Pickups are big business in the auto industry and there are plenty of new entries on the scene in 2017. While each of these trucks has its pros and cons, we’re here to tell you which of these redesigns resulted in the best product overall.
Engine: 6.7-liter diesel V8
Output: 440 horsepower, 925 lb-ft torque
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
U.S. Fuel Economy (MPG): Not rated
CAN Fuel Economy (L/100 km): Not rated
U.S. As-Tested Price: $77,505
CAN Estimated Price: $100,950
To decide which truck is the best new product of the year, AutoGuide.com gathered together five of the most significantly revised pickups to hit the market to evaluate each over three days of testing. Evaluation of these workhorses was done the high desert of California, and among the cacti and creosote bushes, we pushed in each truck with a trailer tow test, desert off-roading, and plenty of empty highway miles.
This year, our contenders are the Ford F-250, Ford F-150 Raptor, Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, Nissan Titan, and Honda Ridgeline. We will release a new video on each contender every day leading up to Friday, Feb. 17, when we will announce our winner. Of course, each truck has its strengths and weaknesses, but we are here to find the truck that is truly special and has risen above its predecessor the furthest.
Here’s the lowdown on our second contender, the Ford F-250 Super Duty.
Bigger, tougher, taller and longer, the Ford F-250 Super Duty was unequivocally the largest pickup in our 2017 Truck of the Year competition.
With a pilot’s view from the driver’s seat, it towered over the other four rigs gathered for testing, including its little brother, the Raptor, which is no low-slung sports car. Climbing into the saddle nearly required an extension ladder, or at least it would have if our top-trim Platinum model didn’t come with power-operated running boards.
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With a Crew Cab body and six-foot-nine-inch cargo box, this truck was nothing short of humongous, but against the odds, it felt nowhere near as ungainly while in motion. Ford engineers have done a commendable job civilizing this tough-as-railroad-spikes pickup.
For 2017, the Super Duty family has been completely redesigned, rolling on a brand-new, fully boxed frame made almost entirely of high-strength steel. Beyond this, its cab is now shared with the F-150, which means it’s largely aluminum, something that’s helped reduce overall weight by up to 350 pounds.
Beyond this, the new Super Duty is loaded with clever features, things like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and tire-pressure monitoring systems that can also keep an eye on trailers you’re towing, plus it offers a host of video cameras so you can see much of the trucks’ exterior while maneuvering in tight situations.
SEE ALSO: 2017 Ford Super Duty Review
Our tester’s cabin was also loaded with buttons and screens, which could be a little overwhelming for people not familiar with everything it offers. There was also plenty of comfort on hand, with plush-seating front and back, premium materials and near luxury-car levels of refinement.
Ford’s optional 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel propelled the example we tested (a 6.2-liter gasoline engine serves base duty). It was also eerily refined, idling smoothly and revving freely while producing scarcely any noise or vibration. Despite the smoothness, this engine can still tow mountains thanks to its 440-horse stable and 925 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is the sole transmission offered in Super Duties these days.
Despite having live axles at both ends, the F-250 provided a stress-free ride that was smoother than ever expected. Variable-ratio steering made it daresay agile, reducing the amount of wheel-winding it took to maneuver at low speed.
Our test truck was rated to tow up to 18,000 pounds but even with 10 grand hooked to the hitch you barely feel anything; this rig is an undisputed towing champ, though it’s also surprisingly capable off road, with ample ground clearance and lots of suspension articulation, just don’t expect it to slither down a trail intended for something like a Jeep Wrangler.
The new Super Duty is a winner through and through, but it does have one unfortunate downside: pricing. Prepare on sacrificing your first-born son on the blue-oval altar in order to afford this tough pickup. Our top-trim Platinum model cost a whopping $77,505! Naturally, you don’t have to drop 80 grand to get work done, but still, even in base form, this is a pricey rig. A regular-cab, XL-trim F-250 starts around $33,000.
Check back every day this week until Friday, when we announce the 2017 Truck of the Year Winner.
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