The Ram TRX captured the attention of the truck world with the 2021 model year debut. It encompassed the supercharged American muscle that so many fans have come to love. But for those a bit more practically-minded, there is an alternative that saves money but capture some of the same heart and soul of the beast. Enter, the Ram Rebel G/T.
Out of Spec Score: 72/100
Ram has carried a presence on the road for decades. Despite Chevrolet and Ford departing from the curvaceous lines of their trucks in the early 2000s, the Ram retains some of the curves while still developing aggressive dominance in the styling department. The exterior is wrapped in Hydro Blue Pearl, a stunning color when paired with the varying black and metallic accents. You can also get various paint colors as two-tone, with a black stripe along the bottom of the truck. The Sport Performance Hood comes standard on the Rebel, a great aggressive look but slightly impairing on sight lines from within the cabin.
Wheels are 18 inch with full gloss black or partial gloss black finish, wrapped in all-terrain tires to further the aggressive, capable looks. The black grill, wheel arches, and even black accents on the bumper make for a great overall presence on the road. The top of the grill even extends over the headlights with an almost mustache-like effect. Side steps are optional, though ours was not equipped with them. But given the height of the vehicle, they would dramatically improve the entrance experience to the cabin.
The RAM badging is in its typical bold font and coordinates color with the rest of the black and metallic accents. The daytime running light signature is simple yet bold to match the rest of the aesthetic design. The G/T badge is a simple decal on the rear quarter panel near the tailgate, but it ensures everyone knows you splurged for all the G/T entails.
The Ram has bragging rights on the spaciousness of the interior. Material choice, while still rugged, retains a premium feel in the leather and metallic touch-points. The knobs are a welcome feature and nicely sized for easy adjustments, and the display is a large portrait-oriented display, contrasting with the landscape displays from Ford and Chevy. This was outfitted with the panoramic sun-roof, a fantastic feature to enlarge the feel of the already spacious cabin.
Seats are luxury leather-trimmed bucket seats from the Rebel 12 package, complete with G/T badge. The front seats are heated and cooled, with the rear seats being heated. The steering wheel is also heated, though I desperately wish it had levels of heating rather than fully on or off.
Behind the steering wheel, however, is the typical FCA (now Stellantis) behind-the-wheel controls, a trend I continue wishing they would break. Having paddles behind the wheel makes for a strange notch in each paddle where the controls are, ironically where I would typically reach to use a paddle shifter. The paddles themselves have a nice metallic finish and touch, but it’s not my favorite implementation.
5.7L V8 Hemi with eTorque. What about that is not to love? 395 hp and 410 lb-ft torque can propel the Rebel to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds, though admittedly not at our altitude. But here in the mile-high city, it definitely felt a bit slower. That brings me to the performance perks of the G/T package. It’s not much in true performance, but the cold air intake and passive cold end exhaust add exciting noises in partnership with your throttle use. Though it features far less power than the bigger brother TRX, it’s a toned-down substitute that many people may find enough for their needs.
The eTorque nomenclature denotes a mild-hybrid system, allowing for 130 lb-ft of extra torque at the bottom end of acceleration and easy startup with automatic stop/start enabled. The engine itself tends to shut off when nearing a full stop, and remains off until the brake is lifted like many other stop/start offerings in the industry. It never felt in the way, resulting in one of the only stop/start systems I did not immediately disable upon entering the truck. The Ram also comes in either 4×2 or 4×4 drivetrain configuration, and in this case we had the 4×4. It allows selection between 2WD, 4WD High, 4WD Low or 4WD Auto, with a locking axle.
On one note, the spatial practicality is highly effective. The cabin is expansive in both rows, with more than enough leg room even for the center rear seat. The bed itself is 5’ 7” and carries obvious usefulness with tie-down capability. Towing capacity is approximately 12,000 pounds, depending on exact options, and payload capability is just shy of 1,800 pounds. There is also ample storage throughout the cabin, including multiple sizes of door pockets, separate levels within the center console, and even two glove boxes.
As for the practicality of fuel economy, we should perhaps put it in perspective. The 5.7L V8 engine partnered with the weight of over 2.5 tons results in 20 mpg on a good day. We saw most of our in-town driving in the mid-teen figures, though we did use the full capability of the engaging powertrain and G/T package exhaust note. For a good-size truck with ample towing and a fun power plant, this is not the worst fuel economy. The TRX is a substantial step to single digits, for comparison.
The Ram provides very little in the technology sector without options. Bluetooth and a reverse camera is a rough summary of the standard feature set, but adding the Rebel 12 and Rebel Level B packages (both requiring selection together) gains you the 12” display and Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto ours was equipped with. It works quite well, when it works, but as with all recent uConnect 5 experiences, it doesn’t come without its glitches. It provides ample apps and customization, but some simple things like adjusting heated seat level can be frustrating, let alone impossible if you want to set driver and passenger at the same time.
The premium 19 speaker Harman Kardon sound system is better than many standard stereo offerings, but one of my least favorite premium examples. The bass tends to be vague and overly “boomy”, while mids and highs sat on the fatiguing end especially at higher volumes. Rock genres work decently well, but I stuck to mostly podcasts in my listening. There are ample USB ports, both of type-A and type-C, with 2 household 110V power outlets when configured.
The Ram does have an optional “Advanced Safety Group” package, adding in all of the safety and assistance technology such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, 360-degree surround camera, blind-spot monitoring, and pedestrian emergency braking. It surprises me that all of it is optional, with nothing as standard other than basic cruise control and the reverse camera required by law. The example we received did not have this package, and I would consider it well worth the cost.
Lastly, the driver’s gauges are well-done. Instead of a fully digital screen, it uses physical gauges separated by a smaller screen that shows a variety of content, including the performance pages with the G/T package. The performance pages include a 0-60 timer, lap timers, top speed recollection, and other performance pieces I find quite surprising on a truck like this. But it sure can be a party trick. Overall, decent technology offerings, but it leaves much to be desired especially when missing the safety package.
So is the Rebel a baby TRX? I’m not sure that’s the headline that suits the premise. The Rebel G/T achieves some of the TRX aspects, in some ways reaching for the trophy and falling short. That being said, the price also falls short of the TRX, roughly $15,000 less in comparing trim-for-trim. This specific Rebel G/T was priced at $72,000 including destination charge, but that encompasses nearly every option. The entry price is $52,000 for the 4×4 Rebel and it can be configured to your heart’s desire.
If you want the real power and prowess of the TRX, there is no substitute. But for the average truck owner, I imagine this will check all the usual boxes and then some. It can achieve some of the sound and looks of the TRX, and that alone put a smile on my face.
- Exterior design 8.5/10
- Interior design 8.5/10
- Materials 8/10
- Build quality 8/10
- Comfort 8.5/10
- Capacity 9/10
- Acceleration 7/10
- Handling 7/10
- Efficiency 5/10
- Connected services 8/10
- UI/UX 6/10
- Active Safety 4/10
Editor’s Assessment 6.8/10
- Value 7/10
- Market placement 6/10
- Editors Influence 7/10