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2018 Ford F-250 Super Duty Overview
Truck manufacturers don’t tend to do a ground-up redesign of their heavy-duty trucks unless it is absolutely needed. Such was the case for the Ford F-250 Super Duty, which just underwent a major update last year. The previous generation had been around from 2011 to 2016 and was trailing competitors in a number of key areas, such as refinement and towing. This new model changed that: it is considered by many to be the best-in-class thanks to key improvements in both capability and refinement. The F-250 also leads the pack when it comes safety, offering a number of active safety features you cannot find on competitors.
New for 2018 is the introduction of the flagship Limited trim. It features a number of luxury touches like a special front grille, LED headlights, two-tone leather upholstery, ash wood trim, panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic braking, and a badge on the center console that’s etched with the truck’s serial number. Limited models get Ford’s 6.7-liter PowerStroke turbodiesel V8 and 4-wheel drive as standard equipment.
The F-250 Super Duty’s robust, angular design exudes its formidable functionality. The front features massive headlight housings and a brash grille. From the cab back, the F-250 looks very traditional with a standard design for the bed and tailgate. A clever touch Ford has included for the F-250 Super Duty is an integrated step and handle in the tailgate. With the tailgate down, the step extends out to make it easier to climb in and out of the bed as opposed to the bumper steps found on General Motors’ heavy-duty trucks. There is a choice of 3 cabs and 2 bed lengths.
Depending on the trim, the F-250’s interior can range from a no-nonsense work truck with vinyl floors and manual windows to a posh luxury vehicle with fine leather and wood trim. The dash is quite handsome and comes with a logical layout of controls featuring big buttons and knobs. There is plenty of storage in the large center console, deep door pockets, and a lockable storage area under the rear seat that can fold away when not in use.
While the F-250’s front seat offers less head and legroom than the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500HD, the seats offer good support and a range of adjustments. The back seat in SuperCab models is best reserved for small kids or stowing gear due to the limited legroom. Crew cab models offer best-in-class legroom with 43.6-inches, allowing adults to stretch out comfortably. Headroom in either cab configuration is quite good for most folks.
XL and XLT models get a standard radio with a small color screen. An 8-inch touchscreen featuring Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system is standard on Lariat and above and is optional for the XL and XLT. SYNC 3 is a huge improvement over MyFordTouch with a clean interface, snappy performance, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An 8-inch display in the gauge cluster on the Lariat and higher trims allows a driver to customize a layout for key information, such as tire pressures and emission-fluid levels for the diesel engine.
Ford offers 2 V8 engines for the F-250 Super Duty. Standard is a 6.2-liter gas V8 with 385 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. Drivers who need extra power can opt for the 6.7-liter PowerStroke turbodiesel producing 450 hp and 935 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come with a 6-speed automatic transmission and the choice of 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive. Either engine can power F-250 at an impressive rate, with runs to 60 mph taking under 7 seconds according to various automotive outlets. Part of this can be attributed to Ford using aluminum body panels that help significantly cut weight. When properly equipped, the F-250 can tow up to 18,600 pounds with a gooseneck hitch or 18,000 pounds with a conventional trailer hitch. Maximum payload ranges from 3,450 pounds for a crew-cab with 4WD to 4,200 pounds for a regular cab with 2WD.
Because truck manufacturers install stronger components on their heavy-duty trucks to handle the strain of towing a trailer, drivers can expect to be jostled a bit on the road. However, the F-250 is able to smooth out the ride due to careful suspension tuning. Like other heavy-duty trucks, the F-250’s ride is better with a heavy load in the back. Handling feels more confident than the previous-generation as the truck exhibits less body roll. Perhaps most exciting is the optional adaptive steering system, which uses a small electric motor and gearset to adjust the amount of effort needed to turn the wheels. At low speeds, the system will multiply the steering input to make maneuvering in tight spaces easier. The system also reduces the amount of input needed at high speeds to keep the truck going in a straight line. Reviewers like this system as it makes the F-250 easier to drive.
The F-250 Super Duty’s safety features are truly comprehensive. It offers a full set of airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, hill start assist, trailer sway control, post-crash alert system, and Ford’s MyKey that allows an owner to set restrictions on various settings for younger drivers. A backup camera is standard on XLT models and above, while rear parking sensors come standard on Lariat and higher trims. The optional Ultimate Trailer Tow Camera System utilizes 7 cameras around the truck, giving a 360-degree view to make it easier when backing up or pulling into a tight space. The system also features cameras mounted on the back of the cab and tailgate to make hooking up a trailer less stressful. Ford’s Trailer Reverse Guidance system uses the camera system along with visual steering cues to make backing up with a trailer easier. Other optional safety equipment include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s reviews reflect the extra effort Ford has put into this truck: the F-250 Super Duty earned 5-Stars for the 2WD model and 4-Stars for the 4WD model.
Ask William Maley how he started as an automotive writer and he would say he just fell into it. Based in Michigan, William has driven vehicles of all sizes and shapes. His work has appeared on Autobytel, CARFAX, Cheers & Gears, and U.S. News Best Cars.
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