sport would be a strategic pick. People can save some money by getting this entry-level trim, and they'll still get to have a touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The Sport comes standard with driver-assist technologies as well, and this is something that many modern consumers are looking for these days.

The Sport is limited, though, in its upgrades. It has basic cloth seats and manually adjustable front seats, unlike the other Honda Ridgeline trims. If these types of features are important to a potential buyer, then he/she will have to be prepared to pay a little extra for them.

If a consumer is looking for something that feels more refined than the Sport does, then the RTL-E would be the recommended trim. That's primarily because it has navigation. Given how unpredictable traffic can be at times, having navigation can be a major advantage. The navigation system is easy to use, as it accepts voice commands.

Other factors helping the RTL-E stand out are its LED lights, heated steering wheel, wireless charging, and truck-bed audio system. These can make a difference in terms of the overall driving experience.

Previous Year Trim Configurations:

2021 Honda Ridgeline Trime Levels