By Allyson Harwood
The Ford F-Series Super Duty is for those who need a truck with more capability than a 1/2-ton offers. The Super Duty line, which includes the F-250, F-350 and F-450, is for fleet buyers that use trucks for professional duty (think road construction, forestry, pipelines) and customers who tow large trailers and RVs. They're part of a segment that can tow over 30,000 pounds, with rivals that include the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HD2500/3500, the Ram 2500/3500 Heavy-Duty, and to some extent the Nissan Titan XD. But the Super Duty is at the top of the heap, offering best-in-class towing and payload capacity. As an added bonus, Ford’s all-new 2017 Super Duty is lighter, more capable and more luxurious than ever before.
With features that make it easier to get hard work done, more luxury amenities and best-in-class towing and payload, there's a lot to like about the F-Series Super Duty.
Not everyone is on board with the extensive use of aluminum in the body. In addition, while there are a lot of available amenities, the F-Series Super Duty can get pricey.
The Super Duty's all-new frame is significantly stronger, and the restyled body now uses military-grade aluminum. Both engines are now more powerful. And the wide variety of innovative new available features makes it easier to tow and haul, expand the truck's safety and improve interior comfort.
Whether you opt for the 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 or the 6.2-liter gasoline V8, there's plenty of easily accessible torque, ensuring swift acceleration and mighty passing power. With 925 lb-ft of...
... torque, the diesel is the more capable workhorse, and can easily tow over 30,000 pounds. The 385-horsepower gas engine is no slouch, and makes the Super Duty feel quick and sporty. Whichever engine you choose, it’s easy to get to speed and stay there, whether or not you're towing. While the F-Series Super Duty is bigger than its little brother F-150, those who know the spacious cab of the 1/2-ton will feel right at home here, as the layout is now essentially the same. The cab is filled with luxury touches not offered in other HD trucks. The Super Duty is much quieter, and offers improved ride quality. Available adaptive steering makes parking-lot maneuvers a breeze.
One of the best features Ford has added to the Super Duty is adaptive steering, which makes parking-lot maneuvers a snap and helps when towing. It offers the variable steering ratio of electric steering, plus the feel and fluid motion of hydraulic steering. And at only $685, it's a bargain.
DRIVER ASSIST TECH
Seven cameras help when connecting a trailer, show 360 degrees around the truck, have a 180-degree forward view for blind alleys, and reveal objects that may be behind the trailer. Blind-spot information also accounts for the trailer's blind spots. And there's a tire-pressure-monitoring system for truck and trailer tires.
All three cabs are roomier for 2017, and the interior now strongly resembles that of the F-150. While you can get a basic cabin, there is no shortage of luxury options. The highfalutin cowboy-themed King Ranch and the top-of-the-line Platinum both will coddle you in yards of leather and offer all the power-operated equipment you want. The front seats boast options such as heating and cooling, 10-way-power adjustment, and seat massagers. Sync 3 serves as an intuitive hub for multimedia (including Apple CarPlay) and navigation, and is surrounded by plenty of easy-to-use controls.
The Super Duty's complete redesign sharpened up the style of the grille, headlights, mirrors, doors and even the shape of the fender flares. However, more significant than that is what's underneath. The body and bed are now made from high-strength military-grade aluminum. This move reduced weight without sacrificing toughness, and even though Ford reinvested some of that weight in a stronger frame, axles and brakes, the truck is still lighter than it was last year. New features include the next-generation tailgate step, LED lighting, power running boards, storable loading ramps, and a power-locking tailgate you can open with the remote.
The F-Series Super Duty comes standard with a 4-speaker AM/FM stereo, air conditioning, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, black vinyl floor covering, 2.3-inch productivity screen within the instrument cluster, and two power points and an aux jack. Standard with the regular-cab F-250 Super Duty is the 8-foot bed, manually telescoping trailer mirrors, 17-inch wheels, damped tailgate, tie-down hooks and tow hooks. On the safety side, all Super Dutys come with 4-wheel power disc brakes, AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, and Trailer Sway Control. Power door locks and windows are optional.
You can make an F-Series Super Duty as posh as you like, as functional as you like, or anywhere in between. If you so choose, adorn the cabin with buttery leather, 10-way-power heated/cooled massaging front seats, adaptive cruise control, Sync 3, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and a 2-panel moonroof. Available features make it easier to attach a snowplow or camper, a 5th-wheel or gooseneck trailer, or make the truck more off-road capable. The 7-camera trailer-tow camera system includes a handy 360-degree camera. Other options include a front camera washer, a vehicle safe and a 48-gallon fuel tank.
The gasoline V8 has 25 more lb-ft of torque than it did in 2016, now at 430, plus it's backed by a lighter, more efficient 6-speed automatic transmission. The Power Stroke turbodiesel V8 still puts out 440 horsepower, but torque is up to an impressive 925 lb-ft. There should be no concern about range anxiety, as there's a 48-gallon fuel tank available. Trucks in this size category are not rated for fuel economy. As is the case with nearly all diesel engines, the Power Stroke requires the use of Diesel Exhaust Fluid.
385 horsepower @ 5,750 rpm
430 lb-ft of torque @ 3,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
6.7-liter turbocharged diesel V8
440 horsepower @ 2,800 rpm
925 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
The F-Series Super Duty is offered as a regular cab, SuperCab and Crew Cab, with multiple bed lengths and 2- or 4-wheel drive. There are six trim levels: XL, STX, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum. It's easy for a truck in this segment to get expensive, and the F-Series Super Duty is no exception. You can get a regular cab F-250 XL with the 6.2-liter V8 for a relatively fleet-friendly Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $33,730. However, move up to the F-350 Crew Cab Platinum with dual rear wheels and order options, and it's possible to pay $84,000. Base pricing is similar to the Chevy Silverado HD2500/3500, Ram 2500/3500 Heavy-Duty, and GMC Sierra HD2500 or HD3500, but Silverado and Sierra HDs top out at lower prices. Check KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what this truck is going for in your area.