Exclusive Content
Original Shows, Motorsports and Live Events
Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
  • |
  • |
  • Off-Roading and Towing With Our $90,000 Ford Super Duty

Off-Roading and Towing With Our $90,000 Ford Super Duty

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty Limited: Long-Term Report 2 of 6

Dec 28, 2020
When we last left off, we had introduced our new, 2020 Pickup Truck of the Year award-winning long-term 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty Limited. The truck sports a 6.7L Power Stroke diesel engine with 1,050 lb-ft of torque and 445 hp and a 10-speed TorqShift automatic transmission. And the truck arrived to us in top-of-the-line Limited trim with an $89,000 price tag. In that first report we logged just over 5,000 miles and had zero issues with the truck. We're glad to report that for the second installment period we've had largely the same result. With more than 12,000 miles on the odometer we've had zero issues.
For the first report we spend the majority of our time cruising the highways of the western United States. Since then, we've diversified our driving by both hitching up and towing a variety of trailers and heading out into the dirt for some off-roading. Let's dig in and take a look at how the luxury truck wheels.
You can excuse us for our hesitation at first to head too far into the wild with our long-term 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty. While the new Super Duty Tremor is designed for such adventures, our Limited trim is far better suited to comfortably cruising the highways. Nonetheless, the truck came to us with four-wheel drive, a selectable electronic locking rear differential, and hill descent control. Large 20-inch wheels means there's not a lot of sidewall to work with, despite the all-terrain tires. And the extra low front air dam takes extra care so you don't forcibly remove it while wandering the hills and rocks.
Despite all of these things working against it, the Limited Super Duty held its own on some of our tougher (by factory vehicle standards) testing hills. Traction was great, and when the road got soft the rear locker could easily be engaged by simply pulling out on the four-wheel drive selection knob. We had to take care to not damage the fancy 20-inch wheels or relatively thin sidewalled tires along with protecting the front air dam. The suspension is also quite firm. This is a -ton truck, after all, so the going was quite slow to save our backs, as well.
More About This Truck
2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty Limited: 2020 Pickup Truck of the Year Winner
Welcoming Our 2020 Pickup Truck of the Year Winning Ford F-250
Traveling in Luxury: Our Long Weekend With the 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty Limited
1,050 lb-ft of Pulling Power and a $90,000 Price Tag
While the Super Duty was certainly capable of hitting the trails, if you take care of its special needs, it's a truck that's far better suited to hauling the toys instead of being one of them. In the last installment we teased towing heavy with the Super Duty. We still plan to max out the truck at some point, but instead for this report we decided to start small and work our way up with some of the more common trailers folks will tow with a Ford F-250 Super Duty. The smallest thing we towed was a 2021 John Deere Gator XUV on our flatbed utility trailer. Altogether, this combination tipped the scales at about 5,500 pounds. Needless to say, with a max conventional tow rating of 15,000 pounds, the truck couldn't even tell the trailer was behind it.
Next, we hitched up a pair of toy hauler travel trailers, both of which were about 22 feet long and each weighing about 7,500 pounds. The biggest difference between the toy hauler trailers and the utility trailer, aside from about 2,000 pounds more weight, was the larger frontal area affecting wind resistance. Even still, at about half of the F-250's rated towing ability the truck had zero issues hauling these trailers around. We were even able to accelerate, sometimes well past the posted speed limit, while towing uphill on some of the steepest grades in Southern California.
The only notable downside of towing with the 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty was its immense thirst for diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). During normal, unloaded driving we estimated that the 7.5-gallon DEF tank would last about 8,000 miles. Our suspicions were confirmed when the DEF gauge finally hit zero at 8,500 miles. Shortly after refilling the tank with three totes of the new BlueDEF Platinum diesel exhaust fluid, we began towing this trio of trailers almost weekly. In the 4,000 miles since refilling the DEF tank initially we've had to add another 2.5-gallon tote of BlueDEF Platinum, and the dealer added another half tank when we went in for the truck's first oil change. What this is telling us is that when towing, even a relatively light load, the truck is using somewhere between double and four times as much exhaust fluid as when it's unloaded. Needless to say, we carry a spare tote while towing now.
Now that we're about halfway through our testing period, we can confidently say that we adore this truck. It is incredibly comfortable, more powerful than most things on the road, and a real head turner. Add in the very respectable fuel economy ,and we're having a difficult time coming up with a reason not to own one. The 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty Limited is certainly proving to be a worthy winner of our 2020 Pickup Truck of the Year trophy.
Report: 2 of 6
Previous reports: N/A
Base price: $83,930
Price as tested: $89,155
Long-Term Numbers
Miles to date: 12,840.9
Miles since last report: 5,416.3
Average mpg (this report): 16.45
Test best tank (mpg): 20.22
Test worst tank (mpg): 10.29 (towing)
Maintenance
This period: Oil change, DEF refill, camera recall
Problem areas: None
What's Hot, What's Not
Hot: Fuel economy is still averaging better than 16 mpg in combined driving.
Not: When towing a load of any size, big or small, this truck swills DEF like it's going out of style.
Logbook Quotes
"Finally figured out the driver seat memory function that only took half a year "
"10,000 miles in, and it still shifts hard into third gear, but it's far less frequent now. "
"I'm still getting so many compliments on the looks of the truck it's unbelievable. "
"This truck tows like a locomotive without any freight cars attached. It flat rips with torque for days!"|
"I'm really impressed with the consistency of the fuel economy for such a large truck!"
Options as Tested
Rapid Red paint ($395), 3.31:1 electronic locking axle ($390), all-weather floormats ($135), FX4 off-road package ($400), stowable loading ramps ($695), fifth-wheel hitch prep package ($500), roof clearance lights ($95), wheel well liners ($325), delivery and destination ($1,695)
Photo 2/12   |   Being a Limited trim, this truck isn't really meant for off-roading. That doesn't mean it isn't capable, however, and we spent a long weekend in the Mojave Desert proving just that.
Photo 3/12   |   We get so many compliments on the gorgeous looks of our Super Duty that it's starting to become old hat. We've got to figure it has something to do with the chrome tow hooks because why wouldn't it?
Photo 4/12   |   A Tremor would be more at home on the trail than our Limited, but the truck is capable, nonetheless. Thanks to its optional electronic locking rear differential the big Super Duty can go just about anywhere. We just have to take care not to rip off the low front air dam.
Photo 5/12   |   We're definitely thankful that the truck only has 20-inch wheels and not 22's like other brands. We took special care not to harm the tires or wheels during our off-road journey. Wheeling this big truck is certainly more about finesse than anything else.
Photo 6/12   |   Even covered in a thick coating of dirt and dust the 2021 Ford F-250 Super Duty still looks stunning.
Photo 7/12   |   One of the toy hauler travel trailers that we hauled behind the Super Duty was a 19-foot (25 feet overall) Weekend Warrior. This trailer tipped the scales at about 7,500 pounds.
Photo 8/12   |   The second trailer was similar to the first, being a 21-foot (25 feet overall, again) toy hauler. This Sandpiper Sport also tipped the scales at about 7,500 pounds when fully loaded. Both of these trailers caused the truck to suck down the diesel exhaust fluid like it was going out of style.
Photo 9/12   |   Yup, even towing a relatively light trailer with a small UTV on it caused the truck to slurp down DEF. Thankfully, fuel economy was relatively unaffected, with the truck averaging about 14 mpg even with the trailers. Our worst tank came driving uphill and into a stiff headwind with one of the larger trailers. The result was a low of 10.29 mpg, which we still think was a fluke.
Photo 10/12   |   BlueDEF Platinum is the latest formulation of diesel exhaust fluid from the industry leaders. The new Platinum version of BlueDEF has an improved formulation that helps prevent unwanted buildup in a diesel vehicle's SCR system. These buildups can cause expensive repairs down the road, so using BlueDEF Platinum is an easy way to keep things functioning as they should.
Photo 11/12   |   Although HD pickups aren't rated by the EPA for fuel economy, our 2021 Ford F-250 Super Duty gets better real-world fuel economy than a lot of -ton trucks. So far, we've seen a fairly consistent combined average of more than 16 mpg, and greater than 20 mpg on the highway isn't difficult to achieve.
Photo 12/12   |   012 Long Term 2020 Ford F250 Super Duty Limited Report 2

POPULAR TRUCKS

MOST POPULAR

CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS