Driving this truck also meant I picked up a new name: Buddy. As in, “Hey Buddy, that’s a beautiful truck you own.” Or, “Hey Buddy, does that have the new Ford diesel engine?”
The answer to the last question was yes, it did have the new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel, along with a six-speed automatic transmission with a tow/haul mode and manual gear selection capabilities.
This Ford designed and built engine is a center of interest among heavy-duty truck customers. With it, Ford hopes to put an unhappy history with the previous diesel, built by Navistar, to rest.
Customer feedback has been positive, according to Alicia Riley, commercial vehicle manager at Family Ford in Enfield. “Everyone is very, very happy and it getting tremendous mileage,” she said.
Our review F-350 Crew Cab could carry up to nearly two tons in the cargo box or tow a 14,000 pound trailer. As for road performance, think Clydesdale, though there is a touch of quarter horse in its character. A zero-to-60 run took 9.1 seconds. However, the first two seconds or so produced a lackadaisical response to the floored accelerator pedal. It was only after the tachometer needle reached 3,000 rpm that this truck began to really move, becoming downright fast with excellent highway throttle response.
The ride and handling are truck-like. The ride is actually quite smooth for a heavy-duty pickup truck. Still, when empty, it tends to shudder and quiver over serious bumps. Rough pavement also generated some minor chaffing noises around the door-to-body seals. Handling highlights combined a distant steering feel with a surprising willingness to go where pointed.
The Crew Cab is very roomy and comfortable. The driver’s seat in our XLT model offered some of the finest lumbar support I’ve experienced, which might encourage workers to take the long route to the job site.
“Most people buy XLTs, but company owners go for the Lariat [the upscale model with plusher trim and more features],” Riley says. She says there is an even split between F-250 and F-350 sales and that the Crew Cab, with seating for three in the back seat, is the most popular configuration.
That rear seat isn’t as comfortable as the front seats, but it is still quite good, thanks in part to ample stretch-out room. The rear seat bottom cushions are split and fold up to create a massive cargo area that is weather-tight and lockable. Getting in means even six-footers will want to use the running boards.
There is no way around the fact that this new Super Duty is a tremendous truck, a “real winner,” as Riley put it. It is, however, not for the casual pickup truck customer. Here, a standard half-ton model is the far better choice.
For people who need its capabilities, however, the new Ford Super Duty models have much to recommend them. “Go to construction sites,” Riley said, “and you will see more Fords.”
Ford F-Series Super Duty Pickup Truck: $28,715 plus $995 for destination charges..
Engines: 6.2 V-8 Gasoline 6.7-liter Diesel
HP 385 390
Torque (lb-ft) 405 735
Next week: Toyota Avalon