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2021 Ford Super Duty Pros and Cons Review: The Big Get Better

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  6. 2021 Ford Super Duty Pros and Cons Review: The Big Get Better

Ford takes its toughest trucks—a former TOTY winner—in for an overhaul.

Ford F-250 Full Overview

Pros

  • Fantastic engines
  • Phenomenal transmission
  • Exceptional towing ability

Cons

  • Disappointing interior
  • Tremor’s off-road experience
  • Pricey

Even though the honey-do list was short, much has been updated. The big news is the most torque in the segment—a muscular 1,050 lb-ft from the 450-hp 6.7-liter turbo diesel V-8. Even bigger, a pushrod 7.3-liter gasoline V-8 replaces the ancient 6.8-liter Modular V-10. Then there’s the new 10-speed automatic transmission. Also cool: a new harder-core off-road package called Tremor, which is available on several trim levels. Let’s see how the new Super Duties fared against our six key criteria.

“Advancement in design is not the Super Duty’s strongest suit,” features editor Christian Seabaugh said. Between you, me, and the wall, the big Fords look just like the old ones. Same goes for the interiors. Sure, a grille got tweaked here, and there’s a new color trim there, but you’d be hard pressed to visually tell the 2017s apart from the 2021s. This is fine for the exterior, as this Super Duty generation is handsome. The interior is a problem, however; the Ram Heavy Duties (last year’s TOTY winner) have a nicer interior with a significantly larger and more functional touchscreen. The Ford remains the same.

The two Fords—we tested both an F-250 Tremor and a F-350 Limited dually—did impress us in terms of engineering excellence—especially that big boy F-350. “The engine is smooth and refined, the transmission shifts gears at the right time, and the steering gives you a great feel of what’s happening at the wheels,” MotorTrend en Español‘s Miguel Cortina said. “It’s hard to believe that this truck has over 1,000 lb-ft of torque given how refined and quiet it is.”

Then there’s towing. “This truck is only vaguely aware that 5,200 pounds of trailer has been attached,” features editor Scott Evans said. “The weight is inconsequential to this engine.”

The same is true for the Tremor when saddled with a 2.5-ton trailer. “Trailer never wagged the truck in the slightest,” Evans said. “The 7.3-liter V-8’s got a ton of power. I wouldn’t worry at all pulling a heavier trailer. The transmission is at the top of its game, which made towing a breeze.”

If only the Tremor was as loved off-road. “It’s like exploring the world with an anvil,” associate road test editor Erick Ayapana said. Although it’s crazy-capable, the Tremor’s massive weight (7,240 pounds) gave it a brutal ride off-pavement, even after airing down the tires. Said Cortina: “Its ride is stiff, bouncy, and jittery. Even on the parts where the trail seems smooth, there’s a lot of vibration in the cabin.” Seabaugh added that it “rebounds poorly over bumps and lacks the body control of a Power Wagon.”

Why? Because unlike the competition, the Tremor actually offers impressive payload capacity, up to a claimed 4,053 pounds. However, it’s billed as an off-roader. This means that the F-250 Tremor stumbles a bit against one of our key criteria, performance of intended function.

We also struggled saying definitively that the refreshed Fords are better than the Ram Heavy Duty trucks that won it all last year, save for towing, where we all agree that the F-350 Limited dually can out-tow an airport tug. The big boy was also superlative as a cruiser on our long loop. “This dually drives so well that you forget you’re driving a dually,” Cortina said.

Many of us felt the same way about the Ram 3500 last year. A future comparison test is going to have to settle this one. Until that time, know that Ford did a great job polishing its largest diamond.

Looks good! More details?

POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT Tremor; F-350 Super Duty Limited 6.7L Powerstroke 4×4
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, 4WD
ENGINE TYPE 90-deg V-8, iron block/alum heads; Turbodiesel 90-deg V-8, iron block/alum heads
VALVETRAIN OHV, 2 valves/cyl; OHV, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 445.3 cu in/7,298 cc; 406.8 cu in/6,665 cc
COMPRESSION RATIO 10.5:1; 15.8:1
POWER (SAE NET) 430 hp @ 5,500 rpm; 475 hp @ 2,600 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 475 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm; 1,050 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm
REDLINE 6,000; 4,000 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 16.8; 18.3 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION 10-speed automatic
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE/LOW RATIO 4.30:1/2.72:1/2.64:1; 3.55:1/2.24:1/2.64:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Live axle, coil springs, anti-roll bar; live axle, leaf springs
STEERING RATIO 17.5:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 3.6; 3.0
BRAKES, F; R 14.3-in vented disc; 14.3-in vented disc, ABS
WHEELS 8.0 x 18-in cast aluminum; 6.5 x 17-in forged aluminum
TIRES 285/75R18 129/126Q Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac; 245/75R17 121/118R Michelin LTX A/T2
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE 159.8; 176.0 in
TRACK, F/R 68.3/67.2; 69.1/74.7 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT* 250.0 x 80.0 x 79.3; 266.2 x 96.0 x 81.5 in
GROUND CLEARANCE 10.8; 8.3 in
APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE 31.7/24.5; 17.9/20.2 deg
TURNING CIRCLE 55.0; 57.8 ft
CURB WEIGHT 7,240; 8,700 lb
SEATING CAPACITY 5
HEADROOM, F/R 40.8/40.4 in
LEGROOM, F/R 43.9/43.6 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 66.7/65.9 in
PICKUP BOX L x W x H 81.9 x 66.9 x 21.1; 98.1 x 66.9 x 21.1 in
BOX VOLUME 65.4; 78.5 cu ft
WIDTH BET WHEELHOUSES 50.5 in
CARGO LIFT-OVER HEIGHT 38.1; 36.9 in
PAYLOAD CAPACITY 2,760; 5,300 lb
TOWING CAPACITY 15,000; 21,200 lb (18,600; 31,300 lb 5th wheel)
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 2.6; 2.4 sec
0-40 3.9; 3.6
0-50 5.4; 5.0
0-60 7.3; 6.8
0-60 TOWING 5,200 LBS 12.5; 11.2
0-70 9.5; 8.7
0-80 12.2; 11.2
0-90 15.8; 14.5
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 3.7; 3.4
QUARTER MILE 15.6 sec @ 89.6 mph; 15.2 sec @ 92.3 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 151; 138 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.70; 0.69 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 30.2 sec @ 0.53 g (avg); 29.1 sec @ 0.58 g (avg)
250-FT DOUBLE LANE CHANGE 4.13; 4.21 sec
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,600; 1,500 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE $51,775; $88,805
PRICE AS TESTED $61,555; $92,305
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes
AIRBAGS 4: Dual front, f/r curtain
BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 5 yrs/60,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY 34.0; 48.0 gal
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON Not rated
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY Not rated
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB Not rated
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded regular; Diesel
* Before options

Written by admin69

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