2017 Ford F-450 Super Duty Review
Pros & Cons
- Extra-wide front axle helps it turns tighter than Ford's other HD models
- Turbodiesel V8 generates immense power and torque
- Aluminum body reduces overall weight and improves efficiency
- Spacious new cabs offer many convenience and technology options
- Maximum payload lower than F-350 because crew cab is required
- Price tag starts high and soars higher with options
- 19.5-inch commercial tires can be expensive to replace
- Takes up even more parking space than the last-generation version
Edmunds' Expert Review
Even a short test drive in the 2017 Ford F-450 will show how much the Super Duty's road manners have improved. The stiffer frame and revised suspension tuning combine to deliver more confidence-inspiring handling and a somewhat smoother unladen ride than that of the previous generation. Still, for many practical reasons this truck isn't at its best when unladen. Clamp on a trailer large trailer and it settles down nicely.
The F-450 has a wide-track monobeam front axle that allows a shorter turn radius. Do a U-turn in an F-450, and it will require 5 fewer feet than when executing a U-turn in a comparable F-350. The available adaptive steering system quickens the steering response during such maneuvers to lessen the driver's workload. It then slows response as speed increases for greater confidence and stability during long highway stretches and while towing.
When it comes to muscle, the F-450 has no shortage. The standard 6.7-liter turbodiesel's abundant torque gives the big truck very satisfying acceleration even under heavy loads. And the F-450 comes standard with a new 48-gallon fuel tank that promises to improve the truck's range between pit stops.
Buyers who frequently find themselves driving on the open road will appreciate the new adaptive cruise control, which maintains both a set speed and distance from the vehicle in front of you. The system even works when towing, with the Tow/Haul mode's automatic downshifts and the automatic engine brake effectively keeping speeds under control even on downhill stretches.
Off-road, the F-450's rugged four-wheel-drive system gives it the ability to tackle everything from muddy construction sites to the loose dirt of farm fields.
Step inside the 2017 Ford F-450, and you'll find a cabin that's noticeably more roomy than that of the outgoing model. The additional 3-inch gain comes courtesy of the larger aluminum crew cab the F-450 now shares with the recently redesigned F-150.
The combination of the 10-way power-adjustable front seats and power-adjustable pedals on upper trim levels make it easy to achieve an ideal driving position. Top trim levels can be had with the available multicontour front seats with massage that set a new standard for comfort, especially on long drives. Rear seats now offer adult-sized legroom.
Interior amenities and materials run the gamut from drab to deluxe. Work-truck-oriented XL base models get hand-crank windows and easy-to-clean vinyl upholstery and floor coverings, while the top-of-the-line Platinum version is dressed up with all the latest high-end features set off by top-quality leather and soft-touch trim.
What really sets this new Super Duty apart from the previous generation, however, is its enthusiastic embrace of highly practical technology. Topping that list is the available Ultimate Trailer Tow Camera System, which includes a front camera with a 180-degree field of view that can come in very handy when pulling out of a street or driveway where visibility is limited. Two rearview cameras make hooking up fifth-wheel, gooseneck and conventional trailers a thoroughly straightforward process, and four additional cameras provide a 360-degree top-down view of the truck and its surroundings that can be extremely useful in maneuvering in close quarters.
Clever low-tech features include a two-slot cupholder in the center console that slides open to reveal space for two additional drinks. There's also a lockable storage bin under the rear seat that folds flat when not in use, along with an optional vehicle safe.
As far as the bed goes, all F-450 models use aluminum that is both 20 percent thicker than that used in the F-150 and backed by beefier crossmembers designed to stand up to more rugged use.