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2022 RAM 1500 Rebel G/T Review: Off-Road Capable, On-Road Comfortable

2022 RAM Rebel(Photo/Kristin Shaw)
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RAM’s durable 1500 checks all the boxes for capability, towing, cargo capacity, and tech. In the Rebel trim, the 2022 RAM 1500 includes everything you need to enjoy quality time off-road without excess frills that get in the way.

When it comes to tough trucks that don’t make you feel as though you’re sitting in a cheap hotel, RAM’s 1500 series does not disappoint.

Ever since RAM debuted this generation of the 1500 in 2019, it has turned heads. Even people who never pictured themselves as a truck owner are all-in for RAM’s pickup. And that, admittedly, has a lot to do with looks. Inside and out, the 1500 is a handsome devil.

Trucks are practical and smart when you’re heading out of town toward unpaved roads. And a 2022 RAM 1500 is a stellar example. The Rebel trim is smack-dab in the middle of the lineup, and it doesn’t skimp on comfort features.

Even when you load it up with must-have items like recovery boards and crates for hunting dogs, the long truck bed can also fit a few fishing poles and tackle boxes, too.

I spent a full week in the RAM Rebel G/T in the wilds and milds of Austin, Texas, to test the newest model year truck, to my satisfaction.

2022 RAM 1500

2022 RAM Rebel
(Photo/Kristin Shaw)

Breathe Easy

For 2022, RAM added a new clean air system as a standard feature on all RAM 1500 models. The automaker says it filters out 95% of air particulates like pollen, allergens, and bacteria. Inhale with fewer sneezes, a feature that could come in handy on a dusty trail.

2022 RAM Rebel
(Photo/Kristin Shaw)

Upgraded Tech, Comfort, and Drivetrains

RAM’s bread-and-butter truck took a huge leap with its current generation, greatly improving the interior, technology, and drivetrain. Gone is the antiquated tech from the previous generation and ushered in was a giant 12-inch touchscreen. The engine options look familiar, but now include RAM’s eTorque hybrid setup for improved fuel economy and a smoothed-out ride.

All trim levels of the RAM 1500, except for the base Tradesman, got the new Uconnect 5 system, RAM’s superlative infotainment setup. RAM says it’s four times faster and carries three times the memory.

The Wi-Fi will come in handy when you’re within a stone’s throw of civilization and the tow-specific navigation helps when you’re out of pocket.

2022 RAM Rebel
(Photo/Kristin Shaw)

Four engines are available on the 2022 RAM 1500, including an eTorque-enhanced 3.6L V6 (305 horsepower/269 pound-feet), a 5.7L V8 (395 horsepower/410 pound-feet) available with or without eTorque, and a diesel turbocharged 3.0L V6 (260 horsepower/480 pound-feet).

A supercharged 6.2L V8 with 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque is an option for only the TRX version of the RAM 1500.

Let’s Talk TRX

Speaking of the TRX, yes, it’s absolutely a blast to drive with all that power easily accessed through your right foot. However, the price tag reflects that increase to the tune of about $20,000 over the standard Rebel.

Both are geared for off-roading, so aside from the cost hike, you’ll have to decide if you want a Rebel that has everything you need or a turn-it-up-to-11 TRX, which is best for screaming through desert scrub powered by a Hellcat.

If you have the money, by all means, go all out; get the TRX and its beefed-up Bilstein suspension.

But truth be told, most of us would be just as happy to have that extra $20K in our pocket and drive a Rebel, which is more than capable of tackling just about anything you throw its way.

2022 RAM 1500 Rebel G/T Review

2022 RAM Rebel
(Photo/Kristin Shaw)

The Rebel Rules the Outdoors

If you have your eye on a truck for rocky mountain roads, the Rebel is more than capable. From the base 1500, the RAM Rebel has upgraded shocks that help to absorb the impact on rough routes. It also has an electronic locking rear differential that helps find additional traction and should help keep you from getting stuck.

Skid plates protect the belly of this beast from damage while you’re bopping over boulders. Hill descent control offers more confidence taking on steep slippery downhills.

The 3.92 rear axle ratio makes climbing grades and pulling a camper or a trailer hauling dirt bikes for some off-road shenanigans a breeze. The 2022 RAM Rebel also comes with a Class IV receiver hitch and seven-pin wiring harness, so you don’t have to purchase that separately.

Bringing some four-legged friends along? They’ll appreciate the power-sliding rear window, so they can hang their tongues out and get some fresh air while you’re driving along.

2022 RAM Rebel
(Photo/Kristin Shaw)

Tow hooks come standard on the Rebel trim, and you can — and probably should — add a WARN winch to get you out of sticky situations. The RAM 1500 can tow up to 12,750 pounds and haul up to 2,300 pounds when properly equipped.

For scale, I towed a 33-foot camper two summers ago for a family vacation and that only weighed about 6,500 pounds. That’s a lot of towing potential.

Bring Your Piggy Bank to Gas It Up

If you fuel up before you hit the national parks, brace your wallet; this truck has a 26-gallon gas tank. With a combined EPA rating of 19 miles per gallon on a full tank, you’re looking at a range exceeding 450 miles. That’s many hours of driving straight through as long as no one needs a bathroom break.

The good news is that it runs just fine on 87 octane, and even better news for those traveling even longer distances is the optional 33-gallon tank that will set you back an additional $495 on the build, but extend the range by another 133 miles.

2022 RAM Rebel
Rear seat passengers have plenty of gadget charging options, and even seat heaters; (photo/Kristin Shaw)

G/T Packaging for Performance

New for 2022 is a Rebel G/T package, which for an additional $3,000 brings a number of appearance upgrades like a leather-wrapped shift knob, G/T decals, ventilated front seats, a bright pedal kit, and a sport performance hood.

It’s not all about the looks, however, as a factory-installed cat-back exhaust and cold-air intake are standard and you can measure all the fun you’re having with standard performance pages in the infotainment system. RAM also added the ability to download your stats onto a USB drive, if that sort of thing floats your boat.

The paddle shifters, console-mounted performance shifter, and metal pedal kit are firsts for non-TRX models and sweeten the package. And the brakes are nearly 15 inches in diameter, which offers plenty of stopping power.

Add-Ons Add Up

2022 RAM Rebel
Besides the backup camera, all other cameras are optional equipment; (photo/Kristin Shaw)

Unlike the Toyota Tundra, which comes with a full suite of safety and driver-assist features as standard, the 2022 RAM Rebel arrives standard only with forward collision warning.

Most other features — like rear park assist with stop, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane keep assist, and blindspot/cross-path detection — are optional. Even a surround-view camera is extra.

There is no shortage of add-on accessories for the RAM 1500, like bed utilities, adjustable tiedowns and bed lighting, and more off-roading components.

One of my favorite RAM features is the RAMBox, which is a storage compartment accessible from the side of the truck. You could fill it up with ice and keep a fresh catch in there until you’re ready to fillet it, or a whole case of beverages for the campout.

2022 RAM Rebel
(Photo/Kristin Shaw)

One Thing Is Missing

RAM’s cousin Jeep offers forward-facing cameras in its updated Grand Cherokee. When piloting it on challenging off-road courses in Moab this spring, I noticed how much it improved my confidence as I placed my tires along some gnarly cliff edges.

The Rebel is missing this key feature, and with its massive front end, I was wishing for X-ray vision to see through it at some points. Getting around hills and curvy roads is a bit treacherous in this big vehicle without a forward-facing camera view.

Some aftermarket companies are advertising front-facing cameras, but you’d have to plug it into the Uconnect system, and it adds a big hassle factor. I’d like to see RAM include this as a standard feature on all its trucks for safety.

Tough Outside, Comfortable Inside

2022 RAM Rebel
(Photo/Kristin Shaw)

In front, the Rebel trim is only available with bucket seats in the front and a three-seat bench seat in the back. Cloth and vinyl seats are standard, and you can upgrade to leather and vinyl with one of the comfort packages.

Rubber floor mats are standard, which comes in handy when you’re wet and muddy after a day hiking the trails in the rain or competing in one of those intense Spartan races. A quick hose-off, and it’s good as new.

It would be a great addition to be able to get the same marine-quality seats as Ford made available for the new Bronco, complete with a drain hole to wash it all down.

2022 RAM Rebel
(Photo/Kristin Shaw)

When you’re out hiking, the underseat storage is a good hidey-hole for things like a wallet, purse, phone, and other items you want to keep safe. For more secure storage, companies like Decked make spectacular in-bed cargo systems like locking drawers and other storage options for tackle, camping and climbing gear, and supplies.

2022 RAM Rebel
(Photo/Kristin Shaw)

One of my favorite features inside the Rebel (and all of RAM’s trucks) is the set of toggle switches located behind the steering wheel for easy audio system control. It negates the need for fumbling around for buttons or touchscreens; set your favorites and you can easily scroll through them or graze station by station to decide what fits your mood and surroundings.

2022 RAM Rebel Pricing

At the base level, the RAM 1500 starts at $41,870. In the Rebel trim, you’re looking at $53,045 to start. With the G/T package (which adds $2,995), Technology Group ($1,095), Comfort and Convenience Group ($595, which adds heated second-row seats, wireless charging, and a power tailgate release), and the Level 2 equipment group ($3,000, which includes remote keyless entry, heated front seats and steering wheel, and lots more), the price pushes well north of $60,000.

The four-corner air suspension alone adds $1,805, and I’d highly recommend it if you’re going to be driving on punishing roads on a regular basis.

Compare that to the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra. The comparable trim would be the TRD Pro, which includes a 3.5L V6 mated to a battery-electric hybrid system good for 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque.

Pricing has not yet been announced, but it will likely fall between the 1794 model ($62,715) and the top-of-the-line Capstone ($75,225). I think the Tundra is going to give the RAM Rebel a run for its money. At the same time, truck buyers tend to be extremely loyal, so we’ll see what happens.

2022 RAM 1500 Rebel Summarized

Trucks and SUVs are hot commodities right now, probably more than ever. More people are getting outdoors — which is great news unless your favorite spots get crowded — and automakers are tapping into that need, providing more options for meandering away from paved roads.

2022 RAM Rebel
(Photo/Kristin Shaw)

RAM has really upped its truck game, with a trim for just about every need. The automaker knows it has to stay on top of its game because its competitors are not lying down, either.

Ford’s newest F-150 is much improved, and so is Chevrolet’s Silverado (with an all-electric version on the way). RAM is teasing an electric truck as well, but they’re not quite ready to pull the wraps off the plans yet.

For now, for those of us who like to get dirty in a real truck that doesn’t just look good but also performs well in nearly all conditions, the 2022 RAM Rebel has the goods. For more details, check out ramtrucks.com.

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