Entry price: $44,740
Price as tested: $71,305
This week, we’re driving the 2020 RAM 1500 pickup, delivered in Rebel Crew Cab 4x4 trim and packing a powerful 3.0-liter V6 Turbo EcoDiesel under the hood. These new RAM 1500 models appeared last year as part of the all-new Ram 1500 series featuring a muscular front-end upgrade, suspension tweaks and more interior amenities. The RAM Classic models are also still available, starting at $28,200 in single cab, V6 design
There are seven RAM models to choose from for 2020, including the entry level rear drive RAM 1500 Tradesman that starts at $32,145 while the 4x4 Tradesman begins at $35,645. Next in the pecking order are Big Horn and Lone Star (both starting at $39,490), Laramie ($43,590), Rebel ($44,740), Laramie Longhorn ($51,640) and Limited ($53,915). For 4x4 models, add approximately $3,000 to $3,500 more depending on trim.
Our Rebel 4x4 Crew Cab carries a base price of $47,990 although options pushed the price way up. The most expensive option is the V6 Turbo EcoDiesel engine that adds $4,995 more to the bottom line. This workhorse diesel was previously unavailable in the Rebel trim and is now a Generation 3 version that delivers 260 horsepower and best-in-class 480 lb. ft. of torque. It couples to a heavy duty eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic with 3.92 gears, good for both acceleration and excellent fuel economy. EPA estimates are 21 city and 29 highway for 4x4 and 22 city and 32 highway for two wheel drive diesels.
And it’s the EPA fuel economy that is perhaps the most impressive “number” of all for RAM owners. Notably, this diesel drive train combination is built for the long run as most diesel owners usually put 250,000 miles or more on their RAM pickups. This allows the higher MPG fuel savings to immediately start offsetting the higher diesel price making for a great return on investment. Our Rebel also came with an optional 33-gallon fuel tank for $445 more that replaces the standard 26-gallon unit, assuring longer runs between refueling.
The Crew Cabs available in these new RAM pickups offer more rear legroom and larger rear doors. However, even though the lower price trims offer Quad Cabs with smaller rear doors, they do offer both the larger 6.4 ft. box and smaller 5.7 box while sporty Rebel Crew Cabs only come in the 5.7 ft. design. As for safety, all of the expected items are in place be it standard or optional making these big bruiser RAM models the ultimate, safety enhanced, people transporter.
As usual, I always give a bit of history on whatever I’m driving and as for nomenclature, this current RAM was formerly known to truck owners simply as a Dodge pickup. Then in 1981 Dodge started using the RAM identification logos in unison that lasted until 10 years ago when Chrysler decided to simply go with RAM trucks and went full throttle promoting RAM Tough in all of its print, radio and television marketing. Also assisting in branding endorsement is RAM being awarded the 2019 and 2020 Motor Trend magazine “Pickup of the Year,” a most coveted mark of distinction that all truck manufacturers strive for.
Built in Sterling Heights, Michigan, the RAM Rebel comes standard with a gasoline motivated 3.6-liter V6 that puts out 305 horses and 269 lb. ft. of torque hooked to a normal duty eight-speed automatic. Fuel mileage comes in at 17 city and 25 highway while the 5.7 liter Hemi V8 is optional putting out 395 horses and 410 lb. ft. of torque. Hemi fuel mileage is decent, with 15 city and 21 highway the EPA estimates coupled to a beefier eight-speed TorqueFlite.
Every 2020 RAM Rebel Crew Cab 4x4 comes equipped with heavy duty off-road underpinnings that protects and assists while working hard at the quarry, going off-road camping or taking the kids to a ballgame. All the expected skid and protection plates come standard and the 18-inch aluminum wheels on 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler raised white letter tires help in Rebel’s final muscular presentation. Also notable is the Rebel’s different front end grille design than the six other siblings.
Our RAM Rebel options included a $2,995 Rebel 12 package that adds power lumbar heated leather seats, 4G Wi-Fi, Apple/Android compatibility, SiriusXM 360 with traffic, guardian and travel link, a fantastic 19-speaker Harmon Kardon Premium sound system with HD radio and a Uconnect 12-inch Navigation.
A Rebel 2 option adds $3,000 more to the cost featuring a 115 volt rear outlet, 8.4-inch display, dual zone climate controls, two USB ports, heated steering wheel, power adjust pedals, Park Sense front and rear assist with emergency stop and some nine more amenity upgrades that make it a desirable, albeit expensive, option.
Add a spray-in bedliner for $545; trailer brake towing controller for $295; black tubular side steps (highly recommended) for $695; Ram Box cargo management $995, 4-Corner RAM air suspension for $1,895, a $550 tonneau cover, innovative multi-function tailgate for $995, rear wheelhouse liners for $195; dual pane sunroof costs $1,495, bed utility group for $450, black appearance group for $525, customer preferred safety upgrade for $895, crystal paint adds $100 and finally $595 for blind spot with cross path detection. These extras brought the final tally to $71,305 with $1,695 delivery included.
One thing for sure is you won’t ever mistake a new RAM series pickup for a Ford, Chevy, Toyota or Nissan. Rebels come with unique RAM bold lettering grille, special instrument cluster with logo, aluminum machined wheels with black pockets and Rebel specific door trim. The luxury leather trim seats with embossed patterns are a Rebel exclusive.
Important numbers for the 4x4 Crew Cab include a wheelbase of 144.6 inches, 5,785 lb. curb weight, 12,560 lb. tow capacity and an 8.7 inch ground clearance. The optional bed/box multi-function tailgate features deserve extra praise, so make sure you check it out when you visit your RAM dealer.
In summary, RAM Rebel 4x4 is one awesome truck. It’s not cheap with the EcoDiesel engine, but once you’re on the road enjoying all the features I’m pretty sure you’ll agree it’s a very special pickup. Check for current buy and lease incentives when you visit your Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-RAM store.
Likes: Rebel looks, diesel fuel mileage, interior, off road ready.
Dislikes: Rebel line can get expensive due to pricey options.
Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and Gannett Co. Inc. Contact him at email@example.com or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840.