In Our Opinion:
The 2020 Ford Super Duty faces fierce competition from GM and Ram, but new tech features for the Super Duty help raise the bar in Ford’s favor. While we would recommend the Power Stroke diesel V8 for heavy towing, the new 7.3-liter gas engine is a good middle ground. It will have plenty of power for towing without the higher MSRP of the diesel models. The mid-level Lariat trim we drove came with plenty of helpful technology for the workday and is even comfortable enough to use for family travel.
Safety & Tech Features
Options Add Up Quickly
The 2020 Ford Super Duty is even more capable than before. It gets a more powerful diesel V8 engine, a new 10-speed automatic, lots of technology to keep you connected, and enough comfort to blur the lines between a work truck and a family vehicle. Ford improved their game in the heavy-duty truck market, but we wanted to see for ourselves just how high they raised the bar.
This week, we drove a 2020 Ford F-250 4×4 Crew Cab Lariat with the new 7.3-liter gas engine. Here is how our test drive went.
F-Series Super Duty: What’s New For 2020
The 2020 Ford Super Duty benefits from an extensive redesign to better compete against GM and Ram. Ford updated the 6.7-liter Power Stroke with a new 36,000-psi fuel injection system and a variable-geometry turbocharger. The diesel plant joins two gasoline engines in the 7.3 and standard 6.2 V8. Every new 2020 Super Duty features a 4G LTE modem with Wi-Fi access for up to 10 devices.
New colors for 2020 include Iconic Silver, Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Star White Metallic Tri-Coat, and Velocity Blue. Trim levels for the 2020 Super Duty include XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited. Those who want to venture off-road should go for the new Tremor package.
Features & Options
The mid-level Ford F-250 Lariat offers more convenience features than the lower XL and XLT. It comes standard with power-adjustable heated mirrors (also telescoping tow mirrors), a removable and power-locking tailgate, and a trailer tow package. Inside, our Super Duty tester came with a USB connection, the Sync 3 infotainment system with an eight-inch touchscreen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Lariat comes with 10-way power leather seats (both heated and cooled), navigation, LED box lighting, ambient lighting, a tailgate step, and a power sliding rear window.
Heavy-duty upgrades included a 4.30 electronic locking rear axle, gooseneck hitch kit, 10,000 lbs. GVWR package, wheel well liners, a spray-in bed liner, and Ford’s new Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature.
Safety equipment for the Super Duty has caught up with most competitors thanks to features such as lane departure warning for the truck and attached trailer, a blind-spot monitor with trailer coverage, and forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
What Does The Ford Super Duty Cost?
Total MSRP, including destination, for our 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty Lariat tester with the 7.3-liter gas engine: $62,290. By comparison, the F-250 XL starts at $34,035 while the F-250 Platinum starts at $66,225.
Interior Highlights: Plenty of Space
The F-250 Super Duty sits up high and is tall for the class. Our tester came with optional running boards that are a must-have because of the higher ride height. Inside the cab, even the tallest drivers will have room. We had no problem finding an excellent position to drive with the 10-way power adjustable seats.
The leather seats are comfortable, and we made liberal use of the ventilated seats in the heat this week. We did think the seat bottoms could use a bit more padding, but the Lariat trim is still a comfortable place to spend time working or traveling with the family. The controls are easy to reach and operate, and we had no issues figuring out Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system.
Cargo space is plentiful in the big crew cab. There’s lots of storage to keep your valuables and personal items out of view on the job site. If you are hauling passengers, even taller riders will be comfortable and have enough room to stretch their legs. If you are hauling the kids during the week to school or out fishing for the weekend, there’s ample room for backpacks, books, and other gear.
Interior Highlights: Helpful Technology
The extra big windows make it easy to see out of the tall truck, but we were glad we had the rear parking sensors, rearview camera, and blind-spot monitoring. Ford’s Blind Spot Information System includes trailer coverage, a nice feature when towing. We really like the Super Duty’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature. Drivers use a knob, instead of the steering wheel, to guide their trailer with the reverse camera. The Trailer Reverse Guidance system shows angle and direction, and will even make steering suggestions.
2020 Ford Super Duty: Engine & Powertrain
New for 2020 is a 7.3-liter gasoline V8 that gets bumped to 430 horsepower and 475 lb-ft. of torque. It comes mated with a new TorqShift 10-speed automatic. The 6.2-liter V8 is standard for the 2020 Super Duty and creates 385 horsepower and 430 lb-ft. of torque. At the top of the mountain is the 6.7-liter Power Stroke Diesel V8 with 475 horsepower and 1,050 lb-ft. of torque.
Our tester came with a 10,000 GVWR rating, 5th wheel prep package, and a 4.30 electronic locking axle for heavy-duty towing. However, if you are towing a heavy 5th wheel or gooseneck trailer, we recommend going with the Power Stroke diesel over the gas engines.
2020 Ford Super Duty Fuel Economy
Fuel economy is a bit of a mystery because this class of trucks is exempt from official labeling and testing by the EPA. The 7.3-liter gas engine we had was around 12 to 14 in the city and 15 to 16 on the highway on average.
We didn’t tow anything super heavy this week, but we hauled a massive load of cargo in the bed to give it a test. We pushed it hard at altitude (9,000 feet elevation) up I-70 near Denver to try and mimic what Ford does with its famous “torture testing.” The big truck had no problem passing slower traffic with its extra power, and the new 10-speed automatic gearbox shifts quickly.
The only downside is stopping distance, especially when towing or hauling a payload. While the new Super Duty is quick up the hill, down the hill – especially with the gas engines – you might find yourself riding the brakes more than you are comfortable with. If you are frequently towing or hauling heavy payloads, this is another good reason to go with the Power Stroke as it has a built-in diesel exhaust brake.
On the highway, the cabin is relatively quiet, and the ride is smooth for a “three-quarter-ton” truck, as long as you aren’t driving on uneven pavement or rough terrain. On the dirt roads we drove, the ride is, as expected, a little rough and rougher with a payload.
Conclusion: A Strong Competitor
The updated 2020 Ford Super Duty has more power for towing, a new 10-speed transmission, and the technology and driver assistance features more common to light-duty pickups. You can use the truck for serious work, but the family won’t be complaining when you take it on a long road trip.
However, both the Silverado HD and Ram HD are solid offerings, so we recommend shopping around and doing some thorough research on each truck before making a decision.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his firsthand reviews are archived on our test drives page. Follow Denis on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy
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