Shootout: Ram 1500 Rebel vs. Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Jun. 30, 2016 By Josh Burns, Photos by Josh Burns and Jay McNally, Video by Jay McNally

MORE: Ram Rebel vs. Tundra TRD Pro

Speed & Performance
The trucks in this test are equipped with very similar engines. The Ram 1500 Rebel is fitted with a 5.7L HEMI rated to produce 395 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 410 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,950 rpm. The Toyota Tundra TRD Pro also is fitted with a 5.7L engine, though the iForce V8 is rated to produce slightly less horsepower at 381 @ 5,600 rpm and slightly less torque at 401 lb.-ft. at 3,600 rpm.

We thought the Ram Rebel's HEMI had the best seat-of-the-pants acceleration, and its 0-60 time reinforced this - but not by much.

The Rebel has a slight edge on paper, but our seat-of-the-pants impression left us thinking the Ram HEMI V8 had a little more oomph off the bottom and when digging deep for power when higher in the rpm range (like when towing or climbing a steep incline). The HEMI pulls hard away from stops, and it never feels like it is wanting for more displacement. We were impressed with the engine’s performance in pretty much every facet of testing.

The 5.7-liter HEMI V8 in the Ram Rebel is rated to produce 395 hp and 410 lb.-ft. of torque, both of which lead the test. The Ram also produced the best combined fuel economy at 16.5 mpg.

0-60 Times
Ram 1500 Rebel 7.48 second
Toyota Tundra TRD Pro 7.59 second

Much like the Ram’s HEMI, Toyota’s i-FORCE V8 has a proven track record and is used in a number of the manufacturer’s vehicles. On paper, the Tundra’s V8 gives up 14 horsepower and 9 lb.-ft. of torque but we really couldn’t find many complaints with the overall performance of the engine. Although both trucks are fitted with dual exhaust system, it’s the Tundra TRD Pro’s that offered the deeper growl and rumble that we preferred, though both exhausts offer performance tones that nicely complement the engines.

The Tundra TRD Pro (7.59 seconds) was only a tick off the Ram's 7.48-second 0-60 time.

After a number of days jumping back and forth between trucks, we were confident the Rebel’s HEMI just had a little better power-to-ground torque, although our 0-60 mph time didn’t exactly show a huge difference in real-world numbers. The Rebel posted a 7.48-second time that’s only a bit quicker than the Tundra’s 7.59-second time. The time gap could come down to a number of factors, but it could be as simple as the additional 245 lbs. of weight of the Tundra.

The 5.7-liter i-FORCE V8 engine in the Tundra is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The biggest difference between these two engines is really not the engines at all – it’s what is mated to them. The Ram Rebel’s HEMI is paired with an eight-speed transmission that seamlessly clicked through the gears regardless of the situation. The Tundra’s i-FORCE is mated to a six-speed trans that felt great in everyday driving but isn’t quite as refined for towing purposes. The Tundra features a rear axle ratio of 4.30 compared to the Ram’s 3.92 gear ratio.

Fuel Economy Testing (combined)
Ram 1500 Rebel – 16.5 mpg
Toyota Tundra TRD Pro – 14.7 mpg

The Ram is the quicker of the two and yet it still gets the nod in the fuel economy department. The number we focus on in testing is the combined total, as that is closer to the real-world number most drivers will see (mind you, off-road testing isn’t factored into our fuel numbers). The Ram features a 15 mpg city rating and 21 mpg highway rating, with a combined rating of 17 mpg, and our testing produced a 16.5 mpg combined rating in the Ram. The Toyota is rated at 13 mpg city, 17 mpg highway and 15 mpg combined, and our Tundra TRD Pro finished with a 14.7 mpg combined fuel economy. Although the Ram does have an optional upgrade to increase its 26-gallon tank to 32 gallons, our test truck did not have this upgrade (but we’d opt for it at the dealership). In previous years the Tundra did not have a larger fuel tank option, but we were pleased to see our test truck fitted with the 38-gallon tank versus the standard 26-gallon tank.

Next Page... Next-Level Off-Road Half-Ton Shootout Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!