2008 F-350 New Car Test Drive
The 2008 Ford Super Duty pickups feature new styling inside and out along with a re-engineered suspension that delivers a smoother ride. A new diesel engine and a new F-450 pickup are designed to handle the needs of ever-increasing agricultural, boat, and RV trailer weights. Other revisions and refinements are designed to address customer comment and stricter emissions standards.
Two words can define the 2008 Super Duty relative to the previous iteration: refined and more. It has more of the work ability you expect from a heavy-duty pickup, yet it is more comfortable, rides better, delivers more in the cost-benefit analysis, and is more environmentally friendly, a lexicon not normally applied to big trucks. With realistic expectations, any faults will seem minute when compared to the ability to plow a big parking lot, carry a small car or tow a small house.
The 2008 Super Duty is not an all-new truck. Some body panels, engines and transmissions continue. But many aspects more substantial than the front-end styling have changed. It has a new interior in five different flavors from hose-out to leather lux, a new diesel engine, more added features, and should cost less based on equipment than the outgoing model.
And in a first for any major pickup manufacturer Ford has added a medium-duty pickup, the F-450, to the line. This model will be pricey by pickup standards, probably over $60,000 loaded, but it offers load capacity and towing ability never before found in a pickup, and is capable of carrying 5,000 pounds of hay and towing an 18,500-pound horse trailer simultaneously.
Need a truck to work? The Super Duty line can haul from one ton to three. It can tow from three tons to more than twelve. It can carry three to six real-world people with room to spare. And the door pockets, glovebox, and console will hold more stuff than some sports cars' trunks. If you don't need a truck to perform heavy duty work, stop reading here.
The 2008 Ford Super Duty comes in myriad configurations, with four trim levels, four weight divisions, and two box sizes (6.75 feet, 8 feet), the majority available in two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Almost every permutation is built. Exceptions: The King Ranch version is offered only on Crew Cabs, the F-450 is long-bed Crew Cab only, and the FX4 trim is not offered on 2WD, any F-450, or with a regular cab.
A 5.4-liter V8 with 300 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque is standard on all models up to the F-350 Crew Cab DRW, which has the 362-hp, 457 lb-ft 6.8-liter V10 standard. Both the V10 and 6.4-liter diesel (350 hp, 650 lb-ft) are optional across the F-250/F-350 spectrum, but the diesel is the only engine offered on F-450. A six-speed manual is standard, a five-speed automatic available.
The base XL is commercial in nature, with vinyl seats and flooring, black painted grille and bumpers, plain trim, AM/FM stereo, and a weight-appropriate receiver hitch. Options include mechanical upgrades (engine, limited-slip differential, larger tires, traction control, camper package, off-road package for 4WD, Tow Command, etc.), air conditioning, auxiliary switches, reverse sensors, and a tailgate step.
XLT trim adds chrome trim and wheels, 40/20/40 cloth front seat, carpet, AC, CD player, power windows/locks/mirrors, tilt wheel and cruise control. Options include aluminum wheels, captain's chairs w/power and heat, Audiophile sound system, adjustable pedals, Sport trim package, moonroof, and rear-seat DVD entertainment.
The FX4 off-road model adds 18-inch wheels and LT275/70R18 all-terrain tires, standard limited-slip, skid plates, fog lamps, security system, overhead console, and leather-wrapped steering wheel. Options include 20-inch wheels, navigation/Audiophile system, Sirius radio, and power telescope/fold heated dual-element towing mirrors.
Lariat trim (n/a on regular cabs) adds polished wheels, leather power seats, dual-zone climate control, trip computer, redundant sound/climate controls on wheel, woodgrain trim, illuminated visor mirrors, privacy glass and a sliding rear window. Options include those offered on most Super Duty models plus captain's chairs, universal door opener, and a power sliding rear window.
The King Ranch package, offered only on Lariat Crew Cabs, adds two-tone paint, driver memory package, tow mirrors, unique forged alloy wheels, powered trailer mirrors, badging, and Chaparral-leather for the steering wheel and four captain's chairs and both center consoles.
Safety equipment includes antilock brakes, dual front airbags, adjustable height outboard belt anchors, child-seat LATCH anchors, and a passenger airbag deactivation switch on regular and SuperCabs, all standard.