Ford’s 2012 F-450 Super Duty Lariat Crew Cab 8ft Bed DRW 4WD brings the oversize workhorse pickup truck into the realm of the semi-posh. This upper-midlevel behemoth comes in only the 4-wheel drive (4WD), dual rear wheel (DRW), 4-door, 6-passenger Crew Cab variant, with the 8.2-foot bed its standard payload-bearing accoutrement. Outside, look for standard 17-inch polished alloy wheels, chrome grille, trailer hitch and wiring, and heated power-adjustable mirrors, while the cab sports standard premium leather upholstery, power-adjustable front bucket seats and leather and simulated wood cabin accents. Digital-keypad power door locks and power windows are standard, as are telescoping tilt-wheel steering and cruise control, not to mention power-adjustable pedals, dual-zone climate control and rear parking sensors. Entertainment comes in the form of a single-CD player with 9 speakers, satellite radio and a USB connection, while Bluetooth hands-free technology adds some extra communications capability.
Options for the 2012 F-450 Lariat include the Live-Drive Power Takeoff Package with extra power provided to seasonal or job-related equipment via the transmission whether driving or idling, and the FX Off-Road Package with descent control, skid plates, all terrain tires and Rancho-brand shocks. There’s also the available Ford Work Solutions Crew Chief Telematics Package that monitors speed, idle time and location of the vehicle, with extra equipment providing maintenance and diagnostics with printouts, as well as the SYNC hands-free audio and communications interface and SYNC AppLink smartphone integration for limited internet access. Standalone options include a DVD-based navigation screen, power moonroof, upgraded 18-inch wheels, spray-in bedliner and upfitter switches for added electrical devices. Finally, remote engine start, the popular Tailgate Assist Step, a rear-view camera, power-folding towing mirrors, a power-sliding rear window and a spray-in bedliner are all additionally available, as well.
Powering the 2012 F-150 Lariat is the ubiquitous 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 engine that’s managed by a shiftable 6-speed transmission. Together this pairing nets 400 hp and an impressive 800 lb-ft of torque. Expect 17,500 pounds of towing capability from the standard hitch and 25,000 pounds from the available gooseneck or fifth-wheel hitches. Fuel economy numbers are not available for the turbodiesel, probably because they’d be a bit dismal, but this truck is, after all, a work vehicle. In any case, the standard part-time 4WD system boasts shift-on-the-fly auto-locking hubs and electronic hi-lo gear selection, not to mention a limited-slip rear differential, while the standard integrated brake controller and trailer sway control let drivers tow with confidence.
The sizeable F-450 Super Duty Lariat, like the rest of the breed, uses its heft as a safety bulwark, but is nonetheless delivered with standard 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS) as well as traction and stability control. Occupant safety is also helped by front and rear head airbags and front side-mounted airbags. Finally, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, a post-collision safety system, front fog/driving lights and a remote antitheft alarm all come standard, with an exterior back-up chime offered as an optional safety item.