The Ram 1500 Rebel takes advantage of the base model's air suspension to offer rugged looks and off-road ground clearance without sacrificing its practicality.
The Rebel rides an inch higher than the standard air-suspension-equipped Ram 1500, giving it a total maximum ground clearance of 10.3 inches. Matched up with the air suspension is a model-specific set of Bilstein front and rear shocks. The rear stabilizer bar has also been softened to improve the Rebel's performance.
Under the wheel arches, the Rebel boasts 33-inch all-terrain tires on unique 17-inch silver and black aluminum wheels.
Big tires aren't all the Rebel can claim in the looks department. The front end is distinct, with an exaggerated "RAM" badge on the blacked-out grille. Below that is an all-black front bumper designed to maximize approach angle. Both the lower bumper and skid plate are powder-coated for increased durability.
Finishing off the front end are integrated tow hooks, LED fog lamps, LED marker lights and an aggressive, vented hood design. The black body cladding continues on the sides, where it's matched to the paint on the lower doors and body and wraps around to the rear bumper.
Also in the rear, the Rebel boasts dual chrome-tipped exhausts and a "RAM" stamped tailgate in blacked-out lettering
The visual upgrades continue inside with a red-black interior theme with grey stitching. The seats are embroidered with the "Rebel" name and the center console and stack are painted gray to match the stitching. There's also a prominent "Rebel" badge on the glove box.
Like other Ram 1500 models, the Rebel offers Chrysler's Uconnect Access infotainment system (for a complete description of Uconnect Access, check out Leftlane's Spotlight On: Uconnect article).
Generally regarded as one of the more user-friendly infotainment setups on the market, Uconnect Access integrates most of the truck's audio, navigation and climate control functions into one unit. An 8.4-inch touchscreen mounted on the dashboard is the central component of the system, but redundant buttons and knobs for climate and audio volume and tuning are also included.
Uconnect Access features a voice command system that allows the driver to place phone calls, use the sound system, input navigation destinations and more without taking his or her hands off the wheel. Other notable aspects of the system include the ability to function as a Wi-Fi hotspot over a 3G network - for an additional monthly fee - and downloadable applications such as Bing search.
Bodystyles, Capabilities and Trims
The Rebel, like other specialty trucks, lacks some of the configuration flexibility of mainstream half-tons. It's available in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations, but only as a crew cab model with the 5' 7" bed.
The base Ram 1500's RamBox bed storage option is available.
Properly configured, the Ram Rebel can tow up to 10,150lbs and has a maximum payload capacity of 1,410lbs.
The Ram 1500 Rebel's powertrain availability is similarly less diverse than that of other 1500 models'.
The 4x2 model comes exclusively with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic and boasts fuel economy ratings of 15 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.
Available on the 4x4 model is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that produces 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. With the help of an eight-speed automatic gear-box and active grille shutters, the mill is capable of 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. This is the only Ram variant to offer a 3.92:1 rear axle ratio with the Pentastar V6.
Buyers who want ultimate power and capability can upgrade to a 4x4 Hemi model at the expense of some efficiency.
Unlike the regular Ram 1500, the Rebel is not offered with an EcoDiesel powerplant.
Features and options
As a specialty truck, the Rebel comes fairly loaded up even in its most basic form. Standard equipment includes heated front bucket seats with power adjustment, a 60/40 folding rear seat with under-seat storage, an overhead console, a heated steering wheel, a powered sliding rear window, a six-speaker AM/FM/MP3 audio system with 5" touch screen interface and media hub, Bluetooth smartphone and media integration, and a full-size spare tire.
Several option packages are available for both the 4x2 and 4x4 models.
The Luxury Group is available on both and includes auto-dimming exterior power-folding and heated mirrors with turn signals and courtesy lamps, a glove box light, LED bed lighting, an overhead console with an integrated garage door opener, sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors and an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror with an integrated microphone.
The Trailer Tow group adds fold-away trailer tow exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals and courtesy lamps and a trailer brake controller.
The Rear Camera and Park assist group adds a rearview camera and the ParkSense rear parking system.
A Remote Start and Security Alarm group adds those features as well.
Unique to the 4x4 model is the Protection Group, which adds front suspension and transfer case skid plates for additional peace of mind when off-roading.
The closest competitor to the Ram Rebel is the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. While less purpose-built than its rival from Dearborn, the Rebel's off-road focus forces it to compete in that relatively narrow niche. Buyers who are willing to look at a small trucker should consider the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.