What is it: 2023 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Rebel Pickup.
Why should you consider it: Off-road capability with an optional diesel engine in a pick-up that can pull up to 16,870.
How much is it: Prices start at $67,045, excluding $1,895 destination fee.
When can you buy it? For sale at the end of 2022.
PIONEERTOWN, Calif. — Ram is about to add a tasty new flavor to its menu of full-size pickups: the 2023 2500 Rebel.
The Rebel trim level is already a hit on the light Ram 1500s. The 2500 brings it to the mid-weight pickup lineup of the Stellantis pickup brand.
Ram calls the 2500 a heavy-duty pickup, but that’s marketing. It is a medium-duty car by official legal standards, as are almost all pickups that Ford, Chevy and GMC call heavy or HD. Don’t worry about that; they are all horribly capable vehicles. Please don’t email me asking why I’m calling them all medium.
The 2500 Rebel competes with off-road models of the Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Ford F-250 and GMC Sierra 2500.
2023 Ram Rebel Pricing and Option Packs
Base Price: $67,045
Cummins Diesel: $9,995
Warn winch: $2,500 (with gasoline engine only)
Tier 1 Gear Group: $4,220. Features include Uconnect 5 infotainment system, navigation and 12-inch touchscreen; Emergency vehicle alarm system; off-road and towing pages in the display; electrically adjustable pedals and side mirrors; rain-sensitive windshield wipers; selectable tire inflation warning; SiriusXM with 360L
Level 2 Equipment Group: $6,920 and includes everything in Group 1 plus everything listed above in Level 1 Equipment Group plus Harman Kardon audio with 17 speakers; bi-function LED headlights; electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case; leather-wrapped bucket seats, steering wheel, grab handles and gear lever
Prices do not include $1,895 destination fee
Off-road features, but with a diesel engine
The bottom line is that the 2500 Rebel combines serious off-road hardware with the popular Cummins diesel engine that has been one of the hallmarks of Ram for decades.
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Ram already has a mid-range off-road model, the Power Wagon, but it costs about $2,300 more, offers no diesel, and tows and carries less than the Rebel.
The Rebel intentionally borrows some Power Wagon design cues, including black powder coating for the grille and bumpers and a Mopar Sport bonnet.
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New features include an optional video rear-view mirror with three views: conventional, from the side mirrors for towing, and an additional camera that can be mounted on the bumper or on trailers. The cameras can also provide a 360-degree view for parking.
Driver Assistance Features:
- Automatic high beam
- Adaptive cruise control
- Warning for blind spot and crossing traffic
- Forward collision alert and assist
- Lane Keeping Aid
Running gear and interior features
The base engine is a 6.4L Hemi gasoline V8 that produces 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. The 6.7L six-cylinder Cummins diesel — a $9,995 option — produces 370 horsepower and 850 pound-feet of torque.
The diesel Rebel can tow up to 14,920 pounds and carry a whopping 1,970 pounds in its cab and bed. The Hemi can tow 16,870 pounds and carry 3,140.
The Rebel comes with 20-inch attempts, 33-inch tires and skid plates to protect the fuel tank and skid plates.
The pickup can switch from rear to four-wheel drive on the fly. A transfer case offers a low gear range for rough terrain. As with other pickups with advanced 4WD systems, you have to stop and shift into neutral to activate the low gear range.
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Features that are likely to be popular include:
- Lock rear axle
- Electronic rear differential lock
- Independent coil spring rear suspension
- Optional Warn winch (gasoline engine only)
- Optional Ram box storage in rear fenders
The spacious double cabin can accommodate five or six people, depending on whether you get a front seat. Materials range from cloth seats to leather.
Interior features include:
- Configurable 12-inch instrument panel
- 12-inch touchscreen
- Harmon-Kardon audio with 17 speakers
- Electrically adjustable pedals and exterior mirror
On- and off-road with the Ram 2500 Rebel
I spent a day driving a couple of 2,500 Rebels from the high-altitude desert of California to the San Bernardino National Forest to the equally parched—thanks, climate change—Big Bear Lake, a once boating destination that’s currently mostly dry.
I spent most of the day in a diesel Rebel packed with features, including 17-speaker Harman Kardon audio and the tow and safety packages. It stickered at $89,835. All prices are exclusive of destination costs.
The Rebel left Pioneertown, a 1940s re-creation of the 1800s West and served as the setting for countless movies and TV shows. The Rebel was surprisingly smooth and quiet on a series of twisting and rolling back roads through the desert.
Despite the rugged 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler off-road tires, there was little road noise at high speeds. The diesel was effectively muffled by insulation in the engine compartment.
The diesel accelerated confidently, including pulling up a few long inclines to 10%.
Off-road, the diesel’s torque was combined with the low-speed range and locking rear differential to make long haul on forest trails easy as the pickup descended from 8,000 feet to Pioneertown’s 4,000.
The Ram 2500 is a big, long vehicle, so the Rebel is at home on wider trails without a lot of tight switchbacks. The narrow curves favored by recreational off-roaders are better suited to smaller vehicles. Ford electronically locks the inner rear wheel of some large SUVs to help them navigate tight trails. The Rebel seems better suited as a work vehicle than a weekend warrior. Expect to see him head out into the backcountry to repair fences, wells, or check livestock, not for family outings.
I also drove a Hemi-powered Rebel — sticker price $79,395 — for a few hours, including on some narrow and deeply rutted dirt roads clinging to mountainsides. It was more than capable and proved quick and enjoyable as I reached paved surfaces.
2023 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Rebel at a glance
Base Price: $39,950 (excluding $1,895 destination fee)
Medium duty pickup with rear/four wheel drive, five or six person cab with double cab.
For sale at the end of 2022
Primary tested model: 2023 Ram 2500 Rebel diesel
Price as tested $89,835
Specifications as tested:
Power Unit: 6.7L inline-six diesel engine
Power: 370 hp; 850 pound-feet torque
Transmission: six-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy estimate: Not available for medium duty vehicles.
Wheelbase: 149.3 inches
Length: 238.8 inches
Width: 83.4 inches
Curb weight: NA
Ground clearance: 8.5 inches
Payload: 1,970 pounds
Towing Capacity: 14,920 lbs
Assembled in Saltillo, Mexico
Contact Mark Phelan: 313-222-6731 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mark_phelan.
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