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

And the Winner isÖ
After hours and hours of seat time and compiling the objective and subjective test data, we could see a separation between the two trucks, and in the end the 2016 Ram 1500 Rebel is the winner of this shootout. The Rebel just seemed to have the edge on the Tundra TRD Pro in a number of areas, and after toiling over our notes and test data the evidence reinforced our impressions while testing.

We are big fans of the Rebelís suspension performance both on the pavement and off, and the adjustability of the air suspension makes it adaptable to different tasks and is a big reason why this truck performed so well in a variety of areas (especially towing). The Ramís HEMI V8 and eight-speed transmission pairing offered the best all-around performance, and whatís more the Ram has the better fuel economy of the two by nearly 2 miles per gallon.

The Rebel does have a higher sticker price thatís $6,216 more than the Tundra TRD Pro, but at least it includes additional features to justify the price (and a few that can be removed, if needed). The Ram Rebel offers true next-level off-road performance and is a truck ready to roll in the dirt the second it leaves the lot.

Next-Level Off-Road Half-Ton Shootout Scorecard
Category Ram 1500 Rebel Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
MSRP 87% 100%
Curb Weight 100% 95%
Pounds per HP 100% 91.67%
Pounds per lb.-ft. 100% 93.3%
0-60 Times 100% 99%
Fuel Economy 100% 89%
Engine 95% 91.5%
On-Road Handling 90% 90%
Off-Road Handling 90% 90%
Towing 92.5% 82.5%
Braking 90% 85%
On-Road Suspension 95% 87.5%
Off-Road Suspension 87.5% 95%
Technologies 90% 85%
Instruments/Controls 87.5% 87.5%
Ergonomics 90% 85%
Fit & Finish 87.5% 87.5%
Cool Factor 92.5% 85%
Grin Factor 90% 87.5%
Overal Score 94.25% 91.65%

MSRP, curb weight, lbs./hp, lbs./lb.-ft., 0-60 times and fuel economy are scored based on objective metrics, with MSRP, 0-60 times and fuel economy being more heavily weighted due to their real-world value. Other scores are listed as a percentage of editorsí ratings in each category. The Overall Score is not a total of the displayed percentages, but it is instead a percentage of the weighted aggregate raw score.

On that note, the Tundra TRD Pro is also ready for the trails once its leaves the dealership, and although it didnít come out on top in this test, itís still worthy of your hard-earned dough. In fact, the Tundra arguably offers the best bang for your buck, as the TRD-tuned Bilstein suspension is the most impressive in the dirt and yet still comfortable enough to haul the family around town in during the week. The TRD Pro is a fun truck to drive overall, and the TRD dual exhaust system really is a nice complement to the powerful V8.

Inside, although the Toyota might not quite be as well equipped as the Ram, it isnít lacking either. The Tundra Crew Cab is comfortable, spacious in front and back, and the controls for pretty much every function are simple to find and use. Our main gripe in the rear of the cabin is the lack of under-seat-storage (a feature found on previous versions of the truck), especially when compared to the cool fold-flat option in the back seat of the Ram. We appreciate the simplicity of the TRD Proís off-road assets, as thereís no button to press or setting to adjust for the additional two inches of ground clearance Ė itís just there. Weíd prefer Toyota ditch the 18-inch wheel like Ram and opt for an off-road-friendly 17, but weíd especially like to see a more aggressive off-road tire on the TRD Pro. To do serious towing with the load we had, the Tundra also might need some helper springs out back as well, and between that add on and likely wanting to get new tires sooner rather than later, the Tundra just isnít quite as complete as the Ram Rebel, the 2016 next-level off-road performance truck winner.


Off-Road.com Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!