Ultimate Outdoors Truck: 2009 Ford F-250 Cabela's Edition 4x4 Crewcab

Mike Levine

Ford's strongest brand is the F-series. Big pickup trucks continue to sit at the top of the sales charts and fetch large profits. Cabela's is a giant in the outdoor goods retail business and trucks play a large role in outdoor recreation, so it doesn't take a genius to realize that Ford cherishes its role as the official truck of Cabela's. The Cabela's Edition F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks are the pinnacle of that relationship.

Ford's research indicates that at least 76 % of F-series buyers regularly hunt or fish, so offering a package that outfits America's most popular trucks with some common upgrades for outdoors enthusiasts makes for a good business case. Just as there are die-hard Ford fans who would not dream of driving a Chevy, some hunters would never dream of buying gear anywhere but Cabela's. Teaming up with Cabela's allows Ford to affirm its tough truck image; Cabela's, for its part, gets a lot of free advertising.

At first glance, it seems like almost nothing has been changed from a stock Super Duty pickup. The exterior of the F-250 Cabela's Edition looks remarkably similar to a standard FX4 truck, but a closer look reveals running boards, two-tone paint, unique wheel flares, mud flaps, an abundance of Cabela's logos, and a bed mat if you don't opt for the spray-in bedliner. Inside, there are two different configurations for Cabela's Edition trucks. A basic Cabela's package runs $2375 and includes cloth captain's chairs, wood trim on the center stack, all-weather floor mats, front and rear locking gun cases, and more Cabela's logos. For those looking for a more upscale interior, the $5390 Cabela's luxury package adds Aniline leather seats, a premium stereo with the SYNC system and a subwoofer, and a navigation system.

A torquey 6.4-liter turbo-diesel V-8 provides enough power to tow virtually anything you can find, and the smooth-shifting five-speed automatic means you won't spill your coffee on the way to the boat launch. Yes, this is the same diesel found in other Super Duty trucks, but it's a great engine and there's no point in changing things that aren't broken. Add Ford's integrated trailer brake controller (along with wiring for 4- or 7-pin trailers) and this truck is ready to haul any conventional trailer right from the factory. You'll still need to get your own hitch for gooseneck or fifth-wheel-style trailers, but the aftermarket does a wonderful job of taking care of these needs.

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