By KBB.com Editors
Despite Toyota and Nissan's incursion into the half-ton pickup market, those who need serious towing and hauling capabilities still rely on the domestic manufacturers to supply them heavy-duty power, and no truck does it better than the 2009 Ford 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 F-450.
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.
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 people – not 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.
Two new trims, the Harley-Davidson and Cabela's editions, join the Super Duty line-up. Also new are an available spray-in bedliner, an integrated trailer brake controller and Ford's Work Solutions program that offers such unique features as in-dash Internet connectivity.
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 motion – enhanced by lengthened rear leaf springs – to interior quiet, the Super Duty impresses as one highly refined tool, and not merely a "truck."
King Ranch Trim
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 appealing – overtly – to 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 with last year's introduction of the new 6.4-liter version, 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.
With the debut of the current F-Series, Ford established a benchmark for pickup interiors. In the new Super Duty the benchmark is moved upward in available choices, functionality and appointment. The XL interior provides feet-on-the-dash utility, XLT, Cabela's Edition and Lariat trim levels give the customer more expressive design and the King Ranch and Harley-Davidson packages coddle you in highly refined leather and wood trim. Lariat and King Ranch owners will enjoy dual-zone climate control. All audio systems are MP3-capable, so download your Toby Keith collection.Exterior
The Super Duty's corporate three-bar opening is flanked by expansive vertical inlets and topped by "SUPER DUTY" in big capital letters. The expansive grille is for more than simply show – it fronts a confluence of cooling capability for engine, transmission and the intercooler that serves the diesel's two sequential turbochargers. Better cooling means, of course, bigger towing. Beyond the imposing edifice are new fender-mounted vents, available telescoping mirrors and optional 20-inch forged aluminum wheels. When compared to the last generation Super Duty, the grille and hood blister provide the main visual differentiation.
We'll start at the front, where Ford has located a front step bumper – under-the-hood checks are made easier when the step-stool is built-in and not something you need to carry with you. In back Ford includes a hitch receiver – matched to each model's capabilities – on every Super Duty, along with seven-pin and four-pin connectors. Given the importance of towing capability to the Super Duty mission, the receiver is a standard feature any owner can appreciate.
Those intending to tow with their 2009 Ford Super Duty trucks will appreciate Ford's factory-installed TowCommand System. The system fully integrates the trailer brakes, anti-lock brakes (ABS), TorqShift automatic trans and tow/haul mode into one safe, capable towing platform. Functional enhancements include a foldable bed extender, which improves load utility when in place and stays out of the way when not needed, and a spray-in bedliner. Accessing the bed is made easier – and safer – by the why-didn't-they-think-of-this-before tailgate step option. And for those venturing off into the Great Unknown, an optional navigation system should get you there and – hopefully – back again.
Ford offers three engine choices for work, play or any combination of the two. Base powerplant is a 5.4-liter Triton V8 offering 300 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. For those seeking more from the gasoline side of the Ford family, the 6.8-liter Triton V10 should satisfy, putting 362-horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque under your right foot. Finally, there's the aforementioned 6.4-liter Power Stroke diesel, infusing the Super Duty with both "tow" and "go."
300 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
365 pound-feet of torque @ 3750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
362 horsepower @ 4750 rpm
457 pound-feet of torque @ 3250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
6.4-liter V8 Turbo Diesel
350 horsepower @ 3000 rpm
650 pound-feet of torque @ 2000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
By CLA on Wednesday, March 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Strong Motor, tows well."
Cons: "Too much maintenance"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Bought truck with 20K on it. Have had in the shop 3 times to have front end worked on. Seems pretty excessive for a truck with only 55K on now. No problems with diesel motor. Mileage around 10-11 all the time. Doesn't matter if towing or not. Seems to be decent truck but not happy with the front end. Mechanic says this is a typical issue with the heavy duty fords."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By BN on Tuesday, February 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks great, tows great, tons of room"
Cons: "No rear seat heaters, diesel lags until turbo kick"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This has been a great truck. Nice to look at and I get compliments regularly on its appearance. It tows nicely and has some good features. The leather seats aren't all that comfortable, but they look great. The truck could have a few more features (stuff that Ford doesn't offer, but other American trucks do), but I can't really complain too much. The drive train seems solid and reliable, although I've only had the truck for about a year."
By Franklinbean on Monday, January 13, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Pros: "Beautiful truck, great features, very comfortable"
Cons: "Doesn't actually run."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Bought brand new F-350 diesel, "Dooley" double cab long bed 4x4 Platinum. Nearly every option available. Truly top of the line. After 6 mo./6400 miles, started operating at reduced capacity and Ford advised me to get it off of the road. That is where it has been since. The dealership could not repair because no available parts. FMC assigned case manager and even case supervisor. But neither would ever contact me, let alone find a solution. Finally sold off the carcass at a great loss. Do yourself a favor. Steer away from FMC at all costs."
2 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By JR on Thursday, January 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Big capable truck - will pull anything!"
Cons: "Big truck, park in back, avoid parking garages"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought this truck to tow a backhoe and handle cargo. I got a gooseneck trailer hitch installed and have pulled 10,000 pound loads routinely with no problems. It rides comfortably with a load on board, the seats are great, comfortable with easy to clean leather. Bad weather is not an issue so long as the ground will support the heavy truck. You are above most traffic and so have great visibility even in road mist. Hauling tools and pulling the trailer with the backhoe cross-country I got 15 miles/gallon moving tons of cargo."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Andrew on Sunday, December 29, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "The truck looks good inside and out."
Cons: "engine is very bad"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"The 6.4 has so many problems it is worse than the 6.0. I have 15 trucks for my business and for sure this is the worst truck I have ever bought."
2 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Husker on Tuesday, December 24, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Manual 4x4 system, solid front axle, tailgate step"
Cons: "No manual transmission option, In-cab storage."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought a gas engine Ford Super Duty for it's cheaper cost of ownership and it's reliablity over the PowerStroke diesel. I don't know if my 6.2L gas engine has the 316 hp/397 torque engine, or the 385 hp/405 torque engine, I can't get a strait answer, even through my own Ford dealership. The 6.2L gas engine is a little under powered for towing the heavier trailers, even with the 4.30 gears, but I don't tow everyday and the cost savings by not buying a diesel engine makes up for it. Like most new cars nowadays, the fit and finish is cheaply made, and the interior is mostly made out of plastic. The control knobs seem fairly cheap in quality also. My truck has vinyl covered seats and a vinyl floor mat which makes the truck's interior a lot easier to clean than carpet floors and cloth or leather seats. The vinyl seat in my truck are very comfortable, and I don't know why anyone would ever put cloth or leather seats in work truck. As a basic XL model, the storage inside my Super Duty's cab is terrible, that is why my comfort & convenience is only a 2. If you haul a dog or three people in my regular cab, you lose all your cup holders when the center seat- back is up. Also, there isn't any map pockets on the doors and the glove box is fairly small. Even when the center seat back is down, the center console is very smallish for putting items in it,it's just big enought for a pair of safey glasses and your cell phone. With an XL package, you can't get a factory installed satellite radio or a sliding rear window, why, who knows. Basically, if you are in the light duty truck market for pulling and hauling, Ford is a great choice. Overall, I'm happy with my 2013 F350. I've had long lasting Fords in the past, my family and friends had reliability problems with their PowerStokes, and hope I can get at least 15-20 years out of my new truck."
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful