We got to spend a week with this Rebel thanks to FCA Canada and over the course of our time with it, we found a lot to like. Let’s take a look at the exterior, interior and then talk about how it drives.
While each model of the 2019 Ram 1500 is differentiated from other trims, the Rebel is the most distinct and aggressive looking of them all. Starting up front the Rebel gets a unique grille design and a Rebel specific black powder coated front bumper with an integrated skid plate and standard tow hooks. The Sport Performance Hood is standard as are black fender flares and 18-inch polished and black aluminum wheels wrapped in Goodyear Duratrac tires. Around back the Rebel is also the only trim that gets the large RAM letters on the tailgate along with a black powder coated rear bumper and black exhaust tips. The Rebel also comes standard with black bezel LED headlamps and taillamps. While we are on the topic of lighting I have to mention that these headlights are hands down the best of any vehicle I’ve ever driven at night. I found these headlights to light up the road extremely well, even better than a previous Mercedes that I owned with their own HID headlights with an adaptive front lighting system.
This Rebel was finished in Flame Red paint with the black two-tone look. The black paint along the rockers is actually a metallic paint and looked great in the sunlight. This color scheme fits in well with the Rebels blacked out look and drew a lot of attention from onlookers during the course of the week. The overall shape of the truck is modern yet muscular at the same time with smooth bulging fenders and a lot of body sculpting down the sides of the cab. Behind the wheel of the truck, looking out over that Sport Performance Hood with all its vents visible makes you feel like a badass. My only gripe on the exterior of this particular truck was the optional $650 soft tri-fold tonneau cover, in my opinion, skip that option and go aftermarket.
When you open the door to the Rebel you are greeted with this red and black interior scheme. There are nice red anodized accents on the dash, gauge cluster, door panels, and center console. While I wasn’t a huge fan of it on our earlier quick drive of the 2019 Ram Rebel it has really grown on me over the last week. The only place I think they went too far is the red trim on the seat bases, I think that would look better black, but again that is really just personal taste. The seats themselves are extremely comfortable and are vinyl and cloth combination with the Goodyear Duratracs tread pattern in the cloth portions of the seats. The front seats also have Rebel embroidering on the seat bolsters, the driver’s seat is full power including lumbar adjustment while the passenger’s seat is manually adjusted. There is an optional Leather and Sound Group that gains you black leather seats with cooling and a powered passenger seat amongst many other options.
High-quality materials are used throughout the cab and I particularly like this red and white accent stitching that has been used. Soft touch materials are abundant with harder plastics only being down low where you generally don’t look or touch. The interior is well put together and produced no squeaks or rattles throughout my time with this truck. The gauge cluster features nice large dials with an attractive, easy to read font. The 7-inch display in the cluster is very high resolution and is customizable to your tastes while delivering all the important information you need to know.
Coming around to the center stack reveals a very well laid out setup. The 8.4-inch Uconnect screen is mounted up high for ease of use and good visibility, directly below the screen are volume and tune knobs along with mute and screen off buttons. The Uconnect screen is very high resolution and responds quickly to the touch. This truck had the Uconnect 4C system with navigation. Sirius satellite radio is standard and allows you to rewind the stations that you have as favorites, the stations that are favorited also have tune start which means when you change stations between your favorites the current song that is on will start from the beginning instead of the middle of the song. This head unit also features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. I used Apple CarPlay extensively during my time with this truck and found it to work flawlessly. Having Waze and the ability to use Google maps on the screen was a very nice option to have.
There are hard buttons for the heated seats and steering wheel and full physical controls for the climate control system. Three knobs control six different functions on this system with knobs for driver and passenger temperature, fan speed, vent selection, enabling auto climate control and turning on the air conditioning. Along with those knobs you also get buttons for recirculation, front defrost, rear window and side view mirror defrost and an off button. The climate control can also be controlled through the Uconnect system or by voice if you so desire.
Below the climate controls are the optional trailer brake controller and toggle switches for the air suspension, traction control, tow/haul mode, and front and rear parking sensors. The front of the center console houses a C.D. player, USB and USB-C ports for the driver and front passenger, a cell phone holder and a 115-volt power plug. The center console tray has two cup holders and a storage bin and can slide back and forth to suit your preferences. The armrest is a two-tiered design with a smaller top opening that houses another USB port inside it along with a larger bottom section.
The back seat area on this truck is massive, I’m 6’1 on a good day and can sit behind myself with a ton of knee and leg room left over. Even with the panoramic sunroof eating up some headroom I still had a few inches of headroom to spare. Rear seat passengers are treated to two more USB and USB-C ports in the back of the center console along with another 115-volt household power plug. There are air vents for rear passengers, a storage cubby, two cup holders and a tablet holder in the back of the center console along with two more cup holders in the fold-down center armrest.
This truck also has the optional panoramic sunroof which is massive and lets a ton of natural light into the cab. Overall the interior works very well and has a ton of space and storage and is no doubt class leading with high-quality materials and a pleasing design.
As good as the interior is out on the road is where the 2019 Ram 1500 really shines. Two things are immediately apparent when you set off in this truck, the first is how incredibly smooth it is and the second is how quiet the interior is.
Starting with an all-new fully boxed frame made from 98-percent high strength steel gave Ram engineers the backbone they needed to achieve these levels of refinement. New for 2019 is active tuned mass modules bolted to the frame which works to cancel out and powertrain or chassis vibrations by generating an equally opposing vibration. Frequency response damping shocks are also new for 2019 which feature a bypass valve that is automatically opened or closed depending on road conditions to provide either a smoother ride or additional stability in situations that demand it. Those are just a few of the technologies that make this truck so smooth that even after a week behind the wheel it is instantly noticeable and very impressive.
Ram engineers have also added active noise cancellation for 2019 which combined with class-leading aerodynamics creates an extremely quiet cab. The only noticeable noise on this Rebel was a bit of road noise from the Goodyear Duratrac tires, not enough to be annoying, but you definitely do hear a bit of tire noise. This, of course, is to be expected with aggressive off road biased tires and isn’t likely to bother a Rebel purchaser.
The 5.7-liter HEMI V8 without eTorque is the only powertrain offered in Canada on the Rebel while in the United States the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with eTorque is standard with the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 and 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with eTorque optional. While the HEMI is old enough to hold a drivers license now, first being introduced in 2003 in the Ram truck lineup, it has been refined and gained new technologies over the years. Now developing 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft of torque the HEMI feels very strong in every day driving.
All 2019 Ram 1500s get an updated version of the ZF 8-speed transmission that works exceptionally well. Co-editor Robert S. Miller recently purchased a 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Sport that we are using as a long term test truck and during one of our discussions he said that whoever tuned this transmission deserves an award. After my time driving this truck I completely agree. Driving around town at part throttle you don’t even feel the transmission shift its so smooth, upon full throttle acceleration it holds gears to redline and shifts quickly. This transmission downshifts quickly when asked of it and does an excellent job of grade shifting when going downhill.
On our highway MPG loop, this Rebel returned a hand calculated 12.07 Liters/100 Kilometers which works out to 19.5MPG. We were very impressed with that number based on some other tests we had seen and our run wasn’t even a clean run with a bit of stop and go traffic and a construction zone to deal going each way. Over the course of the week with 70-percent city and 30-percent highway driving the truck returned a hand calculated an average of 15.62 Liters/100 Kilometers which works out to 15MPG.
Brakes are all new for 2019 with front rotors that measure 14.9-inches in diameter. I found this truck to stop very well with much better pedal feedback that the older trucks. Also new is an electronic parking brake that can be set to automatically engage and disengage when the truck is put in park, a feature that I really liked over the week with this truck. The steering is electronic and although I found it to be a touch on the light side it does make for easy city driving. Steering feel is good both on and off center and I found the steering to be quite direct.
The steel coil suspension is standard on the rebel although this one had the optional air suspension. All Rebels do get Bilstein remote reservoir shocks which are unique to the Rebel trim. There are four user-selectable ride heights although easy entry-exit and off-road mode are only available at low speeds. If you drive the truck in normal mode it will automatically lower to aero mode at highway speed for better fuel efficiency. In off-road mode, the truck affords you 10.2-inches of ground clearance. The truck handled surprisingly well and stayed composed in corners. Overall the truck was a complete pleasure to drive.
So what will this all set you back? In Canada, the base price for a 2019 Rebel Crew Cab 4×4 is $60,795 dollars, in the United States the base price is $47,740 dollars. Our tester was almost fully loaded which pushed the sticker price to $73,305 Canadian, or $61,630 equipped the same in the United States. For 2019 the Rebel is available in a Quad Cab with 6’4″ bed configuration or the Crew Cab with the 5’7″ box like our tester was.
The 2019 Ram 1500 has earned a ton of awards such as Motor Trend Truck of the year, Edmunds.com Editors Choice Award and TFLTruck Gold Hitch Award. Based on my week-long experience with this truck it deserves every one of those awards as well as a spot in your driveway.
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