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  • Long-Term Report 1: 2017 Ram 1500 Rebel 4x4

Long-Term Report 1: 2017 Ram 1500 Rebel 4x4

Long-Term Update 1 of 4

Ken Brubaker
May 24, 2017
Photographers: Ken Brubaker
We’re excited that a new Ram 1500 Rebel 4x4 has joined our long-term test fleet of vehicles for a yearlong evaluation!
The Rebel won our sister magazine Four Wheeler’s 2016 Pickup Truck of the Year by a wide margin over the other three competitors for good reason. The Rebel is based on the capable Ram 1500 pickup, but the truck features many off-road–friendly upgrades including a Rebel-specific multi-piece front bumper that improves ground clearance, mud and snow–rated 33-inch tires, 17-inch wheels, Bilstein shocks, a limited-slip rear differential, and an air suspension that rides 1 inch taller in each mode to help clear the 33s.
Photo 2/3   |   On the trail, the Toyo Open Country A/T tires stick to surfaces well and offer good lateral stability on off-camber trails. We don’t have any complaints, at least on the types of trails we’ve been running.
Due to manufacturing schedules, the Rebel that was built for our long-term test is a ’17 model year truck. Aside from some minor content changes, it’s the same as a ’16 model. Our Rebel sports a 395hp, 410–lb-ft 5.7L Hemi V-8 engine with variable valve timing and Chrysler’s Multi Displacement System, eight-speed 8HP70 automatic transmission, RamBox Cargo Management System, spray-in bedliner, trailer brake controller, Protection Group (T-case and front suspension skidplates), and Luxury Group (that includes LED bed lighting among several other items). We also optioned the remote start system (now standard for the ’17 model year) and the optional 32-gallon fuel tank (which replaces a standard 26-gallon fuel tank).
We’re several months into our test of the Ram 1500 Rebel long-term truck and we’ve learned a lot. Let’s start with some of our off-road observations. In the past we’ve wished out loud that the Rebel had a rear locker, and nothing has changed in that respect, but we have to admit that the so-called Anti-Spin Differential and traction control system hasn’t let us down yet. We’ve spent hours on the trail in the truck, and the combination has always found a way to keep us moving forward. We’ve had wheels in the air, we’ve driven through ruts so deep that even with the air suspension at the maximum height the belly was still dragging, and we’ve navigated untold miles of deep-sand roads as we explored the local forest. We also need to give kudos to the Rebel’s standard air suspension. While it does create a stiffer ride when raised, it’s a small price to pay for the adjustability. We’ve often complained that newer trucks are too low to the ground, which adversely affect things like approach angle and breakover angle. The Rebel’s adjustability helps improve those angles with the push of a button. If we had one wish it’s that the system would raise the truck faster, but maybe we’re just impatient.
Photo 3/3   |   The RamBox cargo bins have become one of our favorite, and most often used, features on the Rebel. Clearly, a lot of thought went in to the design of the bins, and the end result is lots of space that is easy to use.
Another area of the Rebel we want to talk about is the RamBox Cargo Management System. This system includes weathertight, easy-access, lockable cargo bins located on each side of the cargo bed. Early on, we were skeptical as to whether or not they would be useful in daily life, but it didn’t take long for us to take a liking to them in a big way. We also love that the RamBox doors have electric locks and that they operate in conjunction with the Rebel’s door locks and tailgate lock, including with the key fob. Further, we like that the RamBox doors are designed so they don’t travel into the cargo bed when open, which means they don’t hit items that are in the bed and higher than the bedrail.
At this writing, the Rebel’s oil life is still indicating 41 percent, so the truck has not been in for service yet. One thing we’re going to have our local Ram dealer check when it does go in for service is the TPMS system, which occasionally signals us it has detected a fault.

Report: 1 of 4

Previous Reports: None
Base Price: $47,095
Price as Tested: $54,210

Long-Term Numbers

Miles to date: 5,730
Miles since last report: N/A
Average mpg (this report): 14.75
Test best tank (mpg): 17.1 (highway @ 70 mph)
Test worst tank (mpg): 9.9 (towing a 6x12 cargo trailer w/1,200 pounds of cargo into a headwind)

Test Maintenance

None

Test Problem Areas

Random TPMS error signal

Logbook Quotes

“Lower ride height for fuel mileage, taller for off-road, by simply pushing a button. Works for me.”
“Very predictable off-road. No surprises. Just smooth and steady.”
“Each RamBox even has interior lights so I can find my stuff in the dark!”
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