Long-Term Report: The 2019 Ram Rebel Is The Most Uncompromising 1/2-Ton 4x4 Pickup
Second report: Uncompromising 1/2-ton
Read the First Report:
Long-Term Test First Report: 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel 12 Crew Cab
Our love-affair with the Ram Rebel continues with this second report. So far, the truck has exceeded our expectations for what a well-rounded 1/2-ton can be like to live with in daily life. From its composure over any terrain, the exceptional technology (which only gets in the way sometimes), and spacious cab.
Over the course of this quarter, we have gotten to know our Rebel better. We did some more towing, we hit some mild trails, and we took a couple of interstate road trips. We love how everything you touch inside the cabin exudes quality. From the plastics and leather to the feel of the buttons, nothing about the Ram comes across as cheap. We also appreciate just how well laid out the controls are, and the way things are designed to be useful, but not in the way. For example, the sliding console tray that houses the cup holders can lock in three different positions and, thanks to the real estate-freeing knob-style gear selector, covers a massive bin that is large enough to fit a fullsize laptop.
The Ram's thoughtfulness also extends to the way technology improves the driving experience. A number of technologies, ranging from active-tuned mass modules, active noise cancellation, and hydraulic-filled rear cab mounts make the Rebel interior a really enjoyable place to spend your miles. Even with the aggressive Goodyear DuraTrac tires, the Rebel interior is one of the quietest trucks we've ever been in. Because of this and the exceptional Bilstein shocks, there is almost no compromise to comfort by selecting the Rebel for a daily driver. In fact, we'd argue the ride is better in more situations than the standard Ram with the FRS shocks or the air suspension.
Another piece of tech that enhances the driving experience, as we experienced firsthand while battling the notoriously fierce headwinds on Interstate 10 in Southern California, involves the electric power steering system. As the wind whipped the windmills, semis, and just about every other vehicle on the road, the Rebel stayed true to its lane with minimal steering inputs. This is because the steering system can compensate for crosswinds, making the drive less fatiguing for the driver. A system we always thought of being great for towing, actually worked well unloaded as well.
Other things we appreciate about the Ram are the crystal clear, high-definition reverse camera view; the innovative RamBoxes; and the bed's moveable cargo divider. Styling also seems to be a strong point, with lots of compliments on the road and at the pump. When people ask us about the truck, it isn't hard to find reasons to gush.
Finding reasons to complain just feels like nitpicking because the truck is so good, but it's our job, so here goes: The transmission shifter goes into "autocorrect" mode if you try to drive with the driver-side door open while in Reverse, so no hanging out the door as you back up. We've had a couple of incidents where the 12-inch screen was unresponsive to touch and did a self-initiated hard reset (or we restarted the vehicle) before it was happy again. Lastly, the auto mode on the HVAC seems a little temperamental during startup at times, as it takes a few minutes for it to process inside temp, outside temp, and the proper fan speed.
During this quarter, we enjoyed a quick first service and much-needed tire rotation at Huntington Beach Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram to the tune of $122. The DuraTracs started to get noisy, but the rotation dropped their whines to a low moan and restored serenity to our daily commute. We also increased our average fuel economy to 14.11 mpg and saw our best tank to date, thanks to both the truck breaking in and some longer trips. The Ram has been a solid performer, requiring no unscheduled visits or warranty issues to date.
Going into the third quarter, we are looking forward to some more trail time and some more office battles over who gets the keys for the weekend.
Report: 2 of 4
Previous reports: Feb. '20
Base price: $47,990
Price as tested: $62,035
Four-wheel-drive system: Part-time, electronically controlled, two-speed
Options as Tested:
Billet Silver Metallic paint ($200), Bed Utility Group ($450), Rebel 12A ($2,495), Level 2 Equipment Group ($3,000), 5.7L Hemi V-8 with MDS and VVT ($1,395), Panoramic Sunroof ($1,495), Deployable Bed Step ($195), Rear Wheelhouse Liners ($195), 33-gallon Fuel Tank ($495), Blind Spot with Cross-Path Protection ($595), RamBox Cargo Management System ($995), Trailer Brake Controller ($295), Spray-in Bedliner ($595), Destination Charge ($1,695)
Miles to date: 9,185
Miles since last report: 4,849
Average mpg (this report): 14.11
Test best tank (mpg): 17.8
Test worst tank (mpg): 11.6 (towing)
This period: Scheduled service ($122)
Problem areas: None
What's Hot, What's Not:
Hot: Effortlessly eats up the miles, technology, great ride on- or off-road
Not: Sometimes the tech can get in the way
"So thankful this one doesn't have auto start-stop, not sure how we dodged that bullet. "
"Drove against super winds for 50 miles and the only reason I could tell was because the trees and semis were moving. Inside the Ram was as serene as usual. "
"RamBoxes are so damn useful, love that they lock and unlock with the doors. "
"There have been a couple of times where the 12-inch screen hard restarted on its own, but at least it comes back up quickly. "
"Found out the hard way, no driving with the door open! The truck will put itself back in park."