SuperTruck: The 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty 4X4 Crew Cab

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty 4X4 Crew Cab
2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty 4X4 Crew Cab.
Used to be there was a stark difference between a half-ton and a 3/4-ton pickup. The bigger ones were clearly meant for work, or hauling very large horse or travel trailers.  You could tell just by looking.

Standard half-ton pickup trucks like the Ford F-150 have become so big and so rugged that you might wonder what an F-250 Super Duty is for.  Or, if you're a long-time Super Duty buyer, you might be underestimating an F-150's capabilities.

It's even tougher to sort out just by eyeballing, since both models can be loaded up with luxury extras that were once reserved for machines with a three-pointed star on the hood.

No, this is going to require a hard look at the facts.

Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty 4X4 Crew Cab
2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty 4X4 Crew Cab
First, if you think "half-ton" and "three-quarter ton" are still accurate representations of the hauling capacities of these trucks, stop thinking that.  The F-150 with either the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 or the 5.0-liter V8 has a payload capacity of 3,220 or 3,270, respectively.  So---more than triple half a ton.

But for the really big, heavy stuff, an F-250 Super Duty 4X4 Crew Cab like our tester, with the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel jacks that up by an additional half-ton...4,270 pounds.  That's two tons plus 270 pounds.

Apples to apples---an F-150 with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 can tow 12,200 pounds (the 5.0-liter V8 actually tows less at 11,000).  A Super Duty like ours can tow 14,000.

The fact is that our toys (travel trailers, toy haulers, boats) have gotten bigger and heavier.  The F-150 can handle a lot that a decade or two ago would have required an F-250.  The F-250 can handle pretty much anything recreational in nature.  The work trucks of the lineup are now F-350 and F-450.

Interior view of 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty 4X4 Crew Cab
2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty 4X4 Crew Cab interior.
So, assuming the F-250 is what you want and need, there's a lot of good news.  The Super Duty line is all new for 2017, sharing the F-150's military-grade alumnium bits, all-new styling and its up-to-date interior.  Rugged in this case does not mean primitive.

Base price for our F-250 Super Duty 4X4 Crew Cab was $50,620.  That's actually $5,640 less than the base price of the F-150 4X4 the Phoenix Bureau tested last month...though that was a SuperCrew and a Platinum, where our Super Duty was the one-trim-lower Lariat.

Standard equipment for that price?  Tie-down hooks in the pickup box, chrome bumpers, locking removable tailgate with lift assist, a power sliding rear window with defrost and privacy tint, tow hooks, trailer sway control, spare tire with wheel lock, one-touch up/down driver and passenger windows, 10-way power driver and passenger seats, a 60/40 rear bench with flip up/flip down, head restraints and underseat storage, a 110 volt/400 watt AC outlet, dual-zone electronic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, outside temperature display, particulate air filter, power locks and windows, a tilting/telescoping steering column, electrochromic mirror, hill start assist, manual locking hubs, mono beam coil spring front suspension with a stabilizer bar, periscope power folding outside mirrors with heated glass and turn signals, remote keyless entry, reverse sensing and a rearview camera, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, SYNC 3 with touchscreen, trailer brake controller and a full complement of airbags.

You could stop right there and go home with a very, very nice truck.  But the press fleet folks at Ford treated our tester to another $15,130 in extra-cost options:

For starters, the 6.7-liter V8 PowerStroke diesel is an extra-cost option at $8,595.  But for the improvement in torque, longevity and mileage over the standard 6.2-liter gasoline diesel, it's absolutely worth it.

The 3.55 electronic locking axle is $390, the all-weather floormats are $135.  Add $1,125 to the chrome package, which puts it in places other than the bumpers.  The FX4 Off-Road package pops some skid plates underneath for $295. Navigation is $570, a rapid heat supplemental heater is $250 and an engine block heater $75.

Chrome 20-inch aluminum wheels added $1,240 to the tab.  Upfitter switches were $165, a tailgate step $375, spray-in bedliner $495, the ultimate trailer tow camera $710 and the Lariat Value Package (LED box lighting, remote start system, 10-way power driver and passenger heated and cooled front seats with memory) was another $710.

Factor in $1,195 destination and delivery and the bottom line comes to $66,945.  That's about $4,500 more than the 2015 GMC Sierra 2500HD the Phoenix Bureau tested a little more than three years ago.  I'd bet if we had a similarly-equipped 2500 HD right now, the price difference would be negligible.

Simply put:  The Ford F-250 Super Duty 4X4 Crew Cab is a serious truck that does a convincing job of pampering you the way lighter-duty trucks are now expected to.