Words: Stephen Spyropoulos
Photography: Stephen Spyropoulos
Published: April 17, 2017
It's not very often that a new model comes along so drastically improved that it raises the bar for the rest of its category. It was the case with the BMW 3 Series, the Range Rover, and is also the case with the all-new 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty.
Along with the other two models that make up the Ford Super Duty truck lineup (namely the F-350 and F-450), this full-size pickup has been reworked from the ground up. The improvements to the F-250 range from beefier underpinnings and more powerful engines to roomier interiors that can be equipped with a host of convenience and technology features, all designed to make this heavy-duty pickup a good deal more capable.
Knowing these trucks will be doing some heavy lifting, Ford's engineers started by giving the F-250 substantially larger frame rails and crossmembers made out of 95% high-strength steel. To compensate for the extra bulk, its body panels and pickup box are now made out of lightweight aluminum (just as the F-150 reviewed recently) that Ford says is both more dent-resistant and makes the new truck hundreds of pounds lighter than previous generations.
Towing a trailer is perhaps one of the most daunting tasks to any driver, but with kilometres of experience and many ‘coupe, decouple, rinse, repeat’ motions, it becomes a cinch. You get used to lining the truck up with the trailer and guesstimating how far you need to reverse without ever seeing the hitch ball from the driver’s seat. You become used to having to take extra wide turns.
To the uninitiated, this entire ordeal is terrifying enough to make the whole heavy-duty truck segment the ideal target for autonomous technology. Luckily, Ford has your back with seven cameras feeding data into the Super Duty’s electronic hub. Two side-view mirror cameras observe the flanks, a tailgate camera gazes behind, and a camera in the high-mounted center brake light watches over the bed. You can even place a camera on the trailer that can tap into the truck’s 12-pin electrical connection.
Of course, the F-250 has some equally burly competitors like the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD (and its GMC Sierra 2500HD sibling) and the Ram 2500 pickup. Though all offer serious hauling and towing capabilities and surprisingly civilized demeanors, the Ford Super Duty F-250 has enough new features to give it an edge in this hotly contested category.
In terms of livability and interior comfort, the Lariat trimmed tester we had is the way to go. Springing for the mid-range Lariat gets you bright-finished 18-inch alloy wheels, an electronic shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system (four-wheel-drive models only), foglights, power-folding, telescoping outside mirrors (plus driver-side auto-dimming and integrated spotlights), tubular side steps, a power sliding rear window, and rear parking sensors just to name a few. While it is still behind the Platinum and King Ranch, the Lariat still gives you the features you need to feel comfortable on long hauls.
Inside, the 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty is noticeably roomier than its predecessor thanks to body shells shared with the revamped F-150. For example, extended-cab models gain 6 inches in length, while crew-cab models grow 3 inches longer compared to cabs of the outgoing models, making for more spacious interiors all around.
Seating comfort is especially good in upper trim levels with the 10-way-adjustable power seats. The available multi-contour seats on top trims take things to the next level with heating, cooling and a built-in massage function. Not surprisingly the rear jump seats on extended-cab models are still best suited to kids but the crew cab's rear bench now offers adults more room to stretch out. There is even a safe with combination lock and everything stowed away under the center arm rest.
On the road, the 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty's beefier frame and fine-tuned suspension combine to give it a more solid feeling. Handling feels more confident than the outgoing model and the ride quality is also improved.
The steering has the familiar slow and deliberate response with the standard set-up. The optional adaptive steering makes a distinct improvement by altering the steering ratio (how many turns of the wheel it takes to turn the vehicle) to quicken response and make the truck far more maneuverable in tight quarters. At highway speed and when in Tow/Haul mode, the system slows response to improve straight-line stability.
Performance from the 6.7-litre turbocharged diesel V8 generates brisk unladen acceleration and moves heavy payloads or trailers without breaking a sweat thanks to its abundant 925 lb-ft of torque and impressive 440 horsepower.
One new feature, adaptive cruise control, takes much of the tedium out of long highway miles by maintaining a set distance from the vehicle ahead. What's noteworthy is that the system performs equally well when towing a trailer, even on downhill stretches, where downshifts from the transmission's Tow/Haul mode and automatic engine braking on diesel models work together to keep vehicle speed in check. Leave the pavement behind and a properly equipped four-wheel-drive F-250 will impress with its off-road capabilities, even in situations that far exceed anything the majority of buyers will ever want to tackle.
The Ford Super Duty is a truck that you can rely on day in and day out to haul what you need, and get you where you need to go. With the added comfort and safety features and the performance of the mighty 6.7 litre motor, heavy-duty trucks don’t get much better than this.
型号 Model: 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty
顏色 Paint Type: Blue Jeans
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $74,199
試車售價 Price as Tested: $88,744
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 4,059
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 6,350 / 2,690 / 2,070
車重 Curb weight (kg): 3,295
引擎 Engine: 6.7L Power Stroke turbocharged diesel V8
最大馬力 Horsepower: 440 hp @ 2,800 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 925 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 6-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, 4X4