In 20 years of test driving new cars and trucks, I’ve never had the pleasure of booking and reviewing a Heavy-Duty GM truck. The only HD RAM I ever get to drive is a Power Wagon and believe me, only FCA should complain about that. However, by my count, I’ve written on a new Ford Super Duty at least four times in the last 15 years, since my first encounter with the monster-truck.
What I’m getting at is that Ford seems more ready and willing to loan out their top-dawg trucks than the other two. What’s odd is that Ford seriously does not need to put a $90k+ truck on the press fleet and loan it out to a goof like me for a review and crappy video. And then, how can anyone truly put such a vehicle to the test? It can essentially tow a house, climb Mount Rushmore in reverse with two flat tires and carry a pair of Ford Foci in the bed.
I nearly always manage to put these full-size trucks to good use when I get one and year after year, time after time, the Ford Super Duty makes me wonder why I don’t get rid of all my cars and replace them with one of these.
Despite the Super Duty being all about capability and work, Ford’s managed to make the truck better than attractive. Obviously, the higher the trim and the number of wheels, the handsomer it gets. One caveat however and that’s the now signature “[“ shaped LED daytime running lights. They’re too big and visually narrow the Super Duty’s true width.
My tested Limited was a thing of beauty. With body colored bumpers, chrome door handles, unique satin chrome front grille, and stone gray paint scheme, it almost looked civilized. Even if you don’t go off-road, get the $450 FX4 package if only for the decal. My favorite exterior feature is without a doubt the power deployable running boards – everyone can get on board with relative ease without affecting ground clearance. I think I’m going to get some for my WRX…
As a Limited trim, the large cabin is loaded with kit and equipment typically found in a luxury car. The supple leather is two-tone, the dash features contrast stitching, and there’s a plethora of controls and buttons to play with when bored towing a 20,000 lb. trailer. To be honest, and because I need to complain about something, said amalgamation of buttons is a little dated. There, I’ve criticized.
Like the Ford F-150, these apartment-building sized trucks are not only about “stuff”, they’re also about people. The truck’s cab is enormous and can double as a massive trunk for more delicate items. You can see what I mean if you watch my little video. You’ll also noticed that the 6 3/4’ bed can come in handy too.
For those that would like to know, yes, three baby seats will fit side by side and best of all, mom or dad can climb aboard, thanks to the power running board, and strap in all the kids without throwing out their backs. While on the topic of storing kids, the Crew Cab is loaded with spots to store everything from your phone, XL Slurpee and grandma’s diamond engagement ring. Up front, the massive seats are incredibly comfortable and, thank the Gods of soft tissue manipulation, have a massaging function.
The funny thing about the F-250 Super Duty is that you can put two of them side by side and one will retail for more than two and a half times more than the other. Base F-250 XL starts at $37,999. Skip to the Limited and the “base” amount begins at $89,349. See what I mean? There are 18 version of the Super Duty when the 250, 350 and 450 are combined and the various trims are included. In reality, there are hundreds (thousands?) of different configurations possible. There’s no right or wrong answer here.
The F-250 Limited includes loads of kit. Here’s a sample: SYNC 3 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on an 8” screen, navigation, heated/cooled and massaging front seats, moonroof, the telescoping mirrors, adaptive cruise control, quad-beam LED head- and taillamps and way more. With the FX4 package, the bed extender, loading ramps and the vault, my tester’s total works out to $93,799. Myself, I’d go for the F-450 Limited (with dual-rear wheels!) and few options and plonk down $101,549 just because.
Again, like the F-150, this trucks ride quality is nothing short of impressive. It can and will tow up to 21,000lbs and carry in excess of 7,500lbs in its bed yet to say that this workhorse is unpleasant would be a massive lie. A minimal load stretches the rear springs and evens out the drive. The controls are heavy and that’s par for the course in such a truck. Steering requires a firm hand, but response is good. The brakes are the same and incredibly powerful.
The kicker and my favorite aspect of a Super Duty is always the 6.7-litre Power Stroke diesel V8. While I did try out the new V6 Power Stroke, there’s something about a V8. That something is more torque and more noise!
The 6.7 generates 450 horsepower and 935 lb.-ft. of torque as of 1,800 rpm. When I mentioned that I should replace my fleet with an SD, I’m also referring to speed. Out of all my cars, only the WRX is faster and believe it or not, the F-250 can consume roughly the same 13L/100 km as my Subie. I never came close to that amount but it’s a fun fact. The 6-speed autobox is so rock-solid you can feel it when it up- or downshifts. It can be civil when needed or play along when passing becomes a necessity.
The Ford F-250 Super Duty is also an extremely capable off-roader, limited only by its size. I once traversed some extremely muddy, rut-ravaged trails at a Ford drive event with extreme ease, and on the standard Michelin truck tires.
Is there a reason to look elsewhere?
I’ve driven bot h the RAM and GM HDs and manufacturer organized drive events and there was no doubt that they were going to perform admirably well. I really like both brands for different reasons but for all kinds of reasons, I’d stick with an SD if I was in the market for such a truck.