2016 Ram 1500 Rebel Wins the ‘Put Up or Shut Up’ Argument

I saw the Ram 1500 Rebel at its debut during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2015 and kind of wondered to myself why it took Ram so long to offer an off-road package like this from the factory. It’s here, and its beauty is more than skin-deep.

2016 Ram 1500 Rebel/Images courtesy Ram

2016 Ram 1500 Rebel/Images courtesy Ram

The new Ram 1500 Rebel is offered as a crew cab model only with 5-ft. 7-inch cargo box but can be ordered in 4×2 or 4×4 running gear and buyers can opt for either the 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar engine or the beefy 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI. Our recent tester arrived in 4×4 form with the 395hp HEMI motor. In my opinion, this is the only way the Ram 1500 Rebel should be outfitted but hey, I don’t work for Ram marketing.


If the new truck looks more rugged than a base Ram 1500 it is due to all the off-road goodies Ram is loading it up with. There is a factory 1-inch suspension lift, modified alignment of the front suspension, Bilstein front and rear shock absorbers, softer rear stabilizer bar, and beefy 33-inch Toyo Open Country all-terrain tires mounted on new 17-inch silver and black cast aluminum wheels. Further enhancing the rugged looks is all blacked-out trim elements including front grille and fascia, mirrors, lower body panels, and wheel-arch moldings. At the rear, the Ram badge is replaced with a RAM stamped tailgate with blacked-out lettering. About the only chrome left on the new Rebel is the exhaust tips.


The interior of the Ram Rebel is treated to similar styling features including an all-black instrument panel with an iron gray metallic finish applied to the center stack and console. The seats are a high-durability technical grain vinyl finished in red and black with fabric inserts featuring an embossed Toyo tire tread pattern.


While the new truck boasts best-in-class ground clearance of 10.3 inches, it still utilizes Ram’s unique air suspension system to continue to offer one of the best riding experiences around. The truck is well-controlled and ever-so smooth over less than ideal road surfaces. You would not know you were riding in the Rebel if it wasn’t plastered all over the truck. And I really appreciate the automatic suspension lowering function on the keyfob for easier ingress/egress when loading and unloading passengers and cargo. Once you start driving, the truck will automatically raise back to normal height, and there is a driver-selectable mode inside the truck for off-road height as well.


By the numbers, the new Ram 1500 Rebel in 4×4 gear begins at $45,200. Our loaded tester arrived with a final sticker of $53,895 and the truck arrives with a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Fuel economy is rated at 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway with the 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI mated to the 8-speed automatic transmission. The truck has a 3.92 rear axle ratio with anti-spin rear differential, class IV receiver hitch with factory trailer brake controller, 4-corner air suspension, undercarriage skid plates, and Ram Box cargo management system with keyfob-locking side boxes and tailgate. Technology highlights include Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system and Alpine premium audio system with subwoofer.


So basically Ram has looked to what consumers are doing with their trucks as soon as they leave the dealer lots and offer a great number of these modifications from the factory, complete with warranty and financing. The Ram 1500 Rebel is the new obnoxious punk around town, and it can back up its smack talk with action.


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About the Author

David Goodspeed
David was editor of AutoworldToday at Today Newspapers in the Dallas suburbs until its closing in 2009. He was also webmaster and photographer/videographer. He got started doing photography for the newspaper while working as a firefighter/paramedic in one of his towns, and began working for the newspaper group full-time in 1992. David entered automotive journalism in 1998 and became AutoworldToday editor in 2002. On the average, he drives some 100 new vehicles each year. He enjoys the great outdoors and as an avid fly fisherman, as is his spouse Tish. He especially enjoys nature photography and is inspired by the works of Ansel Adams.

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