F-250 Super Duty Performance

Monday June 29, 2020

Moving this much truck around is no easy task, so Ford has obliged by offering a choice of powertrains that are all up for the challenge. The base 6.2-liter V8 engine is a solid worker but the new 7.3-liter V8 with 430 horsepower is a better choice for tough jobs and feels really strong when it isn't towing anything too heavy. Dwarfing them both is the 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 which offers 475 hp and a phenomenal 1,050 lb-ft of torque.

It's not only stronger than the gas engines but more effortless too. While rear-wheel-drive is standard on most trims, all versions can be specified with a 4x4 drivetrain. It goes without saying that the diesel is a towing beast. When equipped with a fifth-wheel/gooseneck, it can tow up to 22,800 pounds, which is better than what the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD can manage.

Engine and Transmission

The base engine is the trusty 6.2-liter V8 with outputs of 385 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. It's paired exclusively with a six-speed TorqShift heavy-duty automatic transmission. This smaller V8 performs well in general use, but for more grunt, most will want to upgrade to the new 7.3-liter V8 (nicknamed Godzilla) which produces 430 hp and 475 lb-ft. It is also mated to a superior 10-speed automatic transmission. The big daddy of the powertrain range is the 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8 that generates 475 hp and 1,050 lb-ft. It's easily the best choice for both general use and towing when its vastly superior torque output makes it feel a lot less stressed than either of the gas V8s.

We had a chance to sample the two top engines at a first drive event for the Super Duty and came away more impressed with the intoxicating torque and smoothness of the Power Stroke diesel engine. That being said, the diesel costs around five times as much as an option and not everyone requires the capability it brings. Our tester was equipped with the mid-level Godzilla V8 and after living it for a week, we realized we'd forgotten how great it is. With segment-leading power and torque for a gasoline engine, the massive V8 pulls smoothly and effortlessly, barely alerting occupants of the monster living under the hood. With 10 gears to choose from, Godzilla mostly stalks around quietly through traffic staying below 2,000 rpm but when you bury your right foot, it roars with the gusto of a true city-wrecker. Just the slightest tap of the throttle is enough to pass traffic and destroy worlds.

  • Engines
    6.2-liter V8 Gas, 6.7-liter Turbo V8 Diesel
  • Transmissions
    10-Speed Automatic, 6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The F-250 excels with regards to towing and hauling. Our tester, as configured, boasted a 14,700-pound towing capacity, which we barely scratched the surface of by attaching a trailer with a car. Even with around 5,000 pounds of metal attached to the hitch, the F-250 barely noticed that anything was behind it. A drawback to all of this capability comes the moment you drive the truck over anything but perfect pavement. The solid rear axle and rear leaf spring suspensions pogos around over uneven surfaces and the effect is amplified when there's nothing in the bed. Half-ton trucks have become remarkably comfortable in recent years but full-ton models like the F-250 still deservingly carry their reputations for bumpiness.

To the F-250's credit, it does drive along pretty quietly even at highway speeds. Road and wind noise are minimal and the 7.3-liter V8 is nearly silent when you aren't pressing hard on the throttle. The hydraulic power steering feels heavier than what you'll find in the half-ton segment but an optional adaptive steering system changes ratios at lower speeds, making it a bit easier to maneuver the F-250 around parking lots. The F-250 certainly feels its size when going around bends but it doesn't ever feel unstable, even at highway speeds.

F-250 Super Duty Gas Mileage

The EPA doesn't provide official ratings for trucks as large and heavy as the F-250, but don't expect any miracles at the pumps. According to real-world economy figures this year, the F-250 range will return a combined consumption figure of about 14 mpg. However, some owners of the 7.3L V8 have recorded figures varying between 10.6 mpg and 15.2 mpg. We recorded an average of 11 mpg during the week with as much as 14.6 mpg on the highway. The diesel is more economical, with some owners reporting average consumption of almost 17 mpg. Assuming an average of 14 mpg, a maximum range of 672 miles should be possible from models fitted with the largest 48-gallon gas tank (Crew Cab LWB). Other models have either a 34-gallon or 29-gallon tank.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    34.0 Gallons
* 2020 Ford F-250 XL 2WDRegular Cab 8' Box

F-250 Super Duty Interior

The F-250's cabin has seen very few changes this year. It's still logically designed and built with durable materials, but Ram's latest trucks have the edge for quality and luxury. As expected of a vehicle this size, there is more than enough space for all occupants, especially in the back of the Crew Cab. The base XL has manual, single-zone air conditioning, the SYNC infotainment system with a 4.2-inch LCD screen, trailer sway control, and a rearview camera, but otherwise comes with few luxuries. Higher up in the range, cloth seats make way for full leather upholstery, and the top trims offer features like power-adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel, a remote start system, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system.

Seating and Interior Space

Regular Cab variants of the F-250 can seat up to three passengers with the optional bench seat. SuperCab and Crew Cab models can seat up to six passengers with the bench seat or five with the optional center console. Front legroom and headroom is excellent for all three configurations with 40.8 and 43.9 inches respectively but rear legroom only totals 33.5 inches on the SuperCab compared with a spacious 43.6 inches in the Crew Cab. Both four-door configurations offer just over 40 inches of rear headroom.

  • Seating capacity
    3-seater
  • Front Leg Room 43.9 in
  • Front Head Room 40.8 in

Interior Colors and Materials

From basic and functional to outright luxurious, the F-250's cabin provides something for everyone. On the base XL, heavy-duty vinyl upholstery in Medium Earth Gray is the order of the day. However, cloth upholstery in the same color is also offered at an additional cost. Moving up to the XLT introduces standard cloth upholstery in either Medium Earth Gray or Medium Light Caramel. However, the XLT sticks with the cheaper-feeling urethane-covered steering wheel of the base model. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather seats are standard from the mid-range Lariat and up. Selected trims have unique color schemes, such as the King Ranch with its Kingsville Antique Affect leather-trimmed seats. The range-topping Limited enjoys two-tone Highland Tan leather seats, which gives it a more upscale look.

F-250 Super Duty Trunk and Cargo Space

While the F-250's sheer size may not be your best friend when parking, it certainly has its benefits when it comes to hauling cargo. The smaller six-and-three-quarter-foot box offers 65.4 cubic feet of volume, improving to 78.5 cubes if you go for a variant with the bigger eight-foot box. That said, the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD does offer a few extra cubes with its two bed sizes, but there isn't much in it. The maximum payload varies considerably between 3,040 pounds for the Crew Cab 4x4 with the bigger box to 4,260 lbs for the Regular Cab 4x2. LED box lighting and a remote tailgate release are fitted to pricier trims in the range.

Interior storage space also differs according to body style, with the five-seater versions getting a massive center console and the six-seater versions a smaller center storage compartment. The Super Cab and Crew Cab variants offer useful under-seat storage at the back and there are front/rear cupholders. The XLT's 40/20/40 split-folding front seat also has under-seat storage. On Super Cab and Crew Cab variants, the 60/40-split rear seats either fold or flip up to open up additional storage space.

F-250 Super Duty Infotainment and Features

Features

On the base XL, standard equipment includes manual, single-zone air conditioning, a 2.3-inch productivity screen in the instrument cluster, a rearview camera, automatic high-beam headlamps, a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, and a tilt/telescoping steering column. Moving up to the XLT adds cruise control, power door and tailgate locks, blind spot monitoring, pre-collision assist, and lane-keeping alert. Higher up in the range, the F-250 gains a number of features that make it better suited to serving duty as a leisure truck, such as power-adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel, a power-adjustable tilt/telescoping steering column, reversing parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, and power-folding side mirrors. Most trims have blind spot monitoring, lane-keeping alert, and pre-collision assist.

Infotainment

A basic 4.2-inch LCD screen handles simple radio functions but higher trims gain access to Ford's Sync3 infotainment system with an eight-inch touchscreen. The screen looks tiny next to newer screens like the 12-incher found in the Ram but it is still responsive and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. Voice-activated navigation comes as part of the Lariat Ultimate Package while a 10-speaker B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen comes standard on this trim level. This upgraded stereo sounds pretty great but we've heard better from Ram's Harman Kardon system.

F-250 Super Duty Problems and Reliability

Certain 2019 and 2020 F-250 trucks were recalled for reduced seat back strength on the passenger-front side, which may not adequately restrain an occupant in the event of an accident. Last year, J.D. Power rated the F-250 at 82 out of a possible 100, which is good but just behind rivals like the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

Ford covers the F-250 range with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. For the diesel, the powertrain warranty extends to 100,000 miles. Corrosion perforation protection is for five years regardless of mileage covered, while roadside assistance is for five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 YearsUnlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years60,000 Miles

F-250 Super Duty Safety

The F-250 hasn't been fully tested by the NHTSA, however, the Regular Cab does have an overall four-star safety rating from the agency. The Crew Cab has no overall rating but achieved a five-star score for the frontal crash test and a three-star rating for the rollover test. The IIHS has not yet tested the F-250, although the smaller F-150 did achieve Good scores for all the crashworthiness tests.

Key Safety Features

For access to the majority of Ford's driver-assist technologies, you'll have to skip the base XL. However, the entry-level trim does at least have a rearview camera with dynamic hitch assist, trailer sway control, hill start assist, roll stability control, tire pressure monitoring, and four airbags. Moving up to the XLT introduces several driver aids under Ford's Co-Pilot360 suite, including blind spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping alert with a driver alert system, and pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking. The Lariat adds a reverse sensing system on top of this, while the King Ranch gets rain-sensing windshield wipers along with the ultimate trailer tow camera system, including a 360-degree camera. The top two trims have adaptive steering and adaptive cruise control. However, most features on the upper trims can be equipped to the lower trims too.

Verdict: Is the 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty a good Truck?

Truck buyers are especially loyal so it takes a lot to convince someone to jump brands. GM and Ram each have newer trucks on the market but Ford's latest facelift to the Super Duty lineup still keeps it a compelling option. The new engines are easily the best new addition and are currently our favorite options in this segment. Ford's 7.3-liter Godzilla V8 is a powerhouse and the PowerStroke diesel has enough torque to move continents. The new Tremor Off-Road Package is also a compelling option for heavy-duty truck buyers who like to get muddy.

We expect an all-new Super Duty to arrive soon after the next-generation F-150, boasting a completely new exterior, improved interior, and these new and wonderful engines under the hood. Even with just a facelift, the F-250 is still one of the best heavy-duty trucks on the market and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. The Lariat trim level Ford sent us seems like an excellent middle ground for buyers who want more luxury but don't need the expensive opulence of the King Ranch, Platinum, or Limited.

What's the Price of the 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty?

The most affordable Ford F-250 Super Duty is the XL, which starts at $33,705. One step above this is the XLT at $38,485. The Lariat takes a big jump up in price to $46,600, however, moves up to the SuperCab body style. After that is the King Ranch at $59,000, the Platinum at $65,895, and finally, the Limited at a jaw-dropping $83,600 - all three available exclusively in Crew Cab format. All of these prices represent each trim in its cheapest form and excludes taxes, licensing, registration, and a destination charge of $1,695.

Once you've selected your trim, there are many more decisions to be made in terms of body style, box size, and powertrain. These all carry their own costs. For instance, on the XL Regular Cab, upgrading to the 7.3L V8 will cost $2,045, whereas going for the 6.7L diesel adds $10,495 to the base price. Sticking with this trim, going from 4x2 to 4x4 costs an additional $2,790. On the mid-range Lariat Crew Cab, the engine upgrades cost the same, but the 4x4 drivetrain is a pricier $3,185 upgrade. At the other end of the price spectrum, it's all too easy to specify a few options on the Limited trim and send the price beyond $90,000.

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty Models

The Ford F-250 Super Duty is offered in six different trims: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited. A choice of two V8 gas engines - a 6.2L and a new 7.3L - and one 6.7L turbodiesel powers the range. A six-speed automatic transmission is combined with the smaller V8, while the other two engines use a 10-speed automatic. 4x2 is standard on every trim beside the top two trims, which are equipped with 4x4 drivetrains as standard.

The XL starts things off and is the worker of the range. As standard, it has 17-inch steel wheels, auto on/off headlamps, single-zone manual air conditioning, heavy-duty vinyl upholstery, a 2.3-inch LCD productivity screen, four airbags, a rearview camera, and a 4G/LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

Moving up to the XLT adds a chrome grille and bumpers, along with 18-inch alloy wheels for a more premium appearance. This trim also gains cloth-upholstered seats, power door and tailgate locks, and driver aids like blind spot monitoring, lane-keeping alert, and pre-collision assist.

Unlike the lower two trims, the Lariat is the first not to be compatible with the Regular Cab. In front, the seats gain leather upholstery and feature individual bucket chairs with a center console. A reverse sensing system, dual-zone climate control, and a 10-speaker audio system are added.

The King Ranch has a distinctive look and feel with a unique grille, lower accent Stone Gray paint, and Kingsville King Ranch leather seats. A heated steering wheel, wireless charging, and a 360-degree camera are added as well.

The Platinum features a 4x4 drivetrain by default. It has 20-inch alloy wheels, heated/ventilated front seats, and adaptive cruise control.

Finally, the fully-loaded Limited is fitted with both 4x4 and the powerful 6.7L diesel as standard. It has unique two-tone leather seats and satin chrome exterior trim but is otherwise similarly specified to the Platinum.

See All 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Ford offers bespoke packages for each trim, and naturally, the higher-spec models have fewer available options. On the barebones XL Regular Cab, the $915 Power Equipment Group adds power locks, a power tailgate lock, and power windows, among other items. For $1,825, the STX Appearance Package does away with the basic exterior and adds a bright chrome grille, chrome bumpers, and alloy wheels. The High-Capacity Trailer Tow Package requires the diesel engine first and then adds $1,130 to the base price.

Progressing through the range, the Lariat Super Cab can be equipped with the FX4 Off-Road Package for $400, including hill descent control and uniquely tuned shock absorbers. However, this requires upgrading from 4x2 to 4x4 for a total price increase of $4,240. At $1,600, the Ultimate Trailer Tow Camera System with Pro Trailer Backup Assist adds a 360-degree camera, trailer reverse guidance, and more. The $710 Lariat Value Package adds LED box lighting, easy entry/exit with a memory driver's seat feature, remote start, and power-adjustable pedals.

The new Tremor Off-Road Package requires the 4x4 drivetrain and either the 7.3L V8 or 6.7L V8 diesel engine. As it isn't compatible with the eight-inch box, this rules out the Regular Cab. On the King Ranch 4x4 with the diesel, this package costs $3,975 and includes 35-inch off-road tires, a rear electronic locking differential, and performance shock absorbers amongst others.

A myriad of standalone options is available, too. For instance, on the King Ranch Crew Cab, you can add an adaptive steering system for $1,000, a power moonroof for $1,495, adaptive cruise control with brake support and collision warning for $740, and heated rear seats for $300.