Whenever we get a vehicle that clams to have over 750 miles to empty displayed on the dash, it is not only a rare occurrence but peaks our curiosity at best. Especially when that vehicle is a truck; now it is virtually unheard of. However, Ram has come up with a combination that will do exactly just that.
With a couple of small additions to a standard Rebel, or for that matter any Ram truck, this feat can be done for most anyone. The larger 33-gallon fuel tank, combined with a 3.0-liter diesel engine, will get the job done, with the 4x4 seeing upwards of 750 miles and an average of 24 mpg and the 4x2 doing even better with a 26 mpg average!
With the 26 mpg average, that is over 850 miles per tank full, and we proved it could be done even in the 4x4 model. During our week with the new Ram Rebel, we decided to take a day trip north to Promontory, where the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railways met way back in 1869, starting the U.S. revolution in nationwide transportation.
The total trip would be over 270 miles and was shaping up to be a great test of the engine. Assuming we could just find some dirt to get onto, it would be the perfect day to be in the Rebel. After arriving at Promontory and going through all the history of the rails and the part that Utah played in taking what was a three-month trip down to just a matter of days, we wanted to see as much as the site had to offer.
Unfortunately, the current situation has put the old engines that are usually found at the visitor’s center in their garages of sorts, so all we were able to do was see the track and imagine what it would have been like to be there 151 years ago. However, we did find a sign indicating that the Spiral Jetty was only 18 miles away on a dirt road to the north shores of the Great Salt Lake. Might as well go see the jetty!
The dirt proved to be a pretty easy test for the Ram, as it was well graded, although we did find a couple of hills that were more difficult to climb up near the Jetty. Of course, the Rebel proved more than worthy to make those and, we would think, pretty much any climb in its way.
The larger 18-inch wheels with the added BF Goodrich All Terrain tires rode smoothly across the dirt, and the included air adjustable shocks made it almost as smooth as on-road driving, even when we hit some of the extra pot holes along the way.
With a redo of the EcoDiesel V-6 motor this year, torque has been increased to 480 foot-pounds and horsepower to 280 ponies, giving the truck a total towing capacity of 12,500 pounds. Now that is something to be reckoned with in a half-ton truck.
With all of these awesome additions and improvements, and just over 500 miles of driving that really were about half-and-half highway vs. city, we averaged 25.7 miles per gallon. This was even better than the EPA said we would get at just 24 mpg and would have netted us 848 miles on the tank full of diesel that came with the truck,
Unfortunately, we were unable to run the truck out of fuel during the week, and that was with us really trying! This alone would make jumping to the diesel well worth it at the additional price of just under $5,000 — even more appealing as diesel has dropped in price closer now to regular gasoline.
The adjustable air shocks came in very handy when we had to make a short trip with one of Craig’s trailers on Thursday. Lowering the truck make it easier to get the trailer on, and then having the ability to level the truck with the trailer made the addition of the shocks even more valuable.
Leading the way inside the new truck is the huge 12-inch touch screen that left no doubt it would the take center stage whenever we were out for a drive. This new, huge high-definition screen becomes the brains of the new Ram truck, running everything from climate control to navigation, audio and safety functions.
Adding a piece of technology this big — and we mean big — to a truck is making a huge leap of engineering and design in what a lot of people view as a vehicle made for work. We, on the other hand, loved the addition and how it really set the Ram apart from the competition.
The screen could be split into two sections to allow the driver to have navigation on one part and audio functions on the other, or any of many different combinations. Navigating the screen was easy, and with it being so large, every function on the home screen was only a touch away.
The center console in the Ram has also been reimagined so that there are now countless ways to adjust it and use the space. We loved the way it functioned and was so versatile, and it proved to be a great place to lay out the lunch we had taken with us on our day trip.
The leather-clad seats were beyond comfortable, as we enjoyed every minute sitting inside the new Rebel. The rear seats would slide and recline to keep those in the back even more comfortable as well.
In the rear, there was almost enough space to hold a high school dance, as designers have added 4 inches in interior cab space, most of which helps to accommodate rear seat passengers. Of course, there are the still the bins in each side of the floor of the rear cabin, which, with the under seat storage, makes having some extra tools around very easy.
The addition of Ram Boxes over the wheel wells would also make for great tool storage along with any other additions one might need out on the trail. The fact that they locked with the truck made them even more endearing.
The new EcoDiesel is a great addition, and with the added enhancements this year is well worth the extra price. If you’re looking for a new truck that has more to than a regular 1500, make sure and check out the new EcoDiesel Ram Rebel.
Base price: $47,990
Price as driven: $70,880