By Matthew DeBord
The Big Blue Oval. Real big.
Ford has gone all-in with the redesign of its critically important Super Duty series of large pickup trucks. The Super Duty had been refreshed and updated the the past, but it hadn’t been completely re-thought in two decades.
Ford makes a lot of money off these ginormous F-Series pickups, so a new Super Duty was a big risk. Customers from this type of truck, optimized for work and for towing, are among the most demanding in the auto industry.
The carmaker had already taken one huge risk with its legendary F-150 full-size pickup, switching to aluminum from steel in production. That worked out well, so Ford moved on to the Super Duty lineup, the F-250 and its larger stablemates.
While I had checked out the new F-150 and been pleased, I had never actually driven a Super Duty.
It was a big missing piece of my ongoing professional development.
Plus, who doesn’t like a big-ass pickup? So when For told me I could borrow a 2017 F-250 Super Duty Platinum 4×4 Crew Cab, with a mighty 6.7-liter Powerstroke turbo diesel engine, I said heck yes.
Here’s what it was like to have this mountain of a pickup in my driveway for a few days:
Our borrowed Super Duty arrive in a “Magnetic” gray paint job.
This pickup tipped the scales at around 6,000 lbs. — three tons!
I think the tree was intimidated. I didn’t even think to ask my Prius how it felt. It was acting like it wanted to go hide in the garage.
My first-grader wasn’t intimidated at all. Take that, big truck!
Did I mention that it was a SUPER DUTY pickup?
The F-250 is actually the lowest level of the Super Duty line, which includes F-350 and F-450 models. The F-250 Platinum is the premium 250 offering, stickering at over $62,000. Our test truck was well-optioned and came in at nearly $75,000.
The 6.7-liter turbo diesel V8 is the Incredible Hulk of motors. It cranks out 440 horsepower, but more importantly a monumental 925 pound-feet or torque, which gives this pickup a towing capacity that’s nothing short of astonishing. Mount a gooseneck rig in the bed and you’re good for over 32,000 lbs. — 16 tons. If only I’d had a military surplus MRAP to haul around!
Like the F-150, the F-250 Super Duty has a convenient retractable step to make bed access easier. You may have seen the Howie Long Chevy Silverado commercials in which the former NFLer talks a little smack about this “man step.” I appreciated it, however.
There’s also a retractable bar that assists in stepping in and out of the bed.
A new dresser from IKEA was a piece of cake for the Super Duty. I could have bought four and still had room for 100 lbs. of Swedish meatballs.
The bed has lights so you can work at night …
The F-250 Super Duty came with four-wheel-drive. I didn’t get the chance to tow a boat through mud, however. There was no mud, for starters. And I have no boat.
More hardcore work-truck capability.
What do you think this step on the front bumper is all about?
It lets you get up high enough …
… that titanic engine, which is an almost-$9,000 option.
What other enormous Super Duty things can we look at? How about these majestic Michelins?
Or this gargantuan tailpipe?
The gas cap was actually shockingly normal-sized.
This is a truck with a back seat and can easily accommodate three adults. Or one first-grader in high style. The leather upholstery is “Black/Brunello.”
Those are the rear-seat cupholders.
The driver is confronted by the usual instruments, but also surrounded by lots of extra buttons and switches to control the drivetrain and to set up the Super Duty for towing duty.
Cruise control on the left …
… infotainment, phone, and voice controls on the right.
Charging for the back seats …
Cupholders! And a nice big catch-all tray.
As well as a vast storage compartment under the center armrest.