Heavy Duty Title Holder… For Now: 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty 4X4
Sitting at a stop light, surrounded by concrete and glass buildings with people in business attire scampering to their corner offices and windowless cubicles, paints the wrong picture for the all new Ford F-250 Super Duty. Yet, here we are, stuck in downtown traffic, wondering if we need to find street parking or if this gargantuan creature can fit in our office buildings parking garage – just half an inch to tall left us on street.
Towering over basically anything that moved, this F-250 stood out like a sore thumb and not because of its $395 Ruby Red paint. From its $1080 Quad-LED headlights, $1420 20-inch wheels and colossal chrome grille that has women checking their reflection in the crosswalks; this country boy truck definitely needed to escape the city slicker lifestyle.
Like most of its competition, the F-Series Super Duties have the option between a single cab, extended cab, and crew cab with the choice of either the standard 6.2-liter Flex Fuel V-8 or torque power house, 6.7-liter PowerStroke V-8 Turbo Diesel at an $8595 upcharge.
If Only We Had Something to Tow
Arriving to our downtown office with a nearly $80,000 price tag, our sampled F-250 King Ranch starts out in life at $55,635; however, with nearly $20,000 in options checked off, except for the panoramic sunroof, it makes our machine one bad ass expensive rig. Opting for the Turbo Diesel V-8 meant towing something could be in our future and with 440-horsepower and 925lb-ft of torque, we could tow just about anything we wanted up to a class leading 21,000lbs. While we did wish we had something to tow, it didn’t stop us from testing the Tow/Haul on the gear lever that provided quick, responsive down shifts on hills; however, we didn’t quite get the chance to test out the exhaust braking system.
This work horse of an engine is matted one way only and that’s with a heavy-duty TorqShift six-speed automatic. Even though all that torque doesn’t come in till around 2000 rpms, there is no noticeable delay in power under normal driving conditions and provides some of the smoothest shifts this side of the Mississippi. This diesel is also one of quietest on the market; standing next to it at idle, one could carry a conversation without the need of using their outside voices. In abrupt situations, Ford has integrated a torque control system that manages power output and avoids lighting up the rear tires – where’s the fun in that. When push comes to shove however, 0-60 is matched in 7 seconds.
Big Boy went on a Diet
Considering the F-250 uses an all new lightweight aluminum body to help save weight, Ford focused most of attention stiffening up the chassis and providing a quieter, solid ride than ever found in the Super Duty Series. The refinedness is so great, it’s almost like driving a very, very large car with comfortable road feedback and a very well weighted hydraulic steering wheel that doesn’t feel like we’re maneuver almost 9000lbs of truck. With a little bit of old school technology brought into the mix, the F-250 uses a solid front axle mixed with old school lockers, but thanks to new technology it’s more for heritage sake as the lockers are adjustable between Auto and Manual mode. If our F-250 didn’t feature the FX4 Off Road Package, we could have experienced a little bit of a softer ride – thanks to stiffer springs and off-road tires; however, in off road situations, it managed to absorb and take on anything we threw at it.
Because the F-250 has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of over 8500lbs, the EPA doesn’t require fuel economy testing. In our real world of mixed city and highway driving, we did see an average of 14 MPG. Our standard 34-gallon tank benefitted us with nearly 500 miles of range, while a 48-gallon range extender fuel tank can probably nearly double that.
The Mercedes-Benz of Trucks
With the King Ranch heritage in this truck, there was plenty of luxurious accommodations to go around. Our featured Mesa Antique leather interior suited the F-250’s personality well with the Ring Ranch logo embroidered into the seats and center console. Heated and Cooled, power adjustable front seats are standard while heated rear seats cost an extra $300. Opting for the Crew Cab brings about more than just spacious rear lodging but endless amounts of storage capabilities.
While the F-250 King Ranch is full of posh amenities, we won’t find Mercedes-Benz quality. Designed to take a beating, even at 80k, we did expect to see a little more soft touch and rich materials. For a large truck however, it was incredibly comfortable with an extremely quiet cabin – virtually no wind or road noise penetrated the cabin with just the slight rumble of the diesel engine. It executed a handsome, simple minded layout similar to that of the F-150 that works well for this truck. Navigation at least does come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Connectivity.
More Brains than Beauty
Sure this F-250 has all the safety gear that anyone can find on a modern car with Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning and $740 Adaptive Cruise Control System. The F-250 makes things a little smarter however. Most automakers are featuring their cars with around view cameras for easier parking – usually cameras are mounted up in the mirrors which is nice – but this F-250 is gigantic and sometimes the mirrors need to folded while moving – thus the cameras are mounted on to the body and not the mirror. Apart of the $1735 Tow Technology Package, there is a camera in the rear brake light that can assist when lining up a fifth wheel – clever thinking. Their blind spot monitoring gets even more advance with a trailer mode, that way it’s not always reading false information. Ford also makes things easier on their customers by fitting $165 overhead AUX switches for those that want to add on after market parts like a winch, lights, or whatever – the come pre-wired in with their own fuses, that way no extra wiring, holes, or ugly switches clutter the dash.
Four LED spot lights can be found around this truck with addition to the LED bed liner lights for all around greater visibility. Because the F-250 has the old fashion, and much preferred hydraulic steering, it doesn’t feature Ford’s latest Trailer Pro Backup Assist system that can be found on the F-150 – instead its left up to our skills and the trailer guided lines on the 8-inch touch screen infotainment system. Good thing we didn’t have anything to tow, that would have been a mess.
The heavy duty pick-up truck is such a competitive market, yet is a small one with the Dodge Ram 2500 and GMC/Chevrolet 2500’s. All solid workaholics designed to get the job done. The F-250 here featuring its class leading towing capacity and refined ride quality is currently a tough beat – but it is a very competitive market and Ford won’t be holding that title for long.
|2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty 4X4 King Ranch:||$57,455|
|As Tested (including Options & Destination):||$77,390|
|6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 Diesel – 440-Horsepower/925 lb-ft torque, 6-Speed TorqShfit Automatic Transmission – 0-60MPH: ±7.0 seconds|
|EPA MPG: Not Required (City/Highway/Combined) – SSB Average: 14 MPG’s – Fuel Range: ±500 Miles|