Sometimes, a regular coffee just won't do it. You need something on the order of a double cappuccino to get the job done -- something with more kick, more muscle. For pickup truck buyers needing a similar boost, there's the Ford F-350 Super Duty. More robust than even the capable F-250, the F-350 Super Duty is fit for extreme grunt work thanks to the availability of a dual rear-wheel setup ("dually") that greatly improves stability when towing. And in Ford pickup tradition, the F-350 is available with a wide choice of body styles, powertrain options and trim levels. Another reason this heavy hauler is a fave is that it's also easy to drive and comfortable to ride in.
Recent improvements to the Ford F-350 Super Duty have yielded a stronger turbodiesel V8, even better ride and handling dynamics and a redesigned cabin with higher-quality materials. Still, there are a few other choices to consider, as Chevy and Dodge also offer worthy choices in this powerhouse field.
Current Ford F-350 Super Duty
The Ford F-350 Super Duty is available in three body styles (regular cab, extended cab, crew cab) and five trim levels (base XL, midlevel XLT, luxurious Lariat, horse-saddle-inspired King Ranch and ultra-plush Platinum). Under the hood, one has a choice of two powerful engines -- a 6.2-liter gasoline mill (385 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque) and an optional 6.7-liter "PowerStroke" turbodiesel cranking out 400 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Buyers can choose either two- or four-wheel drive across the board. A dual-rear-wheel setup is offered as well, which allows it to carry more weight in the bed as well as providing greater stability while towing a heavy trailer.
In reviews, we've found much to like about the latest F-350. We're duly impressed by the Super Duty's flexibility that allows it to be configured for a variety of uses -- from a down-and-dirty work truck to a luxurious hauler. Regardless of which route you choose, you'll also be treated to refined ride and handling and high feature content.
Used Ford F-350 Super Duty Models
The latest generation of the Ford F-350 Super Duty debuted for the 2008 model year. Compared to earlier F-350s, it had revised styling, a stronger frame, better handling dynamics, a nicer interior and an improved turbodiesel engine. Changes have been minimal since, though these 2008-'12 F-350s lack the current lineup's upgraded brakes, MyFord Touch infotainment interface and posh Platinum trim level.
Initial engine choices consisted of a standard 5.4-liter V8 (300 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque), an optional 6.8-liter V10 (362 hp and 457 lb-ft) and the optional 6.4-liter PowerStroke turbodiesel V8 (350 hp and 650 lb-ft). Transmission choices were a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic.
The following year saw a wealth of new features become available that included the Sync voice control system. This was also the first year for the Harley-Davidson package, complete with plenty of chrome badges and black leather trim, and the off-road-oriented package dubbed Cabela's (after the outdoor enthusiasts retailer). The current 385-hp gas V8 and 400-hp turbodiesel engines debuted for 2011, as did updated exterior styling.
The previous generation Ford F-350 Super Duty ran from 1999-2007. The debut of this version marked the first time that Ford gave its heavy-duty pickups their own style. Compared to the soft contours of the F-150 of the time, the angular Super Duty with its massive grille looked every bit the square-jawed brute that lay under the skin.
Initially, the typical trim levels of base XL, decently equipped XLT and plush Lariat were offered in standard-, extended- and crew-cab body styles. Engine choices included the standard 5.4-liter V8 as well as the optional 6.8-liter V10 and 7.3-liter PowerStroke turbodiesel V8. A five-speed manual was standard, with a four-speed automatic optional.
If you're looking for a used Ford F-350 Super Duty, there are a few year-by-year changes to be aware of. In 2001, updates were made that included standard four-wheel ABS for all trims, an available reverse parking sensor, heated seats for the Lariat and more power for the PowerStroke engine. The following year brought a six-speed manual, new seats and the option of power-adjustable pedals.
For 2003, the FX4 off-road package debuted, as did (for crew cabs) an optional power moonroof and the King Ranch edition. A smaller yet more powerful 6.0-liter PowerStroke replacing the 7.3-liter version debuted that year as well. The 6.0-liter diesel engine, however, has a reputation for questionable reliability. For 2005, the big news was a new five-speed automatic transmission, an upgraded front suspension, a new grille and headlight design and increased towing and hauling capacities. The next few years saw just minor changes to feature and package availability.
In a review that pitted this generation Ford F-350 Super Duty against its Chevy and Dodge rivals, the Ford placed 2nd. The F-350's chief strengths included a refined ride and competent handling and braking. Demerits were given for behind-the-pack performance when towing an 8,600-pound trailer and the cabin's lack of storage and odd mix of cheap plastics and upscale trim.
Previous to 1999, the F-350 (it wasn't called the Super Duty yet) was visually virtually indistinguishable from the F-150. However, with available muscle that included a 7.3-liter V8 and the PowerStroke turbodiesel, it was obviously up to much more demanding towing and hauling tasks.
Read the most recent 2014 Ford F-350 Super Duty review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Ford F-350 Super Duty page.