2018 Ford F-450 Super Duty

2018 Ford F-450 Super Duty Crew Cab Review

With dual rear wheels, the F-450 Super Duty is wide, but it also adds stability and load capacity.
author
by Calvin Kim
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

On paper, the advantage of the 2018 Ford F-450 Super Duty over its sibling, the F-350, doesn't seem all that significant. In fact, depending on the configuration, the F-450 can actually have a lower maximum payload weight rating than an F-350. And that's OK because drivers who frequently tow heavy loads know there's more to it than numbers.

The F-450's wider front and rear track, nearly 5 inches up front and over a foot in the rear, and standard long-bed and crew-cab configuration give this model a long wheelbase and width to keep tall and bulky trailers at bay. The wider front track also allows the F-450's front wheels to turn sharper, giving it surprisingly more maneuverability. Its turning circle is close to that of a short-wheelbase, regular-cab Super Duty.

In the interior, the F-450 falls in line with the rest of the Super Duty line, starting with cloth and benches, going all the way up to two-tone leather with custom stitching in the new Limited trim. Technology options abound, many of which are there to help you tow. For example, an updated blind-spot monitoring system can be configured to cover the length of the trailer; a surround-view system uses seven cameras to keep tabs on the truck's surroundings; and a second rearview camera up on top of the cab greatly simplifies fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailer hookup. Finally an integrated trailer tire-pressure monitoring system and a backup camera can be affixed to the tail of the trailer to monitor tire status and ease chores while backing up.

Although there are other heavy-duty models on the market, the F-450 is the only 1.5-ton truck that's available as a regular pickup for consumers. GM and Ram have trucks with similar capabilities, but those are chassis cab-style trucks for commercial use only. It's important to note that the F-450's capability comes at a cost. Compared to the still quite capable F-350, for instance, the F-450 is more expensive, uses 19.5-inch commercial tires, and has a less comfortable ride, especially when unladen. Still, if you've got a massive trailer to tow, and you want the most capable pickup to pull it, the F-450 is the only game in town.



What's new for 2018

The 2018 Ford F-450 Super Duty receives minor revisions as well as a new Limited trim level.

We recommend

Serious extended-range towing of heavy trailers is the F-450 Super Duty's main reason for being, so we expect you'll be spending long hours in the saddle. That makes the Lariat a comfortable starting point from which to add options. For starters, we suggest adaptive steering and every towing convenience feature Ford offers. If the sky's the limit, the Limited features a unique two-tone leather seating surface and just about every luxury and convenience option in the book.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Ford F-450 Super Duty is a full-size, heavy-duty pickup available in six trim levels: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited. It is only available with a crew-cab body, an 8.2-foot bed and a dual rear-wheel axle. The only available engine is a turbocharged 6.7-liter diesel V8 that puts out an impressive 450 horsepower and 935 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, and four-wheel drive is optional.

Base XL models come standard with 19.5-inch commercial tires mounted on polished alloy wheels, black grille and bumpers, front tow hooks, automatic headlights, LED roof marker lights, intermittent wipers, manually telescoping towing mirrors, running boards, and a removable locking tailgate with tailgate lift assist and a 3-inch trailer hitch receiver (with 2- and 2.5-inch inserts). Inside are air conditioning, vinyl upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front seat, a 60/40-split rear seat, vinyl floor covering, manual windows and door locks, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a dual glovebox, an overhead console with storage bins, a driver information display, a rearview camera and a six-speaker audio system.

Step up to the XLT and you get a chrome grille and bumpers, power-adjustable and heated mirrors (they telescope manually), four locking cleats in the bed, keyless entry, cloth upholstery and carpeting, rear underseat lockable storage, power windows and locks, rear privacy glass, cruise control, a rearview camera, the Sync voice-controlled infotainment system, a 4.2-inch display, a USB charging port, a CD player and satellite radio.

Springing for the midrange Lariat trim level gets you foglights, tubular side steps, a power-sliding rear window, rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, and upgraded mirrors, including power-folding and telescoping side mirrors, driver-side auto dimming, and integrated LED spotlights. Also in the Lariat are leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats with a center console, power-adjustable pedals, a rear-seat center armrest, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an 8-inch center touchscreen, the upgraded Sync 3 voice-controlled infotainment system, two 110-volt household-style power outlets, and a premium Sony 10-speaker audio system with two additional USB ports.

The Western-themed King Ranch model adds a body-colored grille, accent-color bumpers and lower body trim, automatic high beams, automatic wipers, LED box lighting, unique fender badges, keyless ignition and entry, remote start, upgraded leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, driver-seat memory settings, an easy entry-and-exit driver's seat, a power tilt-and-telescoping and heated steering wheel, and a navigation system.

Platinum models add adaptive steering, LED headlights, LED foglights, a remote tailgate release, a built-in tailgate step, LED taillights, a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, illuminated door scuff plates, multicontour front seats with massage, and a leather- and wood-trimmed heated steering wheel.

At the top of the lineup is the new Limited. It's four-wheel-drive only and comes with a surround-view and trailer-towing camera system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, a panoramic sunroof, and a Limited-exclusive two-tone leather interior.

Many standard features offered on upper trim levels are available as options on the rest of the lineup. Other noteworthy add-ons include a fifth-wheel/gooseneck hitch prep package, a separate rearview camera that can be mounted on a customer's trailer, trailer tire-pressure monitoring and a spray-in bedliner.



Driving

Thanks to its stout engine and chassis, the F-450 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-450's power delivery doesn't seem to change.

Braking

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-450 will respond willingly.

Steering

Though it has a relatively numb steering feel, particularly on-center, the F-450'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.

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.

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-450'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's and Limited's interiors use 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. Interior storage is expansive.

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-450 also offers a storage shelf to the sides of the center console and two storage areas in each door.

Cargo space

The F-450 comes standard with the 8.2-foot cargo bed. 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-450 offers a maximum conventional tow capacity of 21,000 pounds, or up to 34,000 pounds with a gooseneck hitch. The truck 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-450 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 tow-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.