Over 3,000 pounds payload, more than 17,000 pounds towing, a Diesel engine putting out an insane 900+ pound feet of torque and a price tag over $65,000…well those are just numbers. But it’s what you can get done with the all-new Ford F-250 Super Duty that’ll have truck lovers most impressed.
Climbing the ladder of Ford Super Duty trucks begins at the lowest rung with the F-250 XL priced from around $33,000 and plateaus at the F-450 Platinum with a starting MSRP closing in on $80 grand. Regular, Super or Crew cab, various box lengths, 2- or 4-wheel drive, and a gas or diesel engine are the beginning foundations for building your dream rig. So here I am with an F-250 Platinum Crew Cab with a bed measuring six and three-quarters feet and powered by the optional 6.7-liter Power Stroke Diesel engine and TorqShift 6-speed automatic transmission. A ¾ ton truck like this practically demands a brawny diesel, but the standard 6.2-liter gas V8 can get a lot of chores done, as well. This Ford-designed and built compression-ignition motor was reengineered for the 2015 Super Duty when it gained a larger turbo, sitting between the engine’s cylinder banks in this unique reverse-flow layout. For 2017, Ford has tuned it for even more output, cranking the torque from 860 pound-feet to a whopping 925 while maintaining its 440 horsepower. In its first-ever major redesign, the Super Duty rides atop an all-new, fully boxed frame that is more than 95% high-strength steel and up to 24 times stiffer than the previous frame. And then, following the lead of the F-150 is its new aluminum-alloy body, providing engineers with more leeway to fortify other components while also reducing overall weight by up to 350 pounds. The result is an enormous and highly capable truck that drives with much of the simplicity, comfort and refinement found in a Taurus. The engine and cabin are so quiet that they’ll have you forgetting there’s a mighty diesel under the hood. Fed by a 34 gallon tank and returning about 14mpg, this F-250 4X4 can jump when pushed, unleashing a low end grunt on par with the power of more than 2 Mustang GTs. The adaptive steering makes cranking the wheel easier at low speeds and when off-roading the 4-wheel drive has 2-wheel, 4-high and 4-low settings along with a locking rear differential. The powertrain is as smooth as this Brunello Leather, guaranteed to alter your opinion about the characteristics of a big diesel truck.
Not unlike the Winnebago I tested, this F-250 is rife with switchgear so edifying yourself about its numerous features is imperative to getting the most of ownership. This truck is focused on making towing safer and more confident with a bevy of technologies including a high-def camera system delivering a 360-degree bird’s eye view, Trailer Reverse Guidance providing visual cues and tips to help ease backing up a trailer, a segment-first in-cab trailer tire pressure monitor and a blind spot information system optimized for Super Duty to include the length of a trailer up to 33’ long. A multitude of configurable electronic options, a selectable engine brake with automatic mode and trailer sway control fortify Ford’s obsession with making this truck the towing king, whether it’s a conventional trailer, gooseneck or 5th wheel. What is does not have however is the F-150’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist which makes backing up a trailer as easy as turning a knob.
The Super Duty is tall, so having a tailgate step is a welcome addition, providing a lift into the cargo box replete with a Spray-in Bedliner, LED lighting and other clever features such as the configurable BoxLink securing system.
So its work resume is strong and the thought put into its smart features is evident. But I assume the guy buying this Platinum model is using it for more than just driving to the worksite. This is undoubtedly a luxury rig, blessed with high tech features to make both work and family life easier. This engine is amazing with its combination of power and refinement and the ride quality on uniform surfaces is spectacular. It’s big alright but manageable even for everyday use…if you have such lofty needs.
This cabin is luxury grade with executive sedan features such as heated and cooled massaging front seats, SYNC 3 infotainment, switchable ambient lighting and rear seats with more leg room than a German limo. Who needs all of that in a Super Duty you ask? Well, Ford says its high series trucks like this Platinum model account for 71% of sales as customers crave high-tech, luxury features. So enjoy your panoramic roof, inflatable rear seatbelts, heated rear seats, remote start and brilliant, signature LED lighting – these trucks are pulling double duty these days and Ford positions the Platinum model as an all-in-one kind of vehicle…as long as your driveway can accommodate its size. The only bummer is that my tester’s 2 USB ports don’t work thus leaving me without Apple CarPlay and the heated steering wheel doesn’t go either. And with an as-tested price of nearly $76,000 I would hope Ford dealers would step up their service game – when I took this truck to my 2 locals for the aforementioned issues I was far from impressed with their treatment. Big boy price tags require more polish from store personal. The new Super Duty not only looks super cool but is super smart with everything a big truck owner could want.