All those Super Duty owners must know something because the F-series has been the best-selling truck in America for 27 years and the best selling vehicle for 22 years. When the Power Stroke 6.0L turbodiesel was introduced in 2003, it wowed the truck market with 325 hp and 560 lb-ft of twist, but it didn't take long for the competition to upgrade their own diesels, giving the Ford a run for its money. We were anxious to see how the Ford would hold up to the tougher competition, so we ordered one up.
We couldn't get the more appropriate F-250 Super Duty Lariat crew cab from Ford for this test, so we took the mechanically identical Harley-Davidson edition. Depending on how you look at it, the Ford was either the most expensive vehicle in the test, or the second lowest by a lot. When equipped with the H-D package, our F-250 rung up the tab at a staggering $48,825, but an identical Lariat, sans the H-D package, would be more palatable at $45,730. However, if you want looks like we got looks, pay the extra for the Harley edition. Our truck was filled with features, including the reverse vehicle aid sensor, a power sliding rear window, and power pedals. The cavernous interior was comfortable, and the rear seat looked as if it had been pulled from a stretched Lincoln Town Car, offering enough room for three adults to sit with their legs crossed without touching. Our Super Duty sat tall and proud, and the captain chairs and seating position were more akin to piloting than driving. We were also surprised by how smooth the ride was, especially since it is suspended above the solid axles by archaic, yet rugged, leaves at all four corners.
On the road, the Super Duty impressed us with limited turbo lag, offering instantaneous response when we instigated the right pedal. The overall power of the Power Stroke, while no longer the strongest on the market, seemed to be more linear than either the Cummins or the Duramax. This was proven when we hitched up the trailer and the Ford was able to smoke the other two trucks at the top of the grade, maxing out at 82 mph, 7 mph faster than either of the competition. The TorqShift transmission was also tops, firing off firm quick shifts and holding the Ford to 55 mph without brakes during our downgrade testing. The Ford felt like it could tow all day at 70 mph, and felt the most stable, seeming to shrug off the fact that the trailer was even back there. The Ford's steering, which seemed slow around town, was perfectly weighted when the trailer was attached, and the giant extendable towing mirrors gave excellent visibility to the sides, creating almost no wind noise.