Even proper gearheads can see the value of a well-equipped truck.

2013 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab

We review a full-size truck with a jumbo-size name.

By: Andrew Krok

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: July 18th, 2013

I feel no shame in admitting that I'm not really a "truck guy." This is likely due to my suburban bias - more often than not, the only trucks I see are driven to the business park and home again, relegating them to nothing more than engorged cars that aren't being used to even a fraction of their full potential. It's not like bigger cars are inherently safer, after all, so I often found myself confused as to why people would want such an ungainly behemoth taking up the better half of their quaint brick driveway.

So, when I went to the Chrysler press event earlier in the summer, I made it a personal mission to find a well-equipped truck that would actually serve some use outside of being able to carry a Duggar's typical haul back from the grocer. I would then review said truck, despite being a bit in the dark about this market segment. In some sort of oddly prescient move, Chrysler had an entire lineup of Ram vehicles ready to be tested on the road. My eyes landed on the most well-equipped, suburb-ready truck in line, the brevity-phobic 2013 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn 4x4 Crew Cab.

That's when I realized the inherent failure in my line of thinking - these trucks aren't built for suburban sprawl, they've just been co-opted as such. This top-of-the-line truck has a serious set of accoutrements meant for tradesmen and those who use their trucks for work, not just for driving to work. SUVs, though, still remain around the bonfire at Camp Why-Did-We-Abandon-Wagons-For-These.

Need to haul a half-ton of crap? Throw it in the bed, since that's the max payload rating for the rear. Need to drag five tons of crap down a highway? Again, not an issue, because the Longhorn (you really expect me to say the whole name each time?) is capable of towing 9,750 pounds. Need to keep some items secure at the worksite? Toss 'em in the RamBox, a $2,000 option that gives you two locking, waterproof boxes above the rear wheel wells.

But you still want to be comfortable, right? After all, even though you're working with your truck, you don't want to feel like you're sitting in a Soviet gulag for the better part of a day. No problem there, because the Longhorn comes with a beautifully-equipped interior, featuring plenty of soft-touch materials, real wood trim, and comfortable-as-hell leather seats with both heating and cooling functions. A great blend of work and play, that's for sure.

That's what this truck is really all about. It's meant to remind those that can afford this model that their hard work is not in vain. Truck guys tend to run their work trucks into the ground over the course of decades, so $55k is more of a long-term investment that will, hopefully, pay off in spades. It's a great deal, in that respect.

  • Interior

    Everything that your hand will land on feels premium, and also cowboy-themed, but not in the way that a five-year-old's bedroom is cowboy-themed. The Longhorn-specific seven-inch dashboard display is flanked by intricate dial designs, the seatback pockets are built to resemble leather straps and buckles, and this specific model's interior color is even called "Cattle Tan." It's a Western wet dream.

  • Exterior

    From a car guy's perspective, it's a truck. Chrome is the name of the game, with the grille, wheels, and even the rearview mirrors receiving some shiny electroplating. The optional RamBoxes add an air of serious utility to the model, and the two-tone paint job complements the interior's aesthetic quite nicely. Trucks aren't really meant to be seen in, so this is a good blend between utility and panache, leaning towards the former.

  • On the Road

    The optional air suspension does a damn fine job of absorbing bumps, potholes, and otherwise rocky roads, and the cabin is relatively well-shielded from road noise, so you can call your foreman (or your employees) without having to scream. It even raises or lowers itself based on road speed and several other factors, so you're comfortable and capable, no matter where you're going.

  • Final Thoughts

    While this truck is perfect for a worker who wants to feel comfortable to and from the worksite - and who also wants to transport the family around comfortably in the exact same vehicle - the high cost-of-entry with the Longhorn will continue to appeal to truck-loving suburbanites who don't give a flying fish about the paltry gas mileage and the fact that their truck is capable of doing 10 million things it'll never do when sitting in a business park.

  • Specs & Price

    Engine: 5.7-liter Hemi V8

    Transmission: Eight-speed automatic

    Power Output: 395 horsepower, 407 lb-ft torque

    Fuel Economy: 15 city / 21 highway

    Base Price: $47,730

    As Tested: $55,490 (incl. destination charge)

    Optional Features: Spray-in bedliner, tow package, Uconnect Access, air suspension, trailer brake controller, RamBox

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• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2013 RAM Ram 1500, click here: 2013 RAM Ram 1500.