Ram surprised many of us this year when it updated its heavy-duty truck lineup. It added a Rebel trim to the mix of big trucks with the Rebel 2500. You see, the Rebel trim is the regular full-size truck’s off-road trim package, and the Power Wagon has long been its upgraded HD truck equivalent. So, why add a new Rebel to the mix, and could it actually be better than a Power Wagon for most truck stuff?
Each of the Big Three now offers an HD off-road truck.
There must be something in the water in Detroit because all three major American truck manufacturers launched big heavy-duty trucks with off-road trims for 2023. Ram’s edition is the new 2500 Rebel, which on paper slots between the fancy Laramie trim and the tough Power Wagon. Ford decided that the new Super Duty would get a Tremor trim for 2023, which includes skid plates, off-road suspension, and a different valence. Chevy substantially refreshed its Silverado HD for 2024, with an early announcement of the 2024 Silverado HD ZR2 that will have MultiMatic shocks.
Both the Rebel and Power Wagon are off-road beasts
The new Ram Rebel 2500 could make the Power Wagon superfluous. The new Rebel keeps the good stuff from the Power Wagon like its off-road ready features and massive towing and hauling abilities. To handle the off-road duty, the Rebel gets skid plates over the gas (or diesel) tank and the transfer case. It also gets massive 33-inch dirt tires, a lift for 11.1 inches of clearance, a locking rear differential, off-road shocks from Bilstein, and at the dealer, you can get a Warn winch installed.
That sounds a lot like the Power Wagon. It, too, gets 33-inch off-road tires, a factory lift to 14.3 inches of clearance, and skid plates. The Power Wagon’s suspension is more than just beefer shocks, and instead includes Bilstein dampers and a sway bar that you can electronically disconnect for massive amounts of wheel articulation off-road. The winch, however, is standard.
The Rebel 2500 has one option the Power Doesn’t
You can order the Rebel 2500 with the mighty 6.4-liter Hemi V8, or the stump-pulling Cummins Turbodiesel six-cylinder engine. Ram fans love the diesel engine for its reliability and its amazing 850 lb-ft of torque. With the Hemi it can tow and haul more, the truck can tow 16,870 pounds, with the diesel, 14,920 pounds. It can haul 1,970 pounds with the heavier diesel in the front, while with the gas engine it can carry 3,140 pounds in the bed.
The Power Wagon, because of its unique suspension setup, can only tow 10,030 pounds and just 1,510 pounds in the bed. The Rebel, however, will get Trailer Reverse Steering in early 2023, which will help you steer a trailer with a knob on the dash instead of with the steering wheel.
The Power Wagon costs more
The Rebel 1500 costs about $50,000, while the heavy duty 2500 Rebel is $67,045 plus a steep delivery fee of $1,895. That’s about the same as a 2022 Ram Power Wagon. According to Kelley Blue Book the 2023 Power Wagon will cost about $3,000 more than the Rebel package.
Does the 2500 Rebel beat the 1500 Rebel?
The 2500 does have more capability than the 1500 Rebel. The 2022 1500 (2023 specs aren’t out yet) can be ordered with a variety of engines, including the 5.7 liter Hemi and a 3.0-liter turbo diesel, but not the monster 6.4-liter V8 or the big Cummins engine. But, you can get four-corner air suspension that can raise the truck for off-road duty and lower it for highway aerodynamics. It can tow, a maximum of 12,750 pounds and carry up to 2,320 pounds in the bed.