If The Chevy Was This Test's Hot Rod, and the Ram the workhorse, the Ford took its place on the deluxe end of the spectrum. Credit goes to the King Ranch package, with its two-tone paint, polished aluminum wheels, four captain's chairs and saddlelike leather on the seats, consoles, and steering wheel. "The interior is pretty cowboy, almost too much," wrote one judge, "but it grows on ya."
When it was time to tow, though, the Ford was all business. The new 6.4L Power Stroke delivered almost as much torque as the Cummins, making for strong trips up onramps and away from stoplights. The truck was more stable when towing than the Dodge and on par with the Chevy's stability. Rearward visibility was excellent, thanks to Ford's PowerScope rearview mirrors, which are motorized to extend away from the body and also feature a generous convex mirror along the bottom.
One flaw that surprised us about the Ford's powertrain was its lack of top-end power, which caused the truck to struggle when passing. Since the Power Stroke is the only diesel of the three with twin, sequential turbochargers, we felt it should deliver better mid- and high-end grunt.
Off-road, that lack of top-end power proved to be a nonissue, as the engine's ample torque pulled the trailer along easily. The solid-axle suspension worked well through ruts and gullies, helped by the BFG Rugged Trail tires. As it turned out, Ford was the only maker to put all-terrain tires on its truck. True, Rugged Trails aren't the most aggressive rubber, but they looked like Super Swampers compared to the street meats on the other trucks.
At $57,000-plus, the Super Duty was the most expensive truck in this test. Ordering it without the $3,600 King Ranch package would bring its price in line with the others, and you'd get a less fancy interior and a more utilitarian rear bench seat.
Engine notes: Unlike the Duramax and Cummins engines, the 6.4L Power Stroke is a "clean sheet" design. Ford engineers put some 10 million test miles on the engine, on the road and on dynamometers, "using the most extreme and abusive conditions and run to five-times the life cycle that the hardest-working truck would ever experience," said Ford.
The Power Stroke shares many of the emissions devices used on the other engines, including a particulate filter and an oxidation catalyst. Unlike the others, though, turbocharging is done via twin sequential turbos-a small, variable-geometry one to provide low-speed boost, and a second, larger, fixed turbo that comes on in the engine's mid-range and continues to boost through the higher rpm.
* Strong torque
* Power Scope mirrors
* Comfortable interior
* Weak top-end
* Interior too gaudy
* Only seats four
A nicely detailed, deluxe truck.
|Manufacturer ||Ford |
|Model ||F-350 Super Duty Lariat |
| ||King Ranch Crew Cab 4x4 |
|Base Price ||$39,100 |
|Price as Tested ||$57,620 |
|Options as Tested ||6.4L diesel V-8, |
|five-speed automatic transmission, Tow Boss package, King Ranch package, King Ranch floormats, power sliding rear window, PowerScope trailer towing mirrors, memory group, premium painted/polished aluminum wheels, quad leather captain’s chairs, heated seats, lower accent two-tone paint, bodyside moldings, power adjustable pedals, 4x4 off-road package, trailer brake controller, extra-heavy-duty alternator, electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case, engine block heater, rapid-heat supplemental cab heater, power moonroof, upfitter switches, reverse vehicle aid sensor, tailgate step, Sirius satellite radio, universal garage door opener, traction control, navigation radio with six-CD changer, destination charge |
|Type ||Power Stroke V-8 |
|Displacement (liters/ci) ||6.4/390.5 |
|Bore & Stroke (inches) ||3.86x4.13 |
|Compression Ratio ||17.2:1 |
|Induction Type ||High-pressure fuel injection with common rail |
|Fuel Req. ||Ultra-low-sulfur diesel |
|SAE Peak Hp ||350 @ 3,000 rpm |
|SAE Peak Tq (lb-ft) ||650 @ 2,000 rpm |
|Measured Hp ||277 @ 3,000 rpm |
|Measured Tq (lb-ft) ||501 @ 2,875 rpm |
|Fuel Tank Capacity (gal) ||38 |
|Type ||TorqShift automatic |
|Ratios ||First: 3.11; Second: 2.22; Third: 1.55; Fourth: 1.00; Fifth: .71; Reverse: 2.88 |
|TRANSFER CASE |
|Type ||Two-speed, part-time |
|Low-range Ratio ||2.72:1 |
|Front type ||Solid |
|Rear type ||Solid |
|Ratio ||4.30:1 |
|Front ||Monobeam axle w/coil springs |
|Rear ||Live axle with leaf springs |
|Type ||Power-assisted recirculating ball |
|Size (inches) ||17x6.5 |
|Material ||Aluminum |
|Size ||LT245/75R17 |
|Brand ||BFGoodrich Rugged Trail T/A |
|Front ||Disc with ABS |
|Rear ||Disc with ABS |
|DIMENSIONS (INCHES) |
|Wheelbase ||172.4 |
|Overall Length ||262.4 |
|Overall Width ||95.5 |
|Overall Height ||80.1 |
|Ground Clearance ||8.0 |
|CAPACITIES (POUNDS) |
|Advertised GVWR ||13,000 |
|Curb Weight ||7,270 |
|Payload Capacity ||5,250 |
|Tow Capacity ||15,000 |
|Average over Test (mpg) ||10.1 |