Ford’s F-150 has been the best selling half-ton pickup for years. But their three-quarter ton F-250 Super Duty is also a top seller.
Depending on your needs, be it for heavy trailer towing, snowplowing, hefty payloads or all three, the F-250 is offered with a choice of three powerplants to get the job done.
Available is a 6.2L V8 with 385-hp and 430 lb/ft of torque; a new 7.3L V8 with 430-hp and 475 lb/ft of torque; and tested, 6.7L, turbocharged diesel V8 with 450-hp and a whopping 1,050 lb/ft of torque that can pull a mobile home off its foundation. It transfers power to the wheels via a heavy duty 10-speed automatic transmission. The combined powertrain is rated to tow up to 20,000 pounds or up to 32,500 with a fifth-wheel – both best in class. Needless to say, it’s a power house of grunt.
For 2020, the Super Duty gets Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist that makes backing a trailer into tight spaces easier. With hands-off the steering wheel, a dash mounted rotary knob steers the trailer using the reverse camera system. And with Ford’s Reverse Guidance System, it shows trailer angle and direction and provides steering directions to direct a trailer backward. The systems are designed to work with all trailers be it conventional , fifth-wheel or gooseneck design.
F-250 Super Duty is offered in XL XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and luxurious Limited. We tested the mid-trim Lariat 4X4 Crew Cab model that had a comfy and spacious interior and as classy as any top-tier SUV.
Heated/cooled leather front seats are comfy and heavily padded to soften any nasty off-road terrain. Add to that an 8-inch touchscreen that serves Ford Connect and embedded 4G LTE Wi-Fi access for up to 10 devices, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, audio, apps, 7 camera system with 360-degree and trailer hitch views, Trav-Link with weather app, climate selections and you have comfort and technology that wasn’t offered a mere three years ago on a Super Duty pickup.
Another neat feature is a tire-pressure monitor that can also check trailer tire pressures.
There’s a wireless phone charger at the base of the vertical stack and a huge console tray and 11.5-inch deep console box that can accommodate a compact laptop or iPad. Even the headliner is done in Mikos suede for a classy look that adds to sound deadening. We especially liked the power adjustable pedals that are helpful for short statured drivers.
The dash held the 4WD controls of 2H, 4H and 4L, and when pulling out the rotary gear selection dial, it engages the rear differential lock for when added traction is needed. There’s also Auto and Locking hubs.
Step-in into the cabin is an easy 15.5 inches onto 6-inch wide running boards, or 27 inches to the cabin itself. The 60/40 back seats offer very spacious leg and headroom for three adults. The seat bottoms fold up against the bulkhead and beneath them is a full-length, 8-inch deep, flip-up equipment bin. Under the passenger side rear seat is a power inverter to power AC devices and tools.
Lariat Super Duty came with a 6.75-foot cargo bed (an 8 footer is also offered) with courtesy lights at its aft end. The bed was factory punched-out and capped for fifth wheel or gooseneck trailers. A dampened tailgate can be dropped and locked remotely with the keyfob, but the most significant feature is Ford’s nifty tailgate step. With the gate open the step pulls out from within the gates’ top, and an assist handle also pulls out from it to offer easy and secure ingress/egress into the bed that has a 36-inch load height.
Lariat Super Duty rode admirably and smoothly for a big (250-inch length), heavy (7,099 curb weight) truck that boasts a GCWR of 10,800 pounds. It was shod with 8-inch wide, deep lugged, Continental LT25/65R18-inch tires for good off-road traction. Some diesel knock can be heard, but mostly when starting off from a dead stop.
With the Adaptive Steering option, it offers low-speed driving and parking effort. It’s a desirable feature for handling and maintaining road stability especially when towing and heavy hauling.
If your needs are more for off-road, the F-250 SD offers the Tremor Off-Road package. It’s outfitted with a front-end lift, special springs and shocks for 10.4 inches of ground clearance (normal SD has 8.7 inches) and is capable of fording 33 inches of water together with oversize 35-inch Goodyear tires. Included too is Trail Control that has a rock-crawl mode within its selectable drive modes.
The F-250 came exceptionally outfitted with a long list of standard features such as trailer brake controller and sway control, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, pre-collision assist, auto emergency braking, satellite radio, power folding heated outside tow mirrors (they fold/unfold when locking/unlocking doors), sprayed bed liner, remote start and many more.
So equipped, the Super Duty diesel powered Lariat carried a base price of $52,115. To that was added Equipment Group 608A ($10,495), 6.7L Power Stroke V8 diesel option ($10,495), 3.31 ratio locking rear axle, all weather floor mats ($135), high cap trailer tow package PTBA ($1,130), 5th wheel hitch prep package ($500), Quad Beam headlamps ($1,180), Adaptive Steering ($1,000), front/back wheel well liners ($325), sprayed bed liner ($595), Lariat Ultimate Package ($3,495) and delivery ($1,595) that took the bottom line to $72,955.
Yes, that’s a lot of money for a lot of heavy duty truck. If owning a business, you’ll have a tax deduction. If you need all the F-250’s ability and capability, Super Duty will surely fill the bill.
But if this is beyond your means, be patient because this fall Ford starts producing their 2021 F-150 pickup that debuts with a hybrid powertrain combining a 3.5L twin-turbo V6 and a 47-hp electric motor for a 700-mile driving range and a towing capacity of up to an impressive 12,000 pounds. That’s not all. How about hands-free driving, a console mounted gearshift that folds to create a flat work surface, lay-flat driver/passenger seats, 12-inch touchscreen and 12-inch digital gauge display, a built-in generator, active grille shutters and much more. It appears the F-150 will surely maintain its half-ton dominance.
F-250 Super Duty comes with a 3-year/36K bumper-bumper; 5/60K powertrain; 5/60K roadside assistance; and 5/100K diesel engine warranties.