2020 Ram 1500 Rebel Crew Cab
Class: Large Pickup Truck
Miles driven: 182
Fuel used: 9.3 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 19.6 mpg
Driving mix: 55% city, 45% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 21/29/24 ( mpg city, highway, combined)
Fuel type: Diesel
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||A|
|Power and Performance||B|
|Fit and Finish||B+|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||260-hp 3.0-liter|
|Engine Type||Turbodiesel V6|
Base price: $47,990 (not including $1695 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Billet Silver Metallic clear-coat paint ($200), Safety and Convenience Group ($895), Bed Utility Group ($450), Rebel 12 Group ($2995), Rebel Level 2 Equipment Group ($3000), Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover ($550), 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel engine ($4995), dual-pane panoramic sunroof ($1495), black tubular side steps ($695), rear wheelhouse liners ($195), Multi-Function Tailgate ($995), 33-gallon fuel tank ($445), 4-corner air suspension ($1805), blind-spot and cross-path detection ($595), RamBox cargo-management system ($995), trailer brake control ($295), spray-in bedliner ($595)
Price as tested: $70,880
The great: Ride quality and all-around refinement; excellent interior space; long list of available features
The good: Commendably quiet diesel engine delivers respectable power; versatility of RamBox system and Multi-Function tailgate
The not so good: Observed fuel economy fell short of EPA estimates; road noise from all-terrain tires; options drive up bottom-line price
More Ram 1500 price and availability information
It’s ever thus with new-model introductions in the automotive world: First comes the fanfare, the big blitz. Then comes the tinkering.
Ram sounded the trumpets in 2019 when it rolled out its latest generation of pickup trucks with all-new styling and many fresh engineering features. To follow up in 2020, the big news is—ta-da!—a diesel V6 engine option for the ½-ton 1500 models.
If you’re thinking to yourself Wait, that’s not new, you’d be partly right. A 3.0-liter Italian-built turbocharged V6 first became available in 2014 Ram 1500s and has been since—with the exception of ’19. The 2020 engine is a much- reworked third-generation version. Displacement is the same, but it’s considerably more powerful at 260 horsepower at 3600 rpm and 480 lb-ft of torque that peaks at a lower-than-previous 1600 revs. As a result, the Ram EcoDiesel now makes more torque than the turbodiesel sixes offered in Chevrolet/GMC and Ford half-tons—though the General Motors inline engine leads in horsepower. The EcoDiesel is also found in the 2020 Jeep Wrangler, but in that application it is tuned for 442 lb-ft of torque.
Quick Spin: 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel
The turbodiesel engine accounted for $4995 of the $70,880 that Consumer Guide’s heavily optioned Ram Rebel Crew Cab test truck cost. (The base price, with delivery, is $49,685.) In the Rebel, with its big tires and other added components designed for spirited off-pavement driving, the turbodiesel provided good acceleration. It doesn’t cause the truck to leap from standing starts, but it builds its power quickly. Meanwhile, it manages to be smooth and commendably quiet. The well-known diesel clatter barely rears its head.
Paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and a fairly aggressive 3.92:1 axle ratio, the diesel is EPA-rated at 21 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 24 mpg combined in 4-wheel-drive 1500s like the test vehicle. CG’s test-drive figures weren’t that good at 17.7 mpg (in a short stint biased toward highway driving) to 20.7 mpg (in a longer run with a majority of city miles). A diesel-powered Rebel Crew Cab 4×4 is rated to carry a 1720-pound payload and tow up to 9750 pounds. The engine is available throughout the Ram 1500 lineup, and payload/towing maximums will vary with the variations of cab and driveline.
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Apart from being a Crew Cab with a 5-foot-7-inch cargo bed, the 2020 Rebel in our test was fundamentally like the Quad Cab (with 6-foot-4 bed) that we sampled in 2019. The difference is in interior room, where the longer Crew body gives rear-seat passengers a rangy 45.2 inches of legroom. When not carrying up to three rear-seat passengers, the seat cushion folds up to clear ample in-cab load space on the flat floor.
Rebel hardware includes a transfer case with electrically actuated shift-on-the-fly capability, specially tuned shock absorbers, chassis skid plates, a one-inch lift, electronically locking “E-Locker” rear axle, hill-descent control, 275/70R18E outline-white-letter all-terrain tires, and a full-size spare. The “jowly” matte-black grille is unique the Rebel, and it comes with a vented “sport performance hood.” The style of the 18-inch alloy wheels is distinct, too. Rebel-specific front seats are low-back cloth-and-vinyl buckets, and red stitching and other interior highlights perk up the cabin, though the test truck was outfitted with leather seats that were heated in front.
Four-corner air suspension, an $1805 option, improves the ride to a degree, but the Rebel still isn’t quite the paragon of pickup-truck ride that other Rams are, at least on the street. The nubby all-terrain tires raise noise levels on the highway.
Quick Spin: 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 Diesel
The ’20 tester was stuffed with options like adaptive cruise control, full-speed forward-collision warning, 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio, 8.4-inch touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, heated steering wheel, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone compatibility, and a dual-pane sunroof. Other extra-cost items addressed cargo handling. Lockable Ram Boxes were built into the external part of the pickup bed, and the multi-function tailgate was added. It provides loading flexibility with side-hinged sections that open in a 60/40 split tailgate, but can serve as a conventional drop-down tailgate when latched together.
For power per dollar, a Ram buyer can do better with a 5.7-liter V8 than with the turbodiesel. The latter’s lure is thepotential for higher fuel mileage and extended driving range. In the end, you get what you pay for.
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