Pickup trucks have become a status symbol in recent decades. However, there are still some drivers who need a pickup that is more than just a comfortable cab. If you need a truck that has outstanding towing and hauling capabilities, a Ford Super Duty is an excellent choice. The Super Duty comes with unmatched performance and grit, giving you a comfortable, powerful, and durable truck that will meet all your needs.
Here’s everything you should know about the F-250 and other Super Duty models.
What sets a Super Duty apart?
Ford’s F-Series of trucks is incredibly popular. Despite that, many people don’t really understand the difference between the F-150 (Ford’s ultra-popular full-sized pickup truck) and the F-Series Super Duty, which comes in F-250, F-350 or F-450.
The difference between the trucks comes down to towing and hauling capacity. A base-level 2019 F-250 can tow up to 13,000 pounds and the truck has a maximum towing capacity of 18,000 pounds. For comparison, the 2019 F-150 has a maximum towing capacity of 13,200 pounds. The 2019 F-250 has a maximum payload (the total weight the truck can carry) of 4,270 pounds, compared to 3,270 pounds in the F-150.
In short, the Ford F-250 and other Super Duty trucks are the choice for people who will be using their truck to haul large loads and tow massive trailers. For people who are doing everyday hauling and towing, like moving campers or average-sized boats, the towing and hauling capacities of the F-150 are sufficient.
Engine Options: Ford Super Duty trucks comes with two engine options: a 385-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine, or a 450-horsepower 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 turbo diesel. The diesel engine produces 935 pounds of torque, compared with 430 pounds produced in the gasoline V8, which gives it an additional 3,000 pounds of towing capacity. Because of this, drivers who want to maximize their towing and hauling capabilities should opt for the diesel engine. This option costs $9,120 on a new 2019 F-250.
Heavy-duty trucks are required to report their fuel economy, but you can expect a combined fuel economy of about 15 mpg from the gas engine, according to Ford.
Features: The Ford Super Duty has many features that are designed to make towing and hauling large loads easier. On the 2019 F-250 these include:
- Axel options: Drivers can chose from non-limited-slip, limited-slip, and electronic-locking axels with ratios ranging from 3.31 to 4.30.
- Larger tow hitches: The tow hitches on the F-250 are designed to spread the weight of a trailer for maximum safety and performance.
- Performance driveshaft: The driveshaft on the F-250 is designed to withstand the torque produced by the truck’s powerful engines.
- Powerful brakes: Larger brake rotors are designed to safety stop heavy loads.
- Cameras: All models of the F-250 comes standard with a rear view camera, and the optional Ultimate Trailer Tow Camera System package has up to seven cameras to help you see clearly around your truck and trailer.
Bed and Cab Configurations: The Ford F-250 and other Super Duty trucks are available with three cab configurations and two bed lengths. They are:
- Regular cab: This cab offers seating for three people. There is one bench seat, and no rear seating. The cab offers 64.6 cubic feet of space overall.
- Super Cab: The super cab has seating for five to six people depending on whether you chose a bench or bucket seats in the front row. There is 33.5 inches of rear legroom and 116 cubic feet of space in the cab overall.
- Crew Cab: The biggest cab offers seating for five to six people. There is 43.6 inches of rear legroom and 131.8 cubic feet of space in the cab. This is the only cab option available for the King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited trims.
- 8-foot Box: The 8-foot bed offers 78.5 cubic feet of cargo space.
- The 6.75-foot Box: The shorter box offers 65.4 cubic feet of cargo space.
Trims: The latest generation of the Ford Super Duty was launched in 2017. That year, Ford changed its Super Duty trucks from steel bodies to aluminum, making them lighter and rust resistant, without compromising on the power. With the launch of the fourth generation in 2017, Ford made the Super Duty available in the same trims as the F-150. Because of that, the latest generation of the F-250 (2017-present) is available in six trims: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited. Here are the highlights of each:
- XL: Heavy duty vinyl seats; rear view camera; comes standard with gas V8 engine, but diesel is an option; standard front-seat bench, but bucket seats are available; standard two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive is an available option.
- XLT: Cloth seats and carpeted floors; power doors and windows; satellite radio; standard with gas engine, although diesel is available.
- Lariat: Leather-trimmed seats; power-adjustable bucket seats in the front row (bench is an option); power-adjustable peddles; 8-inch display; Ford’s SYNC® 3 infotainment system with premium audio system by HARMAN; telescoping tow mirrors.
- King Ranch: Leather seats that are heated and cooled in the front row; navigation; two-tone exterior paint job; only available in crew cab.
- Platinum: Leather seats; aluminum wheels; exterior LED lights; standard four-wheel drive; only available in crew cab.
- Limited: Leather seats; power-deployable running boards; comes standard with four-wheel drive and the turbodiesel engine; Ultimate Trailer Tow Camera System comes standard.
Price and Value: The most basic F-250s start at about $33,000 for a new truck with no frills, two-wheel drive, and the gas engine. The diesel engine will cost you an additional $9,120 for a new 2019 F-250. Higher trim levels of the F-250 with all options can cost as much as $80,000. Although they are expensive, heavy duty trucks like the Ford Super Duty are built to last, and so they hold their value well over time.
To save money, consider buying a used Ford F-250. For the most up-to-date features, including an aluminum body, opt for the fourth generation, which launched in 2017. The previous generation, which ran from 2011-2016, has the same base engine, a 385-horsepower V8. However, the diesel engine for that generation, a 390-horsepower V8, was a bit less powerful than current offerings. If you want maximum towing and hauling capacities, opt for the fourth generation.
Safety: The 2019 Ford F-250 has a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The F-250 comes standard with a few safety features, including a rear view camera and a post-crash alert system. Other safety features, like blind-spot monitoring and additional cameras, are available options.
Reliability: The Ford F-250 has a great reliability rating of 8 out of 10 from JD Power. That’s above average. The 2019 Ford F-250 currently has two recalls, one related to the seat strength (in the even of a crash) and one related to a wiring issue that can increase the risk for engine fires. Before purchasing a used F-250 check to see if the vehicle you are considering is subject to these recalls.
Ratings: The Ford F-250 has come of the best-in-class towing capacities.
The Takeaway: Ford’s Super Duty trucks are designed for drivers who need a workhorse of a vehicle. The F-250 is more than 19 feet long and six feet wide, so drivers who choose this truck should be comfortable taking up space. The Ford F-250 offers luxurious interior options like a moon roof and leather seats, but what really sets the F-250 apart is its towing and hauling capacities. Although it is comfortable and stylish, the F-250 remains a work truck at heart.