Ford F-Series pickup trucks are the pacesetters for trucks in America, and the latest F-250 Super Duty has carried on being one of the many staples in the vast truck market.
For the 2021 model year, the F-250 Super Duty remains mostly the same except for a couple of new exterior colors. Otherwise, the F-250 still offers a few engine choices, including the gas-powered 6.2-liter V8 and a 7.3-liter V8, or the popular torque-monster-of-an-engine, the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel found in my F-250 Super Duty Limited test vehicle.
Having the Limited trim, which is the top trim for the F-250, throws several desirable amenities and features at an otherwise rugged towing rig that can nearly tow a house. With 475 horsepower and an astonishing 1,050 lb-ft of torque, the Power Stroke diesel engine is a powerhouse that leads the pack.
Carrying on a tradition for the Super Duty line of trucks, the F-250 is the beginning step for a wide array of configurations for the most powerful and popularized trucks consumers can buy. After experiencing another Super Duty truck this week, it is evident, once again, how capable and durable such a vehicle is and how easy it is to fit into your everyday life. Fundamentally, it is surprising to witness firsthand how the F-250 Super Duty with the Power Stroke diesel can be a versatile appliance despite its initial intimidation. That intimidation comes in the form of its massive size that proves to be relatively easy to pilot on the road and maneuver thanks to a 360-degree camera system and the ability to bring up a live image of the truck bed when you’re driving.
The handling of the F-250 Super Duty is something that must be respected as there’s a lot of weight to move around. The Power Stroke engine makes the truck feel alive and even quick at times when you accelerate to unleash just over 1,000 lb-ft of torque pinning your body deep in the massaging, heated, and ventilated front seats. Passengers out back get to enjoy a living room couch-sized bench that has heated outboard seats and nearly limitless legroom. The F-250 is large and in charge.
Committing to turns and highway speed maneuvers often takes some planning to keep the speed down before making sharp turns as the F-250 will quickly remind you that you have over 7,000 pounds to tame. There’s nothing ever nimble about the F-250 Super Duty unless you’re accelerating in a straight line, which will allow you to hit 60 mph in about 6 seconds flat. Part of that performance and surprising fuel efficiency is thanks to the 10-speed automatic transmission mated to the Power Strong diesel engine. The 10-speed does well to manage the low-end torque of the diesel yet allows the narrow power band to be fully utilized to get the F-250 up to speed and tow up to 15,000 pounds. Obviously, if you need to tow any more, you’re going to have to step up to the F-350 or F450, which use the same Power Stroke diesel to pump those towing numbers up to crazy figures. Fuel consumption is surprisingly good with me walking away from 300 miles of mixed driving getting a steady 19 mpg without towing or hauling. That leaves room for those who wish to tow and haul to still have a long range from the 34-gallon tank in my 160-inch-wheelbase test vehicle. The long-wheelbase (176-inch) F-250 gets A 48-gallon tank.
To be honest and not mince words, the ride quality from the F-250 Super Duty is not good. In fact, it can be terrible and nearly teeth-rattling. However, such a ride quality is expected as the F-250 Super Duty is designed to tow and haul, haul as much as 3,320 pounds. The use of the leaf springs is part of the towing and hauling abilities but sacrifices ride quality. However, the stability and control of the F-250 Super Duty is slightly better when going over undulations and rises in the road. The front end feels more controlled than some of the same-class competition. Basically, there’s less body bounce in the front than other heavy-duty trucks from my experience. You still can commute daily in the F-250 Super Duty as the soft perforated leather seats do well to make you feel comfy and potentially damper some of the shock from rough roads.
The cabin of the F-250 Super Duty remains the same from previous years with a straightforward and user-friendly setup. The infotainment system using Sync 3 reacts quickly to inputs on its 8-inch touchscreen but tends to be somewhat flawed in its software locking up to some inputs, which is possibly due to smartphone interaction using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The highly competitive truck market has a vast field of truck types and capabilities. If you ever want to play with the big dogs who can tow “many things,” you’re going to have to pay a bit such as with my loaded-up Ford F-250 Super Duty 4×4 Crew Cab Limited Power Stroke test vehicle with a price of $86,875.