I’m in love. Head-over-heels in love. With a truck.
But this isn’t just any truck. It’s a 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab, trimmed out with the King Ranch package and empowered by a whopping and turbocharged 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel-fueled V8.
Oh, and it’s a 4×4, so not only can it pull an RV or boat or horse trailer or, for that matter, a small village (or anything else weighing up to 15,000 pounds), it can go pretty much anywhere you can fit a vehicle that’s nearly 21 feet in length, almost 9 feet wide with its big and lighted power-folding mirrors extended, and is almost as tall as an NBA center.
Fortunately, you don’t need a ladder to climb into the leather-covered interior; the King Ranch version I’ve been driving for a week is equipped with optional “power running boards,” steps which emerge from beneath the rocker panels when you open any of the truck’s four doors and then disappear as you close those doors and buckle into a spacious cabin.
But at large as this vehicle may be — and it weighs nearly 7,300 pounds — it rides more like a luxury car than a heavy-duty pickup truck, even on its off-road Rancho shocks, and it accelerates more like a sports car.
Under the hood is a turbocharged, 6.7-liter diesel-fueled V8 engine that reaches its peak power output at a mere 2,800 rpm and is generating all of its amazing 925 pound-feet of torque — and, yes, you read that correctly, nine hundred and twenty-five pound feet — at an almost immediate 1,800 rpm.
What’s not to love?
OK, so maybe you’re only going to average around 15 mpg, and as a heavy-duty vehicle there are no EPA fuel-economy ratings on the Monroney price sticker. But fill the 34-gallon fuel tank and the onboard computer system predicts you’ll be able to travel a full 500 miles before you need to replenish with a new supply of low-sulfur diesel.
In other words, you could run the full Indy 500 without making a pit stop!
Speaking of stop, this truck rides on 20-inch machined cast-alloy wheels wrapped with 275/65 all-terrain tires, and those wheels protect 14.29-inch front and rear vented disc brakes.
Originally launched as a 1999 model, the big workhorse marks its first major redesign in 2017, and of the initial employment of military-grade aluminum-alloy body panels that help trim 350 pounds yet work with a new and fully boxed high-strength steel frame to make the chassis an astounding 24 times stiffer than on the previous version.
The updates and upgrades are extensive on the Super Duty lineup — F-250, 350 and 450 — from a rear-view camera that looks into the truck bed to all sorts of trailer-hitching helpers and from blind-spot mirrors to cameras that show you how much room you have all around your truck.
Ford notes that one reason the new Super Duty drives as comfortably as it does is a new and patented adaptive steering technology with a variable gearing for optimized response to varying speeds, conditions and loads. Adaptive cruise-control also is available to make the driving even more confident.
Although a true work truck, the F-250 makes that work easier with a tailgate you can manipulate with one hand, and with a step and grab handle that emergea to make it easier for you to climb up or out of the truck bed. Our test truck came with a bed that featured a “tough bed” spray-in liner, all sorts of tie-downs and an electrical outlet.
With the King Ranch package, you get leather seats with contrast stitching for the heated and cooled and power-adjustable front seats, and the options list lets you heat the rear seats as well.
Pricing for the 2017 Ford Super Duty pickup starts at $32,535. Opt for the fancy King Ranch equipment and all that comes with it and the base becomes $57,455. Opt for the big diesel engine, big wheels and tires, wonderful quad headlamps and the tow technology “bundle,” and the as-tested price on our truck came to $77,390.
But if that sounds like a lot, consider what this truck offers: It’s a workhorse that can pull a load through mud or snow, but also a leather-lined luxury vehicle with a power-step to grace your high-heeled boots (or her high-heeled shoes) when you arrive in tux and evening gown to walk a red carpet.
2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty King Ranch Crew Cab 4×4 Diesel
Vehicle type: 5-passenger full-size pickup truck, 4-wheel drive
Base price: $57,455 Price as tested: $77,390
Engine: Turbocharged 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8, 440-horsepower @ 2,800 rpm, 925 pound-feet of torque @ 1,800 rpm Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 159.8 inches Overall length/width: 250 inches / 105.9 inches (with mirrors)
Curb weight: 7,264 pounds
EPA mileage estimates: n/a but 15.7 estimate based on 500-mile range on 34 gallon tank of diesel
Assembled in: Louisville, Kentucky