The GVWR on this body style was 9400 pounds, 200 pound heavier than the
V8 model and 400 pounds less than the diesel. Payload was 2900 pounds,
100 pounds more than either the V8 or Power Stroke, so this truck is built
to haul heavy loads (the 4x2 version is rated at 3100 pounds). With the
automatic transmission, Ford gives the F-250 a max GCWR of 18,000 pounds
(4.10:1 axle ratio) for the V8 model. That number goes up to 21,000 pounds
with the V10 (4.10:1) and 23,000 pounds with the 4.30 gears. It stays
at 23,000 pounds for the diesel-powered. Since the V10 is a little bit
lighter than the diesel, its towing capacity would be a little higher.
The diesel, of course, would get better fuel economy. Driving with an
empty bed, our test model hovered around 10 mpg. The diesel would also
have an easier time over mountain roads. The V10 pumps out 455 lb-ft of
peak torque at 3250 rpm while the Power Stroke comes in with 570 lb-ft
at 2000 rpm. The V10 is rated at 355 horsepower at 4750 rpm while the
Power Stroke stops the dyno with 325 horsepower at 3300 rpm.
As you can
see, the V10 has solid work credentials. The engine was given a new set
of 3-valve-per-cylinder heads. That move helped the 2005 V10 pick up 45
horsepower and 30 lb-ft of torque over the old model. The new cylinder
head features two intake and one exhaust valve to improve breathing. The
V10 also received electronic throttle control to match the engine to the
driver’s intent. Backing up the Triton V10 is a very slick 5-speed
TorqShift automatic transmission. This option alone cost nearly $1500
and it’s worth every penny. This transmission first appeared on
the Power Stroke in 2003 and has proven itself to be durable and desirable.
It features a tow-haul mode to reduce unnecessary shifts and keep the
engine in a strong power band.
For any discomfort the chassis sends to the cab with an empty load, the
interior helps refine the ride somewhat. First, it is extremely spacious
and rather inviting, even with the XLT trim. The Harley-Davidson and King
Ranch editions get all the ink for the luxurious seating, but the XLT
is the most popular trim level and treats its occupants respectfully without
resorting to leather. Our test model did have about $2,000 worth of comfort
and convenience options, including side steps, 6-CD changer, adjustable
pedals, power seats, sliding rear window and backup sensors. The dash
is Spartan and efficient with large dials for the speedometer and tach.
New to the Super Duty dash are switches and controls for the optional
integrated brake controller. But since we had to cancel our tow test,
we never used it. See the Super Duty first-drive story for a closer look
at this worthwhile feature.
The driver’s position is very commanding, which befits the truck’s
OTR persona. The Super Duty received a slight styling makeover with a
bolder grille that was inspired by the Tonka concept vehicle that hit
the auto show circuit a few years ago. The truck also received larger
wheels, and there are 14 different wheel designs available throughout
Duty was created so Ford could give the hot-selling F-150 a shorter lifecycle,
keeping it fresher and always in demand. The move also freed up Super
Duty engineers to incorporate more work-related and heavy-duty features
without worrying how it would affect the personal-truck nature of the
F-150. Must work because the F-150 is the hottest-selling half-ton pickup,
and the new Super Duty can boast of many best-in-class features. The V10
is certainly a competitive option to the diesel with an attractive price
and solid power credentials. While all this bravado seems appealing to
truck enthusiasts, there are downsides to the package if the truck is
driven as a personal-use vehicle. It’s not a commuter and first-time
dates may have queasy stomachs after a night driving over any road that’s
less than perfect. Ford has a great strategy when it comes to the F-series.
So should the customer.