I drove the 2022 RAM 1500 with the “Big Horn” trim package a few months ago and enjoyed it quite a bit. These big luxury trucks are great to drive with wide, luxurious seats, powerful engines, and a great sound system. When RAM offered me the chance to also drive the RAM 1500 with the “Rebel G/T” trim, I was curious; how much difference does a trim kit make? After all, in most vehicles, the different levels are mostly cosmetic, and often only relate to the exterior design. Upgraded mirrors, better floor mats, a racing stripe, a bed liner. Right? Wrong! It turns out that there was a surprising amount of difference between the Big Horn and the Rebel G/T, and that I prefer the Big Horn.
But let’s talk about the 2022 RAM 1500 Rebel G/T itself. First off, it’s a beautiful color, Hydro Blue Pearl-Coat, and is powered by a hefty 5.7L V8 Hemi with an 8-speed automatic transmission…
This isn’t just a base model RAM 1500, however, this model has over $20,000 in optional equipment, most notably the uninformatively named G/T Package, Rebel 12 Package and Rebel Level 2 Equipment Group, which offers the big 12″ display on the UConnect entertainment system, Wi-Fi hotspot, extra USB ports, upgraded seats and more. There are some great technological upgrades too, including a smart heads up display, digital rearview mirror, power tailgate release, and an enormous panoramic sunroof. Here’s the dashboard:
Since you’re sitting up quite a ways from the road — and you have to pull yourself into the cab, it’s high! — the controls are all comfortably arrayed in front of the driver, easily managed. Behind the left side of the steering wheel is a hidden next/previous track control, and behind the right side of the steering wheel is a volume up/down control. Or maybe it’s the other way around: There’s no way to know without actually pushing one to see what happens.
Unsurprisingly, the dash layout is essentially the same as the RAM 1500 Big Horn, including the 4×4 drive options:
The Rebel G/T also has a lot of towing smarts, a definite strength of the RAM truck lineup. This includes an easy auto-leveling system and a trailer brake control. The 1500 series has a towing capacity of over 6 tons and a payload capacity of 2,300 pounds. Bump up to the 2500 and the larger engine lets you tow up to 10 tons, with a payload capacity of 4,000 pounds. Still need more? That’s the commercial-grade RAM 3500, with its 37,000 pound towing capacity (that’s 18 tons!) and payload capacity of up to 7,600 pounds.
And I have to say, that 12-inch display is gorgeous:
Controls all around make it complicated to figure out – the above is showing wireless Apple CarPlay with its navigation map – but what’s more important to notice is that the line of buttons along the bottom of the screen, from Home to Apps, is on-screen, they aren’t physical buttons. This means that when the screen is off, you’ve also lost access to your Comfort and Vehicle controls, along with the display for the backup camera when reversing.
No worries, right? Except that the screen randomly blanked out or jumped into a different display mode all on its own. It also meant that if I pushed the volume knob to turn off the radio for a moment, I lost the reverse camera, along with these other display-reliant features. In the course of a week, I had the display glitch at least a half-dozen times, and after discussing it with a fellow auto writer, learned I was not alone in finding the UConnect system glitchy. What’s inexplicable is the design decision to have “turn off music” be “turn off the entire display system”, meaning that savvy RAM 1500 owners never push the volume knob, they just dial it to zero. This, however, doesn’t alleviate the random gremlins from changing the screen display.
As with all these big trucks, the center console is expansive, with storage and lots of room for cups and miscellany:
The empty space in front of the gear shift is also where there’s what RAM calls the Wireless Charging Pad, a spot where you can slip your smartphone into a slot and have it charge as you drive. Handy, but I found I had to pop the case off my iPhone 13 Pro for it to be positioned properly. Note in the above the long, skinny storage slot too. You’d need a lot of gadgets and gizmos to fill up all the storage areas!
Once you do explore all of the storage areas, you’ll also find perhaps the most inexplicable thing in the entire vehicle, the math quick reference info:
Odds are good that most owners don’t even know this exists, but I was definitely surprised to see what appeared to be a cheat sheet for high school algebra memorialized on the lid of the center storage compartment. If you know the story behind this, please do share in a comment!
I mentioned earlier about the rear backup camera, but what I didn’t mention is that there are no fancy side-view cameras that allow an “overhead” view, meaning that the Rebel G/T is a bear to park. Modern parking spots vary in width and it’s mighty tough to perfectly center a vehicle this big in a spot without this additional assistance. Lacking that, I not infrequently parked, got out, realized I was over the line, got in, and straightened up the truck. Given its price tag, it’s rather astonishing to not have this critical feature.
But there were other technologies lacking in this particular Rebel, notably both adaptive cruise control (that adjusts your speed based on the speed of the vehicle in front) and blind-spot monitoring, which seems like it should be standard equipment in 2022, not an optional add-on.
The RAM 1500 is a big truck with lots of space, including remarkable legroom for the rear passengers (the Crew Cab designation):
Honestly, the RAM 1500 is roomier for rear passengers than just about every large or luxury SUV I’ve driven in the last few years. Those rear passengers gain access to their own power and climate controls too:
Very well appointed and sure to keep your passengers happy on those long hauls to the worksite or road trips to grandma’s house. It’s also a pickup truck, lest we forget, and this model included the terrific Mopar spray-in bed liner and power tailgate:
You do sacrifice bed length for the Crew Cab, but for most people, I expect this is a worthy trade, and many owners undoubtedly find that some cargo space and lots of crew space are more valuable than vice versa. The RAM truck lineup has plenty of flexibility in this regard, as required.
The drive experience is terrific and the 5.7L V8 has lots of oomph for accelerating up to highway speed. The RAM 1500 Rebel G/T is comfortable, has oodles of room for passengers, and plenty of space in the back for cargo, gear, and even construction essentials for your next big job. The problem I had with the truck was a combination of the glitchy entertainment system and the lack of key safety features that were notable omissions. As with all vehicles, if I were buying this, I would opt to add the additional features – adaptive cruise control, blind side monitoring, etc, but this is a truck that’s already priced out at over $70,000 without sales tax and potential dealer markup. That’s almost $10,000 more than the Big Horn I drove, which again brings up the question of whether the Rebel is worth the upcharge. It’s a key question when pricing out the RAM 1500 line.
2022 RAM 1500 Rebel G/T Crew Cab 4×4, with 5.7L V8 HEMI MDS VVT eTorque Engine, 8-speed automatic transmission in Hydro Blue with Black interior. BASE PRICE: $51,350. Options included Customer Preferred Package 27W, Comfort and Convenience Group, Bed Utility Group, G/T Package, Rebel 12 Package, Rebel Level 2 Equipment Group, Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover, 5.7L Engine, Dual-Pane Panoramic Sunroof, 33-Gallon Fuel Tank, 4-Corner Air Suspension, and Spray-In Bedliner. AS DRIVEN: $71,995.
Disclosure: RAM Trucks loaned me the 1500 Rebel G/T for a week of driving in return for this review. Thanks, RAM!