2018 Ford F-350 Super Duty

2018 Ford F-350 Super Duty Crew Cab Review

Few vehicles are more capable for towing and hauling than the Ford F-350 Super Duty.
author
by Calvin Kim
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

While a standard pickup is good enough for most people, commercial users and recreationalists with heavy trailers need something more substantial. The 2018 Ford F-350 Super Duty easily meets those needs and adds a dose of civility as well.

Along with the F-250 and the F-450 Super Duty trucks, the F-350 received a major update last year. This new generation is more powerful, stronger and lighter, and it features more technology and luxury features than before. But fundamentally, the F-350's role as a heavy-duty truck that blends hauling and towing prowess with long-distance comfort and utility hasn't changed.

The frame is made from high-strength steel, while the body panels are lightweight aluminum. Ford says they're more dent-resistant and hundreds of pounds lighter than those of the outgoing version, which helps to offset the frame's added mass. As a bonus, the F-350's cabs are longer than those of the previous generation, which improves passenger space and comfort.

The F-350 Super Duty moves down the road with either a 6.2-liter gasoline V8 or a turbocharged 6.7-liter diesel V8. Both engines are mated to a six-speed transmission and send power to the rear wheels. Four-wheel drive is optional, as is a dual rear-wheel axle for even more payload and towing capability.

But these days, a truck is more than just its frame and body, and the F-350 impresses with its available technology. A surround-view camera system allows drivers to park with inch-perfect precision. There's also an available remote camera so you can see what's behind a towed trailer. And the F-350's built-in trailer memory saves individual trailer dimensions, the brake gain setting, and tire-pressure sensor information (if equipped) so frequent towers can swap trailers with minimal reconfiguration of settings.

Thanks to advanced driver assist features such as adaptive cruise control, an available leather interior that rivals those found on luxury cars, and Ford's well-proven Sync 3 infotainment system, the 2018 F-350 is good for any combination of day-to-day driving, hauling big loads or cruising across the country.



What's new for 2018

After last year's full redesign, not much changes for the 2018 F-350. There's a new Limited trim, which is the F-350's new top trim level, and a few minor changes to standard and optional feature equipment.

We recommend

The XLT is a capable truck with basic creature comforts. It also is a great jumping-off point for buyers to pick and choose options that will suit their needs. Many of the options on higher-end trims are available on the XLT. Choose too many, though, and you might find the Lariat a better starting point.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Ford F-350 Super Duty is a full-size, heavy-duty pickup available in six trim levels: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited. It can be configured as a regular-cab, extended-cab (aka SuperCab) or crew-cab body, with either a 6.8-foot or an 8.2-foot bed length. A 6.2-liter gasoline V8 produces 385 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque, while an available turbocharged 6.7-liter diesel V8 puts out an impressive 450 hp and 935 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions to drive the rear wheels, though four-wheel drive is offered as an option. A dual rear-wheel axle is also optional for the F-350.

Base XL models come standard with features that include 17-inch steel wheels, manual front locking hubs (four-wheel-drive models), intermittent wipers, a rearview camera, manually telescoping towing mirrors, a removable locking tailgate with tailgate lift assist, and a 2.5-inch trailer hitch receiver with a 2-inch insert. Also included: air conditioning, vinyl upholstery, manual windows and door locks, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a driver information display, and a four-speaker audio system. Extended- and crew-cab models get a six-speaker system.

Step up to the XLT and you get 18-inch alloy wheels, power side mirrors, manually telescoping and power-adjustable heated mirrors with built-in turn signals, four locking cleats in the bed, keyless entry, cloth upholstery, rear underseat lockable storage, power windows and locks, and rear privacy glass (extended- and crew-cab models only). The XLT also includes cruise control, an alarm system, the Sync voice-controlled infotainment system, a 4.2-inch display, a USB port, and a CD player and satellite radio.

Springing for the midrange Lariat trim level gets you an electronic shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system (four-wheel-drive models only), power-folding and telescoping outside mirrors plus driver-side auto-dimming and integrated spotlights, tubular side steps, a power-sliding rear window, and rear parking sensors. This trim also brings dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, power-adjustable pedals, a rear center armrest, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an 8-inch center touchscreen display, an upgraded Sync 3 infotainment system, two 110-volt household-style power outlets, and a premium Sony 10-speaker audio system with two USB charging ports.

The Western-themed King Ranch trim level, which is only offered on crew-cab models, adds unique alloy wheels, automatic high beams, automatic wipers, LED box lighting, keyless entry and start, remote start, upgraded leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, driver-seat memory settings, a power tilt-and-telescoping and heated steering wheel, and a navigation system.

Choosing the Platinum model, again offered only on crew-cab models, gets you 20-inch alloy wheels, adaptive steering, LED headlights, automatic wipers, power running boards, a remote tailgate release, a built-in tailgate step, multicontour front seats, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

Top-of-the-line Limited models include everything from the Platinum model and add a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, a panoramic sunroof, and a Limited-exclusive two-tone leather interior.

Many of the features standard on upper trim levels are offered as options on the rest of the lineup. Other noteworthy options include a power sunroof, a heavy-duty trailer tow package (offered only with the turbodiesel engine), a massive 48-gallon fuel tank, different axle ratios with an electronically locking rear differential, an FX4 off-road package, and a fifth-wheel/gooseneck hitch prep package. That options list goes on with adaptive cruise control, collision warning with brake support, skid plates (four-wheel-drive models only), an Ultimate Trailer Tow Camera System with a total of seven cameras, a separate rearview camera that can be mounted on a customer's trailer, trailer tire-pressure monitoring and a spray-in bedliner.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our first drive of the 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty SRW 4x4 Crew Cab Platinum FX4 (turbo 6.7L V8 diesel | 6-speed automatic | 4WD | 6.8-foot bed).

Driving

Thanks to its stout engine and chassis, the F-350 is capable of taking on just about anything. Whether it's hauling heavy loads or taking the family to dinner, the Super Duty impresses with its smooth ride and responsive powertrain.

Acceleration

The 6.7-liter turbodiesel handles all requests for power nearly exactly the same: There's a brief pause as the turbos gather speed, followed by an unrelenting wave of torque. Whether you're towing, off-roading or just trying to merge into traffic, the F-350's power delivery doesn't seem to change.

Braking

The pedal feedback is a bit grabby and wooden at first, and it's soft through the rest of its travel. This characteristic causes a slight disconnect in expectations, but you can simply apply more force, and the F-350 will respond willingly.

Steering

Though it has a relatively numb steering feel, particularly on-center, the F-350's steering weight is surprisingly light at first and linearly increases in resistance. Thanks to the adaptive steering, feedback increases once the front end has some weight on it, such as when cornering.

Handling

The F-350 has surprisingly snappy turn-in, which helps out around town, but there's no escaping its sheer size and weight. Hard-edge bumps can upset the chassis, particularly midcorner.

Drivability

The F-350's transmission upshifts quickly and smoothly. Powertrain response lags slightly, but that's to be expected from a large turbodiesel powerplant. When empty, downshifts happen smoothly and quickly as well. If there's any serious tow weight, the tow/haul mode keeps excessive shifts under control.

Off-road

Our truck had a lockable rear differential and shift-on-the-fly 4WD, but you must be going slow and shift to neutral before engaging 4L. Aside from its tremendous size, the F-350 is sure-footed and adept. Thank the optional FX4 off-road package on our truck for that.

Comfort

Long trips are welcomed in the Super Duty thanks to its quiet cabin and plush leather interior. Interior noise is well-muted, with just the thrum of the Power Stroke engine to be heard. Once you make the climb up into the cab, you don't want to come back down.

Seat comfort

The F-350's leather seats feature memory and power adjustability for both front seats. The seat massagers spoil the driver and passenger, and they add to the seats' natural plushness. The three-zone lumbar adjustability allows for fine-tuning. But the rear middle seat is stiff and narrow.

Ride comfort

The F-350 Super Duty's comfort when unladen is just about the same as when it's loaded down. This jack-of-all-trades is an easy road-trip companion, with only the slightest judder from hard-edge concrete slabs and potholes intruding into the cabin.

Noise & vibration

At idle you can easily hear the clackity-clack of the diesel engine, and as you accelerate, you can faintly hear the intake whoosh letting you know the engine's taking care of business. Once up to speed, the powertrain noise settles down to a calm roar. Wind and road noise is well-damped.

Climate control

The two-zone climate control is easy to use and can be manipulated by smallish buttons on the center console or through the head unit. The cabin cools down quickly, and it holds temperature well. The seat ventilation was virtually nonfunctional in our test truck.

Interior

The Super Duty's interior is not only comfortable but also very functional. Its digital display is customizable, and you can check tire pressures for both the truck and trailer right from the cab. There are enough physical buttons so that you don't always have to hunt and peck on a screen.

Ease of use

While the hard buttons are small and close together, most functions can be handled purely on screen through Ford's Sync 3 system. Knobs still control the climate control temperature and the sound system volume and tuning.

Getting in/getting out

Power-retractable steps are standard on Platinum models, and they greatly enhance ease of entry and exit, although it's still a leap. The front roof-pillar handle helps steady you on your way in. But the doors are large and, combined with the width of the truck, make parking in narrow spots a chore.

Driving position

The F-350's upright style of driving is appropriate for the class. Adjustable pedals and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel are part of the memory package, ensuring different-size drivers can be comfortable.

Roominess

There's no lack of interior room, with a rear seat generous in width and kneeroom. Front passengers can set their seats wherever they want and not intrude into the rear passenger room. Headroom is prodigious as well, with plenty of elbow and shoulder room at all seating positions.

Visibility

It's a big truck, so blind spots are expected. The blind spots created by the tall hood line and long rear bed are mitigated somewhat by the button-activated camera system, and blind-spot detection helps on the sides. Our only wish is that the blind-spot indicators would be bigger.

Quality

The Platinum interior uses a high-grade leather, but plastic panels let you know you're in a work truck. Though some people won't mind, it could be a deal-breaker for others.

Utility

Utility is what the Super Duty is all about thanks to its high gross vehicle weight rating and fifth-wheel prep. Our test truck had no shortage of weight-carrying capability. It easily towed nearly 7,000 pounds over 120 miles, with gusting winds and hills to reckon with.

Small-item storage

Small-item storage is excellent with a large center console, a smaller forward storage pocket, and a selectable four-way cupholder or a two-way cupholder and storage bin. The F-350 also offers a storage shelf to the sides of the center console and two storage areas in each door.

Cargo space

The 6.8-foot bed won't accommodate a 4-by-8 sheet of plywood, but the regular-bed F-350 is easier to navigate than the longer-bed model. Ford's tailgate step makes getting in and out of the bed easy to properly secure loads. Inside, 60/40-split fold-up rear seat bottoms reveal a cabinwide cargo zone.

Child safety seat accommodation

The rear offers three child safety seat positions with easy-to-interface lower LATCH anchors. The top LATCH anchors are nylon loops that thread over the top of the seats and underneath the headrests.

Towing

The F-350 offers a maximum conventional tow capacity of 21,000 pounds, or up to 32,000 pounds with a gooseneck hitch. The F-350 can be programmed to remember certain trailers to call up brake gain and blind-spot settings. The power-extending side mirrors aid visibility.

Hauling

With a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,000 pounds to play with, the Super Duty can certainly transport whatever needs to be hauled. A flexible bed tie-down system is available, and an LED bed lighting system lets you see what you're doing when securing a load in the dark.

Technology

Thanks to the Sync 3 interface, even work trucks can feel modern and high-tech. The F-350 also has adjustable blind-spot detection, so its field of view can cover a trailer. The surround-view cameras help with parking and trailering, and the electronic tailgate release is nice to have.

Audio & navigation

Ford's Sync 3 system is easy to understand and use. The large touch surfaces make navigating a breeze, although you can never get the perfect zoom factor on the map. The 10-speaker Sony audio system requires some volume for crisp presentation and response.

Smartphone integration

Dual USB outlets and Bluetooth connectivity make sure smartphone integration is a piece of cake. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included.

Driver aids

The optional adaptive cruise control system works appropriately. It's especially helpful when you're trying to stay under the towing speed limit. But the feedback settings on the lane departure warning system need more differentiation.

Voice control

Sync 3's voice control system recognizes natural language and works on the audio, navigation and, of course, phone calls. Push the voice button longer, and you can tap directly into Siri or Android voice prompts.

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.