Review: 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel



Written by: Adil Arif

Photography by: Adil Arif

 



So here it is, the answer to the Ford Raptor? If only I had a dollar for how many times I’ve heard that question in the past week. Let’s clear the air and put it on record – the 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel is not the brand’s response to the Raptor. What it is however is a pickup truck tricked out from the factory with some extra goodies an occasional off-roading enthusiast might search for from the aftermarket. Offering the same towing capacity and comfortable interior as the regular Ram 1500, we’re here to take a look at the new Rebel trim and to see if it’s really worth the extra cash.


At first glance, you might mistake the Rebel as just a heavily modified Ram 1500, but I assure you it’s all from the factory. The signature chrome crosshair grille that the Ram is best known for has been replaced by a blacked-out one that houses silver “RAM” lettering. Below that is a matching powder-coated steel skid plate - that’s where it ends and everything else goes black: blacked out headlamps, twin black hood scoops, black wheel well flares (borrowed from the Power Wagon), black decals on the side and rear, and black lower body panels.

 


Brand identity is also stamped on the rear gate with large black “RAM” lettering. It’s a surprising change from the chrome we’re used to seeing. It looks the part and certainly wears the Rebel badge well. And what’s a killer truck without a nice set of wheels? A set of 17-inch rims come wrapped in badass 33-inch-tall 285/70 Toyo Open Country A/T Tires.


In addition to the looks, Dodge has fitted the Rebel with the hardware to match: a set of Bilstein Monotube shocks, a slower steering ratio, and my favorite, an adjustable air ride suspension. There are four settings to choose from: Entry/Exit, Aero, Normal and Off-Road. In Normal mode, the Rebel sits an inch higher than a regular 1500, Aero drops it down slightly at high speeds and the other two speak for themselves.


The important thing here is that in Off-Road mode, you get an additional inch of lift, which gives a commanding view of the road and extra clearance when desired. Another convenient feature is having access to this via the car key remote, meaning you can always drop it to its lowest setting after the truck is parked.

 


Now you may be thinking that a true off-roading machine shouldn’t have air suspension or how a cheaper Wrangler with a few modifications can outperform this thing, and you’re absolutely right. But Dodge knows this and it’s not their intention to compete with the likes of the Ford Raptor or the cheaper Wrangler. They know that the majority of Ram trucks and the majority of all pick-up trucks for that matter rarely ever go rock climbing or see anything more than a few unpaved roads.


With that being said, the air suspension is excellent. It gives the flexibility of having a soft ride with the ability to raise and lift according to the conditions. The feel and ride quality is supple on paved roads and equally as comfortable on gravel trails and bumpy terrain. The slower steering ratio makes a big difference. On rough roads, it does require a fair amount of input but pays dividends at low speeds while being able to provide excellent control and precision.

 


The 5.7-litre V8 Hemi from the standard 1500 remains, providing the same 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. An eight speed automatic gearbox keeps the power in control and you can toggle between 2WD and 4WD on the fly. The engine pulls the 6000-pound rig swiftly, hitting 100km/h in just over 7 seconds. The acceleration is hot-rod like and when you’re heavy on the gas, it plays a very satisfying note accompanied by a deep rumble.


The eight speed gearbox works well shifting quickly and smoothly but you can tell it has been heavily geared towards fuel efficiency. My biggest gripe here was the lack of a sport mode or a setting to make the shifts more aggressive. Sadly all that was on the Rebel was a pair of awkwardly positioned buttons scrunched together on one side of the steering wheel. I’m not looking for paddle shifters here but I would have liked more control over the power.
Towing and cargo capacity remains fairly unchanged with the Rebel offering the same 1,530-pound payload as the 1500 and a 10,130-pound towing capacity (20 pounds less than the regular 1500).


Gas mileage is rated at 16.2 L/100km city and 11.5 L/100km highway. We managed a very respectable average of 16.8 L/100km – which was surprising because when I picked up the vehicle, I noticed a previous history of 22.0 L/100km. Did I go too easy?

 


Cruising with your entourage is as comfortable as sitting on your favorite couch. The Crew Cab’s interior is humungous and will cozily fit four large humans with enough headroom and legroom for NBA-sized individuals. The black leather interior is plush, the red accents match the exterior, and tire tread like inserts are added to each seat along with Rebel stitched embroidery. The infamous RAM head is also stitched onto the headrests and center storage console along with heavy-duty rubber mats.


Storage options are abundant with a deep center storage area and two RamBox cargo bins fastened along the rear sides of the truck bed. Media controls are all easily accessible via the excellent new 8.4-inch touch screen display. It’s quick, intuitive, has good touch sensitivity and can be read easily at a glance whilst driving. The Harmon Kardon sound system keeps the highs clear and lows nice and punchy, while an easy to use GPS system will make sure you don’t get lost.


One crucial tech feature our tester was missing however was any forward parking sensors or any sort of blind spot monitoring or rear traffic monitoring systems. For new drivers this may be a challenge but for seasoned drivers, the viewing angle, large mirrors, large windows, and high seating position are easy for checking and getting things done the good old fashioned way.

 


Overall, I have to say that Dodge has put together a compelling package with the Rebel. Starting at $51,895 you get a number of factory upgrades and aggressive looks for just $1,000 more than the chromed out base model Laramie 1500 (one trim level below the Rebel). I won’t get into the details of the different configurations and options available but the Ram 1500 has a very large range from the bare bone ST model starting at $30,095 to the luxury filled Laramie Limited starting at $61,495.


Our Rebel came in as-tested at a reasonable $59,340. Both 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 5.7-liter HEMI V8 powertrains are offered, as is a choice of either 4X2 (HEMI only) and 4X4 configurations – our tester being fitted with the latter. With the Rebel, you’re offered a mean looking truck that’s not only comfortable, but has the capability of hitting up some rough roads. If this sounds like your type of commute, then I’d highly recommend it. The 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel backs up the talk and does a fine job bridging the gap between extreme off-roading and pavement-only trucking.

 


Photo Gallery:

 

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Specifications:

型号 Model: 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel Crew Cab 4x4

顏色 Paint Type: Flame Red
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $51,895

試車售價 Price as Tested: $59,340
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 3,569
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 5,817 / 2,017 / 1,968
引擎 Engine: 5.7L HEMI VVT V8 with FuelSaver MDS
最大馬力 Horsepower: 395 hp @ 5,600 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 410 lb-ft @ 3,950 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic ($1,000)
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, 4WD

油耗 Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway ): 16.2 / 11.5 L/100km
油耗 Observed Fuel Consumption: 16.8 L/100km

輪胎尺碼 Tires: 285/70R17; Toyo Open Country A/T Tires

 





 

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