2020 Ram is a Rebel with a cause
As much as Ram insists its ultra-4×4 pickup, the Rebel, isn’t a direct competitor to the Ford Raptor, it’s hard to think otherwise. Both have huge off-road egos and both look like they have just rolled out of a 4×4 high-performance shop. Sure, the Rebels shares its drivetrain with other Rams – but it’s still the way to go if you’re looking for the ultimate off-road Ram truck.
A few years ago we saw the debut of the 5th generation Ram, and found it to be a standout truck. Offered in an assortment of trim levels, there is a Ram for just about every need. And if one of those needs happens to be off-roading, the Rebel is the Ram to go with.
The Rebel is the ultimate off-road capable light-duty Ram available. Consider it as the little brother to the heavy-duty Power Wagon off-roader.
The Rebel takes its own path when it comes to styling. It features a vented, power-domed hood and blackened fender flares. All the badges are blacked out and it features its own take on the interlocking RAM grille.
Looks and badging aside, the Rebel is decked out with some serious off-road hardware. Below the grille is a powder-coated steel brush guard and skid plate – along with skid plates to protect the oil pan, transfer case and fuel tank. The suspension is fitted with specially tuned Bilstein shocks that give the Rebel a one-inch height advantage over regular Rams, and the optional air-suspension provides an additional inch of maximum lift. All this rides on huge 18-inch wheels on 33-inch diameter all-terrain tires. This is stuff that off-roaders love to hear.
The standard engine for the Rebel is Chrysler’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, good for 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. Most though, will opt for the 5.7 liter Hemi V8 that makes 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. For 2020, the Rebel is now available with the EcoDiesel – a 3.0 liter diesel V6 that makes 260 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. All engines are matched to a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission.
Then there are the Ram goodies that are available on the Rebel, and were fitted on the test vehicle. The 60-40 multifunction tailgate is quite impressive. In addition to a normal drop-down tailgate, it also opens barn-door style allowing you to swing open one or both sides of the tailgate. This side-hinge operation makes loading the bed much easier.
The Rebel was also equipped with the RamBox – two lockable, weatherproof storage bins that run the length of the bed. There is a total of 8.6 cubic feet of space, and both bins contain lights and drain plugs – perfect for camping or storing tools.
As I first entered my EcoDiesel powered Rebel – this week’s ride – I was reminded of how spacious and accommodating the Ram’s interior is. The dial gear shifter, which I’m still not a fan of, does free up tons of room for a center console that can hold just about anything. Then there are the little things that make the Ram’s interior special. One is the way you can stand a cell phone up in the center console, and another is the 12V power outlet on top of the dash – perfect for those electronics that need to be mounted to the windshield.
On the road, the huge tires are hardly as noisy as you would think. The EcoDiesel, though, sounds perfect and ever-so-fitting in the Rebel. With 480 lb-ft of torque, the Rebel just feels as if it can go through anything, and for the most part it can.
But the Rebel isn’t cheap. It starts at $48,240, but add in the diesel engine and a bunch of other goodies that the tester was equipped with, and you’ll find yourself staring at an MSRP of $70,880. But for off-road Ram fans that want more than just your standard Ram 1500, this Rebel is your cause.
– Christopher A. Randazzo
By The Numbers:
2020 Ram 1500 Rebel Crew Cab 4×4
Base Price: $47,990.00
Price as Tested: $70,880.00
Layout: front-engine / four-wheel drive
Engine: 3.0 liter V6 Turbo Diesel
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Horsepower: 260 horsepower
Torque: 480 ft/lbs
EPA Fuel Economy: 21 city / 29 highway mpg
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