If you need a strong truck for big towing jobs, a heavy-duty model is definitely the way to go. The Ford F-250 is a beefier version of the F-150, one of the most popular pickup trucks in the United States. The F-250 can tow up to 15,000 pounds with the right equipment.
It can also tote an additional 3,270 pounds in the truck bed. However, one downside to owning an F-250 is that it doesn’t have many advanced safety features. Ford’s post-crash alert system and trailer sway control are standard, but you’ll have to pay extra for cruise control or blind-spot monitors. The F-250 also got the worst score on one crucial safety test conducted by Consumer Reports.
The Ford F-250 has terrible braking power
Certain versions of the Ford F-250 Lariat scored the worst in CR’s brake test. The Lariat is a middle-ground trim that comes with a few more desirable features than the standard truck. The Lariat comes with standard forward-collision warning, PowerScope mirrors, and the BoxLink cargo management system. You can also get the Lariat Ultimate Package, which includes heated seats, LED bedlights, and a remote tailgate release function.
An upgraded diesel engine is also available, which is capable of 475 hp and a whopping 1,050 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately, trucks with this engine have the worst stopping power. To get to a complete stop from 60 mph, F-250 Lariat models with diesel engines required 155 feet. This is almost 50 feet more than the vehicle which scored the next highest, Chevrolet’s Corvette Stingray.
Road test problems
Consumer Reports also had some complaints with the Ford F-250 during its road test. Testers found that its handling was too difficult to master. The truck’s long body made turning a big hassle. CR also didn’t like the big climb required just to get inside the cabin.
Once inside, they found that the truck’s suspension was little jumpy, especially with nothing in the cargo box. Still, CR was impressed with the truck’s towing power and its ability to tackle steep hills with no issue. They also liked the power delivery of the diesel engine but noted that it was a little louder compared to the standard V8.
Worst avoidance maneuver
Another important test performed by Consumer Reports was the avoidance maneuver scenario. This test determines how fast a car can swerve to the opposite lane and back again to avoid a sudden obstacle. The faster the car can go, the better.
Because of their large masses, heavy-duty trucks often don’t perform well in these scenarios. The Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LTZ, another excellent choice for big tow jobs, got the lowest score of 43.5 mph. The Ram 2500 also made it on to the “Worst” list, with a speed of 45 mph. The F-250 managed to beat both of its rivals in the maneuvering scenario at a speed of 47 mph.
The Silverado 2500HD also doesn’t have the best braking power. In a test performed by MotorTrend, it needed 134 feet to decelerate from 60-0. The testers also noted that the brakes were a little too mushy for their liking.
Are these trucks still safe to drive?
While these trucks could have performed better in CR’s tests, both received better scores from the NHTSA. The 2019 Ford F-250 received an overall safety rating of five stars. The Silverado 2500HD got a lower rating of four stars.
The 2020 Ford F-250’s reliability score is also on the rise, up by one point from last year’s model. Chevy’s Silverado 2500 also has a few unique available safety features like the multi-view camera with a “see-through” trailer angle. In the event of an emergency, you’ll most likely be safe behind the wheel of these trucks.