We Drive it: The 2024 Ram Rebel 2500 Heavy Duty – Cummins Power, Good Looks, Power Wagon Parts


We Drive it: The 2024 Ram Rebel 2500 Heavy Duty – Cummins Power, Good Looks, Power Wagon Parts

One of the most important elements of modern auto-making is the ability for a company to use their entire toolbox in the creation and execution of a vehicle. This doesn’t simply mean slapping a different brand’s badge on the same car or truck, but within product lines being able to use the parts bin for different models to supplement others. Nowhere does this happen with ore regularity than on the truck side of things and we’re happy to say that perhaps the best single example of a rig that has the best of everything rolled into one is the 2024 Ram 2500 Rebel Heavy Duty you see here. We spent a week with this monster and between the Cummins power, the aggressive Rebel look and nice interior, and the large number of Power Wagon parts underpinning this thing, there wasn’t much to take umbrage with. But as always, we’ll try.

Let’s start with an important point. This is a 2500 series truck, meaning it’s 3/4-ton job in the normal truck language. This means that you will not have the supple and smooth ride quality of the 1500 series half-ton with Ram’s great air suspension. You are going to know that you are in a 3/4-ton truck rolling up on great looking wheels and 33″ tires. If serenity of ride quality is one of your largest concerns when truck shopping, we’d recommend skipping anything above a half ton. If you want payload capacity, towing capacity, the look and feel of a larger truck, and absolutely zero concerns about not having enough power, the Rebel 2500 Heavy Duty with the 6.7L Cummins is the right place for you.

If we start from the bottom up there are a few great things to note about this truck. There’s a LOT of Power Wagon DNA living under here where it counts. From the Articulinks up front to the five link rear axle, the suspension is far more off road capable than the majority of buyers will ever need, but having and not needing is a whole lot better than needing an not having. The ride is not bone jarring, overly stiff, or unpleasant, but it does ride like a truck, which is something that increasing numbers of truck buyers seem to have a problem with. The steering weight and on-center accuracy were really good in this rig, even with the 33″ tires and all the weight of the big diesel up front. I’d take the ride of the Ram Rebel 2500 over the F-250 and place it very close to in concert, if not a little better than the GM offerings at this level of truck.

This Ram Rebel 2500 Heavy Duty is equipped with a bed that is six feet, four inches in length and as it carries the Ram Box option on each side, the payload area is narrowed up. This is an interesting trade off and one that may be an adjustment for shoppers who have never really given a close look to the Ram Box bed. Obviously this has been a successful option for Ram and it continues to be. For me? The usable space in the boxes far outweighs the loss in width for normal cargo stowage. The old “sheet of plywood” test which was a large benchmark for trucks for years doesn’t apply as much in this world of truck buying habits. These are not vehicles majority bought by contractors anymore. They are bought as family transportation and more. The Ram Box volume is larger than you’d expect if you have never seen one in person. LOTS of normal every day stuff can fit in these weatherproof compartments. You can still haul a load of mulch, loam, or sand home from the local material yard, just make sure the guy running the loader has it centered up properly!

If you have the money to spend, this is the only way to fly in the modern truck world. Diesel power is so good, so efficient, and honestly so well engineered these days that if you can pony up for it, these engines are the killer choice. In this truck the 6.7L Cummins makes 370hp and 850 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is a six speed automatic. The trick with diesels has always been to get as many gears behind them as humanly possible. Obviously the operating range is at far lower RPM than gasoline engines, so the more gears the better. I enjoyed the power, the responsiveness, and the smooth action of the transmission but as opposed to the competing options, this drivetrain felt a little long in the tooth. The reason? The competition has 10-speeds. Both GM and Ford use the 10-speed Allison transmission behind their diesels. This huge truck is not slow by any means but it sure does not attack the seat of the pants acceleration feels like the Ford and GM trucks with the 10-speeds do.

In a crew cab truck, size matters and we’re thinking that some of you reading this could experience a truck cab larger than your first home when you climb into this rig. The cab is literally enormous and it’s wonderfully quiet. Yes, you can hear some nice Cummins sounds when you flatten the pedal, but we want that. What you won’t here is wind noise, whistling, etc. The tires can sing a little but again, the cab is so well insulated that the noise is not at all unpleasant. The materials are nice, not over the top but you can tell they are durable and they present well. Trucks are obviously large ticket items, especially rigs like this with more serious engines and suspension options than a standard run of the mill half ton.

Up front there’s a lot happening and I think in a good way. The massive screen is the centerpiece of the whole operation and while many of you out there may shudder at the thought, there’s no putting the technology toothpaste back in the tube at this point. Screens are here, this one supplemented by plenty of physical buttons. The presence of the screen and the fact that it’s the first thing your eyes seek out keeps the interior property value up. Four wheel drive selections are made via dash buttons, the transmission is shifted with a good old column shifter, and the massive center console is both functional and proportional to the rest of the cab, which again, is the size of a small home.

The 2024 Ram Rebel 2500 Heavy Duty is, in my opinion as perfect a blend between a work and play truck as can exist in the 3/4-ton space. This truck would be fun with the 6.4L hemi engine but with the 6.7L Cummins, it has an entirely different level of burly personality. The truck is fun to drive, it is functional with its huge towing capacity, robust cargo capacity, and indestructible driveline from the engine on back (and forward).

The on-road presence of this truck hits different than some of the more “rebellious” models in the Dodge lineup. This is a well dressed brute that could just as easily rumble into the country club parking lot as it could the construction site on Monday morning. Hardcore without needing to apologize for itself, and a stout performer despite its transmission hamstring, this thing is BangShift approved up, down, and sideways.

 

 


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