When the Swiss Army knife was first was created back in 1891, we can probably guess that company that created it knew they were on to something. Somehow they managed to shoehorn a large blade, small blade, scissors, nail file, pruning blade, cuticle pusher, bit driver, fish scaler, wood saw, screw driver, can opener and a few other things along the way, into something that fit relatively nicely into your pocket. In fact, the only thing that didn’t make was literally a shoe horn, although we’d bet that it was thrown into the discussion. Of course the makers had to be confident in their work! It was pretty ingenious. But, what we’d bet that they did not predict was that the analogy of a Swiss Army knife would be used almost as widely and as often as people used the actual knife itself over the coming years. It has been used in so many ways and used to describe so many dissimilar things that it’s almost amazing. Leonardo DaVinci was called a Swiss Army knife because he could draw, sculpt, design, and write things other couldn’t even dream of. Lebron James has been called the Swiss Army knife of basketball because he can shoot, rebound, assist, and defend all five positions of the opposing team in the same game. And when it comes to things like cars and trucks, there have been more than one SUV along the way that has been described as a Swiss Army knife, typically because they can perform in all kinds of conditions. But in our case, we would like to nominate another truck for this title. The 2020 Ram Rebel Ecodiesel.
Now, sure, you may have heard of the Ecodiesel by now. It’s been around for the better half of a decade, and you have probably heard of the Ram Rebel, but more than likely only in Hemi form. But now those two things have joined forces, and truth be told, it’s hard to find something this truck can’t do well. So let’s start with the aforementioned Ecodiesel motor. Now in its third generation, this iteration gives us a respectable 260 horsepower and impressive 480 lb-ft of torque — up 20 and 60 ticks in their respective categories from the outgoing version. In fact, the new motor is an almost completely new redesign and chimes in a full 15 pounds lighter, but still retains the same 3.0-liter V6 status. That power gets routed through a very competent ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, which is the sole option for gear changing.
The Rebel package is almost becoming one of Ram’s more popular options in recent months. Featuring a very aggressive vented hood and two-tone black accents, it’s hard to miss coming down the highway, also due in no small part to the factory lifted suspension and huge 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires. Ram essentially took what most pickup owners do immediately upon purchasing a stock truck, and decided to eat up some of that aftermarket money by offering it with higher quality and at a lower price — the perks of volume shopping.
So let’s review, this Ram has the engine to move up to 12,560 pounds, a max payload capacity of 1,810 pounds, as well as five full sized adults. But not only that, thanks to it being a full bore diesel motor, you get the holy grail of pickup truck desirability — fuel economy! This new motor clocks in at a ridiculous 21/29/24 city/highway/combined mpg. Of course, those numbers will decrease if you are towing a small town behind you, but they are still currently the best in its class, and that dominance should theoretically carry over to work duty as well.
But more than just work, and fuel economy, the new Ram Rebel is damn-near luxurious. Okay, it’s not quite Rolls Royce level, but for something you could take to a construction site and then ford a river on the way home, the interior of this truck is about as fancy as you could ever hope for. The materials feel high quality, no throw-away plastic filler bits. The massive 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen display sits front and center on the dash and controls all things fun and informative, and gives the term “drive-in movie” a whole new twist. The digital cluster gauge display sits on a 7-inch screen in front of the driver, and looks like something out of Audi’s playbook. The media center has auxiliary ports and high speed USB charging ports, as well as three 115-volt outlets. And it’s not forget the 900-watt Harman Kardon Premium Audio System that includes — count’em — 19 speakers in total. The Rebel seats are trim specific and are sporty leather models that have REBEL embroidered directly on them to make sure there is no doubt of what package you chose. The seats themselves are far more comfortable than any tough guy would want to admit to. What you can’t see inside the cabin is the amount of effort that went into noise cancellation with this Ram. Frame mounted active tuned mass modules actively reduce external ruckus and have been proven to bring sound levels down to a very docile 57.6 decibels.
So all in all, the 2020 Rebel Ecodiesel can kind of, do it all. It can cruise out to the country and get great mileage, it can tow and haul anything you can throw at it, or in it, it is plush and soft enough inside to even pick up a date on a Saturday night, and it is rugged looking enough to still be considered a serious half-ton truck. And all of that for a base price of just over $54,000? This new Ram is truly a genuine Swiss Army knife of the automotive world. It can do just about anything and everything you could ever want a truck to do, and more. Well, almost everything, there is no fish scaler option with the Ram, at least not yet.