F-250 Super Duty

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2019 Ford F-250 Super Duty Test Drive Review

The F-250 Super Duty proves a truck can have immense capability and work potential, yet still be comfortable enough for the daily commute.

7.5 /10
Overall Score

Spend enough time reading about new cars, and you may realize that some corners of the auto market appear to be in the middle of a modern-day arms race. One particular corner is that of the full-size truck market. It seems like every year, the American Big Three automakers each attempt to one-up one another with horsepower, torque, payload, and towing numbers that seemingly have no end in sight.

But beyond these monstrous numbers, the modern work truck has become more comfortable and sophisticated than ever. Just look at the 2019 Ford F-250 Super Duty. Still a brutish machine designed for serious work, it's also available in several trims worthy of luxury-car status.

Automakers know that just because a truck is designed for work doesn’t mean it can’t include some creature comforts. The only issue becomes price, and some of the invoices on trucks can get out of hand fast. So, does the F-250 Super Duty make practical and financial sense for folks who need a heavy-duty truck, or is this modern era of pickups one of overpriced overkill?

Look and Feel

7/ 10

Everything you need to know about full-size trucks can be seen with just once glance at a modern pickup. Everything here is biggie-biggie and seemingly large enough to consume smaller cars.

The Ford Super Duty traces its roots back to a 2017 redesign. The truck is still massive with a big dual-bar grille and bulky, squared-off headlights providing detail to the front end.

The Super Duty comes in six trims: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited. Each of these trims has its own unique personality. The base XL trim is pretty much business-only, and it uses dark plastic for the front bumper and grille. In case you didn’t realize this was a no-frills flight, the XL comes with 17-inch steel wheels.

The XLT adds 18-inch painted aluminum wheels, a chrome grille, and chrome front and rear bumpers. The Lariat also a slightly different look from the XLT. Our test model featured a unique black appearance package that applies to the grille, wheels, and other details. That is thanks to a unique Sport styling package.

The King Ranch sports unique chrome wheels, a unique grille, and a standout two-tone paint scheme. The Platinum and Limited both sport their own unique grilles and wheel designs, but both rely on full body-color bumpers.

The interior of the F-250 feels crazy spacious, and not just from behind the steering wheel. This truck is loaded with bins and cupholders. The second row seems to go on forever, and its bench flips up to reveal a helpful self-contained locker.

The exterior of the XL should hint at the fact that its cabin is pretty no-nonsense, with vinyl seats, crank-up windows, and Sync connectivity with a small 4.2-inch center screen. All other trims excluding the XL and XLT get the awesome 8-inch Sync 3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

We drove the Lariat trim, which bridges the lower XL and XLT trims with the upscale end of the lineup. The interior is big, comfortable, and well-equipped, including dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch color driver-information screen, backup sensors, and leather upholstery. Thanks to its combination of sensible and upscale features, the Lariat is the CarGurus recommended trim.

The Lariat also featured supremely comfortable seats. They were plush yet supportive, and frankly, much better than the seats in the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali that we recently drove.

The luxury end of the lineup starts with the King Ranch, which has its own saddle-inspired theme inside. The King Ranch also adds remote start, voice-activated navigation, and a remote-release tailgate.

The Platinum comes with 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, 20-way power front seats with massaging function, and a unique upholstery look. The range-topping Limited pretty much comes with every imaginable option as a standard feature, including the massive dual-panel panoramic moonroof.


8/ 10

The F-250 Super Duty gets a V8 powertrain, no matter what. It’s just a matter of which V8 to choose. The standard 6.2-liter V8 makes 385 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. This engine is matched to a 6-speed automatic.

Our test truck came with option number two, the available 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8. It makes 450 hp and 935 lb-ft. That torque figure is a simply absurd number, and it's one that I did not think I’d be able to report for a production car in my career as an automotive journalist. Sure, a rare supercar might pull close to figures, but a production work truck?

Despite all its power, it is only matched to a 6-speed automatic transmission, and acceleration is just alright. The 2020 GMC and Chevy Duramax diesel V8 is paired to a 10-speed, which manages diesel power really well, and provides incredible pickup. The bar has been raised by GM, and Ford will rise to it in 2020.

If you need to get serious work done, you’ve come to the right place. You can buy the F-250 Super Duty with either rear-wheel-drive (RWD) or four-wheel-drive (4WD). The F-250 has a maximum towing capacity of 18,000 pounds and haul 4,270 pounds in the bed.

Given that this truck is set up for towing and hauling, it’s a bit over-sprung and somewhat ungainly when not driving under a heavy load. The truck is top-heavy in cornering and, without anything in the bed, it's extremely chatty over bumps in the road.

The EPA doesn’t rate heavy-duty trucks for fuel economy, but as we always say, we can see what the trip computer tells us. Over a week of combined city and highway driving, we averaged just over 17 miles per gallon, which is actually better than the less capable (but better to drive) 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali.

Form and Function

9/ 10

Heavy-duty trucks are likely the only class where single cabs are still popular, often for municipal or worksite use. In the case of the F-250 Super Duty, this regular-cab body style is only available with an 8-foot-long bed. The Super Cab is available with the long bed or the 6.75-foot standard bed, and the full 4-door Crew Cab is available with both standard or long beds as well.

The F-250 is available in only the single-rear-wheel (SRW) setup, which is a conventional pickup rear end. The F-350 is available in the dual-rear-wheel (DRW) setup. This is colloquially known as a “Dually,” and is usually the variant of the truck that achieves the top towing numbers.

The Lariat test truck came with the standard bed and included the optional spray-in bed liner, bed LED dights, bed-mounted power outlets, and an adjustable tie-down system. Super Duty truck beds also come with Ford's integrated tailgate step. This is helpful, but I prefer the integrated steps in the side and rear bumper on the GMC and Chevy trucks. They are designed for large boots and don’t have any moving parts to break!

Tech Level

8/ 10

All trims of the Super Duty come with SYNC infotainment and connectivity, but all versions of SYNC are not created equal. The XL and XLT trucks come with a very basic version that includes four speakers, an AM/FM radio, and a small 4.2-inch LCD screen. It does come with a USB-C port and Bluetooth connectivity.

All other trims of the Super Duty include SYNC 3, featuring an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. SYNC 3 is one of the best infotainment setups on the market in terms of its simplicity. There are more powerful systems out there, but few with this flat of a learning curve.

The only issue I find with SYNC is the lack of a home button at all times. There IS a home icon, but only when you are in one of the SYNC screens. If you are in an Apple CarPlay screen, such as Waze, and want to get to a radio or sound setting, there’s no quick jump to home. You need to get to the CarPlay home screen, then press the “Ford” icon, which brings up whatever SYNC menu that you were in last.

Consider that the GMC and Chevy infotainment systems have a tactile home button below the touchscreen, and Uconnect keeps its own menu bar anchored at the bottom of the touchscreen at all times, even if you are in a CarPlay menu.

Lariat trim and up feature the fantastic B&O premium audio system, including 10 speakers and a subwoofer. King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited trims come with voice control and navigation, but as long as you have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, you already have that functionality.


8/ 10

The F-250 comes with a full array of front- and side-impact airbags, a reversing camera, traction control, a tire pressure monitoring system, and trailer-sway control.

The XLT and Lariat trims actually include headlights tied to the wipers, while King Ranch Platinum and Limited trims add automatic high beams. Other optional features on this truck include lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control (which works while towing), and automatic emergency braking.

Our test truck also came with available features such as a 360-degree camera system, parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring. These last three features, plus dual-view towing mirrors are almost essential when maneuvering this truck in tight spaces.


5/ 10

Base MSRP for the 2019 Ford F-250 Super Duty is $33,150 for a single cab, standard bed, rear-wheel-drive model. Things only climb from there price-wise. The XLT starts at $37,365, while an XLT Crew Cab with 4-wheel drive (4WD) starts at $44,655.

The Lariat Crew Cab 4WD starts at $51,655, which might make it seem like our test truck is a good value. But the test price is actually $74,000 after options. That’s over 20 grand in options, including over $9,000 for the diesel engine.

That test pricing puts it in the same neighborhood as a vehicle we recently tested, the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali. But for the GMC, that was the top of the luxury pile. For the F-Series, we're not even close. For that you’ll have to look to a Limited, which starts at $80,240 and with a few options, will top out at over $90,000. Ford F-350 trucks with dually setups close in on six figures.

Pricing has gotten nuts in the past decade, but so has what you get for that price—especially in the heavy-duty pickup truck segment. Never before could you get a truck that is world-class comfortable and world-class capabilities. Trucks like this can get more work done than ever before, with less fuss than before, and do it while providing true motoring comfort.

Updated by George Kennedy

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F-250 Super Duty

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Ford F-250 Super Duty Questions

Trailer Running Lights Not Working 2019 F-250

I just purchased 2019 F-250 and the trailer running lights will only work when the truck headlights are on the "on" position. If I switch to automatic headlights the trailer running lights do no wor...

Cooled Seats Option Turning Itself On

The cooled seat option will activate/turn itself on when I start the truck manually or remotely on occasion. The option was not left on when I turned the truck off. The Ford dealership said that i...

Does 2019 F250 Crew Cab Come With 8 Foot Bed

Does F250 2019 come with 8 foot bef

Hard Start First Thing In The Morning

3 days in a row, first thing in the morning the truck does not start on first crank. I let it go through the normal start up process and wait for the glow plug light to go out, then turn the key. It...

Why Would I Have Temporarily Lost 1st And 2nd Gear On My 2019 F-250?

Yesterday afternoon after driving for about an hour, 1st and 2nd gear would not engage on my 2019 F-250. I could not shift into it manually either. Today the problem seems to have disappeared.