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All-new 2019 Ram: Call Me a Rebel

By Sue Mead, May 26th, 2018

I'm a rebel! I like trucks, and love off-roading. Plus, I like to go fast, when it's safe and fun to do so. More women are rebels these days and, although trucks still sell to a higher percentage of male buyers, more females are buying pickups each year.

Manufacturer photo: The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 is available in a wide range of offerings, from the well-equipped Tradesman Quad Cab 4x2
Manufacturer photo: The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 is available in a wide range of offerings, from the well-equipped Tradesman Quad Cab 4x2

Some women might enjoy the all-new 2019 Ram Rebel as much as I did. It's one of six trim levels in Ram's updated lineup and it's been engineered with chops for off-road; it has talents that make it a slow and capable rock crawler and also has the technology and prowess to go fast -- even in the backcountry.

All truck-makers have taken advantage of the ever-growing volume of buyers showing an interest in pickup trucks, especially the high-end special-edition models with transaction prices that spike from $60,000 to $80,000 and more. Ram is exploiting that interest with its all-new 2019 Ram 1500 by offering six updated and distinctive trims including the well-equipped Tradesman Quad Cab, the technology-laden Limited Crew Cab, and the Rebel.

The Ram's new highlights include revised exterior and interior styling; active aerodynamics with grille shutters and an active air dam; a class-exclusive air suspension that brings better on- and off-road capability, load-leveling and entry/exit convenience; as well as a host of other class-exclusive and segment-leading features and technologies. Although longer and wider with a new frame that features 98 percent high-strength steel to improve durability, weight, and rigidity for better road manners, the newest version of the light-duty truck has shed 225 pounds. Of note, the maximum payload has increased to 2,300 pounds and maximum trailering to 12,750 pounds.

The Ram 1500 Rebel is even more capable than ever before and is now available in Quad Cab configurations and features new 18-inch wheels with 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires, motivated by an electronic-locking rear differential.

Manufacturer photo: The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 is available in a wide range of offerings, from the well-equipped Tradesman Quad Cab 4x2

The new Rebel comes standard with a coil spring suspension and a 1-inch factory lift, as well as an electronic locking rear axle and newly designed Bilstein shocks that feature remote reservoirs to keep the shocks cool and work with unique rear suspension geometry to enhance traction. The Rebel also has hill-descent control for more off-road capability, hefty tow hooks that feature wide bumper openings to ease use, and underbody protection that features skidplates on the transfer case, steering system, oil pan, and gas tank.

The biggest news under the Rebel's hood are significant gains in fuel efficiency that come from the new eTorque mild hybrid system on the second-generation 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6; eTorque combines a belt-driven motor generator unit with a 48-volt battery pack to enable start/stop function, short-duration torque assist, and brake energy regeneration, adding up to 90 lb.-ft. of launch torque to the V-6 and up to 130 lb.-ft. to the HEMI.

The latest generation Torque-Flite eight-speed automatic transmission brings improved efficiency. Fuel consumption is also reduced by an Interactive Deceleration Fuel Shut Off feature that pauses fuel flow to the engine cylinders in third gear and higher when the vehicle is decelerating.

Outside, the 2019 Ram 1500 boasts shapely body lines with a much larger and more aggressive, forward-leaning front grille opening; chiseled Ram's-head logo and "R-A-M" grilles; and bespoke differentiation between all models. New full LED adaptive front-lighting system, including twin bi-functional projector headlamps, fog lamps, and tail lamps, are standard on the Rebel.

We drove three different trim models during a recent ride and drive in Arizona and concentrated our off-road drive in the Rebel on a course that included both slow and technical four-wheeling and also had the right terrain for higher-speed motoring. I'm impressed with the engineering upgrades that gave me potent power on-tap, great transmission shifting, and ample ground clearance. My favorite takeaways are Rebel's mannered ride -- even over bumpy and uneven track -- and the quietness of the truck when driving slow added to the potent engine sound when pushing the throttle. It's made for a rebel!

Manufacturer photo: The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 is available in a wide range of offerings, from the well-equipped Tradesman Quad Cab 4x2

Lighter, longer, and wider, the newest Ram is available in three new, longer frame lengths, starting with a 144.5-inch wheelbase on Crew Cab short beds and a 153.5-inch wheelbase on Crew Cab long beds -- both 4 inches longer than their predecessors

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