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  • Writer's pictureAlain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

2020 RAM 1500 Rebel

This week we are reviewing the 2020 RAM 1500 Rebel. Our vehicle was assembled at the Sterling heights assembly plant in Michigan and has an MSRP of $78740.00 CAD.

Fun Factor: 8

Can it Family: 6

Off-Road: 8

Fuel-Friendly: 7

HWY-warrior: 8

Karaoke Friendly: 6

Baby-friendly: 4

City Cruising: 3

The first impression when we got into our Rebel equipped with the ECO Diesel was the range with one fuel tank some 1060km with one tank! In disbelief, we said to ourselves this was mighty optimistic, especially after testing the Sierra and Silverado Diesel options that got us close to 900km. We couldn't have been more wrong, we actually exceeded to 1100km with one tank, we did so by driving off-road and driving in the city. The Rebel we tested came with the 3rd generation of V6 ECO Diesel, now making 260HP and a whopping 480 LB-FT of torque. With this Diesel, you get the most torque of any RAM 1500 and with the Quad Cab and the 6'4" bed, our max towing capacity elevated to 12560lbs (5697 kg) almost as much as the similarly spec'ed V8 with e-torque.

In our test with the family, we decided to go to the beach, and rapidly we appreciated that the multi-functional gate was quite handy; it makes it easier to get stuff in and out of bed. It was simple for us to get the stroller in and out without needing to stretch to grab it. We also felt safer as it gave us more privacy when taking items out of the bed. Inside the cab, the front seats are comfortably bolstered, making long-distance driving enjoyable. The rear seats are a little less practical due to the Quad Cab; they would be ideal for kids, adults will have limited legroom. We enjoyed seeing the option of having 2 USB plug and 2 USB-C, making your vehicle future proof.

The Rebel's party trick is that it comes in a package that will permit you to go off-road, so obviously, we had to drive it in the mud. While driving in the dirt, we noticed we weren't going as fast as we were expecting for a vehicle equipped with off-road tires and to our surprise, we realized we had been driving the Rebel mostly in RWD. No other occasion required it before this moment; we still managed to pass the muddy trail with some sweat going down our neck. Kids being unsatisfied with the result asked for a rematch this time engaging the 4x4 system, and it made it quite effortlessly through the trail. The only thing that plays against the Rebel in tighter off-road spots is its length. However, for everyday use on a farm, this thing is unstoppable.

The average fuel economy of the ECO Diesel was 9.3L/100km; this included driving in the city and driving off-roads. On the HWY, the average fuel economy was 8.4L/100km. As for the city, we saw an average fuel economy of 11.9L/100km. RAM announces an average fuel economy of 9.7L/100km, 8.0L/100 on the HWY and 11.1L/100km in the city.

On the HWY, the Rebel's insulation surprised us; we could barely distinguish that we were driving a diesel for starters, and road noise was kept to a minimum even though we had off-road tires.

The Alpine sound system sounded quite good; quite different than in the Jeep, where we were disappointed with a similarly branded system, it was like day and night. The sound felt rich and wasn't distorted wherever we sat in the truck. Now the piece of resistance is naturally that huge screen; at first, it may look like a gimmick. However, when you start using the massive screen as a navigation tool and notice several kilometres in advance that traffic begins to build and adjust your route in accordance, you start to see that this will be quite helpful, especially in an urban area. Many worry about how long these screens may last, and that's where FCA shines, the touch screen is not the only place to activate your climate control or changes your music. They've smartly created redundancy, such as having a volume & tuning nob in the back of the steering wheel.

The RAM 1500 Rebel back door opens quite wide, almost to 90 degrees, facilitating getting a car seat into the cabin. Now taking into consideration that we are testing the Quad Cab configuration, this will limit the type of car seats that can be installed comfortably without taking away too much space from the passenger in front. The best setup for rear-facing car seats will be the CREW CAB; it provides ample space even for the largest car seats. The ISOFIX ports are located slightly inward, while still being accessible. On the other hand, the top tethers were a little harder to access and required us to attach the top tether first as it required the headrest to be inclined, which is not possible, once the car seat is installed. Finally, our toddler test to gain access to the vehicle will require some help to open the door; once open, they can easily take place within the cabin and gain access to their seat. The belt buckle is also placed logically and makes it easy for them to grab it.

We cannot hide the fact that parking the RAM Rebel in the city is more of a challenge. We parked it in our usual parking spot and noticed how massive it was taking more space than other pick up trucks we've tested. The model we tested came with a rearview camera displayed on the massive touch screen; additionally, it came with front and rear sensors. We would have liked to see a start-stop function to lower the diesel consumption in the city, and what would be even better is to have a mild-hybrid (e-torque) system similar to its gasoline counterpart to help with the initial acceleration.

Why would we buy the 2020 RAM 1500 Rebel, or what we liked about it? It's overall consumption, and 98L diesel tank makes it great for long road trips. It already comes in a starter pack to go off-roading. The touch screen is massive and functions quickly. The engine is quiet, and the interior well-insulated. Great steering feel and probably the most enjoyable pickup in its segment and price bracket.

Why we would not buy the 2020 RAM Rebel, or what we did not like about it? In our QUAD CAB variant, the rear seating capacity was limited, slightly higher fuel consumption in the city versus its diesel competitors.

FCA has lent us this vehicle one week as a press vehicle.

We have no affiliation with FCA Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above.

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