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Should I Get a Jeep or Truck? (A Jeep vs RAM Comparison)

Should I Get a Jeep or Truck

On the one hand, she loves the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited in the Rubicon trim level and really wants one in Ocean Blue.

On the other hand, she also really loves the RAM 1500 Rebel TRX and has been anticipating owning one ever since Dodge revealed they would move forward with the concept.

For an apples-to-apples comparison we chose the latest range topping Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 with a V8 under the hood to go up against the RAM 1500 Rebel TRX with similar price points of less than $90,000.

1. Size

Briefly, this is how the Jeep compares against the RAM:

Jeep Unlimited Rubicon 392RAM 1500 Rebel TRX
Passenger Volume104 cu. ft.132 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume28 cu. ft.N/A

Both the latest Jeep JL Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 and RAM 1500 Rebel TRX are impressive and intimidating machines.

Both are upright vehicles with boxy styling. Both offer four door access. And both the Jeep and RAM have room for up to five passengers.

The body of the RAM is eight inches wider than a standard 1500 to accommodate a stronger frame and even more sophisticated suspension.

To accommodate the bigger Hemi engine, Jeep also strengthened the 392’s frame.

Fitted a two-inch suspension with Fox dampers. And upgraded the rear brakes.

Both interiors are cavernous and loaded to the gills with luxury along with the latest technology.

2. Power

Neither the Jeep nor the RAM are the type of vehicles you buy because you’re looking for the best fuel economy.

But when it comes to what they’re designed to do, they do that well. And that ability comes down to power.

Horsepower in fact.

With Jeep’s addition of the 392, the Wrangler has never been more distinctly American. Nor has it ever looked like this from factory.

Beyond the dome hood is a gigantic 470 HP 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine displacing 392 cubic inches – hence the 392 at the end of the Wrangler Rubicon’s name.

Although this is a vehicle designed more for crawling over boulders than laying down rubber on the tarmac.

It’s 470 HP and 470 pound-feet of torque rockets the Wrangler Rubicon from zero to sixty in four seconds with a top speed that’s governed at 112 MPH.

While the Jeep maintains its reputation of being more of a one trick pony, the TRX seems to be a muscle truck that’s as capable on the pavement as off-roading.

Between the bulging fenders and past the eye-level hood scoop, the Rebel TRX is motivated by a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 – you might know it better as the Hellcat engine.

This one produces 702 HP and 650 pound-feet of torque which is sent to all four wheels.

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It helps the Rebel TRX produce a better zero to sixty time of 3.7 seconds, making it the fastest production truck on the planet.

Like the Wrangler Rubicon the TRX is better suited for the rocks and mud than being a pavement eating muscle truck.   

3. Drivetrain

All 702 horsepower from the Rebel TRX’s Hellcat motor gets fed to all four tires through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 392 has a full-time all-wheel drive system.

The 392 only comes as an all-wheel drive option. To back up the massive output of the V8 engine is a TorqueFlite 8HP75 eight-speed automatic transmission and a full-time MP3022 Selec-Trac transfer case.

Although the Jeep makes considerably less horsepower compared to the TRX. The 470 HP is enough to get the Wrangler Unlimited to do four-wheel burnouts.

4. Jeep Interior Comfort

Since Jeeps and trucks are made for work and the outdoors, historically they haven’t been the most comfortable vehicles you can choose.

That is until now. You can get your Wrangler Rubicon 392 fitted with leather seats.

But owing to the Jeep’s utilitarian practicality, they’re only manually adjustable.

The Wrangler Rubicon is a vehicle that my five feet three-inch wife is into.

So, big and imposing as the Jeep looks, you might find the interior cramped if you’re over six feet.

Surprisingly, the nifty Sky One-Touch power top is a more expensive option than just getting the hard top.

But as far as interior noise is concerned, it doesn’t matter which you choose. Both tops allow a fair amount of noise into the cabin at cruising speeds.

5. RAM Interior Comfort

On the truck side of things, thanks to those muscular bulging sides.

The TRX isn’t going to be easy to park in the typical suburban or city public parking lots.

And it’s only offered as a crew cab with a short bed, which I think is just fine for sport truck.

And even though a base model starts out at around $80,000.

Creature comforts I know my wife will want like heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, cargo-box lighting, a flat-bottom steering wheel wrapped in leather, leather seats and more interior storage cost extra.

But if you can overlook those foibles, the Rebel TRX offers more refined road manners than the Jeep despite the larger size of the engine.

Despite the upcharge for the more desirable amenities, RAM has completely changed the expectation for truck interiors.

Currently, these trucks are the class leaders offering rich-looking materials with way better insulation from exterior noise than the Jeep.

The interior space is where the TRX meets the luxurious expectations of a $90,000+ vehicle.

The TR1 and TR2 packages swath you in acres of leather and microsuede surfaces with carbon fiber accents.

The flat bottom steering wheel features a pair of prominent paddle shifters along with a floor shifter on the center console.

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Top options include a digital rear view mirror, head up display along with heated and ventilated front seats – all options I know my wife would tick.

6. Safety

Although the 392 has the go, it doesn’t have the power to bring it all back to a standstill. Stopping power takes 218 feet from 70 MPH.

And since it isn’t a Toyota, the Jeep only offers a handful of driver-assistance features.

This pretty much means you can forget about seeing any of the high-tech equipment you’d expect on a vehicle that costs almost $90,000.

RAM’s mightiest pickup, however, gets stocked with plenty of available driver-assistance technology.

Including a camera system I first saw on a Ford F-150 that helps you hook up a trailer more easily.

7. Technology

Technology like this in a Jeep would’ve been unheard of twenty years ago. The infotainment system in the Rubicon 392 is called Uconnect.

Not only is it easy to use, but its quick to respond.

While you can choose from three different sizes, going with the Technology package gets you the 7-inch touchscreen.

Optional are Apple Car Play and Android Auto, as well as navigation and a nine-speaker Alpine audio system.

When it comes to technology, the vertically mounted 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system in the Rebel TRX looks gigantic.

It also offers Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, built-in navigation and SiriusXM satellite radio.

You can divide the home screen into separate menus so you can use multiple applications at once.

Physical knobs and buttons are available to offer more intuitive control of the system.

A small shelf under the infotainment screen is designed to cradle your phone with a pad on the driver’s side for wireless charging.

My wife is a huge audiophile so it’s awesome that you can out fit the truck with a mighty 900-watt, 19-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system.

8. Fuel Economy

Again, these aren’t the sort of vehicles you choose if you’re looking for the best fuel economy numbers. And they don’t disappoint when it comes to delivering low MPG.

For starters, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 has a relatively small 21.5-gallon fuel tank.

Along with less than 12 MPG averages, you can expect frequent trips to the gas stations – EPA estimates are 13 MPG city and 17 highway.

To help manage fuel economy, the V8 can deactivate cylinders under light loads. Visits to the gas station will also be many and frequent in the RAM.

The supercharged 6.2-liter V8 will take money from you like a bandit to keep the TRX running.

It’s estimated to earn 10 MPG in the city and 14 on the highway. Combined ratings are only 13 MPG.

9. Jeep Off-roading Capability

When the pavement ends, that’s when the Jeep truly begins to show off its virtues.

The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is already one of the most capable off-road vehicles in the world.

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For instance, all Wranglers come with a standard set of recovery hooks with a pair of open hooks for the modular steel front bumper, and a single open hook at the rear.

But when you add a V8 engine and the Xtreme Recon package to the mix, the Wrangler Rubicon becomes an even more capable off-roader.

The bead locked 35-inch tires that comes with the Xtreme Recon package adds another 1.5-inch lift to the Wrangler preparing the Jeep to tackle the outdoors with locking differentials at both ends, a disconnecting anti-roll bar, rock sliders and skid plates.

But the most notable difference between a regular Rubicon and a Rubicon 392 is the gearing.

Since the 392 has so much power on tap, Jeep swapped the typical 4.10:1 for a 2.72:1 low range gear.

There is no 2Hi mode for the transfer case. Bu there is low-range four-wheel drive. It’s fitted with Fox dampers and upgraded rear brakes.

10. Truck Off-roading Capability

Boasting a beefed-up suspension to rival the Jeep, the Rebel TRX hast the proclivity to mix it up in the mud, rocks and sand too.

The adaptive Black Hawk e2 units from Bilstein offer 13-inches of travel, front and rear. But since the suspension is tuned for high-speed dune crushing.

They’re not that comfortable for driving around town, no matter which mode you set them on. The ride isn’t bad, mind you.

It’s just not as plush a ride as a normal 1500.

The truck also comes with Bilstein remote-reservoir dampers, an electronic-locking differential and gigantic 15-inch brakes to help it stop better than the Jeep.

And like the Jeep, the TRX rolls on a set of massive 35-inch tires with 18-inch rims. This gives it a ground clearance of 11.8-inches.

Although the brakes have better engagement than the Jeep. They start to show signs of fade after repeated use.

And even though you get steering wheel mounted shifters, you might prefer using the one on the center console due to the awkward positioning of the steering mounted shifters.

Every TRX comes with enough underbody plating to protects the undercarriage.

The widebody fenders hide thicker high-strength steel and boxed side rails for absorbing jumps.

11. Towing Capacity

The weight of a vehicle affects its towing capacity.

Jeeps are generally, more lightweight than trucks which means they won’t be able to pull as much.

Trucks are designed to be workhorses whose duty among others is towing heavy loads.

As such, it’s likely no surprise that even though the Jeep comes with recovery hooks, the package doesn’t include tow hooks.

You’ll want to opt for the Trailer-Tow package to maximize the TRX’s pulling abilities.

Although it can’t tow the 12,750 pounds that some other RAM trucks can. It can manage up to 8,100 pounds.