Where to start? Super Duty is stronger than before, yes.
But you are not prepared for how much stronger it is. Ford quotes the strength of the (high-strength steel) boxed ladder frame as being 20X more rigid than before. 2000 percent!
Ford added hundreds of pounds to this frame to blow away its rivals in max towing.
All bodywork and the bed of the truck make the swap to aluminum for 2017 at the same time. So if the new frame added 300 pounds, the alloy bodywork subtracts 700 from the total. All in all, the new F-250 is a full 400 pounds lighter than before.
This might seem academic for a truck that tips the scales above three tons — but it is important to the exceptional new drive character of the machine.
Oh, and there is an all-new 6.7-liter PowerStroke diesel making 440HP/925 pound-feet of torque. Let that sink in for a second. POWERRRR!
Last but definitely not least? An all-new cabin that is Navigator-plush and Town Car gigantic.
We have two drive videos — onroad and offroad — to share along with 80 photos and standard section headings of Exterior, Interior, Performance and Pricing.
HD Performance Drive Video
Like the F-150 and its aluminum swap of 2015, the Super Duty wears all-new bodywork that crisply updates the design for 2017 and beyond. This new frame and exterior panel material comes on all of the Super Duty variants, with pricing from about $32k upward.
To get a truck looking like our tester, mind you, you have to double that base price. Just something to keep in mind while we wax poetic about the all-LED lighting, power running boards and ATLAS concept-like overall look of the Platinum F-250.
Design-wise, all Super Duty trims are marked out by new, blockier headlamps that take up the full height of the grille and push to the edges of the front fenders. Front overhang is slightly chopped for this year, while the standard halogen reflector lamps upgrade to C-shaped LED daytime running lights, LED low and highbeams, plus LED fogs for this top trim.
The LEDs really, really help the curb appeal of the Super Duty, especially up front. As equipped, there is nothing like it on the road. F-250 Platinum is easily one of the coolest trucks on the road with the LEDs blaring.
The grille evolves into two giant horizontal bars across the center of the Super Duty’s air-gobbling intake areas. The PowerStroke diesel needs even more air for its intercoolers than the gas V8s, however, so those horizontal bars are carved with a boxed effect to inhale all the air possible at speed. It is a cool differentiator for the diesel powertrain and one that doesn’t resort to hood scoops like the new Sierra 2500HD Duramax.
As an extra classy effect, the Platinum swaps normal plastic or chrome trim for a brushed nickel finish to the grille details. This is nicely mirrored on the Platinum-exclusive tailgate garnish. Also special for Platinum F-250 models are body-colored bumpers. Classy and upscale indeed!
Around profile, the F-250 for 2017 has a vertical fender accent/air outlet ahead of the front doors. This was horizontal before and not functional. 3D F-250 letters in vertical script line this airvent nicely, while Platinum badges join the fun here as well. The Crew Cab F-250 has a seriously sexy glasshouse this year — with blacked–out B-pillar that makes a line of tinted glass for front and rear doors. It looks purposeful and expensive from the sides.
And as a 4×4 model, our test F-250 rides higher than ever off the ground below. Luckily, full-length power running boards make a segment-first appearance. Stepping aboard is just as easy as it is with the stairs of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class 4×4-squared. Added bonus? The running boards tuck away into the bodysides to greatly enhance off-road performance. No scraping here!
Another bonus is that you can lift this truck higher and still have fairly easy access.
How’d Truck Get So Muddy?
A clean bodyside with sharp lower creasing flows rearward past the jumbo wheel wells and the eight-lug alloys. Tall tires as standard fill up these fenders… but only just. F-250’s can look under-tired in some trim levels.
The new LED taillamps have some beveling to their shape — pulling the red reflector into the bodyside slightly. It mimics the F-150 design but is unique in its own right.
Final delightful details? The twin exhaust pipes in the passenger rear corner are big enough to go shoulder-deep inside (do not do this) while they are also fluted to let the exhaust out even if the ends of the pipes are blocked by mud or snow.
Kicking off the huge list of segment-first and segment-exclusive tech features, the tailgate of the F-250 now has a power-open function on the keyfob.
The F-150-style step/handle combo is even tougher in this configuration. All the doors, hood and tailgate elements are freaky light in your hands. This is a core reinforcement of how amazing aluminum is for F-250’s bodywork. Ram and General Motors are a decade or more away from greenlighting alloy bodywork for their trucks.
Aluminum or not, there is no cooler heavy duty truck design available for 2017. A-plus for style.
Remember that term “carlike” that used to be in all the roughest truck and SUV ads?
Well, the carlike manners never reached the Ford Super Duty series until 2017. Leather, sure. But actual smoothness, NVH damping and quietness on the road? Not available.
So the 2017 F-250 is a revolution in silent, smooth comfort even before you start to love this Platinum’s HUGE feature list.
The revolution starts at the proximity doorlocks and snap-fast power side steps. Even shorties can two-step their way easily inside the cabin. The new frame seems to have flattened and lowered the floor of Super Duty – helping ingress/egress (bigger doors than before) as well as seated comfort.
This Platinum’s cabin immediately feels pretty special. Reddish brown Brunello leather all around meets a black headliner and panoramic moonroof. So many class firsts and bests!
The 10-way power seats in front are massive, if not the comfiest ever, and the drive position is upright with excellent sightlines all around. Power pedals and tilt/telescope steering adjustment let you fine-tune this for all size pilots.
These buckets in front are not only heated/cooled, but are massage seats too! Both front thrones have air-actuated custom adjustment settings and base/seatback massage functionality.
Color me impressed! The Platinum Ultimate package takes some credit for the lux mood: it adds the glass roof, adaptive cruise and lane-keep alert for $2785.
As standard, the Platinum is already loaded, of course. Illuminate sills, ambient cabin lighting, tinted glass with power rear window, 8-inch SYNC3 nav and mid-cluster screens are just a few of the upgrades in Platinum versus cheaper models.
Super Duty is still as tough and functional as ever inside, but gets a lot smarter this year. A favorite detail? The eight prewired Aux toggle switches on the roof. These $185 “upfitter” switches even illuminate to show when the aftermarket whatever is ‘On.’ A hell of a lot classier than jigsawing a PepBoys switch somewhere in the dash!
Metallic-effect pieces are embossed with Super Duty letters across the passenger dashboard, in case you forgot somehow. Nice branding touches appear inside the doors this year too.
On to the back seats! Three seatbelts and 44-plus inches of legroom make these seats truly lux for passengers. The huge floor makes for easy storage with the seats folded up, too. Might be nice in future for these seats to have a bit more reclined seatback angle – but that’s really nitpicking.
Overall, the F-250 Super Duty Platinum scores a solid A inside the cabin. So quiet you will never – truly – know it is a diesel. Smooth ride and easy handling too?
Platinum’s luxury features are nice, but the core changes bring new joy to most Super Duty trims.
An HD truck that handles? Not possible, we said and believed a year ago. Driving even Nissan Titan on the tight roads of the Carolinas is stressful and takes time to master.
But the first mile of F-250 driving is all it takes to get comfy hustling this big Ford. Perhaps thanks to its new frame, perhaps the new ‘monobeam’ front end with coil springs and stabilizer bar. Or perhaps it is the adaptive steering that is standard on Platinum.
Or all of the above. F-250 is easy to drive. So easy, we took it on the handling loop for a Performance Drive Video!
As noted in the video above, F-250 handles!
Our tester had the 3.55 rear axle with 10,000-pound GVWR package, as well as 4×4 and its raised suspension. All in, this should be a roughrider specification.
It is not in real life! Not Land Cruiser smooshy, but also without Land Cruiser’s epic body roll and dive/squat. The F-250 rides firmly but comfortably when unladen. A true rarity for HD trucks, trust us.
The F-250 6.7L turbodiesel’s graphite-iron block is part of what makes it so strong. The smooth torque rush and near silence of ALL diesel clatter (at least in hot climates) gives a surreal drive experience.
925 pound-feet of torque arrives just off idle, while the 440HP peak comes on midway up the short tach range. There is a good 2000 RPM of revving time in there where full power is guaranteed and pulls strongly. Big rush of thrust nearly shoots the machine from 60-mph up to passing speeds very, very rapidly.
The six-speed automatic is unobtrusive and shifts fairly quickly for this heavy-duty application. The test truck has a 15,000 pound tow rating, but drives as nimbly and friendly as a Tacoma in most scenarios.
One gripe is the switchable 4×2/4Hi/4Lo 4×4 system, which does not have an auto-disengage for the front axle when parking. On the plus side, 4×4 mode and 4×2 mode have the same steering feel and precision on the road. Not a sure thing in many trucks.
Even with a towing focus, this machine deserves a solid A rating for performance.
The F-250 Super Duty Platinum 4×4 starts from about $63,000 before options. Our tester’s $8595 diesel engine upgrade is significant. That’s a lot of cash, and might take 200k miles to pay for itself above the gas V8’s pricing.
But for ultimate power and towing, this engine is a peach.
The $3k Ultimate package is the other big addition. Add $595 for metallic tri-coat paint. Other goodies are the roof lights for 80 bucks, $390 locking rear end, $370 fifth wheel prep package and $495 spray-in bedliner.
All totaled, the test truck rings in at $77,505.
The sticker shock of most big trucks is alarming. Somehow, we really expected this F-250 to cost even more.
It is that good. Upgrades to body + frame + engine + cabin have never before appeared simultaneously on a Ford truck.
In 100 years.
So it is a pretty sure bet that this F-250 is as cutting-edge as it gets. All the tech goes to must-have work capabilities of owners.
Going for the Platinum model brings that much extra appeal for its cool style and swanky interior.
As much as the alloy F-150 changed the pickup truck competitive calculus back in 2015 – the F-250 doubles down.
At least in Platinum spec, the changes seem doubly effective. At what?
Making the Super Duty the best heavy-duty truck ever.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.