The Ford F-250 is a brawny, big-shouldered "super duty" pickup truck. All that grunt also comes in executive trim.
The tested F-250 Lariat is a management truck. It's too pretty on the inside to get it all dirty. But it's fine for supervising.
The M-250 boasts premium aluminum wheels, six-way power driver and passenger seats--captain's chairs, naturally. Additionally, the rear view mirror autmatically dims. The steering wheel is leather with audio and climate controls. Seats are leather trimmed and there's woodgrain accents.
Four-wheel drive gets helped with a two-speed manual transfer case. The tailgate has a step. Brake and gas pedals adjust fore and aft.
Carpets and mats are color coded, of course.
Frosting includes a navigation system with "audiophile system," and satellite radio. More? How about what is called "premium forged polished aluminum upfitter switches." Those are to control any additional equipment added by others.
The already wonderful side mirrors with their convex auxiliary reflectors get the trailer tow treatment. They power in and out.
Base price for the F-250 Lariat in Crew Cab or four big door configuration is $37,305. All those extras boost the price tag to $53,980.
Underneath all this Lariat luxury is a very serious truck.
•Engines: 5.3L V-8, 6.8L V-10, 6.4L V-8 turbo diesel
•Dimensions: 137-155.2" wheelbase, 226.4-261.8" length
•Base price: $37,305; $53,980 as tested
•Fuel economy: 13.1 mpg city (observed)
The instrument panel gauges spell that out. The instrumentation has a tachometer, a turbo boost indicator for the diesel, air filter minder, oil pressure, coolant temperature, transmission temperature and an engine hour meter. Add a trip computer as well.
Super Duty F-250s come as small as 226.4 inches on a 137-inch wheelbase and Crew Cabs that up the ante to 261.8 on a 155.2-inch wheelbase. The test vehicle was comparatively svelte at 246.2 inches long on a 156.2-inch wheelbase.
That calls for restraint on the road. The 6.4L V-8 turbo diesel of 325 horses gets to 60 mph in just over 10 seconds via a five-speed automatic transmission. But don't count on these big bruisers to flit through traffic. All that long wheelbase means huge turning circles. The four-wheel anti-lock brake system is welcome.
When you get to this class of pickups, there are no official fuel economy figures, but the F-250 has a 30.5-gallon tank that is not there for decoration. In traffic and unloaded, the test truck was well into double digits at 13.1 mpg.
Those huge side mirrors provide an outstanding view. The driving position is commanding and the center armrest will take your laptop computer. The steering is decently balanced but you don't throw the F-250 into curves with abandon. The ride, thanks to those massive wheelbases, is almost limousine-like.
The diesel is quiet, without the telltale diesel smell. As usual, a combination navigation screen and radio is unnecessarily complicated.
There's a running board and you need it. The rest of the F-250's exterior is all muscle from the massive chromed grille to the straight powerful body lines.
The F-250 Lariat combines a sturdy work truck with an executive suite interior.