2003 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 unloaded.
List Price Estimate
$2,582 - $5,156

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The Ford is a fine choice, but the newer Dodge and General Motors heavy-duty trucks should also be considered.

Vehicle overview

Introduction: 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, introduced in 1999, 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 Super Duty isn't for everyone; depending on model, the turning circle can top 58 feet. That's not much fun in city traffic. 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.

Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options: 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. Unlike the F-250, the F-350 can be had with dual-rear wheels. SuperCab models have small rear-opening doors, while the Super Duty Crew Cab has four fullsize 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. For owners who don't want to skimp on luxury, leather seating is available on Lariat models. Powertrains and Performance: 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, whereas the F-350 Super Duty can manage 11,500 pounds.

To provide the necessary grunt, Ford offers four different engines. The gasoline engines are a 5.4-liter V8 and a 6.8-liter V10. The V8 generates 255 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. The V10 generates 310 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque. A 7.3-liter turbodiesel V8 is also available, and it makes 250 horsepower and a dominating 525 lb-ft of torque (up 20 from last year). All of these engines can be equipped with an optional automatic transmission. A more powerful and efficient 6.0-liter turbodiesel will be released later this year, making 325 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque, as well as offering 10 percent better fuel economy and 20 percent lower emissions. It's mated to a new five-speed automatic transmission that features higher first- and second-gear ratios to launch a truck loaded with cargo more quickly and smoothly. The F-350 can tow up to 13,000 pounds of conventional trailer when properly equipped. Safety: Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS are standard. The Super Duty also offers power-adjustable pedals. As of yet, there is no NHTSA or IIHS crash test data on the Super Duties. Interior Design and Special Features: 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. Driving Impressions: 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).

2003 Highlights

The 2003 model year sees a new FX4 Off-Road Package with skid plates, Rancho front and rear shocks, a steering damper and decals. The regular off-road package is no longer available, but a skid plate package can still be had on all 4WD trucks. All XLs can be had with a vinyl 40/20/40 reclining split bench that has a fold-down armrest with a console and cupholders. Ford has also upgraded seat material quality and installed a tailgate lock on this trim level. If you order a SuperCab or Crew Cab in XLT trim with the Sport Package, you can also order a reverse sensing system and a power driver seat. Late-availability additions include an optional power moonroof for Crew Cabs and optional heated telescoping trailer tow mirrors with integrated turn signals. A King Ranch version of the Crew Cab will also appear later in the year. Finally, the torque rating for the 7.3-liter turbodiesel V8 has been boosted to 525 pound-feet. By mid-year, expect an even more powerful 6.0-liter diesel to appear.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 Ford F-350 Super Duty.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

6.0 Diesel nightmare
THEWBJE,04/03/2006
2003 F 350, new engine after only 3000 miles, in shop total of 51 days in 3 years. New engine, sensors, rear end out at 29,000, turbo problems--worst ever for reliability. Great when it runs but last three vacations ruined with engine problems.
F-250
George Karibian,05/21/2006
I use it for towing and love it! If you ever tow or are thinking of buying an RV you need to look at this one. I work construction and I would say that Ford is by far the most predominate vehicle out there on the job.
Outstanding
Ford man,02/24/2007
Absolutely great truck. Power to spare, and excellent mileage for such a big truck. I hauled a 3000 lb. slide-in pickup camper for years with no noticeable difference in handling. I hated to see these 7.3 diesel engines get phased out.
6.0L Diesel Problems
Bill,03/18/2007
The 6.0L Diesel has been nothing but an expensive problem. Can't keep fuel injectors in it. Ford does not care about the problem. I know of many others who own the 6.0L diesel and have the same problems. If you pull a trailer or carry heavy loads, the 6.0 can't handle it. If you are a "Weekend Cowboy" and just ride around in the truck, it might be ok.

Features & Specs

MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 6
6-speed manual
Gas
260 hp @ 4500 rpm
MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 6
6-speed manual
Gas
310 hp @ 4250 rpm
MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 6
6-speed manual
Gas
310 hp @ 4250 rpm
MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 6
6-speed manual
Gas
260 hp @ 4500 rpm
See all Used 2003 Ford F-350 Super Duty features & specs
More about the 2003 Ford F-350 Super Duty

Used 2003 Ford F-350 Super Duty Overview

The Used 2003 Ford F-350 Super Duty is offered in the following submodels: F-350 Super Duty Crew Cab, F-350 Super Duty SuperCab, F-350 Super Duty Regular Cab. Available styles include 4dr SuperCab XLT 4WD LB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab Lariat 4WD LB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab Lariat 4WD SB DRW (6.8L 10cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab Lariat 4WD LB DRW (6.8L 10cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab Lariat 4WD SB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab XLT 4WD LB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab XLT 4WD SB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab XLT 4WD SB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab Lariat Rwd SB DRW (6.8L 10cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab Lariat Rwd SB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab XL 4WD LB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab XLT 4WD LB DRW (6.8L 10cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab Lariat 4WD LB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab Lariat Rwd LB DRW (6.8L 10cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab XL 4WD SB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab XL 4WD LB DRW (6.8L 10cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab Lariat Rwd LB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab XLT 4WD LB DRW (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab XL 4WD SB DRW (6.8L 10cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab XLT 4WD SB DRW (6.8L 10cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab XL 4WD SB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab XL Rwd LB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab XLT Rwd SB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab XL 4WD LB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab Lariat 4WD LB DRW (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab Lariat 4WD SB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab XL 4WD LB DRW (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab XLT Rwd LB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab XL Rwd SB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab Lariat Rwd LB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab XL Rwd LB DRW (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab Lariat Rwd SB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab XLT Rwd LB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab XLT Rwd LB DRW (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab XL Rwd SB DRW (6.8L 10cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab XL Rwd SB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab XLT Rwd SB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab XLT Rwd LB DRW (6.8L 10cyl 6M), 2dr Regular Cab XL 4WD LB DRW (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 2dr Regular Cab XL 4WD LB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab XLT Rwd SB DRW (6.8L 10cyl 6M), 4dr SuperCab Lariat Rwd LB DRW (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 2dr Regular Cab XL Rwd LB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab XL Rwd LB DRW (6.8L 10cyl 6M), 4dr Crew Cab XL Rwd LB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 2dr Regular Cab XLT 4WD LB (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 2dr Regular Cab XLT 4WD LB DRW (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 2dr Regular Cab XL Rwd LB DRW (5.4L 8cyl 6M), 2dr Regular Cab XLT Rwd LB DRW (5.4L 8cyl 6M), and 2dr Regular Cab XLT Rwd LB (5.4L 8cyl 6M).

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Find a used Ford F-350 Super Duty for sale - 4 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $17,222.

Find a used Ford for sale - 4 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $16,933.

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Should I lease or buy a 2003 Ford F-350 Super Duty?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Ford lease specials
Check out Ford F-350 Super Duty lease specials