2022 Ram 1500 BackCountry Edition First Look Review: Less Rebellious Rebel

2022 Ram 1500 BackCountry Edition First Look Review: Less Rebellious Rebel

07/12/2021

The least-expensive Ram 1500 Rebel off-road pickup you can buy will set you back a smidge more than $47,000. Why does this matter? Because if you’d like a new Ram 1500 with some 4×4 goodness baked in for less dough, then you either need to get creative with the options on, say, a four-wheel-drive base 1500 Tradesman or a low-level 1500 Lone Star or Big Horn. Or you can check out the new-for-2022 Ram 1500 BackCountry.

This new off-road Ram model starts at $41,780 and includes 4WD, the 1500’s 5.7-liter V-8 engine, and an extended cab (or Quad Cab in Ram-speak) body. A basic Ram Rebel extended cab comes with a V-6 engine and costs thousands more. BackCountry Rams are based on the Lone Star or Big Horn trims, the second-from-the-bottom trim level whose name depends on whether or not it’s sold at a Texas dealer or at one within the 49 other states—guess which one is which.

While not as robust or unique as the 1500 Rebel’s off-road package, which includes the likes of 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires and an aggressive hood design, the BackCountry treatment is nonetheless appealing. There are all-terrain tires, skid plates, hill-descent control, off-road shocks, and an electronic-locking rear differential. Most of these BackCountry bits are off-the-shelf 1500 options, mainly hailing from the Off-Road Group, which includes the skid plates, tow hooks, locking rear differential, and shocks. Ram also throws in the Bed Utility Group and its spray-in bedliner, bed lighting, bed step, adjustable tie-downs, and bed extender. Ditto the Mopar floor mats, black-tinted headlights, and black body trim.

We’d say forget the BackCountry badging on the dashboard and the spiffy body-color grille and two-tone paint and instead focus on how all of this special-edition Ram’s elements combine for a screamin’ deal of a price. A Ram 1500 Rebel with the same cab and 5.7-liter V-8, for example, runs a cool $50,660, and a regular 1500 Lone Star or Big Horn with the Off-Road Group, Bed Utility Group, and assorted BackCountry-matching options goes for nearly $50,000 (2021 model year). If you can live with the relatively simple black cloth interior and 7.0-inch Uconnect touchscreen (and waiting until the end of 2021 to buy one), you can have an outdoorsy Ram truck for not a whole lotta money.

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