Text / Photos: Lisa Barret
I have always wanted to drive (aka own) a Rebel. Something about this husky truck has always called my name, and I love the way the front end looks with the huge R A M grill, the beefy off-road tires and bulky aggressive body shape. Specifically, I have desired the Night Edition, sporting the blacked out exterior. It just looks so tough and capable.
Recently, I was blessed to spend ten days driving a 2022 Ram 1500 Rebel GT 4×4 with the 5.7L HEMI, and I am gushing to tell you all about it. We went to school, to the mall, on the highway (north and south), weathered Hurricane Ian and of course drove through dozens of miles of local dirt roads.
Most of us already know all about the Ram platform, from the award-winning interior to the class-leading towing capability. It’s clear just by looking at a Ram, that this truck means business and has the guts to back it up, too. What was curious to me, is how it would be as a daily driver — and not for a brawny construction guy who actually “needs” the payload capacity of the Ram, but for me — a mom with two children, two school car lines, sports practices, errands, and weekend road trips. Can my 8-year-old even get in, or out? How easy is it to park at the mall, or Home Depot? That place is always packed on Saturday and the spots are so narrow. So many people drive big trucks, but is it really practical when you don’t “need” a truck?
My test vehicle was equipped with the 5.7L etorque HEMI, so it did not disappoint in the power or sound department. The factory GT exhaust sounded quite aggressive and I was pleased with how infrequently the automatic engine start/stop “feature” kicked into gear. It was four or five days before I even noticed it, which was nice as I have always turned that off each time I started other vehicles equipped with the fuel-saving technology.
Speaking of fuel, as expected, the Rebel produced more smiles-per-gallon than miles, but it was worth every penny. After over 550 miles, a good mix of highway, suburban and urban driving, I averaged 16.8 mpg, which is a tad lower than advertised, but acceptable for the wide range of travel. The base price of the 2022 Ram 1500 Rebel is $54,885 and optioned out, my highly-optioned tester came in at $76,675 including destination. (View the Window Sticker here.)
The Extra Special
The interior is simply stunning. Far gone are the days of pick-up trucks being sparse and boring. The seats are roomy and plush, and GT’s upgraded interior features resemble that of a luxurious, six-figure cockpit.
My Rebel had the huge vertical 12″ screen displaying my choices for music, navigation, climate and dozens of vehicle settings — you can customize almost everything! Plus, I always enjoy the ever-cool Performance Pages which displays every bit of realtime diagnostic and performance data known to man.
One of the coolest newer gadgets is the digital rearview mirror. Both during the day and at night, the picture quality and range of view was so superior than the traditional rearview mirror. I didn’t realize how much of my view was typically blocked by headrests, the rear portion of the vehicle and cargo. It didn’t take long to get used to (or to trust) and I was able to adjust the angle of the camera for the perfect view.
Despite the off-road tires, I was thoroughly impressed with the quietness and quality of the Rebel’s ride, thanks in part to the optional 4-corner air suspension ($1,805). Four modes are controlled with a center console switch or the key fob, and the vehicle also automatically raises and lowers the suspension based on speed for the optimum ride. In order from lowest to highest: Entry/Exit, Aero, Normal, Off-Road. At Entry/Exit height, my kids were able to get in and out as if they were in any mid-sized SUV thanks to the 2 inches of lowering. Normal ride height is exactly what the name states, and the vehicle automatically kicks into Aero mode (1/2″ lower) at speed to improve efficiency. While loading 12′ pieces of wood into the bed, the Rebel automatically adjusted to accommodate for the additional bed weight, which it would also do while towing.
The Rebel is 100% capable of being a daily driver, whether you need to tackle school carline with command, haul wood for your DIY project or forge water following a hurricane. It did all those things for me, and more. I have owned and driven a lot of vehicles, and I had such a unique Armaggedon-ready confidence driving the Rebel from dirt roads to highways, and even in a torrential storm. Hurricane Ian didn’t directly hit my area, however we received a ton of rain and wind, so the Rebel came at just the right time. There is nothing this Rebel can’t handle, so long as you can handle the steep price tag. Vehicle prices are constantly climbing, but thankfully you absolutely get what you pay for in this case.