When Ram introduced the all new 2019 Ram 1500 I had mixed feelings about the truck – thinking I’d go the heavy duty route when it was time for us to buy a truck, I didn’t pay too much attention to them for my needs. In other words; I was spending more time with online configuration tools for 3/4 Ton trucks than any of the half ton or midsize trucks. So I never gave much thought to how I’d option a half ton truck, until recently.
The more I research them; the more I like the Rebel as a daily driven truck… it’s making me believe a current half ton will be enough truck for what we need – right now our truck needs include hauling firewood, towing a small utility trailer (probably a 5×8 3,000 lb GVW that we don’t yet own), potentially towing the TJ (at least flat towing it), and home improvement store runs (something to bring 2x4s and plywood home in).
The front end of the 2019 5th gen Ram wasn’t initially my favorite Ram design… but the blacked out grille and LED running lights on the Rebel really make the front end look good. Skid plates, tow hooks and steel bumpers are added bonuses. It’s no 2nd gen crosshair… but the Rebel is not technically a Dodge anymore, so I can appreciate the change.
For the 2019 model year, the Rebel is available for the first time with a Quad Cab configuration… which means you get a 6’4″ bed (more usable that the 5’7″ bed with the crew cab – which are the only two bed/cab configurations available on the Rebel). If I were buying this truck I would absolutely find a quad cab; but then again the only person who would regularly be in the back seat is Mojo (my dog)… those of you with non-furry-human-type passengers may want to sacrifice bed length for rear leg room, or forget about the Rebel and go with a Tradesman or Big Horn with the off road package – which is available with the crew cab and the 6’4″ bed.
Yes, to me the small rear seat is worth the longer bed. The real benefit to the Rebel is the (on and off road) standard capability of the 4×4 truck. Rebel comes standard with 3.92 gears, 33″ Goodyear Duratrac off road tires, and a locking rear axle. The 5.7L HEMI V8 is an option over the standard 3.6L V6 eTorque, and the 5.7L HEMI eTorque is an option over the non-eTorque HEMI. Soon to be joined by the 3.0L ecoDiesel; Rebel currently has three engine options:
- 3.6L V6 eTorque (standard)
- 5.7L V8 (optional)
- 5.7L V8 eTorque (optional)
If you’re serious about towing and hauling (even with a half ton) do yourself a favor and at least get the V8. The pentastar V6 is a great engine but you’ll want a V8 in a truck like this.
Ram advertises the 1500 having a max towing capacity of 12,750 lbs; always check the actual vehicle configuration before you purchase a truck. To get that max towing you need the V8 eTorque and 2WD… The quad cab Rebel in 4WD (yes apparently a 2WD version is available but I have no idea why) with the 5.7L eTorque is rated at 11,330 lbs and payload of 1,820lbs (RAM’s website lists 4×4 Quad Cab 6’4″ bed with these ratings.)Trucks are getting better and better as the years go by and it’s interesting to see that this “half ton” V8 is now capable of hauling as much as a heavy duty V8 truck from just a decade and a half ago. In fact the 1,800lbs payload would have classified this truck as a “3/4 ton” truck back in the day. I can’t even imagine what the 2020 HD Rams will tow… 40,000 lbs, maybe?. The interiors in the new Rams are super nice; it’s very possible to comfortably daily drive one of these to work during the week and haul home improvement materials on the weekends. The Rebel is a capable off roading truck that will get you further off road than other half ton trucks. The 1500 isn’t so huge that I wouldn’t be able to park it at my favorite hiking trailheads either – something I’d certainly worry about with a larger heavy duty truck. If I were to buy a new Ram 1500; here’s how I would option it:
- 2019 Ram 1500 4X4
- Quad Cab (mainly for the long bed)
- Rebel Package (it’s the best looking trim, plus off-road goodies, plus all the things I would option on another trim come standard on the Rebel… 3.92s, locking rear, etc.)
- 5.7 V8 HEMI with eTorque (maybe just the HEMI- not sold on the eTorque yet)
- 33 Gallon fuel tank (for road trips)
- Level 1 Equipment group (for heated seats, per the online configurator one of the equipment groups is required for other options as well)
- Tow group (integrated brake controller and foldable tow mirrors)
- Spray in bedliner (for firewood hauling)
As configured, this Rebel would come in at $50,575. Adding for tax, title, fees, and minus any incentives, you could potentially walk away for under $50,000; which is a pretty good deal for an off-road worthy truck that can actually tow/haul a decent amount.Many people want to compare the Rebel to the Ford F-150 Raptor; but the Rebel is more of an FX4 competitor, as well as, the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Chevy Silverado Trailboss and Nissan Titan Pro4X.
If you want a rock crawling firewood hauler that you could theoretically tow you TJ with; get a Rebel… if you want to jump dunes get a Raptor. If you actually, truly, realistically need to tow more than 10,000 lbs you should probably look at a heavy duty truck. The most I can image needing to tow with what I currently have would be about 6500-7000 lbs (4500 lb TJ on a 2500 lb trailer)… which would only be 60% of the Rebel’s tow rating. A cord of firewood can weigh up to 4,000lbs… put that on the same 2,500 lb trailer and I’m still well within the limits of the Rebel…. I could actually haul 2 cords on that trailer…
I like to use tools that are capable of more than I would ever use, in the case I needed more, which is why the midsize trucks with 7,000 lb towing capacities would always be too close to the max they’re capable of. I’m sure the Tacoma, Colorado, and the new Jeep Gladiator will be great daily trucks… but again, I want the V8 and the comfort of added capability.
Yes, the twin-turbo V6 F150 can tow over 13,000 lbs… but I wouldn’t want to do that with a half ton truck anyway.