2010 E-350 Super Duty New Car Test Drive
The Ford Super Duty line of heavy-duty pickup trucks was completely revised and improved in just about every way imaginable just a couple years ago, so it's still a very new truck, and changes for 2010 are minimal. (A new Super Duty is expected for 2011.)
This generation of Ford Super Duty trucks is the best ever. It has all of the capability expected of a heavy-duty pickup, yet it is comfortable, rides well, and delivers a lot of value. With realistic expectations, any faults will seem minute when compared to the ability to plow a big parking lot, pull a regular-size car, or tow a small house.
The Super Duty line can haul from one to three tons. It can tow from three tons to more than 12 tons. 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 the entire trunks of some sports cars.
For 2010, Ford has expanded its relationship with Cabela's, the world's largest outdoor outfitter, by offering a Cabela's trim level, which features a unique two-tone paint scheme, specially embossed interior features and additional lockable storage for keeping equipment secure and out of sight.
Ford's Sync, the voice-activated hands-free communications and entertainment system, uses USB ports and Bluetooth wireless connectivity to link phones, media players, and other devices to the truck's system. Voice-activated navigation with Sirius Travel Link and an eight-inch touch-screen is available, also. For commercial and owner-operators, Ford's Work Solutions system provides facilities for GPS linking; add a laptop and printer and your truck is a rolling office. For 2010, SYNC has been expanded to include Traffic, Directions and Information; among other things, this allows hands-free access to personalized traffic reports, turn-by-turn driving directions and up-to-date information on such things as news, sports and weather.
For 2010, Tough Bed is available, a military-grade, factory-installed spray-in bedliner. It's applied to the bed by a precision high-pressure automated sprayer to ensure one thin, smooth, even coat, thus eliminating the chances of runs or sags on the inside walls of the cargo box. Its uniformly textured surface also helps minimize load slippage, and it has a high-quality appearance.
The Ford Super Duty comes in myriad configurations, with multiple trim levels, four weight divisions, two box sizes (6.75 feet and 8 feet), with the majority available in two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Within some limitations applicable to certain trim levels, you can have a Ford Super Duty pickup just about any way you could possibly want it.
A 5.4-liter V8 with 300 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque is standard on most models. The F-350 Crew Cab DRW (dual rear wheels) has the 6.8-liter V10 with 362 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. Both the V10 and 6.4-liter turbodiesel V8 (350 horsepower, 650 pound-feet) are optional across the F-250/F-350 spectrum. The F-450 comes only with the diesel. A six-speed manual is standard, a five-speed automatic is available.
All prices in parentheses () for models below are for an F-350 2WD single-rear wheel (SRW). Expect to add $2,500-$3,000 for four-wheel drive, $3,000 to move up from a Regular Cab to a SuperCab, $2,000-$2,500 to upgrade from SuperCab to Crew Cab, $200 for a long bed, and $800-$900 for dual rear wheels (DRW) except where standard on F-450.
The base Super Duty XL ($26,020) is commercial in nature, with vinyl seats and flooring, black painted grille and bumpers, plain trim, and AM/FM stereo, but it does include air conditioning, towing mirrors, 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.), auxiliary switches, reverse sensors, and a tailgate step.
The XLT trim ($29,900) adds chrome trim and wheels, 40/20/40 cloth front seat, carpet, air conditioning, CD player, power windows/locks/mirrors, power-adjusted and heated towing mirrors, privacy glass, the integrated brake controller, remote keyless entry, tilt wheel and cruise control. Options include aluminum wheels, captain's chairs with power and heat, Audiophile sound system, adjustable pedals, Sport trim package, moonroof, and rear-seat DVD entertainment.
The Lariat ($37,440) adds polished wheels, heated leather power front seats, dual-zone climate control, backup camera, Sync, trip computer, redundant sound/climate controls on the steering wheel, woodgrain trim, illuminated visor mirrors, privacy glass and a powered sliding rear window. Options include those offered on most Super Duty models plus captain's chairs and universal garage-door opener.
The King Ranch ($43,845), offered only on Crew Cabs, starts with Lariat and upgrades with Chaparral leather for the four captain's chairs, the two center consoles and steering wheel, driver memory package, powered trailer tow mirrors, unique forged alloy wheels, two-tone paint, and special badging.
Harley-Davidson editions ($49,555) are individually numbered and feature special black paint with blue flame work. The flame design is carried to the gauges and instrument panel while the seats, console and door panels are done in perforated black leather with blue leather underneath. Big chrome badges are plentiful inside and out. The Harley-Davidson edition is available for the F-450 as well as the F-350.
The Cabela's ($43,615) is available only with a Crew Cab and 4WD.
Safety equipment that comes standard on all models includes antilock brakes, dual front airbags, adjustable height outboard belt anchors, and child-seat LATCH anchors; a passenger airbag deactivation switch is provided on Regular Cab and SuperCab models.