Full 2015 Ford F-250 Super Duty Review
What's New for 2015
The optional 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 engine in the 2015 Ford F-250 has been revised, resulting in improved horsepower, torque and fuel economy.
At some point, even full-size pickup trucks don't have enough power, and that's where heavy-duty trucks come in to save the day. If you've got way more than the average amount of cargo to haul around, then a heavy-duty pickup like the 2015 Ford F-250 might be right for you.
The 2015 Ford F-250 is designed with maximum capability in mind, and this year Ford has made significant revisions to the optional 6.7-liter turbodiesel engine, resulting in a greater output of 440 horsepower and 860 pound-feet of torque (up from 400 and 800, respectfully). Although maximum towing capacity remains 16,800 pounds,Ford estimates that fuel economy has improved as well.
So there's more power and the promise of higher mpg, but lately we've come to expect a bit more out of heavy-duty pickup trucks. Many of these dedicated workhorses are now surprisingly comfortable and have long lists of luxury options, and although it's getting on in years, this big Ford is no exception. Base trim levels of the F-250 are pretty sparse, but cabin surfaces and interior touches are luxurious on upper trim levels. Features like the optional MyFord Touch infotainment system and its large 8-inch dash-mounted display prove you don't have to give up modern conveniences for old-fashioned truck capability. Those luxury extras do add up quickly, though, so be ready to open up your wallet if you want the finest leather and wood trim.
Despite its strengths, the 2015 Ford F-250 does have some serious competition from the usual suspects. The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD was redesigned last year and is definitely worth a look. The Ram 2500 is also an extremely capable heavy-duty pickup that deserves attention. The Ram has a more composed ride, a higher-quality cabin and massive towing capacity, making it our top pick for a heavy-duty pickup.
Keep in mind that additional towing and hauling is offered by the 2015 Ford F-350 and unmatched 2015 Ford F-450. Any of these F-Series Super Duty trucks, including the F-250, is a very capable truck and with so few competitors, a test-drive is a must.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2015 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, a locking tailgate, air-conditioning, vinyl floor coverings and upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a two-speaker sound system with an AM/FM radio.
The XLT adds 18-inch cast-aluminum wheels, a chrome grille and bumpers, heated outside mirrors with an integrated blind-spot mirror, rear privacy glass (SuperCab and crew cab), cruise control, full power accessories, keyless entry, an integrated trailer brake controller, padded door armrests, a middle front seat that converts into a center console, 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, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.
The Lariat trim cranks up the luxury with foglights, power telescoping and folding mirrors, body-color door handles, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights, a power-sliding rear window with defrost, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable front seats (with power lumbar adjustment), power-adjustable pedals, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 4.2-inch color trip computer, wood-tone interior trim, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, the MyFord Touch infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, upgraded Sync functionality, a rearview camera and an eight-speaker audio system. Note that the Lariat crew cab gets a premium Sony audio system.
The two upper trims essentially include many of the Lariat's optional items and bolsters them with special design elements. As such, the King Ranch adds two-tone paint, a body-color grille with chrome insert, unique exterior and interior trim and color schemes, remote start, a navigation system, special leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front bucket seats with a fixed center console and driver memory settings, and the Sony audio system.
The top-of-the-line Platinum is equipped similarly to the King Ranch, but features a significantly different design aesthetic inside and out, while adding 20-inch polished alloy wheels, a tailgate assist step, upgraded leather upholstery and a heated steering wheel.
Many of the features that are standard on upper trims levels such as navigation and the tailgate assist step 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 2015 Ford F-250 Super Duty comes standard with a 6.2-liter gasoline V8 engine that produces 385 hp and 405 lb-ft of peak torque. The optional 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel V8 is rated at 440 hp and 860 lb-ft of peak torque. Both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission and offer rear- and four-wheel-drive configurations.
In Edmunds testing, the gas V8 got a 4x4 F-250 from zero to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds -- a quick time for such a big, heavy truck.
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 4,130 pounds.
The 2015 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 Lariat and above trim levels add rear parking sensors. A rearview camera is optional on the XLT and standard on the Lariat and above.
In Edmunds testing, a crew cab F-250 Super Duty equipped with four-wheel drive and the 6.2-liter V8 engine came to a stop from 60 mph in 129 feet -- a respectable distance for such a large vehicle.
Interior Design and Special Features
Heavy-duty trucks haven't historically been known for their luxurious cabins, but that has changed in recent years, and the F-250 has fallen a bit behind. One look at the Ram 2500's comparatively lavish new interior will convince you that Ford's got a little room for improvement. The F-250 has a lot of hard plastics on lower trim levels, and for better or worse, the overall look screams "work truck." But to be fair, the Lariat creates a distinctly upscale vibe with leather and the MyFord Touch interface, while the King Ranch and Platinum models are fancier 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. An optional, alternate front bench design features a middle seat section that can be configured to accommodate a laptop, hanging files and other office items. It also offers a 12-volt power point and a 110-volt power outlet.
On the Lariat trim and higher, there 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. They 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. This version of MyFord Touch also 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 2015 Ford F-250 Super Duty line is remarkably quiet at highway speeds. 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 confidence.
Even though the 6.2-liter V8 is no slouch, the 6.7-liter diesel will likely be the engine of choice for heavy-duty towing tasks. 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. We haven't had a chance to test the newly upgraded diesel engine yet, but we praised last year's less powerful version for being both quiet and smooth even while towing.