5 Important 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel First Drive Takeaways
We’ve been feeling large and in charge with the new Ram 2500 HD Rebel this week. We’re still getting to know this beast, but we’ve already spent hours on the pavement and in the mud to learn about it. Check out our first thoughts about driving the 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel.
What is the 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel?
The 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel is a more affordable alternative to the range-topping Ram 2500 Power Wagon. It’s a massive, off-roading truck with plenty of capability.
While the Rebel loses the Power Wagon’s bead-lock capable wheels and front-locking differential, it still has plenty to offer.
For example, the Heavy-Duty Rebel has a 2.0-inch lift and shares the same shocks and springs as the Power Wagon. Plus, the Warn winch is optional with the gas-powered models.
It has a locking rear differential, skid plates protect the transfer case, and it rides on 20-inch eight-lug wheels wrapped in 33-inch Goodyear tires. Plenty of camera views make navigating tight areas and towing massive trailers easier. Plus, there’s no shortage of diesel power.
1. The Ram HD Rebel likes to rumble
The 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel is available with the 6.7-liter turbodiesel inline-six Cummins engine that cranks out 370 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque. You can feel and hear the engine rumble and roar as it comes down the road.
During steeper climbs and harder acceleration, the rumbling can be noticed in the cabin. The engine is louder than the wind and road noise from the massive tires and upright design. Your seat may shake at times. Some people find it addicting, and others may get feel fatigued.
It has plenty of power to pull equipment through the mud and climb obstacles. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds. But it feels a little faster than that. Also, it gets an EPA-estimated 13 mpg in the city and up to 18 mpg on the highway.
While off-roading and running errands around town, we’ve been getting about 16.6 mpg. This is excellent for such a massive off-roading truck.
2. The Heavy-Duty Rebel is easy
Driving something as big as the 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel can be intimidating at first, but this truck is surprisingly easy to navigate in tight areas. It has a 24-foot turning radius, which is better than some smaller full-size options.
It swings a bit wide, but it’s easy to park. It only takes a small amount of practice to master fitting in regular parking spots without making any corrections. Also, each of the camera views is helpful while backing up.
The Ram 2500 HD is smooth on the pavement too. Only massive potholes and bumps disrupt the cabin, but vibrations are quickly settled. Plus, the active noise canceling software cuts down on engine noise for a peaceful ride.
While the brakes are a bit soft, they’re easy to get used to. Also, the acceleration provides a smooth power delivery with seamless gear changes.
The tech, such as the digital gauge cluster, towing modes, and 12.0-inch infotainment screen, are intuitive. The menus are straightforward and easy to customize. Plus, the software is fast! You can adjust your settings in seconds.
3. Towing is a priority
The 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel is designed to make towing easier. With the diesel engine, it can tow up to 14,920 lbs and carry a payload of up to 3,140 lbs. The 6.4-liter V8 gas-powered engine with 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque can tow up to 16,780 lbs and carry up to 3,140 lbs.
Plus, you can opt for the available rear air springs to tame extreme loads. The Tow Tech Groups adds trailer reverse guidance, a cargo-view camera, and a 360-degree surround-view camera. The telescoping side view mirrors extend serval inches so you can keep an eye on things too.
The auxiliary camera plugs into a port on the bumper, and it is attached to a 55-foot cord for more visibility. Three images can be displayed on the digital rearview mirror while each feed is available on the infotainment screen.
Also, the digital gauge cluster can be customized to display crucial stats like temperature levels, off-roading stats, and trailer profiles.
4. The Ram HD Rebel is massive
People are shocked by how big the 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel is. It has a 13.1-inch ground clearance, so you’ll want the optional running boards for access. It’s 238.8 inches long and 79.5 inches wide. It has a 149-inch wheelbase and weighs 7,499 lbs.
The interior is massive, with plenty of passenger and cargo space. The seats in the front and back have tons of room for adults. Storage is abundant thanks to the massive center console, glove box, and bonus cubby above the glove box.
Two Ram cargo boxes sit on the sides of the 6-foot 4-inch bed to provide extra lockable storage. Also, bed steps are available.
The tall entry height may make it more difficult to access the cab, load cargo, or install child seats. Pets and children may have to be lifted in.
5. The 2500 HD Rebel is well-crafted
The 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel has a high-quality interior with durable materials. The premium leather upholstery with accent stitching can stand up to mud and dirt. Plus, the rubberized all-weather flooring is thick and protective.
While the soft-touched cover surfaces provide a premium feel, the cubbies are well-protected for storing tools and rough items. You don’t have to worry about poking holes in or scratching any surfaces.
Plus, the automatic climate control system is fast and effective. The heated seats and the steering wheel gets things nice and toasty during frigid winter days.
The massive leather seats have tons of adjustment controls and an excellent amount of bolstering to hold you in place. However, the rear cushion could use more support.
Stay tuned as we learn more about the Ram 2500 HD Rebel. A complete review is coming soon after we spend more time with this truck.