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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 the line.

The Super 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.

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