Chevrolet Silverado Trail Boss or Ram Rebel? Pick Your Pickup Poison

2019-rebel-silverado-2-up-2000px.jpg 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Trail Boss, 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel (from top) | photos by Evan Sears and Christian Lantry

Chevrolet and Ram recently redesigned their respective half-ton pickup trucks, the Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500, and made sure to build something for the off-roading enthusiast. The new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trail Boss and Ram 1500 Rebel aren’t mere brodozers straight from the factory (though their more aggressive looks may have particular appeal to elements in the crowd who care more about appearance than ability). The Trail Boss and Rebel are legitimately about getting off the pavement and kicking up mud and dust and rocks.

Related: So Much to Say About the All-New 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Shop the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 near you

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT
44,142 mi.
Good Deal
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT
107,721 mi.
Good Deal | $369 under

Let’s see what each offers.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trail Boss

The Trail Boss is arguably the more performance-oriented of the two. Available only as a crew cab with either a short or standard (longer than short) bed, it comes with a 2-inch lift straight from the factory and some badass looks from the Z71 off-road package. Monotube Rancho shocks help the Trail Boss conquer off-road obstacles, although they sacrifice a bit of on-road comfort. It also includes extra skid plating, chunky off-road tires and lacks a plastic valence found on other Silverados, improving its approach angle.

Related: 3 Things We’ve Learned About the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado’s Powertrains

Inside, the Trail Boss can have all the features of an LT Silverado, including leather and an 8-inch multimedia screen, along with safety tech that includes front and rear parking sensors and blind spot warning, and a slew of other optional goodies and gadgetry. Custom Trail Boss models are limited to the available features of a Custom Silverado 1500; unfortunately, this means neither is currently available with a 6.2-liter V-8. If you really want that power, you’ll have to spend a few thousand dollars more to upgrade to the new GMC Sierra 1500 AT4, GM’s more upscale off-roader.

2019 Ram 1500 Rebel

The 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel, in turn, offers those different levels of luxury under one brand. Equipped with nearly identical, standard beefy off-road tires — only the aspect ratio is different — the Rebel is available as either a quad or crew cab. The Rebel comes standard with Bilstein monotube shocks but has a more comfortable on-road ride than the Trail Boss. The Rebel is also available with an air suspension that gives it adjustable ride height for on- or off-road situations — we went off-roading in a last-generation Ram 1500 Rebel equipped with the air suspension and came away impressed.

Where the Ram can surpass the Silverado is in its interior, particularly if equipped with the Rebel 12 Package. This adds a gigantic 12-inch multimedia screen, navigation, premium leather seats and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon premium stereo among other nice-to-have goodies. Safety features like blind spot warning, and front and rear parking sensors, are also optional. Additionally, the Ram Rebel is available with the new eTorque mild-hybrid engine. That also means the Rebel gets more expensive than the Trail Boss.

Are You a Boss or a Rebel?

Of course, does everyone need an off-road capable truck? Probably not, and certainly more people will buy these trucks than actually take them off-road — just like Range Rovers. But that’s not to trivialize what each truck is able to do or the incredible amount of time their engineers put into designing them. Which is right for your on- and off-road needs? The configurators for both the Chevy and Ram are live now, letting you build and compare.

Editor’s note: This story was updated Nov. 21, 2018, to reflect that the Ram 1500 Rebel has monotube shocks.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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Road Test Editor Brian Normile joined the automotive industry and in 2013 and became part of the Editorial staff in 2014. Brian spent his childhood devouring every car magazine he got his hands on — not literally, eventually — and now reviews and tests vehicles to help consumers make informed choices. Someday, Brian hopes to learn what to do with his hands when he’s reviewing a car on camera, and to turn his 2021 Hyundai Veloster N into a tribute to the great Renault mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive hatchbacks. He would daily-drive an Alfa Romeo 4C if he could. Email Brian Normile

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