What's New for 2010
For 2010, the Ford F-450 Super Duty sees a lot of minor changes and feature shuffles among trim levels. Additionally, the axle ratios have been revised for increased fuel economy, Sync is now offered on all but the base XL and a new spray-in bedliner is now available.
Twenty-four thousand six-hundred pounds is a lot of weight. That's equivalent to seven Ford Mustangs, or the Hubble space telescope or 3,000 gallons of beer. It's also the amount of weight the 2010 Ford F-450 Super Duty pickup can tow when properly equipped, giving this Ford the highest tow rating of any consumer-oriented pickup on the market. Its closest competitor, the Dodge Ram 3500, can only pull 17,600 pounds.
It's quite obvious that this is no pretty-boy truck for city folk. Prior to 2008, in fact, it was sold only to commercial and institutional entities to be adapted for a variety of purposes, like towing and emergency services. The big F-450 is meant for the most demanding load-hauling duties, and to take them on, it boasts a sturdy frame, a wider track, a heavy-duty monobeam front suspension, commercial-grade truck tires, a dual-rear-wheel layout (dually) and the robust PowerStroke turbodiesel engine that produces a whopping 650 pound-feet of torque.
Simply put, there is no other truck that can out-truck the 2010 Ford F-450 Super Duty. But this also means that the F-450 is best left for buyers who truly need its capabilities. It's not the easiest truck to drive due to its width, and it's also pretty expensive, with a starting price of more than $45,000. But with its monumental towing capabilities and a variety of trim levels -- from no-nonsense work truck to luxuriously appointed hauler -- buyers can be assured that the F-450 will most certainly get the job done.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Ford F-450 Super Duty is available only in a crew-cab body style with a long 8-foot bed. All F-450s come with a dual-rear-wheel setup, which allows more weight to be carried in the bed while providing greater towing stability. Three trim levels are offered: base XL, midlevel XLT and luxurious Lariat.
The XL is the workhorse of the bunch, with standard equipment that includes 19.5-inch wheels with commercial-grade truck tires, running boards, air-conditioning, vinyl upholstery, a two-speaker AM/FM radio and manual-telescoping trailer-tow mirrors. The XLT adds keyless entry, power and 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 storage bin, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, full power accessories and a four-speaker CD player with an auxiliary audio jack.
The range-topping Lariat model piles luxury items on top of the XLT model that include a power-sliding rear window, power telescoping and folding mirrors, leather upholstery, wood grain interior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, dual power and 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 an FX4 Off-Road package, a heavy-duty suspension, 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 with satellite radio, power-adjustable pedals and a rear-seat entertainment system. Also offered are some very slick high-tech gadgetry for work-focused trucks, like an in-dash computer and Tool Link -- a computer system that keeps an inventory of tools that are removed from the bed.
Also available are the Harley-Davidson and King Ranch packages. The Harley-Davidson package slaps on a long list of Harley-branded exterior and interior trim. The King Ranch package provides two-tone paint, fancy leather seating and western-saddle-inspired trim. Both packages include a premium sound system and a rearview camera.
Powertrains and Performance
The only available F-450 engine is a 6.4-liter turbodiesel V8 that pumps out 350 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a five-speed automatic is optional. There is also a choice of either two- or four-wheel drive. Properly equipped, the F-450 Super Duty can haul 6,180 pounds in its bed or tow up to 24,600 pounds (with a fifth-wheel hitch). In performance testing, an unladen F-450 went from zero to 60 mph in 10.8 seconds.
Antilock disc brakes and the SOS Post-Crash Alert System 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. In brake testing, the F-450 came to a stop from 60 mph in 151 feet -- not bad for something that weighs more than 9,000 pounds.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2010 Ford F-450 Super Duty truck features a blocky, industrial interior design 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 option packages, with the addition of leather and wood grain trim, add a much more upscale and luxurious feel.
The well-placed center stack puts controls within easy reach, and 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. In crew cabs, folding the rear seats up reveals a flip-out utility tray that keeps the load floor flat.
For such a large vehicle, the 2010 Ford F-450 is relatively easy to handle, thanks in part to a turning circle that's smaller than that of the F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks. Still, parking and maneuvering in traffic are tough, as its front end is considerably wider than that of its already-gigantic siblings, not to mention the dually rear end. An unladen F-450 has a stiff ride, the downside of a chassis with such prolific towing and hauling capacities. But with a trailer hooked up to it, the F-450 rides more smoothly, and the turbodiesel engine performs admirably. The brakes are also confidence-inspiring when towing a big load, especially when used with the trailer brake controller.