Christopher Little

Truckin’: 2017 Ford F250 Super Duty

Who doesn’t like a big truck? And they don’t come much bigger than this Ford F250 Super Duty, at least in terms of length. The Super Duty Crew Cab with a full bed measures in at a whopping 266.2 inches – that’s over 22 feet! There isn’t a longer non-commercial vehicle on the market. But that isn’t the only impressive stat on this all-new truck. Impressive engineering, new design, and new technology make this heavy-duty pickup feel less industrial than ever before.

Just as the F150 moved to an aluminum alloy body over a high-strength steel frame, the all-new Super Duty does the same. The F250’s fully-boxed frame weighs 350 pounds less and is 24 times stiffer than before. Less weight and more rigidity are usually hallmarks of sports car development, but in this application they help Ford increase the towing capabilities of the Super Duty. The usual bed and box configurations are available in two-wheel and four-wheel drive variants with gas or diesel V8s. Our tester featured the 6.7L PowerStroke diesel with 440 horsepower and an astonishing 925 lb-ft torque. 925! Imagine the engineering required to build a transmission, differentials, and axles capable of handling that level of torque. It’s a wonder the F250 doesn’t tear out its rear axles when you floor the throttle!

The base F250 Super Duty starts at $32,535, but our tester’s base price was more than double at $66,650. The Crew Cab configuration is required for any trim level above Lariat, including the King Ranch. From there, the full 8-foot bed, 6.7L Power Stroke diesel V8, and four-wheel-drive account for the rest of the increase. The King Ranch trim adds unique Mesa Brown leather interior with King Ranch accents, unique wheels, SYNC 3 infotainment system, and Lane Departure Warning System. Beyond that, a long list of options trim out our tester with heavy-duty options and luxury features. The King Ranch Ultimate Package adds blind sport monitoring for the truck and trailer, LED lights all around, power adjustable front seats with massage feature, a massive twin-panel moon roof, and Ford’s handy tailgate step. The Chrome Package adds some extra bright-work with chrome bumpers, wheels, side steps, door handles, mirror caps, and tow hooks. The Tow Technology Package includes adaptive steering, automatic high beams, rain sensing wipers, and 360-degree cameras.

No matter how many options and luxury features you add on, there’s no denying that the bones of this F250 are designed to be industrial-grade. You won’t mistake the Super Duty for an F150. Beneath the comfortable, leather-clad massage seat is a frame, suspension, and axles designed to tow up to 14,900 lbs. Behind the voluminous rear seats is a bed capable of hauling up to 7,600 lbs in the right configuration. This means the ride is firm, the brakes are strong, and the steering is surprisingly weighty. This truck is long, too long for a standard parking space. In fact, on one comical trip into downtown Albany, we managed to find two spots and had to feed two parking meters. These factors just add to the adventure of driving a big truck. And despite the work-ready demeanor, it isn’t a stereotypical diesel experience.

It’s astonishing how refined Ford has made the heavy-duty truck experience. From the cabin, you can barely tell there’s a diesel V8 twisting out 925 lb-ft torque until you bury your right foot. There’s no diesel smell or awful odor of urea from the diesel exhaust fluid. Inside, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and the rapid cabin heater never seem to let winter get the better of you. Your commanding view of the road in enhanced with brilliantly bright LED headlights. The 360 degree camera, blind spot monitor, and rear cross-traffic alert help combat some of the hesitation involved with navigating this behemoth around parking lots and tight spaces. Whatever initial intimidation stems from climbing up into the F250’s cabin is quickly put at ease.

The F250 Super Duty is not the truck for everyone. But for those that need a truck of its caliber, Ford has outfitted a truck that doesn’t compromise. The F250 King Ranch combines capability with refinement. With brutish power also comes sophisticated technology. It might take some 22 feet and some $77,000 to combine all those things together, but there’s no arguing with the finished result.

-Christopher Little

2017 Ford F-250 King Ranch Crew Cab, 8′, 6.7L Power Stroke Diesel V8, 4×4
King Ranch Ultimate Package $2,960
King Ranch Monochromatic Paint Package $0
Chrome Package $1,125
Tow Technology Package $1,935
10,000 GVWR Package $0
Tough Bed Spray-in Bedliner $495
Engine Block Heater $90
LED Roof Marker Lamps $95
20″ Chrome PVD Wheels $1,240
Heated Rear Seats $300
Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support $740
Rapid-Heat Supplemental Cab Heater $250
Upfitter Switches $165
Destination Charges $1,195
As Tested MSRP $77,340

Do-It-All: 2015 Ford F150 Platinum
First Drive: 2015 Ford F150
Sport Truck: 2014 Ford F150 Tremor

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