Once again, thanks to our friends at Abbotsford Chrysler I had the opportunity to review the 2018 Ram 1500 Rebel. What makes this particular Rebel special, is the fact that it has a dealer installed 4-inch BDS lift kit and is riding on 20-inch Fuel wheels with 35×12.50R20 tires. Lift kits for air suspension equipped Rams have become a bit of a hot topic lately. Many new customers are taking an interest in the Ram brand with the introduction of the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 which combined with the air suspension being available on more trim levels, has created a lot of questions about whether or not you can lift an air suspension equipped truck. While BDS had this kit available to fourth generation trucks for a while, I have heard that they are currently developing a similar setup for 2019 Ram 1500s equipped with the air suspension.
With that out-of-the-way let’s get to the truck itself. 2018 is the last year for this body style Ram Rebel as the all-new 2019 Ram Rebel is now landing on dealer lots. While FCA has announced that the fourth generation trucks will live on for a while longer, badged the 2019 Ram Classic, trim levels will be limited to Tradesman, Express and SLT trims. The EcoDiesel will continue to be built until December, with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 5.7-liter HEMI V8 being your only engine options after that, the Classic will be aimed at the value-minded shopper and would be an excellent choice.
While the fourth generation Ram 1500 has been around since 2009, updates, tweaks, and new trim levels have ensured that the Ram 1500 has remained fresh during its life cycle. As a matter of fact, while sales usually taper off as a vehicle ages, Ram truck sales have increased yearly since the introduction of the 2009 Ram 1500.
Looking at the exterior, this Rebel has an imposing appearance. Part of that is due to the aforementioned 4-inch BDS lift kit along with 35-inch tires and aftermarket wheels, the other part is the Rebel specific design elements. In white, the truck looks very good, with many features being offset in a matte black scheme. The fourth generation Rebels are only available in the Crew Cab with the 5’7 box configuration.
The interior of the 2018 Rebel is full of quality materials, excellent fit and finish and is laid out in a logical, easy to use manner. (No it’s not as nice as the all-new 2019 Ram 1500, but until that truck debuted the fourth gen Rams were still the class leader.) A leather-wrapped dash top, 8.4-inch UConnect screen, premium instrument cluster with a 7-inch reconfigurable display, heated seats and heated steering wheel are all standard.
While most Rebels have red interior accents, this particular truck had the blacked out interior accents. The standard seats are leather with cloth seating surface and are very comfortable. A neat “easter egg” found on the Ram was the tire tread pattern of the stock tires being embossed into the cloth portions of the seat. The word Rebel is stitched into the upper inside bolster. Heated and ventilated leather seats are also optional.
I instantly felt at home in the driver’s seat as I own a 2016 Ram 1500 Sport myself. There is a lot of room, and it is easy to get comfortable. In the back, while not having the biggest cab in its class I still have lots of room with the driver’s seat set for my seating position. (As I am 6′ tall) My only complaint would be the hump in the passenger front floorboard that eats into front passenger foot space.
This truck was powered by the tried and true 5.7-liter HEMI V8, rated at 395 Horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque, backing that up is the ZF 8-speed automatic transmission and this truck had the optional 3.92 axle ratio. The larger tires make the truck feel a little sluggish compared to stock, but it still has more than enough power and is a trade-off you will get putting larger tires on any vehicle. All of the built-in air suspension settings are retained with the lift kit, with the truck automatically raising and lowering based on preset speeds. I was very impressed with the way the truck drove overall, it felt like driving a stock Ram 1500 which in itself is a testament to the BDS lift kit and the air suspension itself. The cabin was quiet and had excellent visibility all the way around. The stock exhaust is relatively quiet but with a nice rumble to it and can barely be heard in the cabin.
If you’re looking for the absolute best deal on a brand new truck, the 2018/2019 Ram Classic is definitely worth a look, dealers are heavily discounting the 2018 Ram 1500 as they are sitting on the lots next to the all-new 2019 Ram 1500. If you want the latest and greatest, Ram will happily sell you a 2019 Ram 1500. Either way, you will be getting a great truck that should serve you well for the years to come.
2018 Ram Rebel Photo Gallery