Americans love their trucks, and it only takes a quick glance at the spec sheet of the Ford
F-series Super Duty to see why. For 2012, Ford beefed up the frame and hitch of its F-series Super Duty so that it can once again claim the top spot in the towing-capacity war it has been waging with its rivals. Available with a choice of two engines (a capable 6.2-liter gasoline V-8 and a heroic 6.7-liter turbo-diesel with a massive 800 lb-ft of torque); regular cab, SuperCab, or SuperCrew bodies; 6.8-foot or 8.0-foot beds; and
single or dual rear wheels, the Super Duty offers a vast range of configurations. A couple of safety features have been added this year, with traction and stability control now standard on all single-rear-wheel models and side and side curtain air bags standard across the lineup. Another useful feature is a trailer-sway control system, which can determine from the motion of the truck when the trailer is swaying and take measures (reducing engine torque, applying braking) to help keep the trailer from wagging. The interior of the Ford Super Duty is very functional thanks to the upgrade it received last year that gave it a larger console and increased the available storage space by 60 percent. The Super Duty has several luxury features that you might not expect to find in a work truck, including a navigation system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, and dual climate controls.
Drive: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel
Trim Levels: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch
Body Style: Pickup, 2- to 6-passenger
Engines: 6.2L V-8, 385 hp, 405 lb-ft (E85 capable)
6.7L turbo-diesel V-8, 400 hp, 800 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Capacities: Towing 11,700-24,500 lb;
payload 3070-7110 lb
Bragging rights are always at stake in the heavy-duty-truck segment, and for 2012 the Super Duty leapfrogs its rivals to reach the top of the towing-capacity war. A strengthened frame and hitch enable the F-350 and F-450 (dualie) with the turbo-diesel to raise their conventional tow ratings to 17,500 pounds, and the F-450 now has a fifth-wheel rating of 24,500 pounds. Standard side and side curtain air bags are new, as is a gooseneck hitch for the 6.8-foot bed.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard, as are ABS and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Traction and stability control, trailer-sway control, and hill-start assist are now standard on all single-rear-wheel Super Duty trucks. The SOS Post-Crash Alert System sounds the horn three times if the air bags have deployed.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Tops in towing and payload
Lots of high-tech options
Functional and capable
You Won't Like
- Doesn't like tight spaces
Expensive at the pump
Ready, willing, and able.
If You Like This Vehicle
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GMC Sierra HD