The Ram 1500 Rebel and Toyota Tundra TRD Pro are both ready for some fairly serious off-road duty straight from the factory, but which is better in the mud? And more importantly, which is more fun?
Rebel vs Tundra TRD Pro
For 2019, the Ram Rebel is all-new, now based on the latest truck platform that the brand has to offer. Packing the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque, the Rebel gets a set of Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires, skid plates, Bilstein shocks, and a one-inch suspension lift, unless you opt for the air suspension like our unit had, which is able to lift the body by about two-inches in off-road mode.
As for the Tundra, power also comes from a 5.7-liter V8, making 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque, sent through a six-speed automatic. The TRD Pro package brings along upgraded dampers for 2019, a set of 2.5-inch FOX shocks with remote reservoirs. Combined with uniquely tuned TRD springs and a one-inch lift in the front, the Tundra TRD Pro benefits from an extra 1.5-inches of wheel travel in the front and a full two-inches in the rear. Skid plates and new Rigid Industries fog lights in the front bumper complete the package, along with a TRD-tuned performance exhaust. That new pipe makes the Tundra’s V8 sing with a deep growl, though on the highway the noise can start to drone on and become annoying.
The big test running through the mud had everything to do with the tires, and the Ram Rebel’s Duratracs certainly offer more grip than the Michelin LTX all-terrain tires found on the Tundra. Though as you may expect, the more aggressive Duratracs are also louder during day-to-day to driving, while the Michelins are nice and quiet. And while the Duratracs are more aggressive and crawled through the mud easily, the Michelins actually did a fine job of getting the Tundra through the slick stuff as well.
Outside of the mud when the speeds start to increase is when the Tundra starts to feel better. The suspension is better tuned for high-speed off-roading, and big hits are swallowed up really well by the truck. In the Rebel, the air suspension, especially when fully lifted, remains stiff and ends up beating up the occupants, rather than offering the soft, calm ride of the Toyota.
While both are excellent trucks, if I had to spend my money, it would be on the Tundra. The suspension makes it more fun to drive than the Rebel, not to mention it looks and sounds amazing.
You’ll have to watch the video (embedded above) for yourself to see how each truck did.