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New Ford F-250 is an excellent combination of technology, capability

The Ford F-Series pickup truck has led sales for 46 consecutive years over its main rivals in the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500. Ford moved more than 640,000 in 2022, with a chunk of being the bigger, more capable Ford Super Duty.

The Ford Super Duty comes in F-250, F-350 and F-450 grades, each more powerful than the last. The 2023 Ford F-250 tested here is the beginning of the fifth-generation of the popular heavy-duty truck, which has its own separate competitors in the Silverado 2500 and Ram 2500. These extra large trucks offers bigger engines and more towing than their “full-size” counterparts.

The best thing about these trucks is that they all get cleverer by the year with new technology for towing and hauling, seeing around a trailer and cruising down the highway. Ford now offers the Super Duty with Pro Power Onboard, that can power a jobsite or a campsite using the included plug receptacles.

It also is available with Onboard Scales with Smart Hitch, which shows how close an owner is to the cargo weight limit with the taillights. A 360-Degree Trailer Camera System provides a bird’s-eye view of the trailer to make maneuvering in tight spaces easier. It has a new camera and reverse sensors in the top of the tailgate that provide visual and audible alerts when the tailgate is down.

Pro Trailer Hitch Assist backs the truck up and aligns the conventional hitch ball to the trailer receiver. Finally Trailer Navigation plots routes that can be safely navigated with given trailer dimensions and weight to avoid low bridges and tight turns.

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The cabin of this Crew Cab model is huge with plenty of space for child seats and an easy way for them to get in with the power step boards. The seats borrowed from Lincoln are excellent and the massage feature is one of the best we’ve tested. The passenger seat also folds almost horizontal for every extra bit of cargo space.

An 8-inch center screen is standard on the XL model. XLT and above come with a 12-inch central display and a customizable 12-inch digital instrument cluster. It has four USB ports and wireless charging. A 640-watt, eight-speaker premium sound system is standard. A 1,080-watt, 18-speaker B&O Unleashed Sound System is optional. Alexa hands-free is free for up to three years.

There are storage spaces galore in the doors and center console and all the physical buttons and switches below the infotainment screen are well within reach. Apple CarPlay worked flawlessly and the latest SYNC infotainment system is easy to use with big mode buttons and easy-to-read graphics. And the stereo was plenty loud, even with the regular B&O system.

The Ford Super Duty offers a choice of two gasoline engines and two diesels, one of which was tested here. The High Output 6.7-liter V8 option delivers 500 horsepower (hp) and a whopping 1,200 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque. In this application that power goes to all four wheels through a ten-speed automatic transmission. It can tow up to 16,800 pounds quietly and confidently.

2023 Ford Super Duty
The 2023 Ford Super Duty is offered with a 12-inch digital driver cluster and a 12-inch central touchscreen.
Ford Motor Company

The 2023 F-250 has a stiff suspension, meaning it can carry heavy loads, but is bouncy when unloaded, especially on dirt roads where the rear end will bounce 30 degrees with the right harmonic bumps. Otherwise, the ten-speed automatic is always smooth and power and torque are available anywhere in the rev range, in any gear. There was no towing during this test, but with so much torque it would certainly make short work of anything less than 10,000 pounds.

It feels like it has a better steering ratio than the Chevy Silverado 2500 tested recently, it was easier to park and easier to eek around parking lots. The cameras, which Chevy also has, helped in these instances too.

Between the three main players, Ford, Chevrolet and Ram, capability isn’t much of an issue. All three heavy-duty versions can now tow well over 10,000 pounds and all three now offer engines with torque ratings over 1,000 lb-ft.

Base prices between the three are close too, with the least expensive Ford F-250 coming in at $43,970. The Ram Heavy Duty is $46,050 and the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD starts at $43,400.

Most truck buyers already have a preference, and will be rewarded for their loyalty with features that make driving a massive pickup easier and more convenient. If towing will a regularity, and studies show it is with this type of truck, go all out and get the diesel.

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