2019 Ram 1500 Rebel 4×4: Why I\u2019d Buy It – Angus MacKenzie

2019 Ram 1500 Rebel 4×4: Why I\u2019d Buy It – Angus MacKenzie


“What truck should I buy?” It’s a question consumers ask themselves every day, but what would international bureau chief Angus MacKenzie drive? Keep reading for the answer, and see other editors’ picks here.

I’m a tradesman, but I don’t need to haul around anything bigger than a laptop. My 1967 Alfa Romeo will be a driver, not a trailer queen, when its restoration is finished. But I’d still like a pickup truck. A pickup truck is your best friend on four wheels, a tough, useful, versatile tool that can be configured a zillion different ways, an automotive Leatherman.

It’s hard to look past our 2019 Truck of the Year, the Ram 1500, easily the most rounded of the current generation of light-duty trucks, and my pick of the 1500 lineup is the Rebel 4×4, because I want a truck with all-road, all-weather capability that’s capable of taking me anywhere in the country, any time of year. Besides, those 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires not only look cool, but also deliver a great ride.

The Rebel lineup opens at $44,940 for a Quad Cab V-6, but I’d go for the $47,740 Crew Cab V-6 because it has bigger rear doors and a roomier cabin. At this level, it’s pretty much a blank canvas: The options list is extensive and enticing.

Let’s start with the mechanicals. I’d spend $1,395 on the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 for the extra power and torque over the standard mild-hybrid V-6. Another no-brainer is the $1,795 height-adjustable air suspension, which offers five height settings, from low-slung entry mode to high-riding off-road mode, and delivers a remarkably calm and compliant ride. But—gulp—to get it you also have to pay either $2,000 or $3,000 for one of two equipment groups that include infotainment and feature upgrades.

I’d spend $3,000 on the Level 2 equipment group to get automatic climate control, parking sensors, automatic wipers, keyless entry, remote start, and a 115-volt auxiliary rear power outlet. Then I’d add the $2,495 Rebel 12A pack, which includes power seats with black leather trim and red accents, a nine-speaker audio system, and the giant 12-inch Uconnect 4C infotainment touchscreen. I’d also order the $1,495 panoramic sunroof. In this spec, the Ram Rebel interior feels almost like that of a sports-oriented luxury car. The fact the transmission is operated via a rotary controller on the dash rather than a clunky work truck column shifter also enhances cabin’s the car-like ambiance.

To top it off, I’d go with the Billet Silver Metallic over Black Crystal paint ($200) and a handful of useful options, such as the clever RamBox storage units ($995) and the trailer tow pack ($400). I’d also spend $595 on a spray-in bedliner to keep it looking fresh, $445 on the 33-gallon fuel tank for a nearly 30 percent increase in cruising range, and $195 on the deployable rear step because climbing in and out of the back of pickup trucks doesn’t seem as easy as it was 30 years ago.

Total cost? $60,890. Not cheap, but I’d lease rather than buy. Ram has offered 36-month lease deals of $653 a month, with $6,264 down. For that money, it’s a helluva truck.

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