2011 Ford F-250 SuperDuty

February 1, 2011

Ford’s SuperDuty F-250 rides and handles well in every road situation imaginable.

Ford F-250_Screen shot 2011-01-21 at 8.52.25 AM

F-Series pickups don’t come any more loaded with luxury features than Ford’s King Ranch trim level package. This is clearly a styling cue meant to appeal to people who take horses to shows and rodeos, as evidenced by the plush leather appointments, wood-grain trimmed dash and special-edition wheels. With style and comfort the overriding theme here, it’s no surprise to find this truck packed with a wide array of amenities, including heated and cooled seats, sun roof and power-sliding rear window, Ford’s top-of-the-line HVAC climate control system, full audio-visual entertainment system, power-folding side-mount mirrors and an intimidating driver information system that turned out to be amazingly intuitive and simple to operate.

SuperDuty fans who were worried that International no longer will supply the PowerStroke diesel engine can rest easy: The new Ford-developed 6.7-liter diesel under the King Ranch’s hood proved to be highly impressive and productive. It is surprisingly quiet, even when working hard to get the big truck rolling from a traffic stop. The engine – predictably – kicks out plenty of low-end torque, but a pleasant surprise was the instantaneous power you can call on when passing at highway speeds. There is absolutely no turbo lag: The new Ford PowerStroke diesel accelerates with all the swagger of a large V-8 gas engine.

Fuel economy isn’t bad, considering both the size of the engine and the mass it has to move down the highway. Ford’s driver information center features real-time fuel economy data with a configurable window, giving you a look at your MPG performance over the past 5 minutes. (You can choose other timeframe options.) I found that my fuel mileage in city traffic varied from a low of 14 mpg up to 17 mpg, with 16 mpg being the norm. On the highway, that figure climbed to almost 19 mpg.

Despite its size – this is a real brute of a truck – the F-250 SuperDuty rides and handles well in every road situation imaginable. The four-wheel-drive engagement system is quick and easy to use, and will snap your head backward if you get too aggressive with the throttle in four-low. On the road, steering is straightforward and tight. And despite its bulk, the SuperDuty proved to be surprisingly nimble in parking lots and city traffic.

Ford deserves a lot of praise for its 2011 SuperDuty line. Losing International as an engine partner was a huge hurdle that the company clearly has overcome with the development of its new diesel family. As a result, Ford SuperDuty trucks haven’t skipped a beat in terms of comfort, performance and pure power.