The 2013 Ram 1500 Express follows a simple concept; tons of power, no frills, and a low price. The Ram 1500 is no slouch in a pickup truck segment that is steadily becoming more up market. It can be optioned with luxury car style upgrades like Nappa leather, air suspension, real wood trim and a navigation system but when you need a truck that gets it done without breaking the bank the Express might be exactly what you need.
Just $25,821 gets you a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 395 horsepower and 407 lb-ft of torque. Standard equipment is just that, pretty standard, with air conditioning, 20-inch wheels, a nice cloth interior and cruise control.
Inside the truck you will find a pretty basic interior of black plastics, gray cloth/vinyl seats not at all inspiring but at the same time pretty darn good for the sticker price. My tester did have power windows, locks and mirrors in its quad cab, features not present in the regular cab model. More features are readily available in options packages but the price tag will swell as the empty switch blanks in the center stack fill.
That’s not really a problem, though, as the whole point of the Express is to get you in a high performance work truck without the cost of luxury additions. Only the Ram 1500 Tradesman can come in cheaper while still packing in a 5.7-liter Hemi V8. You can put together a Tradesman with the Hemi power-train for $24,895, but you also sacrifice the 20 inch wheels of the Express for 17s, the dual exhaust for a single and the painted bumpers for plain gray. It’s not nearly as pretty, but it’s worth keeping in mind if you have a tight budget or are looking for the cheapest Hemi workhorse you can grab, believe me you want that Hemi.
The Express lives up to its name. The big Hemi engine produces enough torque and horses to launch the truck with ease, it’s quite easy to get the fat rear tires spinning freely beneath you. The big V8 sounds great, it idles with a nice low growl and absolutely roars when you ask it too — the dual exhaust helps. Moving in a straight line the Express is pure fun, I can’t think of another vehicle that will push you into your seat and produce anywhere near as much smoke for the price.
Acceleration and pedal mashing aside the Express is a very civilized driver. The 1500 is a bit bouncy at times and the electric power steering little tighter than I would like but overall I have very few complaints. Like any other truck the rear can get a bit wobbly over loose terrain or ice so you have to be a bit more mindful of the Hemi when the snow starts to fall. If you need to pull the Express is more than capable with a tow capacity of 9250 pounds and a payload rating of 1620 lbs.
The 2013 Ram 1500 is a powerful, fun and very capable truck that manages sharp looks and more than acceptable interior comfort with a very palpable sticker price. High horsepower truck enthusiasts and those in need of a work truck with some pull will love the simplicity the Express model brings to the market. It’s fast and loads of fun at a six-cylinder price.