Right off the bat, a vehicle that is notably missing from this list is the GMC Canyon, the truck that I currently drive. When I first bought my truck, I thought it was the best truck ever, then a bunch of problems kept coming up, culminating in me discovering that there’s literally a class-action lawsuit against General Motors in regards to a defective transmission that my truck has. That, combined with the fact that every GMC service center that I’ve been to so far in Las Vegas seems to be wildly incompetent, and, even though I think GMC and Chevrolet trucks have the nicest exteriors, I never want to deal with GM ever again.
Instead, I want to swap out my daily driver with a RAM Rebel. I’ve always been a fan of this truck, and after I randomly got it as a rental vehicle when I went to Nebraska to meet up with Jordan King and go on a road trip to Minneapolis and basically test drove it for 1,000 miles, I received confirmation that the RAM Rebel is an awesome truck.
Similar to my current GMC Canyon, I would probably modify the RAM Rebel a moderate amount—enough to make it stand out from other RAM Rebels, but not so much that it looks like a ricer. I’d start with the functional essentials: a tonneau cover so I can use my bed for storage, bed liner so the stuff I keep in my bed doesn’t slide around too much, and ceramic tint on all windows so I don’t melt to death in the Las Vegas sun.
Something else I consider a borderline essential is a grille guard, which I ideally would get in the form of a full brush guard. I noticed that there aren’t really any grille guards available for the RAM Rebel (and I imagine that you can’t just stick a normal RAM 1500 brush guard on because the Rebel is wider), so I’m not sure how I would proceed there.
As for visual improvements, I’d stick with a conservative leveling kit (I think massive lifts look a bit silly and just put you at greater risk of rollovers); and get my tow hooks, brake calipers, and badges painted in matte gold (I initially thought about red tow hooks and calipers, but I realized that red is a bit overdone).
I’m actually more of a fan of the RAM 2500 Power Wagon than the Rebel, but the Power Wagon is just a bit too big to be realistically usable as a daily driver. Even my current mid-size truck is 220″ long with a crew cab configuration and an additional ~8″ of grille guard; when I park in parking lots, I can usually hang my bed over a divider or something, but when I park in parking garages, I back into the spot with literal inches to spare and I’m still dangerously close to jutting out into the road. The Rebel is almost 10″ longer than my GMC Canyon, and the Power Wagon is almost another 10″ longer than the Rebel… so it becomes safe to assume that I would have a lot of trouble managing the vehicle as a daily driver.
#1. RAM 1500 Rebel
For some reason, I’m absolutely obsessed with the front fascia of modern-day Alfa Romeos. I love it so much that I almost bought an Alfa Romeo Giulia as my first vehicle back in 2018 before realizing that trucks are far more functional and useful, and got a pickup truck instead.
Even though I would use a RAM Rebel as my daily driver, there are still instances when having a much smaller vehicle is nice. Even in my narrow-body mid-size pickup truck, I’ve still had instances of trouble navigating in and out of small parking spaces in downtown areas of heavily-populated cities with small roads and tight parking lots. So, if I know I’m going somewhere where I know I’ll have troubles, I would use an Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
One of the reasons I’m going with a Stelvio instead of a Giulia is because I’m notoriously bad at avoiding obstacles in the road. That’s also one of the very many reasons why I got a pickup truck—having enough ground clearance and suspension travel means that I don’t have to worry too much about my apparent inability to see what’s in front of me. (To be clear, this is stuff like curbs and dips in the road; I’m not rampaging over literal solid obstructions in my path.) I wouldn’t say the Stelvio has a lot of ground clearance, but it’s definitely more than a sedan, which is helpful.
… And that’s about it. Those are the only two vehicles that I really need—one fun pickup truck and one nice-looking crossover. Of course, if I just end the list here, it would almost be as un-fun as just listing off the five most expensive cars in the world and saying that I would sell them all, so I’m going to continue… but the next one is a little unconventional.
#2. Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
One of the best parts of my job is that I get to work from anywhere I want. A fun fact about me that most people don’t know is that I was considering buying a Chevrolet Suburban, stripping out the second and third rows of seats, and converting the back into a little livable area with a mattress and desk. I would then live in my SUV, traveling the country and avoiding paying rent. I planned on booking an Airbnb once in a while if I wanted to settle down for a week or two, but otherwise, I would constantly be on the road, taking showers at public gyms and eating almost exclusively at restaurants.
After thinking more carefully about it, I realized that that kind of lifestyle doesn’t really fit my personality style. I also discovered how great of a city Las Vegas was (I had been living in Los Angeles prior to that point), decided to make Las Vegas my new home, and also received some housing benefits from my employer that would allow me to break even with housing costs. I ultimately settled down and lived a normal life, and just got a small pickup truck instead.
A part of me still wants to travel the country and live out of a vehicle, because I’m a very curious person who gets bored a lot and likes experiencing new things. I think the biggest part of that lifestyle that conflicted with my personality would be that I would always be going in and out of public places for food and hygiene; because I’m a very private person, I would feel uncomfortable doing so. The thing that would make it okay for me is if there was more to my vehicle than just a mattress and a desk. That is to say, if I lived out of an RV instead of just an SUV, then I think the mobile lifestyle would be fun.
Thus, the third “car” I would get as part of my dream garage would be an Airstream Atlas Touring Coach built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis.
Being a Class B+ RV, the Airstream Atlas would come with a complete bathroom with a stand-up shower, toilet, and sink built straight into the vehicle. I’m actually very comfortable with being in small spaces, so I feel like getting one of these RVs and experiencing something new everyday would make me very happy.
#3. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Airstream Atlas Touring Coach
At this point, I feel like I’m really pushing it to come up with more ideas, but the final vehicle that I think is reasonable enough for me to want is a Lexus GX.
Lexus is famous for its amazing reliability, and I presume it would be nice to have a seven-seater three-row SUV as a family hauler some day. I obviously do not have kids today, but when the day comes and my kids have friends who want to go on trips with us, I feel like there’s no better indestructible vehicle than a Lexus to go on road trips for vacation.
Not only do neither the RAM Rebel nor Alfa Romeo Stelvio have as many seats as the Lexus GX (and the Airstream Atlas is large, but it technically only “fits” two people), but RAM and Alfa Romeo are also both part of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Group, which has historically been notorious for having poor reliability. And having your car break down while on vacation sounds very not-fun.
#4. Lexus GX
And now, I am completely out of ideas. I’m not a greedy person, and I find greater pleasure in optimization and efficiency than I do in just having more possessions. Thus, as my fifth and final car, I would get an upcoming Genesis crossover and give it to my parents.
Pictured above is the concept model for the Genesis GV80, but I would likely end up getting them a GV70 instead (which doesn’t have a revealed prototype yet, as far as I’m aware), because my parents aren’t like me and they prefer medium-sized vehicles rather than massive ones.
Genesis isn’t really one of the most popular car manufacturers, so for those who don’t know, Genesis is the luxury brand of Hyundai, similar to how Lexus is the luxury brand of Toyota and Acura is the luxury brand of Honda. The “Genesis” name started as a model under the Hyundai make, but it split off into its own make and has expanded to a small line of luxury vehicles.
My parents have great Korean pride, but before Genesis, there haven’t really been very many luxury vehicle selections from Korean manufacturers that they could buy. I realize that this may be bending the rules of the “five-car dream garage” a bit, but I would get a Genesis crossover and just let my parents use it full-time as their daily driver.
#5. Genesis GV70/GV80
And that wraps up my five-car garage. It might be strange to most people that my selection of “fast car” was an Alfa Romeo Stelvio, not even a Maserati Levante or a Lamborghini Urus, but I guess that’s the perspective that someone has when they don’t really care too much about exotic name brands or explosively powerful engines. Honestly, I’d just be happy with a RAM Rebel and that’s it… but I haven’t just gone out and bought one in real life because (1) that would mean trading in a truck that’s less than 2 years old and I’m not rich enough to be able to take that kind of depreciation hit, and (2) I’m still too scared about Fiat Chrysler’s uncertain reliability ratings. Maybe in about 3 more years when my current truck’s depreciation plateaus and if Fiat Chrysler’s reliability ratings go up, I might actually get myself a RAM Rebel.