2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel Review: Beauty and the Rumbling Beast
2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel Review:
- 2023 Ram 2500 HD: $42,425 – $71,990
- Truck of the Year – MotorTrend
- Pros: Smooth ride, comfortable interior, efficient diesel power
- Cons: Loud engines, tall truck bed, the diesel engine isn’t available on each trim
- MotorBiscuit score: 8.2 out of 10
Welcome the ginormous 2023 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty to the truck party. It shines as a lavish, comfortable work truck with innovative features to make towing and hauling easier. If you’re in the market for a heavy-duty truck, be sure to test the Ram 2500 HD against the Ford F-250 and Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD.
The Ram 2500 HD has a well-appointed interior and provides superior comfort with high towing figures. The available 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel engine is no slouch and provides an enhanced fuel economy.
You’ll find an abundance of storage locations for tools and muddy gear. Plus, the Rebel and Power Wagon models add tons of off-roading upgrades to avoid getting stuck. But the engines may be loud, and the driving position sits up pretty high.
What’s new for the 2023 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty?
The 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel made its debut as a more affordable option with stout off-roading upgrades. The Power Wagon is a little beefier, but you can save if you don’t need as much equipment.
Also, trailering upgrades include more camera views, power telescoping trailer mirrors, and a new trailer reverse steering control system is available. Simply direct where you want the trailer to go, and the truck will handle the steering.
The new 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster is easy to customize, and the digital rearview mirror offers side camera integration. You can opt for the new Mopar performance hood to spice things up as well.
Which Ram 2500 HD trim is best?
There are eight different 2023 Ram 2500 HD trims available.
- Ram 2500 HD Tradesman: $42,425
- Lone Star: $47,205
- Big Horn: $47,775
- Laramie: $60,575
- Rebel: $67,045
- Power Wagon: $68,200
- Longhorn $68,115
- Limited: $71,990
The Big Horn model, which is the Lone Star in Texas, is an affordable trim that adds a few luxury and convenience features without a massive price increase. These models build upon the entry-level Tradesmen trim.
You get 18-inch wheels, heated/power folding mirrors, an integrated trailer brake controller, a trailer light check system, power windows/locks, remote keyless entry, a cloth bench seat, and floor mats.
But for a little more, the Laramie model cranks up the luxury with features like active noise cancellation, a dampened tailgate, remote start, dual glove boxes, heated/power-adjustable seats, a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, parking sensors, and more.
How does the 2023 Ram 2500 HD drive?
Our 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel model may feel a bit different compared to other models due to stout off-roading upgrades such as 20-inch wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires, off-road suspension tuning, underbody skid plates, a locking rear axle, and a rear limited-slip differential.
But it starts with the standard 6.4-liter V8 engine with 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. Our model was equipped with the turbocharged 6.7-liter diesel engine with 370 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired with a slightly dated six-speed automatic transmission.
The Ram 2500 HD has a lot of power on tap to get off the line pretty quickly. The Rebel HD can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds, but it honestly feels a little faster. The brakes are confident and average for the class. Keep in mind that larger trucks need more time to stop.
Even though rivals have a 10-speed automatic transmission, the Ram 2500 HD provides smooth gear changes but can be a little slow to downshift. The steering is light, but the handling could be more responsive.
This giant truck corners well and doesn’t feel lumbering or top-heavy around curves. It has a turning radius between 22.7 to 26.8 feet, and it’s impressive. This truck is incredibly easy to maneuver in crowded downtown areas with plenty of camera views to confidently correct your parking.
Can the 2023 Ram 2500 HD go off-roading?
Yes, the 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel is a stout off-roading truck. It features a two-inch lift to bolster its ground clearance to 11.1 inches. The eight-lug 20-inch wheels are wrapped in 33-inch all-terrain tires.
The 98 percent high-strength steel frame is paired with Bilstein gas-charged monotube shocks and a five-link rear coil suspension. Skid plates protect the transfer case and gas tank. The limited slip differential prevents traction loss to optimize engine power, and the electronically locking rear differential evenly distributes torque.
Of course, size was a concern while exploring muddy trails in the woods. The Ram 2500 HD Rebel weighs 7,499 lbs. But it didn’t sink in the mud and was incredibly resistant to slipping and sliding. However, larger impacts hit hard and can send rattles through the cabin.
The diesel engine provides plenty of torque for climbing over rocks and steep inclines, but it can get a little loud. The multiple camera views display what is in front of the truck, and you can see the sides. Turning around is easy, thanks to the parking sensors.
There aren’t tons of driving modes to take advantage of, just high or low range. Also, the off-roading stats on the infotainment display are beneficial.
The Power Wagon takes things a step further with a disconnecting anti-roll bar and a locking differential in the front. Also, the gas-powered Rebel is available with a factory-installed Warn winch.
The Heavy Duty Rebel feels confident in tackling mud and ruts. We don’t see it easily getting stuck at muddy construction sites.
Does the 2023 Ram 2500 HD have a good fuel economy?
The gas-powered 2023 Ram 2500 HD models get an EPA-estimated 12 mpg in the city and up to 14 mpg on the highway. Upgrading to the Cummins diesel engine gets an EPA-estimated 14 mpg in the city and up to 18 mpg on the highway.
It has a 31.0-gallon fuel tank, so you can travel pretty far between fill-ups. The EPA estimates are spot on, and we got about 14 mpg while off-roading. It had a better fuel economy than smaller off-roading trucks.
Is the 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel comfortable?
Yes, the 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel provides plenty of space and comfort. The active noise cancellation software reduces tons of engine noise, but you can still hear rumbling inside the cab. It gets louder while climbing hills and under harder accelerations.
The massive well-padded leather seats have plenty of adjustment controls for people of all shapes and sizes. They’re plush, supportive, and well-bolstered. I’m 5’1″, so the adjustable pedals made life much easier.
The seats in the rear are just as spacious and comfortable. Three adults can fit in the back without any problems. The backrest angle is pretty relaxed rear air vents keep things comfortable for the crew.
We’re impressed by the effective dual-zone automatic climate control. Plus, the heated seats ad steering wheel are powerful. But we missed ventilated seats during hotter afternoons. They’re available on higher trim levels.
Overall, the Ram 2500 has a smooth ride over pavement, but larger impacts can jostle the cabin. Also, you may feel a little vibration from the steering wheel and driver’s seat at times. It can have a lasting impact, but it’s normal for the class.
Does the 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel have a nice interior?
Yes, the 223 Ram 2500 HD Rebel has an upscale, durable cabin that’s well-equipped for comfort and utility. The leather upholstery is soft to the touch and seems resistant to pokes and scratches.
Plush soft-touch covered surfaces span across the door sides and dash with pops of aluminum trim, textured materials, and white accent stitching. Rebel badges adorn the cabin, and there are tons of cup holders. Seriously, the front and rear have a billion places to store drinks.
The layout is simple and elegant, with everything you need placed within reach. The optional side steps are a must for shorter folks. The doors open wide for easy access, and the floors are protected by robust all-weather mats.
We only wish that a sunroof was available to allow more natural light to filter into the cabin. But massive windows provide tons of visibility in the front and rear.
Does the 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel have good tech?
Yes, the 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel has advanced and convenient tech to make work and play easier. The 8.4-inch infotainment screen has vibrant graphics with intuitive controls. However, some folks may prefer more physical climate control buttons. You can upgrade to a 12.0-inch unit.
The digital gauge cluster has customizable tiles to display different crucial driving information and stats. The displays provide camera views, your pitch and roll, power distribution, and more are easy to access.
There is a significant importance placed on towing, and even the digital rearview mirror provides camera views. The auxiliary camera on the rear bumper is attached to a 55-inch cord so you can see behind your trailer or keep an eye on your cargo.
The system features built-in navigation, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and a subscription-based wi-fi hotspot. The connections were steady in areas without cell phone coverage. The cabin has up to five USB ports and three 115-volt outlets.
While the nine-speaker Alpine premium audio system is nice, it’s not mind-blowing. It covers engine noise, and phones are easy to connect.
How does the 2023 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty perform with cargo and towing?
The gas-powered 2023 Ram 2500 HD can tow up to 19,980 lbs and can carry a payload of up to 4,000 lbs. With the diesel engine, the Ram 2500 can tow up to 16,870 lbs and carry a payload of up to 3,140 lbs.
There is so much storage inside the cab that it’s easy to misplace tools and gear. The massive center console has two bins and slides back and forth. The top is large enough to support a laptop, and there are massive dual glove boxes.
There are tons of trays and cubbies on the sides of the door and around the dash to take advantage of. The rear seats can fold up against the wall or fold flat. Also, there is an adjustable cargo organizer under the rear seat that provides a flat cargo floor.
The Ram boxes on the sides of the tailgate are a little tall but accessible. They are deep-locking bins. Also,s optional in-bed storage boxes are available.
How safe is the 2023 Ram 2500 HD?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2023 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty has a safety rating of four out of five stars. It hasn’t been rated by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.
While some crash test results are still pending, the Ram 2500 earned mostly five-star ratings for frontal crash simulations and all five-star ratings during the side crash tests. It has a very low rollover risk of 19.80 percent.
Surprisingly, the standard safety features are limited, but you can opt for forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, and adaptive cruise control.
Is the 2023 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty reliable?
The 2023 Ram 2500 HD has an average reliability rating. It earned a score of 79 out of 100 from J.D. Power. It was so close to reaching an above-average score. Anything between 70 and 80 is average, while scores between 81 and 90 are great.
You can expect the average Ram 2500 model to last between 250,000 to 300,000 miles. But it’s common for some of these beastly trucks to keep going after 350,000 miles. If you drive about 15,000 miles per year, then you can expect 15 years of service on the road.
The average annual maintenance cost for the Ram 2500 is about $1,070. It’s a bit more than the average annual repair cost of $650 for full-size trucks.
MotorBiscuit gives the 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel a score of 8.2 out of 10
The experts at MotorBiscuit have provided the 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel with an official score of 8.2 out of 10. It stands out with an upscale interior with plenty of storage solutions and comfortable space.
But the diesel engine is pretty loud and likes to vibrate even though the active noise-canceling software cuts things down a lot. The diesel engine isn’t available with every trim, and the off-roading upgrades create a force to be reckoned with.
The Ram 2500 doesn’t have a long list of standard safety features, but it’s agile and easy to maneuver. It provides a smooth, confident ride perfect for daily driving and off-roading adventures.
We hope to see how the more robust Ram 2500 Hd Power Wagon compares or a loaded trim level with more luxurious features.