Here is What We Learned After Living with a new Ram Rebel for 6 Months (Video)

2019 ram rebel 6-month review test mpg
2019 Ram Rebel 6-month update

Time flies. Six-months and about 5,000 miles have passed since we purchased our 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel long-term tester. In that time we’ve tortured the poor thing with maximum towing, long distance slogs and hard off-roading. It’s been a slice and we’ve already learned quite a bit about the vehicle.

Positive characteristics include:

Towing: It has proven to be one of the most capable and comfortable tow vehicles we have tested in its class. It has easily towed over 10,000 lbs in difficult conditions. Its maximum towing numbers of 11,190 lbs surpasses just about every off-road biased half-ton trucks in its class.

Keep in mind, this truck has the regular steel coil-spring suspension with Bilstein off-road shocks. The LT275/70R-18 Goodyear Wrangler off-road tires are 33-inches and grippy. None of the things that would normally be conducive for good towing numbers. Despite this, our 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel tows very well.

Its approximate 1,500 lbs payload is not too bad considering that soft suspension too.

Daily driving: The soft off-road suspension is a good thing for comfort, it’s daily driving comfort it outstanding. A smooth ride mixed with its best-in-class interior and easy to drive demeanor make for a delightful daily companion.

The exhaust note from that 5.7-liter Hemi is pretty rewarding too.

Off-road ability: Its suspension setup along with good ground clearance of 9.8″ works well off-road. Sadly, had we purchased the airbag suspension, we would have had up to 10.8″ of ground clearance. That’s achieved only in its maximum setting.

We DID get the electronically locking rear differential which works like a treat. Push a button and it instantly engages. There is no need to wait for a compressor or wait for an anti-spin-style diff to kick in. A front locker would be nice, but it is expensive. Also, the extra complexity and weight seem unnecessary for a vast majority of 1/2-ton consumers.

Sure, it’s not at the level of the best-in-class off-road 1/2-ton – the Ford Raptor, but it’s much less expensive.

Recalls: In the brief time we’ve owned our Rebel, negative idiosyncratic issues are few. There are a few notable issues. One of which is the severity of the recalls. One is regarding a lose battery ground cable that could effect power steering. The other is regarding the adjustable pedals. These pedals could move too far forward – possibly inhibiting the brake pedal from being used or, possibly losing the brake pedal altogether.

Gas Mileage: Probably the biggest surprise and disappointment is the mpg. Considering all of the hard work and research dollars FCA put into the E-torque system, (a mild hybrid system that gives you an electrical push off the line to aid mpg) our mpg numbers fell short of expectations.

In the future: We have plans for our Rebel, including turning it into a project vehicle. We are calling this new series the Rebel Rouser. It’s a project that will feature Mopar parts to increase its performance, off-road ability and make it look cool. That series is coming in the near future – stay tuned for that!

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.