The 2017 Ram 1500 Rebel is the latest offering from Ram Trucks targeting the off road, performance and the personal statement truck buyer.
The half ton pickup class is one of the most competitive groups in the new car industry. Texas is the leading market for light duty trucks finding a home for 25% of all the new pickups sold in this country. The majority of trucks bought in Texas are used as personal transportation and each manufacturer vies to win the hearts of Lone Star State truck enthusiasts. Each maker offers
up special, performance, luxury, off road or branded editions to capture segments within the class. Unfortunately, most are little more than paint or trim options. The Ram Rebel lineup is a true special edition, but within that line are a couple of limited releases that are nothing more than $600 paint options. The Mohave Sand is one of them.
However, under the sand brown paint is a very well put together pickup that offers great on road ride quality combined with off road capability. The Rebel is loaded with high tech and performance options to help the truck fill the bill as an all around vehicle.
The most innovative feature
is the dynamic air ride system that allows the driver to adjust the height of the truck for off road clearance, exit and entry ease or
normal driving. The 4 corner air spring suspension has the side effect of giving one of the smoothest rides in the light truck class.
Off road ability is a key selling point of the Rebel and Ram addresses this with 2 Four wheel drive options. You can opt for the automatic four wheel drive that will switch from 2 to 4 wheel drive as needed for the terrain, or the manually selectable transfer case. Each has 2 speeds including a low range for difficult conditions.
Power comes from a 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 producing 305 horsepower, the 5.7 liter Hemi with 395 horses or the EcoDiesel V6 for top of class fuel economy. All come hooked to an 8 speed automatic transmission controlled by a rotary dial mounted to the dash just right of the steering wheel. The electronic selector placement opens up the console for more storage area.
The 2017 Ram Rebel comes as a Crew Cab with the 5 foot 7 inch bed. Other Ram models are available in 3 cab sizes and 3 bed lengths. Our test truck had the Ram Box system; built in storage boxes in each bed side providing handy storage for tools, tac, or tackle. We also had the factory spray in bed liner and tonneau cover. (Learn more about the wide selection of Ram trucks available here)
The Ram Rebel is built to tow
and is capable of hauling 10,600 pounds when properly equipped. It also has a bed payload of 1900 pounds. Targeting the outdoor, adventurous owner the combination of towing, ride comfort and off road ability make the Rebel an appealing choice.
The 2017 Ram Rebel interior earned the Texas Auto Writer’s Luxury Pickup award at the Texas Truck rodeo. The combination leather and cloth seats provide comfort and support on the longest drives. The black interior of our truck was well laid out with easy access to all the controls. Entertainment and information is handled through the U-Connect system that is available in 2 screen sizes. The 8.4 inch screen system has won the Texas Auto Writer’s best tech award and is still a leader in the ever improving infortainment battle. It is loaded with apps, access and information. There is also a large driver information screen in the instrument panel. Interior storage is more than adequate with a large center console, deep door pockets and sunken rear floor bin.
The Ram Rebel has an exceptionally bump free ride, especially considering it is four wheel drive. Acceleration is good with a the 5.7 Hemi and the transmission shifts seamlessly. Steering control is good with minimal body roll. The noise level is remarkably low, hearing only a bit of tire whine from the aggressive off road rubber. The Alpine sound system easily overrides any background noise.
The truck came with a back up camera and rear park sensors, but was sadly missing much needed blind spot monitors and forward park sensors. The rather small mirrors and large stance of the Rebel make it very difficult to see traffic to the side rear or clearance to the front during maneuvers. The rear view camera can be switched on while driving for a minute. This is a handy feature for those wanting to check their load, get a look back at the trailer, or just see who’s behind them.
Rebel or Raptor?
Priced as tested at about 56 thousand it is 10 grand cheaper than a Raptor and offers that much lauded off roader a run for its money. I would want to drive both, back to back to decide if the price difference was justified.
Ram Rebel has a base sticker price of $45,095 and at this writing there were over $6000 in incentives on the purchase.
You can hear the first hour of Auto Mojo including this review here