The all-new 2017 Ford F-450 Super Duty pickup is right on the line between consumer product and heavy equipment. This is a commercial-grade business machine that is also available with all the equipment and comfort of a luxury sedan. It's simply more — a lot more — truck than most people will ever need. But, of course, it's not more truck than a lot of Americans will want.
Ford's redesigned 2017 Super Duty line adopts so-called military-grade aluminum alloy construction for its cabs — a construction material Ford introduced in the F-150. Meanwhile, the steel frames under those cabs have been fortified and beefed up to handle more epic tasks than ever before. There are three trucks in the Super Duty line, starting with the three-quarter-ton F-250, moving to the one-ton F-350 and then, at the top of the very big heap, is the 1½-ton F-450. Other makers build trucks in the same class as the F-450, but they reserve them for commercial markets and usually don't include many of the civilian comforts that the F-450 offers.
The element that instantly distinguishes an F-450 from an F-350 (beyond the badges) is the use of 19.5-inch wheels on the F-450. And there are six of these wheels because all F-450s have dual rear wheels.
The 19.5-inch commercial truck wheels require commercial truck tires. To some extent the beef of those tires compromises ride quality. Furthermore, because the F-450 is only offered with a full Crew Cab four-door body, more of its load carrying ability is dedicated to hauling passengers instead of just cargo. In fact depending on configuration, some versions of the F-350 have greater cargo load ratings than the F-450. So the choice between the two may not be as straightforward as it initially seems.
The F-450 is available with leading-edge technologies ranging from LED headlights and adaptive cruise control. But it's the truck's engine that is the tech star. The Ford-designed and Ford-built 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8 is standard in the F-450. With 440 horsepower and 925-pound feet of peak torque, it's almost nonchalant in how easily it can lug massive loads. Combined with the standard six-speed automatic transmission, the Power Stroke is among the very best engines available in any truck at any price.
Four-wheel drive is an option, but we don't have any EPA rating because they're not required for vehicles this large. Experience with unladen 2017 Super Duties usually has fuel economy just nudging into double digits around town. Throw on a big trailer, however, and the fuel is consumed at a considerably more rapid rate.
The F-450 Super Duty is available in five trim levels from XL to Platinum with a dizzying array of options beyond. To tailor an F-450 for your life, start here with the tools on Edmunds. And then let us get you a great deal on the truck of everyone's dreams.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.