Full 2010 Ford F-250 Super Duty Review
What's New for 2010
The 2010 Ford F-250 Super Duty sees a lot of minor changes and feature shuffles between trim levels. Last year's Cabela's package is now a trim level (it replaces the discontinued FX4 model), the axle ratios have been revised for increased fuel economy, Sync is now offered on all but the base XL, a new spray-in bedliner is available and the Harley-Davidson package is now available on diesel models only. The range-topping Lariat and Cabela's models receive a five-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment.
The pickup truck is one of the great cornerstones of the American landscape. From small pickups making citywide deliveries to wilderness-taming 4x4s, there seems to be a truck to fit any need. For those requiring a full-size workhorse with the capability to haul and tow large loads, the 2010 Ford F-250 Super Duty is an accomplished choice in a small group of challengers.
Just like its rivals, the Ford F-250 is able to withstand harsh conditions and haul an impressive amount of weight -- living up to its Super Duty name. Three engine choices offer varying levels of power to suit individual needs, but the real star of the show is the 6.4-liter turbodiesel version that can pull up to 12,500 pounds when properly equipped.
Besides the F-250's rugged powertrain, a long list of features and options deliver added utility, comfort and convenience. Several trim levels and optional packages offer many variations of this broad-shouldered theme, from a no-nonsense work truck to a luxuriously appointed hauler. One of the most notable changes for 2010 involves last year's optional Cabela's package, which has replaced the FX4 off-road model as a trim level. Other changes include wider availability of Ford's Sync voice activation system and the Harley-Davidson package being limited to diesel models.
Outside of the many choices within the 2010 Ford F-250's lineup, buyers are left with only a few alternatives in this class. Chevrolet's Silverado 2500 HD pickup (or its GMC clone) is the closest competitor and delivers a bit more towing ability. The new Dodge Ram 2500 can haul even more, while its interior is about as good as it gets in the segment. It's also worth noting that next year's redesigned F-250 promises a host of changes, most notably more powerful engines and a six-speed transmission. At the end of the day, though, the 2010 F-250 has solid work-truck capabilities and plenty of features and options to take on the most challenging demands.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup is offered in regular cab, SuperCab (extended cab) and crew cab body styles. The SuperCab features a pair of small rear-opening rear doors, while the crew cab has four conventional full-size doors. SuperCabs and crew cabs are available with a short (6.75-foot) or long (8-foot) bed; regular cabs are long bed only.
Four trim levels are offered: base XL, midlevel XLT, Cabela's (4WD only) and the luxurious Lariat. Regular cabs are available only in XL and XLT forms. The XL is the workhorse of the bunch, with standard equipment that includes 17-inch wheels, air-conditioning, plain vinyl upholstery, a two-speaker AM/FM radio and manual-telescoping trailer-tow mirrors. The XLT adds chrome wheels, keyless entry, power heated trailer tow mirrors, an integrated trailer brake controller, rear privacy glass, cloth upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench, a center armrest with cupholders and a storage bin, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, full power accessories and a four-speaker CD player with an auxiliary audio jack.
The Cabela's trim level (named after the outdoorsman retail company) replaces last year's FX4 model and provides much of the same upgraded off-road hardware. This model is only available as a crew cab and includes the XLT features plus skid plates, heavy-duty Rancho shock absorbers, a limited-slip rear axle and a manual-shift transfer case. It also includes dark gray exterior trim, running boards, foglights, a bed mat, power telescoping and folding mirrors, a keyless entry keypad, metallic interior trim, power front bucket seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and satellite radio.
The range-topping Lariat models pile luxury items on top of the XLT model that include 18-inch alloy wheels, running boards, a power-sliding rear window, power telescoping and folding mirrors, leather upholstery, wood grain interior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, dual power-heated front seats, a center console, rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and Ford's Sync multimedia voice control system.
Most features on the higher-spec trim levels are available as options on the XL and XLT models. Other options (depending on trim level) include a spray-in bedliner, a flip-down tailgate step, a rearview-mirror-mounted back-up camera display, a sunroof, a navigation system, upgraded audio systems, power-adjustable pedals, and a rear-seat entertainment system. Also offered is some very slick high-tech "Work Solutions" gadgetry for work-focused trucks, like an in-dash computer and ToolLink -- an RFID-based system that keeps an inventory of tools that are removed from the bed.
A few options packages concentrate mostly on appearance and accommodations, of which the Harley-Davidson and King Ranch are most notable. The Harley-Davidson package (only available on diesel models) slaps on a long list of Harley-branded exterior and interior trim, lots of chrome exterior treatments and 19.5-inch polished alloy wheels. The King Ranch package provides two-tone paint, fancy leather seating and western-saddle-inspired trim. Both packages also include a premium sound system and a rearview camera.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2010 Ford F-250 Super Duty is offered with three engine choices. The standard power plant is a 5.4-liter gasoline V8 that makes 300 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. An optional 6.8-liter V10 produces 362 hp and 457 lb-ft. The most popular choice (recommended for those who do serious hauling and towing) is the 6.4-liter PowerStroke turbodiesel V8, which makes 350 hp and 650 lb-ft. Depending on the model, buyers may also choose between a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic and either two- or four-wheel drive.
Properly equipped, an F-250 Super Duty can tow up to 12,500 pounds and handle a 3,200-pound payload.
Antilock disc brakes are standard, but neither side nor side curtain airbags are available. Power-adjustable pedals are optional on models with automatic transmissions (XL model excluded), as are rear parking sensors.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2010 Ford F-250 Super Duty trucks feature a blocky, industrial interior design language that works quite well for the intended market. On XL and XLT models, interior materials are quite good for the segment. Higher trim levels and optional packages, with their leather and wood grain trim, add a much more upscale and luxurious feel.
The well-placed center stack puts controls within easy reach, while the dual door pockets and a massive center console/armrest provide generous in-cabin storage -- in fact, the center console box is big enough to accommodate a laptop and/or hanging files. The lack of a telescoping steering wheel can make it hard for some drivers to find a comfortable driving position, though. In crew cabs, folding the rear seats up reveals a flip-out utility tray that keeps the load floor flat.
The 2010 Ford F-250 delivers solid ride and handling dynamics for a full-size heavy-duty truck, and it's remarkably quiet at speed, a trademark of recent F-Series models. Its base V8 is still down on maximum power, though, to the tune of 60-80 horsepower compared to the big V8s in the Ram and Silverado.