There has been an interesting trend in the pick-up truck market for the past few years.
While every other market has adopted an eco-friendly less is more attitude, the trucks have gotten bigger and more powerful.
Then a submarket within the truck world gained even more popularity – the factory off-road spec. Ford has the F-150 Raptor, Chevrolet has the Silverado Reaper and Dodge has just lifted the curtain in the 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel.
The Rebel sits aloft 33” Toyo all terrain tires and has air suspension with a 1” lift kit, Bilstein shocks, skid plates and tow hooks, we could go on but it is clear that this truck is ready for some dirt.
There is nothing subtle about the styling of this rig either. The bold new grille shouts get out of the way, the hood has two snorkels in it that add to the menace and the chrome “RAM” emblem in the grille will likely appear more prophetic(I will ram you out of the way) than a nameplate as you gaze back at it through your Prius’ rear view mirror.
Dodge has used a lot of black paint here. The wheels, bumpers, front end, wheel arches, mirrors, “RAM” on the tail gate and lower body panels all black; if Batman had a truck this might be it.
Rebel will be motivated by either the 3.6L Pentastar V6 that puts out 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque or the 5.7L HEMI V8 that musters 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mounted to an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Rebel can be had only as a crew cab but you will have the option of 4X4 or 4X2 if you opt for the HEMI, otherwise 4X4 is standard.
Step inside and you will not find a leather clad luxury cabin. What you will find is a functional easily maintained interior. The seats are covered in tough vinyl, which can take the off-road abuse, and will wipe clean quickly.
The heated front seats are red with black fabric inserts and feature an embossed pattern designed to look exactly like the Toyo tread pattern, and a gray Rebel logo embroidered in the bolsters.
The instrument panel is black and has red accent stitching and red trim. Personally I do not like the contrast between the black and red, it feels a bit cheap to me. Other than that stylistic gripe the cabin is a well done.
There is loads of storage available throughout. A new center console bin has a cell phone/tablet holder built in and can hold gloves, flashlights etc.
The steering wheel is heated, a nice touch for those of us who are knee deep in snow for a good portion of the year.
Rebel goes on sale early in the second half of 2015 and comes with a 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty that includes free towing to a Dodge dealer. Also a 3 year/36,000 mile basic limited warranty for bumper to bumper coverage.