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  • 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel 12: Life With Advanced Tech And Useful Features

2019 Ram 1500 Rebel 12: Life With Advanced Tech And Useful Features

2019 Ram 1500 Rebel 12 Crew Cab Long-Term Report 3 of 4

May 15, 2020
It has been an interesting last few months without our normal cadence of travel, so you might notice that we haven't rolled on quite as many miles as you might be accustomed to seeing, and lots of shorter trips have skewed the fuel economy numbers down during this quarter. That being said, we thought we'd use this report to drill down on some of our favorite—and least favorite—aspects of the Ram 1500.
Let's start with the fact that the Ram 1500 Rebel 12 is hands down one of the best all-around trucks we've ever tested or lived with. It continues to be a comfortable, solid performer that does anything we ask of it reliably and competently. Plus, it is still a head-turner on the road and a great driving truck that you look forward to long stints in.
Photo 2/6   |   The Ram Box option is a great way to get additional storage on the Ram, and they are long enough to fit our 30-inch Beretta A400 sporting clays shotgun.
We love the supple leather and 12-inch screen that comes with the Rebel 12 model; the "12" designation of course standing for the large vertical screen that dominates the center stack. Simply put, the 12-inch screen is absolutely gorgeous with high resolution, deep blacks, and vibrant colors. Even the backup camera looks fantastic. We also applaud the Ram engineers who gave redundant physical buttons for the most highly accessed tasks, ensuring the truck's functions are easy to interact with on rougher roads where a touchscreen can become a liability.
If we had to pinpoint one feature of the 12-inch screen that makes it a must-have, we'd point to the Apple CarPlay integration. Unlike smaller screens, which make you choose between your CarPlay interface and the vehicle interface, the Ram system allows both to be displayed simultaneously. While CarPlay takes up the top half of the screen, the bottom "cards" can be cycled through for any of the vehicle functions, such as comfort, navigation, and media.
Photo 3/6   |   We love the 12-inch screen, especially because it allows us to have persistent access to both Car Play and vehicle functions.
Overall, we love the 12-inch screen and the seamless operation, though we have had a few hiccups. For one, we've had some freezes and latency issues, especially on the SiriusXM screen. Sometimes the virtual buttons fail to register a touch, and there have been a couple instances of the system doing a hard restart on its own. Otherwise, restarting the truck has cleared any issues that have occasionally popped up.
Another oddity is the logic behind the overly aggressive auto setting on the HVAC system. There are times at startup where the blower is on max—even in mild temps—and it takes manual override on fan speed or a temp change to take control. Otherwise, it seems to clear up after a few minutes. It is as if the system is confused at the delta between the actual interior temps and the requested interior temps. It's really a minor annoyance and probably something that can be cleaned up with a software update.
Photo 4/6   |   The only 12-volt outlet on the truck sits atop of the dash, perfect to power dash cams and radar detectors, however it only activates with the ignition, leaving those with portable fridges looking for a way to stay powered when the truck is off.
Speaking of overly aggressive, we have to call out the rear automatic braking system's intrinsic ability to slam on the brakes at inopportune times, scaring the bejezus out of everyone inside the cab. It's a feature we just leave off—and our hearts are better for it.
Moving on to an option we are glad we spec'd our Rebel with, the second-gen Ram Box is a crowd pleaser. Like the previous version, the Ram Box is an integrated in-bed storage system that is accessible from the side of the truck. The updated design has been engineered with smaller gaps between the lid and the bed and a more streamlined look. The lids now feature electronic switches tied into the vehicle's lock/unlock system. Overall, the Ram Boxes are a bit larger than before and can fit long guns for secured transport, a 10-pound Power Tank, and our personal favorite -groceries, for when the cab is otherwise full of people. The Ram Boxes can also be filled with ice and used as a cooler, thanks to drain plugs. The lighting has been repositioned to the lid, so the light shines down on the contents at night, and a covered 115-volt outlet makes charging batteries or running tools a snap.
Photo 5/6   |   The interior features multiple USB ports, as well as an inverter at the back of the console.
However, we do wish there were more auxiliary power options, both in the bed area and the cab. The multiple inverter locations (center console and Ram Box) and the copious number of USB-As and USB-Cs are great, but there are no 12-volt outlets in the bed, and the only one in the cab is at the top of the dash and keyed on with the ignition. This makes finding a power source to run an ARB or Dometic fridge on an overnight camping trip a bit problematic.
Criticisms aside, we stand by our 2019 Pickup Truck of the Year winner, and highly recommend the Ram 1500 Rebel 12 to anyone looking for a new half-ton. As we move into our final quarter, we'll continue to enjoy everything this truck as to offer, because if there one half-ton we'd wholeheartedly recommend right now to any buyer without reservation, it's this one.
Photo 6/6   |   006 Ram Rebel Long Term Report 3

REPORT: 3 OF 4

First Report: 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel 12 Crew Cab
The 2019 Ram Rebel Is The Most Uncompromising 1/2-Ton 4x4 Pickup

Base price: $47,990
Price as tested: $62,035
Four-wheel-drive system: Part-time, electronically controlled, two-speed
OPTIONS AS TESTED:
Billet Silver Metallic paint ($200), Bed Utility Group ($450), Rebel 12A ($2,495), Level 2 Equipment Group ($3,000), 5.7L Hemi V-8 with MDS and VVT ($1,395), Panoramic Sunroof ($1,495), Deployable Bed Step ($195), Rear Wheelhouse Liners ($195), 33-gallon Fuel Tank ($495), Blind Spot with Cross-Path Protection ($595), Ram Box Cargo Management System ($995), Trailer Brake Controller ($295), Spray-in Bedliner ($595), Destination Charge ($1,695)
LONG-TERM NUMBERS:
Miles to date: 13,830
Miles since last report: 3,765
Average mpg (this report): 13.55
Test best tank (mpg): 17.83
Test worst tank (mpg): 11.59 (towing)
MAINTENANCE:
This period: Scheduled service ($122)
Problem areas: None
WHAT'S HOT, WHAT'S NOT:
Hot: Ram Box, 12-inch screen, lots of options for plugging in
Not: A/C could be colder, no always-on 12-volt outlet
LOGBOOK QUOTES:
"Coming up on 14,000 miles and still no squeaks or rattles. The Duratracs are still quiet, and the ride is fantastic. "
"I really love this truck. It might not be the best at everything on the spec sheet, but in the real world it does everything well. "
"The 12-inch screen is a game changer and a show-stopper, everyone wants to play with it. "
"The Ram again slammed on the brakes in reverse backing into the driveway with no obstruction. This time my wife came out of the house asking what that noise was. "
"Sometime the HVAC has a mind of its own on the 'auto" setting, and we do wish the a/c blew a bit colder."

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