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  • Long-Term Report: 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel Report 1 of 4

Long-Term Report: 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel Report 1 of 4

Report 1 of 4

Nov 14, 2019
The original Ram Rebel was born from a corporate exercise to determine what a light-duty Power Wagon might look like. The first generation was good, but there was always room for improvement. We were excited to finally get our hands on a second-generation Rebel on the excellent new "DT" platform, which was engineered as a variant from the outset.
Featuring a unique grille, wheels, 33-inch DuraTrac tires, and a sport hood, the Rebel receives an exclusive interior treatment, as well as Bilstein shocks matched with steel springs (our preference and how we ordered our tester) or air suspension, full skidplating, towhooks, and 3.92 gears with an electronic rear locker. Beyond the standard Rebel is the more upscale Rebel 12 with an incredible 12-inch touchscreen and leather seating.
You might ask why we chose a Rebel with the steel spring suspension over the adjustable air suspension, and the answer is simple: trail performance. While we love the self-leveling nature of the air suspension, its kneel mode for easy access, and the ability to increase ground clearance by raising it up, the steel spring setup is capable of higher performance. Both suspensions feature Bilstein monotube shocks, but the shocks aren't shrouded by airbags on the steel spring setup, which allows them to dissipate heat better. Having driven both versions, we think the steel spring is better tuned for higher speeds and feels smoother and much more capable overall when pushing the truck to its limits. If you plan on doing lower-speed trail riding and tow a lot, the air suspension is still a good choice.
Photo 2/4   |   The Rebel has just enough red accents inside to give the truck is own personality—a welcome respite for typically all-black interiors.
Our love affair with the Rebel started from the second we slid into the driver seat. The interior is just about perfect, with every switch and button where you expect it, roomy accommodations, and quality materials with a fantastic fit and finish. Thanks to the controversial shifter dial, the center console is massive enough to hide a 15-inch laptop and has some innovative features, such as the sliding cupholder tray and upright phone storage. We appreciate all the class-leading technology—a 7-inch configurable driver information center, 12-inch screen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Our truck is equipped with the 395hp and 410-lb-ft 5.7L Hemi V-8, backed by an eight-speeed automatic. The combo is good, but not quite best in class. We'd appreciate some firmer shifts, or at least a selectable sport mode, because the trans errs so far on the side of smooth that sometimes shifts can be a little gummy. That being said, the Rebel is more than adequate for just about any job, and the trans never seems to hunt or get caught flat-footed. Interestingly enough, the eTorque version of the Hemi is not available in our configuration, we are told, due to the weighty options on the truck.
Photo 3/4   |   Ram does a good job of equipping its trucks with front towhooks that are large enough to be useful with a strap or shackle.
The EPA rates our Rebel at 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway, and, so far, we aren't even close. We're hoping it'll loosen up after a few thousand more break-in miles and less stop-and-go commuting. At least with the optional 33-gallon fuel tank on board we have some serious highway range.
All Hemi-equipped Ram 1500s feature an interior noise-canceling system, which, in addition to the exceptional outward visibility and great ride from the coil suspension, makes the Rebel one of the most enjoyable trucks for a long highway jaunt. Unlike some of the other trucks on the market, the Ram is one we can find a comfortable seating position in immediately.
We did have an opportunity to do a couple hundred miles of towing already, including transporting our Week to Wheelin' Bronco from the shop to the photo studio, and we have to say, the progressive rear coils do the job. With the proper tongue weight, the Rebel was poised and towed like a champ, despite its decidedly off-roading bias. The integrated trailer brake controller works flawlessly, and we loved the blind-spot monitoring system that can automatically detect a trailer—and its length—within the first couple of turns. No inputs from the driver are needed, and you have an electronic set of eyes monitoring the blind spot next to the trailer.
Photo 4/4   |   The 33-inch Goodyear DuraTrac tires seem to be the new darling of OE off-road packages. It's a good, but not great, all-around tire choice.
If first impressions are an indicator of what this relationship is going to be like, the Rebel just might end up being one of our favorite pickups we've ever had the pleasure of having in our fleet. So far, we like it that much.
Report: 1 of 4
Previous reports: N/A
Base price: $47,990
Price as tested: $62,035
Long-Term Numbers
Miles to date: 4,166
Miles since last report: N/A
Average mpg (this report): 12.98
Test best tank (mpg): 15.16
Test worst tank (mpg): 11.59 (towing)
Maintenance
This period: None
Problem areas: None
Logbook Quotes
"Lots of compliments at the gas pump for the Rebel—even more than when we had our Raptor. "
"The 12-inch screen is clutch; it's a statement piece and everyone wants to play with it. "
"Wish the trans shifts were a little firmer. It's nice from a comfort standpoint, but it's too gooey. "
"Just towed about 6,000 pounds and the truck was an absolute joy to tow with. From the brakes and handling to the confidence with the load—no problem. "
"The RamBoxes are perfect for a grocery store run when the kids are in the truck. Room for everything and everyone."

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