To many folks, a pickup truck is a pickup truck is a pickup truck. It has a cab, a bed and a trailer hitch. How do you make a meaningful improvement on that formula? Ford has an answer in the form of the all-new 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty, a pickup truck that really does raise the bar for the whole segment.
2017 marks the first bumper-to-bumper redesign of the Super Duty series in almost 20 years. Among the changes: A stronger frame (95 percent of which is made from high-strength steel), a lightweight aluminum body and bed to offset the increased mass, and a host of new comfort and convenience features. The engines are more powerful and the interiors offer more space. Not only can the new F-250 do more work, it's also a more pleasant truck to live with on a day-to-day basis.
The engines are improved versions of those found in the outgoing Super Duty: A 6.2-liter gasoline V8 that delivers 385 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque, up 25 lb-ft from last year, and the familiar 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8, now tuned for 440 hp and an incredible 925 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 65 lb-ft. (Ford credits optimization of the intake and exhaust and new stronger drive axles as making the torque increase possible.) Depending on configuration, the F-250 can haul up to 4,200 pounds of payload and tow as much as 18,600 pounds. Because of the F-250's heavy weight, the EPA does not provide fuel economy estimates.
New technology on the new F-250 includes driver aids like adaptive cruise control. The F-250's system not only matches the speed of slower traffic ahead, but it downshifts the transmission and uses the built-in diesel exhaust brake to control speed when towing a trailer. Likewise, the blind-spot monitoring system can compensate for the added length of a trailer. Other new technology is specifically aimed at trailer towing, such as a backup assistance system that tells the driver which way to turn the wheel to keep the trailer straight, and trailer-mounted tire-pressure sensors and a backup camera that feed the displays inside the F-250's cab.
Like most domestic pickups, the F-250 is offered in a vast array of models, along with multiple cab choices (regular, extended and crew) and bed lengths. The XL is the basic work truck, complete with vinyl floors instead of carpets, XLT models possess more of the amenities we expect for a personal truck. The Lariat adds equipment usually found in luxury cars, while the King Ranch has even more creature comforts set to a Western theme. Top of the line is the all-singing, all-dancing F-250 Platinum. Note that the F-250's hauling and towing capacities depend on how the truck is configured, so it's important to pick the right configuration for the jobs you need it to do. Edmunds can help find the perfect 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.