To many, the Dodge 1500 is already the most aggressively handsome full-size pickup truck on the road. It has a big, bold look with a hunkered-down demeanour and a “don’t mess with me” attitude. Dodge offers as many as nine versions spanning the range from workhorse to luxury, smooth pavement cruiser to rock-strewn trail climber.
Enter the 2016 Dodge Ram Rebel, the tenth offering in this impressive lineup. It doesn’t take more than a moment to see what’s changed on the outside. Up front, the crosshair grille is gone, replaced with a huge, blacked-out split-element grille and RAM badges front and back that even your grandmother could read without her glasses. Black powder-coated steel bumpers, a bulging hood, fender flares, dual exhausts and sharp-looking 18-inch Rebel-only wheels round out the cosmetic changes. The inside adds red anodized looking trim and special seats, which actually match the tread pattern of the aggressive Toyo tires this truck is equipped with.
But the Rebel isn’t just a regular 1500 with a few cosmetic tweaks. Starting with a 1500 quad cab the Rebel adds standard air suspension, aggressive off-road-friendly tires, a functional skid plate, upgraded shocks and a 1-inch lift. You can get yours with either the 3.6 V6 or the 5.7 V8 Hemi, both are bolted to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The under-the-skin changes give the truck the credentials to back up the aggressive good looks.
To say the truck splits the difference between the Sport and Outdoorsman model isn’t quite fair, the truck has its own personality and delivers a custom look and feel without the expense and hassle of after-market jobs. It also negates the risk of warranty issues related to the installation of non-stock parts.
The truck bed is 5 feet 7 inches long, but Dodge offers a Rambox upgrade that includes a bed extender that expands the box to 7 feet, plenty big enough for ATVs, snowmobiles and other toys.
This is undoubtedly a good looking truck, but when it comes to the 2016 Ram Rebel, beauty is definitely more than skin deep.