Ram Rebel breaks the rules, wins new fans

SHARE Ram Rebel breaks the rules, wins new fans
SHARE Ram Rebel breaks the rules, wins new fans

The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 is available in a wide range of offerings, something that has become less of a luxury and more of a demand from consumers shopping for full-size pickups.

Whether you step into any of the six possible trim levels, from the Tradesman Quad Cab 4×2, starting at $31,695, or the technology-leading Limited Crew Cab 4×4 V8, with an impressive standard 12-inch touchscreen and a price of $57,390, there are seemingly unlimited choices and combinations to make your Ram truck your own personal ride.

And then, there’s the Rebel, one of those six trims, and possibly the most distinct.

Ram understands there is a whole niche of customers who appreciate a fast and powerful pickup, as well as those potential buyers who demand a level of off-road capability. Blending stylish graphic and bold exterior design cues to make a first impression that is only exceeded by the performance under the hood, the 2019 Rebel is just that – a truck that breaks the traditional guidelines.

Also exceeding the norms the prices of these new-age of pickups easily hitting the $65,000-$80,000 range, with high-end cabins and unmatched technology packages to do everything from rock crawling to hitting the off-road trails at high speeds.

What’s New

The Ram’s new highlights include ample ground clearance; revised exterior and interior styling; active aerodynamics with grille shutters and an active air dam; a class-exclusive air suspension that brings better on- and off-road capability, load-leveling and entry/exit convenience; as well as a host of other class-exclusive and segment-leading features and technologies.

Go anywhere attitude is available on-demand from the new Rebel, which features hill-descent control for more off-road capability, beefy tow hooks and skid plates on the transfer case, steering system, oil pan, and gas tank.

Exterior Styling

There was little doubt during my week of testing the Rebel that it is made to be an attention getter. Robust body lines are punctuated by a larger, more aggressive front grille featuring a trademark Ram’s-head logo. A new full LED adaptive front-lighting system, including twin bi-functional projector headlamps, fog lamps, and tail lamps, are standard on the Rebel. Until you get this out at night, you cannot appreciate the difference it makes.

Lighter, longer, and wider, the newest Ram is available in three new, longer frame lengths, starting with a 144.5-inch wheelbase on Crew Cab short beds and a 153.5-inch wheelbase on Crew Cab long beds — both 4 inches longer than their predecessors, while the Quad Cab long bed has a wheelbase of 140.5 inches.

Capable Underpinnings

The Ram 1500 Rebel is now available in Quad Cab configurations, features new 18-inch wheels with 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires and an electronic-locking rear differential.

Rebel’s standard coil spring suspension and a 1-inch factory lift are impressive. Look for an electronic locking rear axle and newly designed Bilstein shocks (designed with remote reservoirs to stay cool) that work with rear suspension geometry to enhance traction.

Adding eTorque

Under the Rebel’s hood are increases in fuel efficiency that come from the new eTorque mild hybrid system on the second-generation 3.6-liter Pentastar V6; eTorque combines a belt-driven motor generator unit with a 48-volt battery pack to enable start/stop function, short-duration torque assist, and brake energy regeneration, adding up to 90 lb.-ft. of launch torque to the V6 and up to 130 lb.-ft. to the Hemi powerplant.

The latest generation Torque-Flite eight-speed automatic transmission brings improved efficiency. Fuel consumption is also reduced by an Interactive Deceleration Fuel Shut Off feature that pauses fuel flow to the engine cylinders in third gear and higher when the vehicle is decelerating.

Improvements

My Rebel tester offered a comfortable ride and an impressively quiet cabin. This capable off-roader can also deliver cozy comfort to passengers and is a breeze at highway speeds. Although longer and wider with a new frame that features 98 percent high-strength steel to improve durability, weight, and rigidity for better road manners, the newest version of the light-duty truck has shed 225 pounds, while adding to the maximum payload by 2,300 pounds and a maximum trailering to 12,750 pounds.

My tester has a starting point of $44,695, but it added some great upgrades to push the price to a robust $51,220. Is it worth it? If you have a need to be a rebel – it’s worth every penny.

This auto review was researched and written bySteinProContentServicesand provided to the Sun-Times for publication

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