By KBB.com Editors
In a year in which the big newsboth literally and figurativelywas presumably focused on Toyota's launch of its new Tundra, Ford arguably trumps Toyota's thunder with its debut of an all-new Super Duty. Constituting some 40 percent of Ford's F-Series sales, the Super Duty is intended to secure the most profitable segment of the pickup market. Ford stakes its claim to "best in class" with improved platforms, upgraded drivetrains and dramatically enhanced capability, particularly with the availability of the new F-450.You'll Like This Car If...
Whether you're into commercial construction, agriculture or recreational towing, if you use a truck as a truck you'll benefit from the Super Duty's enhanced capability, refinement and convenience. And while the custom-spec car may have died a long time ago, the variety of permutations available from Ford's Louisville truck plant gives the Super Duty customer a chance at real customization, seemingly with more content variables than the U.S. tax code.You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a pickup (especially in Crew Cab configuration) as a substitute for your SUV, you'll quickly realize the Super Duty's principal mission: Hauling things and peoplenot just people. To be sure, both Extended and Crew Cabs accommodate passengers quite comfortably, but if you're not regularly hooking up to a 10,000-pound trailer or loading an eight-foot bed with more than a couple of two-by-fours, you've overbought what Ford has overbuilt.What's Significant About This Car?
Ford may throw its "Bold Moves" tagline at everything in its lineup above the Focus, but few things are more deserving of the description than Ford's new Super Duty. From its enlarged grille to the tailgate, everything on the new Super Duty has been redesigned or aggressively tweaked. Despite a familial resemblance to its predecessor, this is more than just a "freshening." Rather, it's a full-scale attempt to retain market leadership with a slew of class-exclusive features both inside (Quiet Steel dash panel) and out (power telescoping and folding trailer tow mirrors).Driving It Driving Impressions
In most recent redesigns much is made of a "stiffer structure." Ford's design team complies, with higher-strength front-end structures, fully-boxed front frame rails, thick C-channel frame rails and crossmembers secured by, according to Ford, a "method that optimizes frame capability." The end result, enjoyed over some two hundred miles of south Texas roadway, is a truck offering the maximum in capability while still providing a full measure of comfort and control. This is a big truck but, from steering, to braking, to ride motionenhanced by lengthened rear leaf springsto interior quiet, the Super Duty impresses as one highly refined tool, and not merely a "truck."Favorite Features
King Ranch Trim
In an era of $70,000 Cadillac Escalades, a $50,000 pickup shouldn't be cause for alarm. A King Ranch-equipped Super Duty, however, will raise eyebrows not with its window sticker but, rather, its level of refined "tough" luxury. Constituting both interior (Chaparral leather) and exterior (PowerScope mirrors) upgrades, the King Ranch enhances over-the-road comfort with material, workmanship and appointment upgrades, adding immeasurably to the Super Duty's attractiveness. And, unlike some luxury pickups, there's no intention of appealingovertlyto the Country Club set; this remains a work truck and not a work-in-progress.
Power Stroke Diesel
With its 6.0-liter predecessor, the clattering came from both under the hood and consumer websites. But now Ford has created a diesel offering more power (350 horsepower) and torque (650 pound-feet), along with a cleaner burn, quieter operation and better throttle response (via dual sequential turbos). Add a five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty for peace of mind and you've got a segment-leading package.