The Ford F-250 is part of the Super Duty F-Series, a line of full-sized utes manufactured by Ford Motors for more than 60 years. The Ford F-250 was part of the F-series until its tenth generation. Post 1998, it received a major body style revision and became part of the Super Duty Series. The first ever F-Series truck was introduced in 1948. The F-250 has a larger and more imposing body style than its smaller F-150, and both models only share a few components with each other. There are three cab options for this ute: the standard, with up to three passengers and two doors, the SuperCab, with up to six passengers and two suicide doors at the rear, and the Crew Cab, with four full doors but the same passenger capacity.
Although the F-250 is the smallest among the Super Duty series, it is still a heavy lifter and offers more kick and muscle than most other utes in the market. With a variety of body styles to choose from, it is pretty easy to find the perfect F-250 to meet your requirements, and its massive payload capacity makes it a favourite for those who want a serious hauler that is also comfortable to drive.
Over the years, and especially since the introduction of the new body style in 1999, the F-250 has been improved along with its other Super Duty siblings. The latest changes were in 2011, when it received a major exterior transformation with a bigger and bolder front end and an improved engine.
The Ford F-250 has had several engines under its bonnet over the years, with a 5.4-liter Triton V8 and 6.8-litre Triton V10 from 1999 to 2010 and a 6.2-liter Boss V8 as standard from 2011 on. This engine is rated at 285kW at 5,500rpm and 550Nm at 4,500rpm and is fuelled by a 132-litre tank. This is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. With the cab body, the Ford F-250 comes with a 2.4-metre bed. However, the crew cab model gets a 2-metre cargo bed. The maximum towing capacity of the ute starts around 5,300kg. Most models come with a rear-wheel drive system, but there is an optional 4-wheel drive system that can be engaged or disengaged as well. The ute also comes with a low-range gear arrangement for better off-road performance.
The combination of the V8 and four-wheel drive system gives the Ford F-250 tremendous acceleration off the mark, and the engine still offers enough poke with a full load. With 2-wheel drive though, the ute tends to spin its tires before taking off. When pushed further, the power delivery tends to get uneven, and the confusing transmission seems to make things worse. Fuel mileage is pretty poor, but that is to be expected from a heavy weight hauler like the F-250, averaging at around 5km/l. Nevertheless, it is no better than what most other heavy duty utes give.
The ride quality is generally smooth, considering the size of the ute and the power of the engine. The suspension handles most bumps along the road with ease, even with the large wheels attached. Understandably, the ride is smoothest on full load and gets a little bouncy when the cargo bed is empty. Steering response is also at the same level as that of the F-250’s competitors. Handling is quite decent too, despite its massive size. Of course, manoeuvrability takes a hit in close quarter situations, but most drivers should be able to handle it without many problems.
The most common complaint is the cabin noise. The engine is rather loud, especially when pushed to the maximum and during full throttle acceleration; it stays relatively quiet at other times. Tire noise is present too, but only to some extent. Wind noise is almost zero, which is surprising for an F-250.
The Ford F-250 comes with various standard and safety kit along with several options. The safety features include an anti-skid system, ABS traction control, and curtain side and front side airbags. With older models like the 2006 XLT trim, you can get chrome trim and a basic entertainment system with four speakers and a CD player. The newer models, such as the 2012 XLT trim, come with a 4.2-inch LCD screen with Ford Works Solutions installed. It lets you access vehicle tracking, tool inventory, and even printing programs through the Internet.
The recent models of Ford F-250 face formidable competition in the form of the Dodge Ram 2500 that offers 261kW of power and 881Nm of torque and the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD with 297kW of power and a whopping 1037Nm of torque. All three are matched in many ways, and they all offer the hauling capacity desired in a heavy duty ute, but the F-250 seems to be the quietest of the three. With the competition being so similar, the final decision, in many cases, is usually based on personal preference and brand loyalty.