Used 2016 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab Review

The 2016 Ford F-250 Super Duty isn't quite as refined as its main rivals, but considering its beefy capabilities and available luxury extras, it's still a solid choice for truck shoppers.




what's new

Unlike the F-150 that was completely redesigned last year, the F-250 Super Duty once again returns unchanged save for two new options: LED warning strobe lights and a rearview camera prep kit that can be ordered with the cargo box delete option.

vehicle overview

The Ford F-250 Super Duty rolls into its 2016 model year with only minor changes, which means it's the oldest truck in the segment and doesn't enjoy many of the redesigned F-150's myriad improvements. However, considering it has long been one of the most capable trucks on the market, we still see plenty of good in this heavy-duty truck.

Providing the brawn is either a 6.2-liter gasoline V8 engine or a diesel 6.7-liter V8, the latter having been updated just last year to boost its output to a stout 440 hp and 860 pound-feet of torque. Towing capacity with either engine remains robust, maxing out at 15,900 pounds with the gasoline V8 and 16,600 pounds with the diesel engine, when hitched to fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailers.

The F-250 Super Duty also returns in a wide array of body styles and trim levels, ranging from no-frills regular cab work trucks to top-of-the-line four-door crew cab models with interiors packed with luxury, convenience and technology features. If there is a downside to all these modern amenities it's the bottom line of the window sticker, where prices can soar to heights unimaginable a decade ago.

Given that the current-generation Super Duty debuted way back in 2008, the F-250 is obviously getting long in the tooth compared to its far more recently refreshed rivals. The Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD just underwent an extensive makeover that left it with updated styling and an improved interior. Then there's the 2016 Nissan Titan XD, a new truck that bridges the capability gap between light- and heavy-duty trucks with a diesel V8 among its virtues. Finally, the Ram 2500 model is an especially noteworthy competitor, by virtue of its more refined ride, more attractive and higher-quality cabin, and tremendous towing capacity, a combination that makes it our top pick for a heavy-duty pickup.

We recommend driving all of the heavy-duty pickups before making up your mind, but ultimately, the choice could come down to personal preference. And if you prefer the 2016 Ford F-250, we certainly wouldn't steer you clear.




trim levels & features

The 2016 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 (aka: 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 also have a choice among five trim levels: base XL, midlevel XLT, upscale Lariat and two distinct flavors of luxury in the King Ranch and 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 entry-level XL's list of standard equipment includes 17-inch steel wheels, black grille and bumpers, black door handles, manual-telescoping trailer tow mirrors, a locking tailgate, air-conditioning, vinyl upholstery and floor coverings, 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 alloy wheels, a chrome grille and bumpers, heated outside mirrors, integrated blind-spot mirrors, rear privacy glass (extended cab and crew cab), keyless entry, full power accessories, cruise control, cloth upholstery, a front seat with a middle section that converts into a center console, padded door armrests, a carpeted floor, lockable storage with a 12-volt power point under the rear seat, an integrated trailer brake controller, the Ford Sync voice command system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.

The Lariat trim additions include automatic headlights, foglights, power telescoping and folding mirrors, body-color door handles, a power-sliding and defrosting rear window, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power 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, upgraded Sync functionality and the MyFord Touch infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen and an eight-speaker audio system. Lariat crew cab models get a premium Sony audio system.

The King Ranch adds remote ignition, heated and ventilated front bucket seats with a fixed center console and driver memory settings, a navigation system and the Sony audio system, along with special King Ranch design elements that include two-tone paint, a body-color grille with chrome insert, unique trim and color schemes and special leather upholstery.

The top-of-the-line Platinum is equipped similarly to the King Ranch, but features distinctly uptown design cues inside and out, while adding 20-inch polished alloy wheels, a tailgate assist step, upgraded leather upholstery and a heated steering wheel.

Other than the special design cues, 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 (crew cab only) and integrated accessory switches. New for 2016 are amber LED warning strobes and a rearview camera prep kit for trucks with the bed-delete option.

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.



performance & mpg

The 2016 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. Both engines come mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and a choice of rear- or four-wheel-drive.

In Edmunds testing, the gasoline V8 got a four-wheel-drive F-250 from zero to 60 mph in 8.6 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 or gooseneck towing, that figure jumps to 16,600 pounds. Maximum payload capacity is 4,130 pounds.

safety

The 2016 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 trim levels. Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum trim levels also get 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.

Driving

On the road, the 2016 Ford F-250 is noticeably quieter than you might expect. The ride quality is decent for a heavy-duty pickup, but as expected, it feels skittish and jostles you about without a load in the bed. Other than that, the place where the F-250 really falls down is in its vague steering feel. While this weakness can be a tad annoying in everyday driving, the lack of precision can be downright unnerving when you're trying to keep the truck and the large, heavy trailer hanging off its back centered in its lane on a winding two-lane road. Even with everything else being equal, this shortcoming alone should cause potential buyers to pause long enough to check out the Ram and GM offerings.

While the 6.2-liter gasoline V8 offers plenty of muscle, the recently updated 6.7-liter turbodiesel engine is likely to be the engine of choice for anyone planning on hauling heavy loads or towing sizable trailers. The six-speed automatic transmission allows the driver to lock out higher gears in situations like descending a steep grade, but the standard Tow/Haul mode performs a similar function with the push of a button.

Interior

In a segment where competing models have raised the bar in terms of upscale interiors, the 2016 Ford F-250 clearly has some catching up to do. Compared to the Ram 2500's posh passenger cabin, the F-250 interior has a very "work truck" look and feel about it with lots of hard plastics and a rather industrial design. This even applies to the King Ranch and Platinum trims that can't quite hide the rough-and-tumble vibe with its leather trim and multitude of features.

As is fitting for a pickup truck, though, the F-250's interior places a high value on function. There's plenty of storage, for example, in a lockable compartment beneath the center section of the 40/20/40-split front bench seat and a large lockable bin with a 12-volt power outlet under the rear seats. For those needing to frequently carry passengers, the crew cab should be the go-to choice, but we noted that the rear seatback is a tad too upright for ideal comfort.

Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum models all feature a large multifunction display in the instrument cluster that can be customized to read out trip computer, fuel economy, towing and off-road information. All three also come with the MyFord Touch infotainment system, which includes two USB ports, an SD card reader, and most importantly, an 8-inch touchscreen that controls/displays phone, climate control, entertainment and navigation features. One notable improvement to this version of MyFord Touch is the inclusion of good-size buttons for the most often used audio and climate controls. While this system isn't as user-friendly as Ram's, we do prefer it to GM's infotainment systems.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.