Ford F-250 Gas
There is great excitement in the Ford camp for the new 6.2L engine available in the Super Duty, but equally important is the transmission.
Both gas and diesel Fords share the same six-speed automatic, and both benefited from the short first gear to get their bulk up and moving. The Ford's 6.2L engine, with its all-new design and massive heads, has more power than ever, but it also had more weight to haul around. As we were somewhat used to 5.4L Super Duties, the 6.2L was a welcome burst of power and had us tossing the big Ford around like it was a much smaller truck. This is definitely the gas engine the Super Duty has been waiting for. Since all four trucks had different driving routines over the course of commuting and heading to photo locations, we weren't able to get firm fuel economy numbers, but both gas-powered trucks returned low teens in MPG when hammered on. One unnerving moment during the testing was watching the 6.2L Ford's tachometer climb to 6,000 rpm and then feeling extreme harmonics as it seemed the Ford was ready to scatter engine parts on the freeway. Thankfully, it stayed together.
The solid front axle-equipped 4WD Fords provided a smooth and comfortable ride and it was just as easily maneuverable as the GMCs equipped with IFS. Even though the Ford's wheelbase was longer, two of our drivers swore that the Fords were more nimble in tight turns. If going off-road is a common occurrence for you, the Super Duty's solid front axle is a great choice. Both of our high-end diesel's interiors looked much better than their mainstream counterparts, as the gasoline-powered trucks featured interiors that were rather boring and monotone. We can't really fault them though, as they got the job done, and for a work truck that's really all you can ask for. We mentioned the Ford's vast interior, but the flip side of that extra space is the dash is a long reach away, even for taller drivers. In the higher trim levels this is less of an issue, as steering wheel controls and voice activation eliminate the need to remove your hands from the wheel, but it was annoying as a new driver not fully adept at SYNC, where we often had to lean forward out of our driving position to reach the dash controls.
2011 Ford F-250 XLT 4WD
It was the one that...proves Ford is tired of losing the performance battle
Down to business:
385 hp @ 5,400 rpm
405 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
Six-speed automatic transmission
MSRP, including destination: $46,370
5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty
30-60 mph tow test: 22.38 seconds