Ram 1500 Rebel G/T Crew Cab
From Ram: The Rebel G/T also comes with an electronic Shift-on-Demand transfer case, an ELocker electronic-locking differential, a 3.92 axle ratio, and a trailer tow package. The Ram Rebel GT is also capable of going off-road, as it features a 1-inch suspension lift, hill descent control, skid plates, and front tow hooks.
In my world, ‘GT’ is derived from Grand Touring, and that – if/when memory serves – comes from the Italian, Gran Turismo. I’d like to think I picked this up at an early age, perhaps on a Ferrari showroom; in Lincoln, Nebraska, however, there were no Ferrari showrooms. There was, however, a Pontiac dealer, and that dealer had – of course – Pontiac’s GTO, a tongue-in-check (or cynical) corruption of Ferrari’s 250 GTO. The ‘O’ was for Omolagato, which in English references the necessary number of cars produced to be classified as a production vehicle for racing. And while Pontiac’s GTO made any number of successful appearances on American dragstrips, it never – to this observer’s knowledge – entered Le Mans, or raced at Monza. And neither, Dear Reader, will Ram’s Rebel G/T.
For a long weekend in Los Angeles the team at Stellantis provided a Ram Rebel G/T with a $78K window sticker and, thankfully, a full tank of gas. But be forewarned: If you land at LAX after 3:00 p.m., you might as well grab dinner at the airport, because the run around the 405 to Santa Clarita – where I have two granddaughters – will take most of two hours. The good news: While the step-in, without running boards, is steep, the Ram’s visibility is excellent, and just the thing to see all that’s around you in the slow scrum that is the 405 at, well…4:05.
The Rebel is Ram’s more pedestrian take on the TRX recipe. Under the hood the TRX delivers 702 horsepower from its 6.2 liters, while the Rebel owner is forced to ‘make do’ with just 395 horsepower from its 5.7 liter Hemi. That number is supplemented by Ram’s eTorque mild hybrid drivetrain, which adds 16 horsepower and 130 lb-ft of torque, as needed. The 5.7 Hemi provides plenty of urge and a wonderful soundtrack, made possible by the Rebel G/T’s cat back exhaust, cold-air intake and paddle shifters. (TAKE THAT, RIVIAN!) More relevant is the Rebel G/T’s 11,000+ pounds of towing capability. In some 50 years of vehicle ownership I’ve owned two pickups – and both were purchased for towing. My personal take: Towing is the best reason to own a full-size pickup.
If it’s off-the-grid that you’re hoping to do, the Rebel’s overbuilt platform and 10+ inches of ground clearance won’t hurt, while its 1,800 pounds of payload capability can’t hurt. And inside, its leather/vinyl combo seating is both generous and comfortable, made more so by ventilated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and rubber floor mats. In our test vehicle’s all black interior the darkness is oppressive, but in the eyes of the Greenies, you – and your 19 miles per gallon (Combined) EPA estimate – are driving with the Devil; there will be no salvation.
On road, the Rebel G/T doesn’t drive like three tons, 30 gallons of gas and your overfed self. Helped in no small part by the available air suspension, the ride is almost sublime, and doesn’t at all feel like an offroad-capable truck. I won’t call it nimble, but once behind the wheel you can almost forget its size until, of course, it’s time to park it. Thankfully, I still need my steps, so parking way-the-hell-out is my grocery operandi. For those hoping to park closer, talk to your orthopedist about a handicapped parking sticker.
Despite all of the hype regarding the EV pickup – Ford’s Lightning is on sale, GM’s Silverado is about to be on sale – there’s nothing that quite matches the capability of the Hemi’s almost 400 horsepower, an 8-speed automatic and 4X4 drivetrain. While I can’t imagine anyone actually netting its 19 miles per gallon EPA estimate, a more realistic 15 miles per gallon should get your 400 miles down the road with just you and your gear, perhaps 200 miles with 8,000 pounds of trailer. And range – or lack thereof – is the hitch in an EV’s git-along. If getting off the grid is your goal, you really can’t take an EV; without available charging an all-electric pickup is just so much static sculpture.
With a base price of just under $60K (including destination) the Rebel is a viable buy for those of you that need the Grand Tourer. At an as-tested price of $78K, however, I’d probably move down the food chain to a lesser-equipped Ram 1500 or a more capable, heavy duty 2500. As with all things, it’s your money…or your credit.