By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.7
Despite the headlines about higher fuel prices and the popularizing of smaller cars, there is still a place for mighty trucks that can perform mighty tasks. Those who drive such vehicles are more apt to be wearing work gloves and overalls than cufflinks and khakis, and almost without question they'll be seated in a vehicle from the domestic Big Three. To this end, the 2013 Ford F-Series Super duty has only three major opponents: the Chevrolet Silverado HD/GMC Sierra HD twins, and the Ram 2500/3500. Like its competitors, the Ford Super Duty offers powerful gasoline or diesel engines that can haul enormous loads. With a vast range of models and tremendous towing and payload capacity, the Super Duty is a truck born for work.
Massive power is a given for Ford's brawniest passenger truck, but today's Super Duty trucks also offer plenty of pampering. The new Platinum trim, for example, includes a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, while Ford's Sync infotainment system and 8-inch high-resolution display can help you play hard, too.
If you like the image of yourself in a big, tough truck but don't intend to haul anything more than some dirt bikes, a sofa or a small boat, a light-duty truck such as the F-150 starts at a lower price and can save you in fuel costs. If want a manual transmission in your heavy-duty truck, look to a Ram.
Braking capability and payload and towing capacity have been increased in what seems a never-ending quest for bragging rights in the heavy-duty truck segment. The 2013 F-Series Super Duty can now conventionally tow up to 18,500 pounds, and has a maximum 5th-wheel trailer tow rating of 24,700 pounds. Also new are the Platinum trim and availability of the Sync infotainment system with MyFord Touch.
Driving Impressions Aside from horsepower and torque – both of which are had in prodigious amounts in the Super Duty – one of the most important features in a truck is its...body strength. The Super Duty has that, too, in a stiff chassis that features fully boxed front frame rails and thick C-channel frame rails and crossmembers. All these traits help the Super Duty avoid flexing and twisting, and improve its towing capacity. For such a mammoth vehicle, the Ford Super Duty is stable, sturdy, and quite easy to drive. The cabin is quiet, steering is firm and direct, and the brakes feel strong. Those who like to boast about the numbers can brag about the 800 lb-ft of torque churned out by the 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel that enables the Super Duty to tow 18,500 pounds in conventional towing, and 24,700 pounds in a 5th-wheel setup.
SYNC WITH MYFORD TOUCH
The idea of keeping your eyes on the road when making phone calls or getting directions from a nav system is important in general, and is perhaps even more so in a truck such as this, where workers are often in communication with others or traveling to new places. This system even has a feature that reads incoming text messages.
Heated and cooled seats and a leather steering wheel that warms your hands may sound like features form a luxury vehicle, but they're available in the Super Duty series.
As you might expect in a vehicle whose trims and prices range so widely – from just over $30,000 for a basic F-250 XL trim to nearly $70,000 for an F-450 Platinum edition – the 2013 Ford Super Duty's cabin ranges from Spartan to luxurious. In regular-cab form, seating is limited to three passengers. Crew cab and super cab models can seat up to six passengers, or five when equipped with two individual front seats and a center console. Lower-trim models have basic vinyl seating that can take a beating and clean up easily, while premium leather can be had on the other end of the Super Duty spectrum.Exterior
Ford's Super Duty trucks exude their big and brawny nature, from the massive front grille to the equally large tailgate stamped with "SUPER DUTY" on the bottom. These trucks can be configured with 6-and-3/4-foot or 8-foot beds, and with regular, super cab, or crew cabins. F-450 models come with two pairs of rear wheels that enable it to carry extreme loads. It's safe to call even the smallest of the Super Duty models large. A regular-cab model, which is fitted with an 8-foot bed and qualifies as the shortest, is 227.6 inches in length, while the longest comes in at 263 inches. At nearly 22 feet, that latter model is nearly seven feet longer than a Honda Civic. If you plan to park this truck in your garage, take some measurements first.
As mentioned with the interior, what you get in your Super Duty varies greatly on trim. On the lower end of the spectrum, XL models are Spartan and definitely work-oriented with heavy-duty vinyl seats, manual-control air conditioning, and an audio system limited to an AM/FM radio with two speakers. A CD player is optional in that trim, as are cruise control and power windows. The standard engine on F-250 and 350 models is Ford's 6.2-liter gasoline V8, while F-450 models get the 6.7-liter V8 diesel. Upper trims have equipment such as heated and cooled premium leather seats, a navigation system and a Sony premium audio system. All Super Duty trucks feature trailer sway control and roll stability control.
Optional on all F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks is the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbodiesel whose power just might give gravity a run for its money. Other options vary with trim level, and many are geared toward the duties for which you plan to use your truck. An extra-heavy-duty alternator is available, as is an engine block heater. Models with diesel engines can be equipped with a Live Drive Power Takeoff to run auxiliary equipment such as a snowplow, truck lift, or cement mixer. Tow-prep packages for traditional hitches and 5th-wheel setups are available, and Super Duty trucks with the diesel engine have an exhaust brake feature like the kind used in big rigs when descending steep grades.
The 2013 Super Duty is available with two V8 engines, a 6.2-liter gasoline unit that is the base powerplant or, for those needing maximum power, a 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel. Both are fitted to a 6-speed automatic transmission and can be had in 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive. Models with the gasoline engine run on regular unleaded and are also E85 compatible. An option package can make the Super Duty's gasoline engine capable of running on compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), but does not include the fuel tanks or other equipment. In diesel models, Ford says nitrogen oxide levels are reduced more than 80 percent vs. previous generations. The EPA does not give fuel-economy ratings for either of these engines.
385 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
405 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
6.7-liter turbodiesel V8
400 horsepower @ 2,800 rpm
800 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
By JamesLee on Friday, December 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 268,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Turning ratio, interior, space"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I am very please with my decision on owning this vehicle. I hard bad thing about the fuel mileage, but I didn't notice a change from my 7.3. Maybe due to the fat I'm use to having a 33 gal tank. I average 18 to 20 on the highway doing 65 and 70 (520). 14 in the city (420). All stock. The turning ratio is better then my 7.3 and has lot of pick up and go. It will never out due a 7.3 on liability and cost to operate. It has been a great truck for me."
By Alan on Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 165,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive lots of power"
Cons: "Need a big pocket book to pay for repairs"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"The engine has a lot of power but the reliability is not what I expect from ford. 165000 miles and had to replace the heads due to cracks water pump and cover and rocker arms. I have spent almost 4000 dollars on the engine just in parts in the six months that I have owned it"
5 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By groceryman on Sunday, November 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 143,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This has been a great Truck ! We bought it new at the end of 2011 and put about 50,000 miles a year on it. It spent 97% of it life pulling a 24,000 gvw trailer. We are selling and buying a 2015 Super Duty to replace it."
12 people out of 23 found this review helpful
By catman on Friday, November 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 155,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Drives great when i'm not haveing prob. with it"
Cons: "I have $75k in this truck and its worth about $15k"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Money Pit in the shop 19 times for over 6 months, moter blew at 117k miles never pulled anything 5 years 3 month had exstended warrinty but to bad $17k later i still have a money pit i can't get rid of"
6 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By cliff4079 on Monday, October 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Power, fun to drive, decent mileage"
Cons: "Price, fit and finish"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I own this truck, equipped with the 6.7l diesel. It is a very nice truck in most regards, power, towing, and relatively comfortable for a 1 ton. The interior is nice, but it has a lot of bumps and rattles for an almost $60k truck. The small things like you can hear the windows rattle if they are down and going over bumps and the wind noise at highway speeds should have been corrected at the factory before they sell someone a truck in that price range. Overall its nice, just basically the fit and finish aren't what I would expect for a truck that costs that much. I do average about 17mpg though, and I think that is a very respectable number for a truck that big."
18 people out of 37 found this review helpful
By Mel on Saturday, July 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Cons: "better fuel millage is needed to make it perfect"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Simply the best! I love this truck, higher fuel economy would make this truck perfect in every way. Ford truly is the best, and better than all the rest and that's simply the truth, I should know, guest who worked for Ford's competition, me! for many, many years! I've never been so satisfied with a vehicle ever! if you have a heavy load to pull this is the truck you'll need, the double turbo works like a charm, for the F350 dully, the pueblo gold clearcoat color is just sweet, it turns plenty of heads."
61 people out of 121 found this review helpful