Though most of us still think of this as a Dodge Ram pickup, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles dropped the Dodge branding from its pickup trucks in 2010, and promoted Ram as a brand in itself to house its commercial vehicles.
Therefore, this truck is made by Ram. It’s a 1500 model in Rebel trim. Because it hails from the land of the brave, 1500 is read as “fifteen hundred.” Also because ’Murica, it had to be supersized.
Words and pictures cannot accurately convey how truly overgrown this full-size pickup is. But to give you an idea, it’s a few millimeters wider and only about a meter shorter than a Toyota Coaster minibus—and that has 29 seats.
Midsize pickup drivers like to think they’re all that, but drive the 1500 Rebel and watch their collective egos shrivel before your very eyes as they humbly offer you the space to cut them off with their tails between their legs.
It’s not easy to get acquainted with, especially with the huge bulge on the hood and the ridiculously long side mirrors, but it does start to wrap around you after a day of driving.
Despite that, you would still drive this gingerly around the city and through narrow suburban streets, not because of difficulty, but mostly out of pity for the poor kitten or e-trike you might run over with this behemoth.
If you do run over an e-trike, you would never realize it because it would be swallowed by the 1500’s gigantic blind spot on the front left corner. Also, this truck rides so well that you couldn’t possibly feel it from inside the cabin. Stiff, bouncy leaf springs on pickup trucks are for plebeians who can’t afford this P4,990,000 beast.
With or without payload in the 5.5ft (1.68m) bed, the 1500 rides like a dream. It ditches the more common leaf spring setup in the rear for a multilink system. Progressive coils allow the truck to feel supple under unladen conditions and stiff under-load.
Though its payload capacity of 2,300lb (1,043kg) is slightly lower than the leaf-sprung Ford F-150, which can haul a maximum of 3,325lb (1,508kg), the vast improvement in ride quality is a worthy trade-off.
Speaking of the bed, you get a retractable bed step on the rear left-hand corner for easier access to the cargo area; adjustable tie-down points; and a cargo divider included in the SRP.
The large tailgate is also operable with one hand thanks to a tailgate-assist strut, but the most interesting bit in the rear end is the Ram boxes flanking either side of the bed. Smartly positioned over the rear wheel wells, two large, weather-sealed, and lockable storage compartments exist to accommodate more valuable or sensitive items.
The left side features a 400W household socket, while the right side has a drain plug so it can double as a cooler for car camping trips.
Inside the humongous crew cab, it’s incredibly spacious—almost unnecessarily so.
There’s at least a foot of center console in between the two front passengers, even with the ridiculously wide seats. Anyone over 6ft can find the perfect driving position and still leave more legroom than a Mercedes-Benz S-Class for the rear passengers.
The 12-inch infotainment screen is wireless Apple CarPlay- and Android Auto-capable. USB-A and USB-C ports are available for both the front- and the rear-seat occupants along with a couple of household sockets, too.
This particular unit is a 2023 model with an Alpine speaker system and an analog gauge cluster, but 2024 models will get Harman Kardon speakers and a massive 12-inch gauge display. However, it must be said that the analog gauges coupled with a seven-inch multi-information display leave nothing to be desired.
Other than that, the truck gets a laundry list of electronic features such as a remote start system that works properly (it doesn’t shut the car off when you open the doors), rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, parking sensors, collision warning system with emergency braking, and plenty of towing gadgetry.
In addition, the 1500 is an extremely capable off-roader. The transfer case can shift on the fly from 2WD to 4-High and 4-Low.
It also has an axle lock, hill descent control, and plenty of ground clearance. The 18-inch wheels wrapped in 275/70 (33-inch) Goodyear Wrangler tires made light work of the deep ruts we found on the trail.
However, the truck’s size betrays its prowess as it can be very difficult to maneuver in tight situations, especially on narrow mountain trails.
Plus, the insulated, marine-vessel-like ride coupled with the soft steering (that was so good on the road) can make it hard to tell exactly what your wheels are doing on the dirt. But other than that, it maintained its composure throughout the trail.
There are a few more annoying things about this truck, too. For one, the exterior build quality isn’t all that great.
It might not be too obvious in the photos, but the paint is extremely wavy—far beyond what passes for ‘orange peel’. The doors also do not shut perfectly flush with the rest of the body.
The household sockets are a great feature, but Ram didn’t bother converting it from 115v to 220v, so you will need dual-voltage electronics to plug in.
Given the size of the 1500, it really should have 360° cameras or both a front and a rear camera, at least. But it’s stuck with just one for the rear.
Lastly, I’ve had just about enough of automakers trying to reinvent the gear shifter, and the dial on this has to be the worst one yet.
This big, burly truck has a little thimble you twist daintily with your finger up in the air. Park and Drive on both ends of the dial are easy enough to find, but you have to be gentle to find anything in between.
But no matter. The real star of the show here is the engine. The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is a rare sight these days. It’s smooth and powerful making the car feel lighter than it is.
The burbling pushrod eight-banger produces 395hp and 556Nm. The traction control does a very good job of keeping all that star-spangled anger in check.
Turned off, it will do unintended burnouts at every stoplight. The power is so intoxicating that you almost don’t care that it only does 3.1km/L in the city. I said almost. With gas prices today, you have to care a little.
Don’t think Uncle Sam couldn’t be bothered to consider the polar bears losing their icicle tanning beds. This engine is equipped with a Multiple Displacement System, which shuts off four of the eight cylinders when cruising. So…it does its part for Mother Nature.
This car is huge and powerful. It’s loud. It’s obnoxious. The exact opposite of subtle. And if a car could have a political stance, this is firmly right wing. But in this day and age when practicality reigns supreme, and frugality is championed over power, the Ram 1500 Rebel unashamedly says: “To hell with all that crap!”
Yep, it’s absolutely glorious.
RAM 1500 REBEL NIGHT EDITION
|5.7-liter naturally aspirated V8
|395hp @ 5,600rpm
|556Nm @ 3,950rpm
|5,916mm x 2,084mm x 1,971mm
|It’s everything the world today says is passé, but there’s no denying that this formula is still darn good.
|It only does 3.1km for every liter of fuel. Let that sink in.