Earlier this year, Ford sent me a new (2021) F-250 pickup with the also-new 7.3-liter monster motor to test drive. This week, I have the same basic truck again — but this time, it’s a 2022 equipped with the 6.7-liter monster torque motor.
Call it the Battle of the Super Duties!
What It Is
The F-250 is Ford’s three-quarter-ton (2500 series) pickup truck, one notch up in capability from the half-ton (1500 series) F-150. The two look similar because the current half-ton F-truck emulates the Super Duty appearance of the F250, including the tall bed walls and such that used to be specific, and exclusive to, the latter.
But looks only pull so much.
If you need to pull at least 15,000 pounds then you’ll probably want the F-250, which can pull as much as 22,800 pounds via gooseneck, if equipped with the monster torque (1,050 ft.-lbs of it) 6.7-liter turbo-diesel Power Stroke V8.
Prices for the F-250 start at $35,200 for the base XL trim regular cab with 2WD and an 8.2-foot bed. This one comes standard with a 6.2-liter V8 that makes 385 horsepower; that isn’t available in the half-ton F150.
Two other V8s are available, optionally.
The first is a gas 7.3-liter V8.
Opting for this engine adds $2,045 to the price.
The second is physically smaller but also much bigger.
This one being the 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel that makes more than twice the torque of the 7.3 liter gas V8.
And 475 horsepower.
A 12-inch LCD touch screen is available with Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum trims.
Even the standard engine is still a V8.
Optional V8s are available in every trim/bed/cab combo.
About the same length and width as a same-configuration half-ton F-150 but much more capable.
What’s Not So Good
Like the F-150, the F-250 has an aluminum body that’s lighter than steel but easier to dent — and harder to fix.
No manual transmission available with any of the V8s.
Both the F-150 and F-250’s ride height and bed walls are so high that it’s not easy to reach into the bed.
Under The Hood
One of the chief draws of current 2500 series trucks like the F-250 is that these are the last trucks on the market that still come standard with V8 engines.
The F250’s standard V8 is 6.2 liters and makes 385 horsepower and 430 ft.-lbs. of torque.
The F-250’s optional engine is a 7.3-liter V8 that makes 430 horsepower and 475 ft.-lbs. of torque at 4,000 RPM.
There’s one more engine to consider. It’s the F-250’s strongest engine, though not its largest engine.
It’s a 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 that makes 475 horsepower and a copy-editor-checking 1,050 ft.-lbs. of torque at 1,600 RPM.
On The Road
Floor it and the 6.7-liter Power Stroke doesn’t rev — much.
It’s a diesel, of course. Redline is around 4,000 RPM vs. over 6,000 for the V8. But you don’t need to rev when you’re making 1,000-plus ft.-lbs. of torque at fast idle — and more horsepower than the gas V8 makes however much it revs.
The diesel endows the F-250 with explosive acceleration — just over 7 seconds to 60 mph being pretty impressively explosive for anything weighing almost 7,000 pounds without a driver behind the wheel — without afterburners. It simply bullies its way forward, and down the road, like a 320-pound linebacker sacking a quarterback.
An F-250 with the 7.3 monster motor is close behind but makes more of an issue of it. More revs and, interestingly, more noise. The diesel is remarkably quiet.
The gas engine, having to rev, is louder under full throttle.
It also can’t go as far. The diesel’s range on a full tank is around 600 highway miles — about 150 miles farther than the gas-engined truck can go before it has to stop.
At The Curb
No matter which big V8 you end up with, you will end up with a big truck. More precisely, a tall truck.
An F-250 regular cab is only marginally longer (231.8 inches) than an F-150 regular cab (227.7 inches) and both are just as wide (105.9 inches, with the oversized extending side mirrors), which means they both need every inch of road on either side.
The tested Tremor model seems even bigger because it is even taller. It stands on 35-inch knobbies and has a factory lift kit that ought to include an oxygen feed.
On the one hand, this thing has so much clearance (and capability) it could probably crawl over Mount Rushmore. On the other hand, it is so big it is constrained by the amount of room available off-road, which is often not much. In terms of tenacity, this thing is the peer of Wrangler Rubicons (and new Broncos).
But its bigness imposes limits.
The F-250 has straightforward manual/hand controls for most major functions. including the four-wheel-drive settings, as well as an analog gauge cluster. You can even still roll down the windows manually, if you prefer.
But it is also a luxurious truck, which can be outfitted with a Bang & Olufsen ultra-premium audio rig and rides like a jacked-up Cadillac.
The Bottom Line
You want a standard V8? More V8? A truck like the F-250 has both.
And then some.
View the Ford F-250 this week.
Eric’s latest book, “Doomed: Good Cars Gone Wrong!” will be available soon. To find out more about Eric and read his past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
View the Ford F-250 this week.