2020 Ram Rebel

BY ED KEMPER      

REBEL WITH A CAUSE

The Ram truck has recently received a redesign. Like most truck models, there is a wide variety of configurations and power choices. In the case of Ram, the performance model is appropriately call the Rebel because of its styling spin and power motivation. The base engine is a V-6 with 305 hp. But our test model is the much more powerful Hemi V-8 with a stout 395 ponies. And the Ram has a small electric motor tied into the V-8 to help out when needed. This arrangement not only increases performance, but fuel mileage. Transmission choices are simple…an 8-speed automatic transmission handles the power to either the rear wheels or the optional four-wheel drive model. Added to the equation is a recent weight reduction program dropping the overall weight by 200 pounds or so. As a result the Hemi V-8 fuel mileage ratings have been improved with a highway rating of 22 mpg, and a city rating of 17 mpg resulting in a more than decent overall rating for a large truck of 19 mpg. Pricing of the Rebel model starts at $44,490. Of course, the base Ram truck begins with a lesser price of $32,145.

Besides the performance orientation of the Rebel, it’s styling sings a different song than other Ram models. The hood has a distinctively higher center section with black air vents on the flanks. The grille area, unlike other models, is blacked out with some high tech looking long headlights. Large alloy wheels and bigger tires with black plastic around the wheel wells also sets the Ram apart from its relatives. In the rear area, very large exhaust pipes peek out from the under the rear bumper. The body styles include a large and roomy crew cab with full back doors. But our test model was the quad door model with smaller rear doors and less interior room. Overall, in the end, the Rebel is a distinctive and good-looking truck.

There is no rebellion going on in the interior. In fact, a nice looking interior with some distinctive light red colored patches mix well with the generally black interior. A super large armrest separates the two front bucket seats with multiple storage bins. Two big video screens are available for use and information. Our model had a colorful and easy to use 8.4-inch touch screen in the center of the dash with lots of apps. There is a bigger 12-inch iPad type of screen also available as an option. Both radio and air conditioning controls are below the screen. Interestingly, the rear camera, besides coming on when in reverse, can be manually turned on when not in reverse gear. In the dash pod, a very large video screen is flanked by an analog speedometer and tachometer. With a push of buttons on the left front of the steering wheel all kinds of data on fuel mileage, tire pressures, and other info is available. A big dial on the dash is used for choosing gears instead of a gearshift lever. Buttons permits the driver to pick two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
With the smaller quad cab set up, the interior room is tighter than with the larger crew cab. There is room for three, but legroom more restricted. Handles are provided by the doors to help you in and out. Air vents are found in back of the center console. An armrest with two cupholders is provided as well as two storage pockets in back of the front seats. Additional storage is under the back seat bottoms. The super large rear truck bed has a lockable tailgate.

On the road with the Hemi V-8 and the overall exterior height, the Rebel looks above most of the vehicle population. Needless to say with almost 400 horsepower power is plentiful, and the 8-speed transmission gear shifts are hardly felt. The engine is generally silent in operation. Even with the 4-wheel drive system and the super large wheels, the ride is not to rough or bouncy. Corners are handled reasonably well given the overall size of the truck.

So for this Rebel go around, it is not only lighter, faster with better fuel mileage, it has enhanced looks. Added to this is that the Ram truck lineup has now become the second best selling truck in the USA.

Tech specs

Model: 4 door large truck, Rebel Model
Price: Rebel Model $44,490, as tested $50,580
Powertrain: 2WD or 4WD, Hemi V-8, 395 horsepower, 8-speed automatic
Fuel mileage: 19 average mpg, city 17 mpg, highway 22 mpg
Performance: 0-60: 6.6 seconds
High Beams: Attractive big pickup truck. Lighter, faster, more fuel-efficient. Useful front interior.
Low Beam: Quad 4 door model has a tight rear interior.

TRUCK COURTESY OF CUTTER DODGE RAM

© COPYRIGHT 2019 | OAHU PUBLICATIONS, INC.
© COPYRIGHT 2019 | OAHU PUBLICATIONS, INC.