The 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel Proves to be Nearly Perfect After Long-Term Test

Long-term tests are the only ones that really mean anything. I have tested a bunch of different cars for a week at a time, and that can show me obvious and glaring issues or maybe work to solidify a bias I already had, whether good or bad. A long-term test usually lasts a year or at least close to it. As opposed to putting a few hundred miles on a week-long test, the long-term testers get thousands of miles and usually at least one experience with maintenance. The long-term test of the 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel proves out what this truck is really about. 

The 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel is nearly perfect

Sean Holman at TruckTrend had the Ram 1500 Rebel 12 for a year. He starts by saying, “If we had to sum up our year with the Ram 1500 Rebel 12 in one word, it would be ‘incredible.’” That is a strong start that leaves little to the imagination. I reckon if a truck is good enough, there is no need for our imaginations.

2019 Ram 1500 Rebel driving on dirt road
2019 Ram 1500 Rebel | Ram

These off-road specific truck packages like this and the Ford Raptor, or the most recent addition, the Ram 1500 TRX, have been burying themselves in the hearts and minds of truck fans in a big way. While the 2019 Ram Rebel isn’t the newest and flashiest of the segment, a long-term test sets the stage for what life with one of these types of trucks could actually be like. 

Is the 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel a good truck?

Holman says that not only is Rebel a killer weekend warrior off-roader, but also served as a great family hauler on school nights. He mentions that around town, the 5.7-liter V8 had plenty of torque but was still quiet and manageable around town. The eight-speed gearbox, interior space, and power all get glowing reviews. To be honest, Holman nearly gushes over the truck, but that isn’t a critique. He truly loved the truck, as did his family. 

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Holman’s partner seems to have given the highest compliment by calling it her “favorite test vehicle we’d ever brought home.” Holman lists more reasons his spouse loved the truck, but he suspects it may be the mix of a quiet and comfortable ride and the fact their toddler had enough room in the back not to kick the front seats.

The Rebel 12 isn’t your typical sticker and badge truck

The Rebel offers real performance, not just a cool name and some fancy badging and fender flares. No, the Rebel 12 comes equipped with Bilstein monotube shocks, steel springs, real tow hooks, skidplate, 33-inch Goodyears, Electronic rear locking diff, and hill descent control. 

RAM 1500 unveiling
RAM 1500 Rebel | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Even if off-roading isn’t your main goal (for some reason), the Ram Rebel 12 also has air suspension for auto-leveling for carrying big loads. Basically, it’s still a useable truck. It has a few other towing features like an integrated trailer brake controller and a 33-gallon fuel tank. 

Is there anything wrong with the 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel 12?

Apparently, not much. The only things Holman noted as issues were minor. He mentioned that the AC didn’t do much to cool the cabin down in temperatures above 100 degrees.

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The auto rear brake assist was apparently annoying and jarring enough that he turned it off. If the senor deemed it necessary to apply the brakes in a parking situation, the brakes would lock to the point of alarm and embarrassment.

The only other thing he mentions is that the lack of multiple 12-volt outlets make running any sort of camping or overlanding accessories difficult because of the single 12-volt outlet’s location on the dash. 

The Ram Rebel is looking pretty good from here

If the AC, auto rear brake, and power outlets are the only problems he could come up with after a year, then the Rebel really might be perfect. He sure seemed to enjoy it and leaves little meat left of the bone after a year of driving.