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

Styling, Ergonomics, Features

The manufacturers have certainly stepped their game up with these trucks, as each has its own appearance package to set it apart from the rest of their respective lineups. The TRD Pro’s exterior isn’t a far cry from the standard Tundra, though there are some notable distinctions, such as a black grill with TOYOTA boldly labeled front and center. The rear quarter panel is also stamped with TRD Pro, and the badging (for i-FORCE V8 and Tundra) on the side of the truck are blacked-out to match the theme.

It's true: you can't always get what you want. We feel that way about the Tundra, as the column shifter is the preferred option of the two trucks, but it also takes away from the usuable space of the center console. The Tundra does offer a large covered storage compartment though.

The Tundra's controls are easy to operate and use while driving.

Inside the Tundra, the spacious and roomy interior is accented with black leather seats that feature red stitching, a TRD Pro logo stitched onto the front driver and passenger seats, and red stitching on the dash and door armrests. A TRD Pro badge is also found on the center console for added customization. The interior controls and dials of the Tundra are easy to find and use, with the A/C settings, stereo and steering wheel controls creating no confusion. We also tended to like the center-console-mounted shifter versus the Ram’s dial shifter, though it does take away from the useable space in the center console.

The instrumentation and center stack on the Ram Rebel has just a little more flair than the Tundra TRD Pro, and we preferred the 8.4-inch U-Connect touchscreen.

We are not fans of the dial shifter on the Rebel.

The Ram Rebel has a bit sportier an appearance up front, with a silver RAM badge on a blacked-out grill, projector headlights, and visible silver skid plate greeting the world. Out back, even larger RAM lettering accents the tailgate (with a much smaller Rebel logo to the side). The race-inspired hood design adds to the sporty appearance thanks to its bulging lines and faux air vents, and the two-tone color combination is even carried over onto the 17-inch wheels.

We like the styling of the two-tone 17-inch wheel on the Ram Rebel.

Ram takes the interior customization a step further on the Rebel with the black seats with red accents that feature fabric that mimics the tire tread on the Toyo A/T II tires. Rebel badging is found on the dash and within the customizable electronic instrumentation for the driver. The front bucket seats on the Rebel are more defined and hold the body in place a little better than the Tundra, and in comparison the Rebel’s cockpit maybe be slightly less roomy but it connects the driver more with the truck.

We felt the Rebel's seat hugs the driver a little better, and overall the interior is the sportier of the two. We also like the usable space of the center console.

The center console design makes great use of the space, with a cell phone holder, large open storage compartment, and then a larger covered storage bin between the two front seats. The reason for the additional space is due, in part, to the dial gear shifter on the dash, and while we like the center console layout we’re not a fan of the dial since it’s too close to stereo controls and just feels awkward (a column shifter may be out of style, but we’d greatly prefer it). The 8.4-inch U-connect infotainment system is easy to use and feels just a little more refined than Toyota’s 7-inch touchscreen, and other than the dial shifter the controls on the Ram are easy to find and use. 

The Tundra's back seats lift up to reveal quite a bit of space for storing larger items inside the cab.

One of the features we really like on the Ram Rebel is the folding flat load floor storage. It's also worth noting the Ram does offer in-floor storage bins, whereas the Toyota does not.

Both trucks are well equipped with creature comforts like power adjustable front seats, and they also have modern truck features such as backup cameras and exterior upgrades like spray-in bedliners and cargo rack systems. The Ram is the more expensive of the trucks by more than $6,000 and therefore it does boast some additional features, including Ram Box cargo boxes built into the bed, power fold-away side mirrors, heated steering wheel, heated seats, and Park Sense rear park assist system.

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