When it’s time to do some serious lifting, an Olympic weightlifter gets the job done with superior size and strength. That’s a good metaphor for the Ford F-250 Super Duty. Almost by definition, heavy-duty pickups are going to be big machines, but at 22 feet and change for the crew-cab version, the Ford F-250 Super Duty feels bigger than most.
Powering this beast, which slots in between the light-duty F-150 and the heavyweight F-350, is Ford’s humongous new 7.3-liter V8 gasoline engine, which gives the truck a robust max towing capacity of 19,000 pounds. The available 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 makes the F-250 even more capable, with enough grunt to handle another ton or so of trailer—or, put another way, just about anything you can legally haul down the highway without a commercial driver’s license.
Size has its downsides, however. Without a load, the F-250’s ride is too firm to be called comfortable. Its height also makes handling rather ponderous, and bringing this much truck to a stop takes awhile.
The upscale Platinum version of the F-250 is filled with high-end amenities, including some features you wouldn’t expect to find on a pickup, like adaptive cruise control, wireless cell phone charging, and an oversize power moonroof. In the final measure, though, the Ford Super Duty is less a luxury truck than it is a 3-ton bruiser made for moving sizable stuff.
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Vehicle layout: 7.3-liter V8 (430 hp), 10-speed automatic, 4WD
MSRP, base model: $35,400; (as tested: $74,075)
MPG, city/highway/combined: N/A
Safety ratings: NHTSA: Frontal crash, 5 stars; rollover, 3 stars; IIHS: not yet rated
Spare tire: Full-size spare
Final assembly: Louisville, Kentucky
Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles