AskTFL: Which Ram Rebel is the Right Rebel? Will a V6 Work For Me Off-Road?

Which Ram Rebel is best for me? Is it a V6 or a V8? 

And we love answering today’s type of question, because it’s always fun to spend other people’s money! The question comes to us from reader Mark Nahra:

I don’t tow at all and love the mpg potential of the V6 eTorque Rebel.  However, I’m concerned, about the V6’s performance offroad when the truck is weighed down and at elevation in rough terrain.  Is the V8 engine with eTorque critical for this application, or can the V6 get the job done?  If not, what mods do you suggest to the V6 that can get me the necessary power?

First off, thanks for the question Mark. The basic numbers for the 2019 Ram Rebel are as follows: the 3.6-liter V6 with eTorque makes 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, while the big HEMI V8 with eTorque makes 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque.

ALSO SEE: Ask TFL: 2005 Toyota 4Runner V8 – First Time Towing a Show Car

Your concern at elevation is fair, and no doubt that would take away some of your pulling power. My experience with the Pentastar V6 in the Ram Rebel (at sea level) has always been positive, and now with the eTorque system, the powerplant feels even stronger. I would say that for most off-roading, the V6 will serve you very well and feel plenty strong. It’s always felt strong beyond its numbers to me.

In the Rebel, the engine is paired to a 3.92 rear end as well, to help you get torque to the ground, and the V6 has a low-speed transfer case with a 2.64 low-range ratio. All that gearing will also help when you leave the road. Just switch the truck in 4Lo, and it will be able to use the 8-speed automatic to give a very usable speed range for tackling some trails.

2019 ram 1500 rebel

Now, if you want the standard HEMI V8, it will cost you $1,195 in the Rebel. If you want the V8 with eTorque, you’re looking at spending $2,645. That’s not a ton of money for a lot more power, but it all depends on your budget. Fuel economy will also affect your wallet, and it is a pretty good advantage with the V6.

The V6 with eTorque is rated at 19 mpg city, 24 on the highway and 21 mpg combined. The standard HEMI V8 gets the worst economy with 15 mpg in the city, 21 on the highway for a total of 17 mpg combined, while adding eTorque to the V8 brings economy up to 17 mpg in the city, 22 on the highway and 19 combined.

So a two mpg difference between the two eTorque engines, and in the real world, the V6 would probably be more likely to deliver better than EPA numbers.

So if you can afford more fuel and the initial cost, the HEMI will deliver all the power you ever need. The V6 on the other hand feels strong itself, and I don’t think you would be disappointed by it’s performance. And the savings in fuel and purchase price make it a sweeter deal.

The easiest mods you can do to boost your power a little are intake and exhaust. You should check out to see what is available from FCA’s aftermarket catalogue.

Whether you go V6 or V8, I’m sure the Ram Rebel won’t disappoint you! Happy trails.