2020 F-250 New Car Test Drive
The Ford Super Duty F-250, redesigned in 2017, is a heavy-duty pickup that shares the basic styling of its little brother the F-150 in some of its aluminum body panels. The F-250 is bigger and more boxy, and has more steel in its fully-boxed frame, which was made dramatically more rigid in the redesign. It can tow or carry an astonishing amount of weight. It can also carry up to six people swathed in leather and showered with rich wood.
Ford calls it the Super Duty, but remember there's also an F-350 and F-450 (they're not called Hyper Duty and Uber Duty). Besides those heavier-duty Ford trucks, rivals for the F-250 include the Chevy Silverado 2500, GMC Sierra 2500, Ram 2500, and the Nissan Titan XD.
For 2019, about the only change is that the CD player has been removed from all models, as the world moves on to other formats.
The Super Duty's two engines differ a lot from the F-150's six engines. The base engine is a big 6.2-liter V-8 making 385 horsepower and 430 pound-feet, while the upgrade engine is a 6.7-liter turbodiesel V-8 making 440 hp and 925 lb-ft of torque.
The F-250 is rear-wheel drive, with four-wheel drive available. Both engines use a 6-speed automatic transmission, but the turbodiesel's transmission is beefier. This vehicle can travel 1,000 miles on a tank of fuel, and tow 32,000 pounds. Small catch there: you have to have a commercial license.
The EPA doesn't do fuel-mileage testing on trucks this big, nor are manufacturers required to submit their own numbers. But if you crunch what Ford claims about 1,000 miles on a tank of diesel fuel, using the optional long-range tank, you get 20 highway miles per gallon. We know, big leap of faith, to buy that.
Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has crash-tested the Super Duty extensively. However the NHTSA does give it a five-star side-impact rating for the crew-cab model, as well as a worrisome three stars in rollover resistance.
Super Duty pickups get some of the active-safety features found on passenger cars, such as blind-spot monitors and adaptive cruise control–as optional equipment. Automatic emergency braking is not available, but should be..
The Super Duty comes in stripped-down XL trim, plus XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum. Ford sells it with two different bed lengths, two powertrains, three cab styles, two wheelbases, and at least seven rear axle ratios. The three cabs are Regular Cab, with two doors and a small folding rear bench; SuperCab, with narrow rear-hinged rear doors; and Crew Cab, with four full doors and a rear seat.
The XL is very base, with vinyl seats and floor mats, manual windows and manual door locks, and no Bluetooth. It does have air conditioning, however. With the Regular Cab, longer 8-foot bed and two-wheel drive, it can be had for $33,150, as cheap as an F-250 gets. It might be less, if it were available with the 6-foot-9-inch bed, but it's not–the only model that can't be had with the shorter bed.
With the Crew Cab, 8-foot bed and 4wd, the XL is $39,750. So that's $6,500 to get 4WD and a full-size rear seat, with seating for five or six. That price difference is more with some models, less with others.
The XLT adds cloth seats, power windows and locks, and a basic infotainment system with a digital display. With the Regular Cab, 8-foot bed and 2WD, it's $37,365.
Luxury begins to come into play with the Lariat. It has an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, and power-adjustable pedals. Its price ranges from $46,140 to $51,860.
King Ranch trucks add their own western-themed trim and their own grade of leather, premium audio, heated and cooled front seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control. It goes from a $55,610 to $58,805.
The Platinum gets 20-inch wheels, B&O Play audio, power running boards, and satin-metallic trim. It tops out at $63,535. With options, it can hit $80,000. .