We’ve spent a lot of time lately in heavy duty pickups. Not because we ever do any real heavy duty work, but because all of the big-3 HD’s have recently been updated, pushing power and payload to unheard of territory. So let’s see where Ford’s new Super Duty fits in.
These days, if you’re not best-in-class at something, at least for the moment, there’s no use showing up to the Heavy Duty truck party. Well, the first thing you need to know about the new 2020 Ford Super Duty, is that it’s not showing up empty-handed.
The Super Duty lineup delivers class best towing, whether you’re talking gooseneck, 5th-wheel, or conventional, highest payload capacity, and biggest power numbers for gas and diesel.
Our Power Stroke equipped F-250 tester in particular, rates best in segment towing with a max of 22,800-lbs., and payload at 3,940-lbs.
The 3rd gen. Power Stroke 6.7-liter diesel V8 gets a new fuel delivery system, upgraded turbo, and beefed up internals to push output to 475-horsepower and a whopping 1,050 lb-ft. of torque.
Over on the gasoline side, there’s an all-new 430-horsepower 7.3-liter V8 with 475 lb-ft. of torque; as well as the standard 385-horspower 6.2-liter V8 with 430 lb-ft. of torque.
The 6.2 comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission; the others, with a 10-speed automatic.
Ford continues to offer a wide variety of towing assistance; but our favorite is still the spot-on standard back-up camera, which makes hitching up simple.
Like most HD pickups, the ride can be very stiff-feeling when driving around with an empty bed; but load ‘er up, or hitch up to something significant, and things seem to smooth out quickly.
We’d say the Ram still has a leg-up when it comes to seat and overall creature comforts. But, when working hard, we found the F-250’s diesel delivers impressive and smooth power, with only moderate amounts of interior noise.
Turning radius, even without a trailer, is still very wide. But, it felt less cumbersome than most through the cones, with very light steering.
The diesel lays down a tremendous amount of torque at take-off, yet it was still easy to modulate the throttle and get a clean getaway, avoiding tire-melting wheel spins. We hit 60 in 6.7-seconds; and while direct comparisons are difficult with so many Heavy Duty configurations available, that’s a tenth slower than a comparable Silverado Duramax we tested a few months back, but almost 2-seconds quicker than last year’s Ram Cummins.
With a low redline and 10 gears to play with, shifts are happening almost constantly; but they’re very discreet and almost imperceptible at times.
Our best time for the full ¼-mile was 15.1-seconds at 91 miles-per-hour.
Like most HDs, it’s quite a step up into the cabin, so it’s good to have the optional chrome step bar; but the view from this high seating position is almost as good as it gets...while the rear seat offers plenty of room for your crew, be they kids or just co-workers who act like them.
Tech upgrades include FordPass Connect with 4G connectivity, and Co-Pilot 360 safety features including Automatic Emergency Braking. There’s also wireless phone charging, and multiple USB ports of course.
You can still get a Regular Cab, as well as SuperCab, and this Crew Cab; with 6 or 8-foot bed lengths, spread over 5 wheelbases.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings aren’t required for Heavy Duty’s, but we averaged 16.5 miles-per-gallon of diesel, even with a little towing in the mix. That’s right on par with the 16.6 we averaged in the Duramax Silverado, but well short of the 19.7 we averaged in a Ram 2500 diesel.
Base F-250 pricing ranges from a Regular Cab XL at $35,730, to a jaw-dropping $85,825 for a Limited Crew Cab. Our 4X4 Lariat Crew Cab occupies the most typical middle ground at just under $65,000.
That is indeed a lot of money for a pickup truck, but the constant “one-ups-man-ship” that’s occurring in the Heavy Duty truck field has escalated prices just as rapidly as towing and payload numbers. And if there’s any vehicle segment that still boasts major brand loyalty, it’s this one. So, if you were already a blue oval fan, this 2020 Ford Super Duty, gives you more of everything you already love, with enough new to make upgrading worth your while. And, if your HD allegiances lie elsewhere, you’d still be smart to swing by your local Ford dealership to see what you’ve been missing.
Engine: 6.7 liter diesel
Torque: 1,050 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 6.7 seconds
1/4 mile: 15.1-seconds @ 91 mph