2002 Ford F-350 Super Duty Review
Pros & Cons
- Rugged construction, multiple configurations, competent off-road capabilities, 12,500-pound conventional trailer capacity.
- Noisy drivetrains, poor gas mileage, large size, stiff ride when not loaded.
Edmunds' Expert Review
When it comes to heavy-duty pick 'em ups, you can choose between a Chevy, a Dodge, a Ford or a GMC. Match your needs to the truck with the most capability to meet them, and you're all set. Of course, which model you select is also guided by brand loyalty. If you're a Ford kind of guy or gal with big loads to haul or tow, the F-350 Super Duty pickup will handle up to 11,500-pounds GVWR or a 12,500-pound conventional trailer.
Commercial use is one of the fastest-growing segments in the expanding truck market. With its F-Series Super Duty trucks, Ford is aiming squarely at fulfilling this segment's demand.
The Super Duty trucks are built on a separate platform from the smaller F-150. Bigger, stronger and more robust, they are meant to perform feats of which the F-150 isn't capable. The maximum GVWR for the F-150 is 7,700 pounds, the F-250 Super Duty can handle 8,800 pounds, whereas the F-350 Super Duty starts at 9,900 pounds and ranges up to 11,500 pounds. The main mission here is towing and hauling. To provide the necessary grunt, Ford offers three different engines. The gasoline engines are a Triton 5.4-liter V8 and a 6.8-liter V10. The V8 generates 255 horsepower at 4,500 rpm and 350 pound-feet of torque at 2,500 rpm. The V10 generates 310 horsepower at 4,250 rpm and 425 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm. A 7.3-liter turbodiesel V8 is also available, and it makes 250 horsepower at 2,600 rpm and a dominating 505 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 rpm. All of these engines can be equipped with an optional automatic transmission. The F-350 can tow up to 12,500 pounds of conventional trailer when properly equipped and can even wrestle a 14,400-pound fifth-wheel trailer.
To match your needs better, the Super Duty comes in Regular Cab, SuperCab and Crew Cab styles. The overall look is much more aggressive than the standard F-150, and its bigger dimensions allow Ford to use larger cabs without compromising load space. SuperCab models have small rear-opening doors, while the Super Duty Crew Cab has four full-size swing-out doors. A variety of optional equipment is available, including electronic shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive, a heavy-duty suspension package and telescoping trailer-towing mirrors.
Inside, the roomy cabs have large, comfortable seats and generous seat-track travel. Five or six adults can ride inside with little problem as long as you choose the SuperCab or Crew Cab body. In addition, there are many interior convenience features designed for today's business owners. For example, a fold-down armrest and utility bin are designed to house a portable fax machine or laptop computer. For owners who don't want to skimp on luxury, leather seating is available on Lariat models.
Given their size, the F-350 Super Duty trucks maintain a confident on- and off-road feel. They feature modern power steering systems and suspension components to improve vehicle ride, handling, responsiveness and maneuverability. Just don't mistake them for cars. The Super Duty is a true truck and rides harshly when not towing or hauling loads. Parking a Super Duty ranges from tedious (a mall parking lot) to impossible (some home garages and underground parking lots).
The Super Duty isn't for everyone. Pricing on a diesel-equipped Crew Cab can approach $40,000. However, if you need more truck than the regular F-150 can provide, Ford has quite an impressive lineup of heavy-duty trucks to peruse.