What We Love And Hate About The 2022 Ram 1500 Rebel

Opinion / 6 Comments

Big. Powerful. And blue. Very blue.

The Ram 1500 Rebel is part of an endangered species of full-size pickup trucks. The segment itself isn't going anywhere, just what's under the hood. The naturally aspirated 5.7-liter Hemi V8 has been around for years. Celebrate it while we can. An all-electric Ram 1500 is due in 2024 as part of the electric truck revolution.

The latest Ram 1500 lineup is outstanding, from the humble Tradesman to the borderline insane Hellcat-powered TRX. Towards the top of is the range is the Rebel offering a solid mix of serious off-roading capabilities and daily driving comfort. But like any vehicle, it's not perfect. Here are four things we loved and two things we didn't about Ram's off-road fun machine.

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Love: Hemi V8 With e-Torque

You could get a new Ram Rebel with the standard 305-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and save yourself $2,295. But we think that'd be a mistake. The optional 5.7-liter Hemi's 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque are worth every extra penny, especially with its eTorque setup that provides a nice (though brief) boost of 130 lb-ft of twist when needed. It drops to 90 lb-ft on the V6. The Hemi's lovely sound from the dual exhaust outlets when hitting the throttle is also worth the added cost.

The eight-speed automatic, controlled via a conventional center console-mounted gear lever instead of the rotary dial found in other Ram trucks, has good overall response and downshifts pretty quickly when necessary. Although it doesn't deserve a "Hate" section, we'd prefer if Ram offered a dedicated off-road performance gearbox setting, something both Ford and Chevy have done.

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Love: Awesome Exterior Styling

The fifth-generation Ram lineup looks fantastic. Handsome, bold, it has a serious presence and always draws attention. The Rebel turns up the volume but not to full blast like the TRX. Our tester came in Hydro Blue Pearl-Coat (only $100 extra) and with the $2,995 G/T Package that tacks on a "GT" decal, cold end exhaust, front and rear door accent lighting, and a Mopar cold air intake system for the power domed hood. For only $350 more, there's also the highly recommended Bed Utility Group of features consisting of a deployable bed step-up, four adjustable cargo tie-down hooks, and box lighting. The blackened fenders, trim-specific 18-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in 33-inch all-terrain Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires, and special grille complete the brute look. The easy-to-use tri-fold tonneau bed cover ($550) will also come in handy for any number of scenarios.

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Love: Outstanding Interior

Ram went above and beyond with this generation truck's interior, putting GM's trucks to shame. For the most part, the cabin is void of hard plastics and cheap materials. Where the Ram Rebel's interior truly shines is the three-punch dash, center console, and infotainment system layout. The leather and vinyl bucket seats, also part of the G/T Package, are extremely comfortable and supportive, especially with the 8-way power heated and ventilated driver's seat with 4-way lumbar control.

Uconnect 5 is, hands-down, one of the best infotainment systems on the market from any automaker. It's extremely easy to use especially with the 12-inch display. While other rival systems and touchscreens can be fidgety, the Rebel's is a joy to use. The optional Harmon Kardon 19-speaker audio system is also nothing to complain about. The dual-pane panoramic sunroof is not a must-have with its $1,445 price tag, but the additional light that's able to enter the normally dark interior might be worth the extra monthly mortgage payment.

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Love: It Wants To Go Everywhere

Like a dog with separation anxiety, the Rebel truly wants to go everywhere with its master. It's almost as if it complains when being driven around town for mundane errands; this rig wants to play. And so we did just that. Traditional off-roading was difficult during our experience due to frozen earth following a Rocky Mountain deep freeze and minor snowstorm. There was, however, plenty of open space in parking lots where snow was plowed away from the center and left to the margins where it covered unsalted black ice. Bingo. A late-night visit to an unnamed lot (for this writer's legal safety) resulted in some donut attempts, controlled skidding, and repeated attempts at putting the truck's traction and general control to the test. It didn't disappoint.

The one-inch suspension lift over the stock truck guaranteed zero ice chunks would scrape the bottom, which we weren't worried about anyway thanks in part to the skid plates. The air spring suspension and upgraded dampers provided excellent control and comfort whether it was trying to crush snow and ice or regular highway driving.

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Hate: Hard To Park

It's hard to blame the truck for this one but there's really no other choice: this sucker is a challenge in crowded parking lots. Angling out and turning hard left or right into a normally-sized spot is challenging, even for experienced truck owners. It takes some getting used to and even then you might find yourself reversing a few more times in order to straighten the rig out. Measuring 82.1 inches wide 232.9 inches long, the Rebel is very similarly sized to its main rival, the F-150 Tremor. However, we found the Rebel's steering calibrations to be somewhat challenging. We'd ideally like to see improvements made so that the Rebel feels more compact for improved maneuverability in daily driving scenarios.

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Hate: High Price Tag

Don't let the 2022 Rebel's base price fool you; you're going to want to check the box for extra features and packages. Beginning at a very reasonable $49,495 for the 4x2 and $52,995 for the 4x4, the Rebel is only offered with the 5.7-foot box. But if you don't want the standard and underpowered (in this case) V6, the price will start adding up fast. The Hemi V8 with or without the eTorque system is a $2,295 option while the 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel is $4,995. The four-corner air suspension ($1,800), 33-gallon fuel tank ($445), and a number of optional packages like the G/T Package ($2,995), Rebel 12 Package for that audio system and 12-inch screen upgrades (also $2,995), and Technology Group ($1,095) just to get a head-up display all add up very fast. Even getting running boards and a spray-in bedliner will set you back $3,100 with the Off-Road Group.

All told, our tester came in at a very hefty $71,995, including destination. That's only $25 less than the TRX's $72,020 entry price, also with destination.

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