Ford F250: Tow Test
The F-250 sets a high standard for performance and towing, but how does it behave offroad? We hit the beach to find out.
The mighty F-truck is an imposing 4WD pick-up. A big chrome grille ahead of a hustling 6.7L V8 and six metres of little truck. It has a big cargo tray and a four-door cabin with room for five adults, and a chassis that will handle 7.6-tonne of gooseneck trailer or 4.5-tonne of conventional towing. Yet for all this high and mightiness, the Ford Super Duty F-250 is an easy and comfortable drive through the ’burbs, bush or beach.
CABIN AND ACCOMMODATION
There are power seats and powered adjustments for the pedals. Even the door mirror arms can be extended at the touch of a button for better towing views and the middle piece of the back window can be opened for access to that huge cargo tray.
At the centre of the dash sits a 20cm touchscreen to work audio, climate control or Ford’s voice-activated SYNC system for Bluetooth. There’s also Ford’s MyKey system which allows ignition keys to be programmed to limit maximum speed.
There’s the foot-operated emergency brake and a column shifter for the auto gearbox which provides extra room for the driver’s elbow.
If the cabin is impressive, wait until you fire up the ready-to-rumble diesel V8. With these 2015 model Super Duty Fords pumping out 328kW of power at 2800rpm, plus a mountain-shifting 1166Nm of torque at 1600rpm, from the turbocharged 6.7L, there’s little delay in getting off the line, through the traffic or down the beach.
The six-speed automatic ’box is well-matched to the Power Stroke V8. Left in Drive, it’s a slick and very responsive combination. There’s also a Manual mode to hold a gear plus an exhaust brake switch on the end of the selector.
With that commanding driving position and good ergonomics, plus plenty of power delivered smoothly, the Ford’s cabin and powertrain help dispel any concerns about this being a "big" unit to push around the town or down a country road.
Helping disguise the mass is a welter of driver aids — roll stability control, trailer sway control, hill start assist, hill descent control, integrated trailer brake control, stability control and ABS. And Performax Fords all arrive with the factory’s FX offroad package, including Rancho shock absorbers, which help firm the front-end more toward Australian tastes.
Ford’s FX offroad package on this Lariat includes those Rancho shocks, auto-locking rear differential and skid plates — all handy gear for these Australian-bound F-250s. So, not much troubled the Ford on the beach.
The LT275/65 20in Michelins were dropped from a road-going, load-carrying 60psi to 25psi and four-high was selected for a short run over soft sand to a hard-packed beach. There were no issues until a call for some extra photo opportunities back in the softer sands. Here it did the job but there was a touch of struggle; a dopey driver had forgotten that traction control was still switched on and it took a good look around before the on/off button was found over on the left-hand side of the dashboard.
THE WRAP UP
The Ford Super Duty F-250 is a big and expensive truck. But, as usual, you get what you pay for. In this case that’s a full-sized ute with a full-sized drivetrain capable of hauling big loads and five adults in comfort over bush tracks and beach.
Check out the full feature in issue #86 March 2015 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.