It's always a good time when we get to introduce a new long-term test vehicle. For the next 12 months we'll be taking a look at the good, the bad, and everything in between of our 2020 Pickup Truck of the Year award winning Ford F-250 Super Duty. With its immense capability, fantastic drivetrain, and extravagant comfort, it's no wonder the 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty bested the field and claimed the title. It was a hard-fought battle over the course of a week that won Ford the trophy; now it's time to see how our winner holds up in the real world.
To get the elephant out of the room early, this isn't your grandpa's farm truck. With a sticker price of $89,155 this 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty might be a tough pill to swallow for most. But when you look at all of the features the truck brings to the table it becomes clear why the price tag rivals that of a German luxury sedan. Starting under the hood, the truck's third-generation 6.7L Power Stroke diesel V-8 churns out a class-leading 475 hp and 1,050 lb-ft of torque. In testing we were able to push the 7,758-pound truck from zero to 60 mph in just 7.49 seconds. It also ran through the quarter-mile in 15.92 seconds at 94.10 mph. The truck is also capable of towing up to 19,100 pounds and hauling a payload of 3,370 pounds (the numbers for our Limited model are slightly lower because of content, but more on that in the next report).
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Turning inside, the truck features supple leather seating with heated, cooled, and massaging fronts and soft touch panels everywhere possible. Even the steering wheel is leather wrapped and heated. A large twin-panel moonroof is standard on the Limited model, as is the impressive Bang & Olufsen audio system. For driver convenience and assistance, the truck features adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring with trailer detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and a whole load of different camera views. Really, the list of features is too long for just one report.
Getting back to what we're really here for, let's take a look at how the truck has been to live with for the past four months. First off, when we ordered the truck we asked if Ford could put a few miles on it before sending it out west. The goal was to get some of the initial break-in miles handled before we started our testing. Because of this, the truck arrived to us with 2,156 miles already on the odometer. Since arrival, we've logged 5,268 miles and averaged an impressive 16.22 mpg over the course. As you may have inferred from that economy number, we haven't yet towed or hauled anything truly heavy.
We have, however, taken several extended road trips, and this truck is one of the best road trip machines we've driven in a long time. Aside from being immensely comfortable, it's also amazingly quiet. Thanks to the use of copious sound deadening technology, including acoustic glass, the cabin is the quietest we've ever encountered in an HD diesel pickup. It's tough to even recognize that the truck is powered by a diesel engine in most cases.
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The comfort of the front driver and passenger seats has been noted as amazing by all who have driven the truck. Most also love the Multicontour massage feature, especially when paired with the heating function. Our long-haul road trippers also noted that the available onboard 4G Wi-Fi hotspot was a lifesaver while working from the road. And with a fuel range of more than 500 miles, the truck can far outrun our bladders while on the road.
Over the course of this first quarter we've had relatively few complaints. The truck has also had no unscheduled dealer visits, warranty, or recall issues to address. With a 10,000-mile oil change interval we're nearing the truck's first scheduled service, however we're not quite there yet. Being a modern diesel, the truck also requires the use of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). For 2020, Ford increased the size of the DEF storage tank to 7.5 gallons, allowing for a theoretical range that would match oil change intervals. In real life it's looking like we'll run the DEF tank dry at around 8,000 miles.
Since our first time driving the 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty we've been thoroughly impressed with the performance of the new 10-speed automatic transmission. However, the only quibble we've encountered thus far involves the transmission. While relatively infrequent, we've noticed hard shifting into tenth gear, along with downshifting from fifth to third gear. We'll have the dealer give it a once-over when the truck goes in for its oil change, but we're not overly concerned about it at this point.
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So far, we continue to be impressed with the performance of the Truck Trend Pickup Truck of the Year award winning 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty. It's quiet, comfortable, and capable. And while it may not be the off-road maverick we're used to testing, it sure gets its fair share of compliments and thumbs-up wherever we go. For the next report we've lined up a fifth-wheel hitch from Curt Manufacturing and will be putting the truck to work, so stay tuned.
Report: 1 of 6
Previous reports: N/A
Base price: $83,930
Price as tested: $89,155
Miles to date: 7,424.6
Miles since last report: 5,267.9
Average mpg (this report): 16.22
Test best tank (mpg): 19.70
Test worst tank (mpg): 14.33
This period: None
Problem areas: None
What's Hot, What's Not
Hot: 1,050 lb-ft of torque, decent fuel economy, massaging front seats
Not: Hard shifting at times, driver seat memory is wonky, Sync 3 feels dated
"What on earth is going on with the driver seat memory? It's trying to kill me!"
"The downshift from fifth gear to third gear can be quite rough. "
"Holy cow, the massaging Multicontour front seats are amazing!"
"I've been getting a pretty steady stream of compliments and thumbs-up, the last one was while cruising on the freeway. "
"Dang! Burned my arm on the Limited emblem on the arm rest again."
Options as Tested
Rapid Red paint ($395), 3.31:1 electronic locking axle ($390), all-weather floor mats ($135), FX4 Off-Road package ($400), stowable loading ramps ($695), fifth-wheel hitch prep package ($500), roof clearance lights ($95), wheelwell liners ($325), delivery and destination ($1,695)