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Stemming from its leaked photos of a TRX off-road hellcat soon after the emergence of the Ford Raptor; Ram has tapped into that backcountry market we so dearly appreciate in Canada. The Rebel has often come up short, with Ford capturing the interest of gravel-runners towards the hefty price tag on the Ford Raptor. So many driving enthusiasts compare these two juggernaut companies; the off-road market is no different. After gaining more attention from a teased concept in 2016 of a Rebel TRX off-road monster; Ram has instead continued to develop a more sensible truck for all types of terrain.
While I am pleased to know that concept TRX is gaining traction for its release by the year 2022, however, the 2019 Ram Rebel is no slouch itself. Equipped with an angry vented hood, black fender flares, and a gaping opening in the grille with outlined RAM interlocked. Dodge has beefed up the wheels 32-inch on/off-road tires on 18- or available 20-inch on Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires. Changed from the previous year; Ram strived to improve the amount hum produced by the tread.
The 5.7L we tested boasted a 395 horsepower-V8 engine, producing 410 lb-ft of torque. This is trumped by Ford’s prized pony with the twin-turbo 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 Engine producing 450 horsepower and a 100 more foot-pounds of torque. However, that would cost you another $25,000 CAD, and the V8 Rebel ride still feels particularly responsive. I always felt with the Ford EcoBoost, while it delivers tremendous power, it does suffer from some lag response.
A beefy upgrade comes to the Rebel in the form of a new off-road package. As stated earlier the tires have been improved as well as a host of other included features. Dodge’s offering includes a one-inch suspension lift, with or without the available four-corner air suspension. The electronic-locking rear differential and Hill-descent Control provide increase control off-road. The Rebel off-road package also includes new Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs, a black powder coated bumper, with a heavy skid plate and tow hooks. Driven within its limits, the Ram Rebel is a solid light-duty pick-up. Moreover, the Ram Rebel should be more of a Toyota Tundra TRD comparison. Enough to handle some rugged trails and have the appearance to do so.
The interior of the Rebel radiants simplicity, ruggedness, and stylish choices in terms of design. The bulky knobs are literally handy and useful to use and give that beefy look to the inside to match the exterior. The red accent styling to the dashboard and door panel is a really distinguished touch. As well as the intertwined cloth and vinyl seating makes for any long journey a comfortable trip. I also marvel at the additions of the Rebel stitched and imprinted into the dashboard to only appeal the eye as you prepare to sit in the cab.
With this genre of trucks ever growing in popularity, the level of competition is going to be fierce in the coming years. While the Ram Rebel has made strides in the right direction it still falls short of the prized Raptor. It’s going to be intriguing to see where this all heads to in the coming years as concepts and variations are becoming more demanded. As well as General Motors looking to unleash their own version very soon. One thing is certain. You can never have too many trucks in the sandbox.