Full 2014 Ford F-250 Super Duty Review
What's New for 2014
The 2014 Ford F-250 Super Duty is essentially unchanged.
To the uninitiated, heavy-duty trucks may seem like overkill, but sometimes you really need some extra muscle to get the job done. That's where the 2014 Ford F-250 Super Duty earns its keep. Boasting even more capability than the best-selling F-150, the 2014 F-250 is a match for almost any imaginable challenge, particularly with the Super Duty-only diesel-powered V8 aboard. Throw in up-to-date technology, including the available MyFord Touch infotainment system, and it's clear why the F-250 is a favorite among serious truck users.
The main purpose of a heavy-duty truck, of course, is to tow and haul absurd amounts of stuff, so it's no surprise that the F-250 can pull off some amazing feats. How amazing? Try a maximum tow rating of up to 14,000 pounds, or 16,800 pounds when configured for fifth-wheel towing. For comparison, the lighter-duty F-150 tops out at a measly 11,300 pounds. The F-250 Super Duty is also rated to haul 4,240 pounds in its bed when properly equipped.
But thanks to an all-out arms race in recent years, the F-250's rivals are hot on its heels. The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD matches the Ford in just about every regard, while the updated 2014 Ram 2500 now offers a more powerful V8 engine and a new, smoother-riding rear suspension. Ford doesn't have a monopoly on cool cabin tech either, as the Ram 2500 can be outfitted with an 8.4-inch touchscreen interface that's easier to use than the Ford's.
Nonetheless, the F-250 remains a compelling option, providing just about everything a heavy-duty trucker could ask for. If you're shopping for a rig like this, the 2014 Ford F-250 is a must-drive.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Ford F-250 Super Duty is available with two- or four-wheel drive in three cab styles: two-door regular cab, four-door extended cab (SuperCab) and four-door crew cab. The extended cab has rear-hinged, access-style rear doors, while the crew cab has four full-size conventional-opening doors. Both can be had with either a standard (6.8-foot) or long (8-foot) cargo bed, but the regular cab is available only with the long bed.
Buyers have a choice among five trim levels: base XL, midlevel XLT, upscale Lariat, luxury King Ranch and posh Platinum. The Lariat is available on SuperCab and crew cab models, while the King Ranch and Platinum are offered only in crew cab configuration.
The XL sticks to the basics with standard equipment that includes 17-inch steel wheels, a black grille and bumpers, black door handles, manual-telescoping trailer tow mirrors, air-conditioning, vinyl floor coverings and upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a two-speaker sound system with an AM/FM radio.
The XLT adds 17-inch cast-aluminum wheels, a chrome grille and bumpers, heated outside mirrors, cast-aluminum wheels, cruise control, full power accessories, keyless entry, an integrated trailer brake controller, padded door armrests, a carpeted floor, cloth upholstery, the Ford Sync voice command system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, lockable storage with a power point under the rear seat and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack and USB interface.
The Lariat trim cranks up the luxury with 18-inch wheels, foglights, power telescoping mirrors, body-color door handles, rear parking sensors, remote start, a power-sliding rear window with defrost, dual-zone automatic climate control and leather upholstery. Also standard are a 4.2-inch color trip computer, wood-tone interior trim, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable front seats (with power lumbar adjustment), a middle front seat that converts into a center console, the MyFord Touch infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, upgraded Sync functionality, a rearview camera and an eight-speaker audio system with satellite radio. Note that the Lariat crew cab gets a premium Sony audio system.
The King Ranch piles on power-folding and telescoping tow mirrors, two-tone paint, a body-color grille with chrome insert, unique exterior and interior badging, a navigation system, special leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, driver memory settings (seat and pedals) and the Sony audio system as standard.
The top-of-the-line Platinum adds more chrome exterior trim, 20-inch polished alloy wheels, a tailgate assist step, unique wood-tone interior trim, upgraded leather upholstery and a heated steering wheel.
Some features on the fancier models are available as options on lower trims. Other options (depending on trim level) include different axle ratios, a stowable bed extender, a transmission power take-off (for powering accessories like snow plows), heavy-duty alternators, fifth-wheel/gooseneck mounting points, roof clearance lights, drop-in or spray-in bedliners, a sunroof and integrated accessory switches.
The available Ford Work Solutions package adds an in-dash computer that's customizable to suit commercial users and fleets. Also available is the FX4 Off-Road package (4WD models only), which includes an electronic locking rear differential, all-terrain tires, hill descent control, skid plates and Rancho shock absorbers.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2014 Ford F-250 Super Duty comes standard with a 6.2-liter gasoline V8 engine that produces 385 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of peak torque. The optional 6.7-liter diesel-powered V8 is rated at 400 hp and 800 lb-ft of peak torque. Both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission and offer rear- and four-wheel-drive configurations.
Properly equipped, the F-250 Super Duty with the diesel can tow up to 14,000 pounds with a conventional trailer setup. When configured for fifth-wheel towing, that figure jumps to 16,800 pounds. Maximum payload capacity is 4,240 pounds.
The 2014 Ford F-250 Super Duty comes standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, trailer sway control, hill start assist, side curtain airbags and the SOS post-crash alert system.
An integrated trailer brake controller is standard on XLT and higher models, while the Lariat trim level adds rear parking sensors and power-adjustable pedals. A rearview camera is optional on the XLT and standard on the Lariat and above.
Interior Design and Special Features
Even by the standards of heavy-duty trucks, the F-250's cabin is pretty basic. Hard plastics dominate the dashboard on lower trim levels; there's a night-and-day difference between the F-250 and the 2014 Ram 2500 in this regard. However, the Lariat adds a decidedly upscale vibe with rich leather and added amenities like MyFord Touch, while the King Ranch and Platinum models are nicer still.
Storage and utility options abound in the Ford F-250. There's a lockable bin under the middle of the available 40/20/40-split front bench seat, and the middle seatback folds down to serve as an armrest. Another lockable bin that can easily accommodate longer items is located under the rear seats, and it includes a 12-volt power point to charge portable electronics. The available 40/console/40 front bench can be configured to accommodate a laptop, hanging files and other office-style items. It also offers a 12-volt power point and a 110-volt power outlet.
Standard from the Lariat on up is a large multifunction display in the instrument cluster that allows the driver to customize settings, and relays trip computer, fuel economy, towing and off-road information. Lariat and higher trims also get the MyFord Touch infotainment system, which includes two USB ports, an SD card slot and an 8-inch touchscreen that controls phone, climate control, entertainment and navigation features and also includes an expanded voice control vocabulary. Note that this version of MyFord Touch incorporates large physical buttons for the climate and audio controls that allow them to be operated by those wearing work gloves.
Compared to the competition, the 2014 Ford F-250 Super Duty line is remarkably quiet at highway speeds. Even the big diesel V8's telltale clatter is held to a distant grumble inside. As with any heavy-duty pickup, the ride can be a bit nervous with an empty bed, but the F-250 remains well-mannered over rough roads. Our main complaint is that the steering feels numb and vague, especially when towing, which doesn't inspire full confidence.
Speaking of towing, the 6.7-liter diesel will likely be the engine of choice for this purpose, though the base 6.2-liter V8 is no slouch. Even when hooked to a 10,000-pound trailer and facing a steep hill, the diesel powers forward with ease, and the six-speed automatic has a knack for finding the right gear. Drivers can selectively lock out unwanted higher gears to ensure optimal towing prowess, but the tow/haul mode takes care of most of that for you. Descents are similarly carefree thanks to the sharp automatic transmission and the diesel's exhaust brake.