If you’re thinking about purchasing a Ford F-250 Super Duty, you might want to check out the reviews first. But this isn’t something new or unexpected, given complaints concerning previous Ford F-250 model years. For example, the 2011 Ford F-250 had “The “Death Wobble,” a dangerous vibration occurring at the front end of a vehicle.
Compared to the 2019 model, the 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty still scores quite low. It only received one out of five points for fuel economy, braking, routine handling, and emergency handling.
Ford F-250 background
The history of the Super Duty truck family was born in 1958 when Ford introduced its Super Duty V8 engine lineup. The V8 engines were built expressly for large trucks and were the largest-block V8 engines ever manufactured by Ford. The 401, 477, and 534 cubic-inch V8s became the most powerful gasoline V8s mass-produced globally. Ford rebranded the F-7 and F-8 “Big Job” as the “Super Duty” to showcase the launch of the Super Duty V8 engines.
First introduced in 1998, the F-250 Super Duty features a heavier-duty chassis and suspension than the F-150. This robust chassis design allows for higher towing and payload capacities, and makes the truck more rugged. The F-250 has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of over 8,500 pounds (3.86 tons), making it a class two and three truck. Cab chassis F-250s are class 4 and 5 trucks. Additionally, the Ford Excursion full-size SUV uses the same chassis as the Ford F-250.
The Ford F-250 is one of the ‘clumsiest’ vehicles tested
That’s how the test drivers for Consumer Reports felt about the Ford F-250. Overall, CR gives the Ford F-250 a measly 48 rating. In comparison, the 2020 Toyota Tundra and 2020 Nissan Titan received an overall rating of 62 and 58, respectively.
According to CR, the monstrous F-250 does great when driven in a straight line but corners terribly. With a “laughably” huge turning circle, it might feel to some that the Ford F-250 is averse to turning. Due to its low and vague steering, you may want to use a steering wheel knob to prevent excessive arm twirling.
Under-responsive steering might be a good thing since it results in less body roll. Despite slow steering, it managed crash avoidance maneuvers at around 47 miles per hour (ca. 76 kilometers per hour). A significant reason for the F-250’s poor cornering lies in its low front-end grip. Adding to that, the F-250’s braking performance takes some getting used to since its stopping distance is very long. Brake modulation proved tricky for test drivers when they attempted to brake suddenly.
While its huge V8 heavy-duty diesel-powered engine is quieter than most other diesel engines of its size, it’s a rough ride. However, even with the F-250’s stiffer 4X4 suspension, it yields a lot more than its competitors.
The 2020 Ford F-250 received decent safety test scores
Next to the Ford F-150, the F-250 is one of the most popular pickup trucks in the United States. It’s capable of towing up to 15,000 pounds (ca. 7 ton) and toting an additional 3,270 pounds (1.48 tons) in its rear bed. This is the heavy-duty pickup you would buy if you needed something short of a semi-truck. And with a roughly $83,000 price tag for the F-250 Limited—without additional equipment—you’re halfway there cost-wise.
The Ford F-250 scored decently in a few safety tests according to Consumer Reports. One of its most significant shortcomings is braking and cornering. But shouldn’t we expect this from heavy-duty trucks like this? After all, some say it’s similar to driving a smaller version of a semi-truck.
Relative to their size, pickup trucks like the F-250 handle a lot worse than semi-trucks. For example, it took the F-250 155 feet (ca. 47 meters) to come to a complete stop from 60 miles per hour (ca. 97 kilometers per hour)—without a trailer. Semi-trucks with fully loaded trailers and a GVWR of 59,600 pounds (ca. 27 ton) or more are expected to stop within 250 feet. So, technically speaking, the Ford F-250 offers far less impressive braking than a semi-truck with nearly four times the GVWR.
If you’re considering purchasing a heavy-duty pickup, the 2020 Ram Heavy Duty lineup is Motor Trend’s 2020 Truck of the Year. If you’re a die-hard Ford person, then the Ford F-250 is still the most powerful and rugged.