Buyer’s Guide: Ford’s F-250 4×4 Takes the Pickup Truck Crown

Ford’s stylish King Ranch Diesel is more than just an off-road workhorse

Ford's new monster truck (Image: JeffCars.com)

2011 F-250 4×4 CREW CAB LARIAT KING RANCH DIESEL

  • MSRP: $64,145 (Base F-250 starts out at $48,860)
  • Engine/Horsepower: 6.7-liter, 8-cylinder diesel/400
  • Fuel Mileage: No government fuel rating is available for heavy duty (super duty) trucks
  • Standard Towing Capacity: 14,000 lbs
  • Highlights: Locking removable tailgate with lift assist; tie-down hooks; dual-zone electric temperature control; Ford’s Sync System; Sirius Satellite Radio; manual locking hubs; trailer towing package and 20-inch wheels
  • Competition: Chevy Silverado Heavy Duty Crew Cab, Dodge Ram 2500 Crew Cab and GMC Sierra Heavy Duty Crew Cab

WHAT’S NEW:

Underneath the two-tone exterior of the redesigned power dome hood, the F-250 Lariat King Ranch edition now carries an all-new booming diesel engine, offering more torque, improved fuel-economy and 40 additional horsepower. Added to that, the Super Duty truck is also outfitted with a new six-speed transmission, which enhances the fuel economy. Also, the new Super Duty diesel engine is compatible with B20 fuel, allowing up to 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.

This five-seater luxury workhorse has the highest-rated towing capacity in its class and has been a part of a series of the U.S.’s best-selling full-size trucks for 33 years. For the 2011 model year, every F-250 is now decorated with an easy-to-read LCD (liquid crystal display) productivity screen, which provides such driver-oriented information as fuel-economy, off-road performance and towing guidance.

Other new features include heated (and cooled) front seats along with a larger front seat center console, which includes a lockable storage. And for those looking for extra towing power, a factory-installed fifth-wheel and gooseneck are now available. One no longer has to use an aftermarket company to accessorize their truck.

The beauty inside the diesel beast (Image: JeffCars.com)

PROS:

By equipping this truck with the F-250’s top of the line trim, the King Ranch Package transforms a run-of–the-mill pickup to a true luxury workhorse. It’s like having all of the accoutrements typically reserved for a premium priced vehicle, but, in this case, it’s a truck.

Besides all of the aforementioned features I noted with the new diesel engine, the King Ranch’s interior is unlike any truck I’ve ever tested. Inside the roomy cabin, one can find everything from 10-way power front dual and two-tone Chaparral leather seats to a memory driver’s seat and memory adjustable gas pedals to a remote start system and a premium-class eight-speaker sound system.

Also, to help navigate this gigantic workingman’s (or lady’s) truck, I found that the F-250 I tested was not only equipped with a back-up camera, but an audible reverse vehicle sensor, too. Just like airbags, these much needed safety features should be mandatory for every full-size and super duty truck. Furthermore, my truck featured Ford’s optional power moonroof and a voice-activated navigation system.

With this being a 4×4, Ford has left no stone unturned as it relates to carrying cargo, offering an optional stowable bed extender, a tailgate step (or man steps) and a sprayed-in tough guard bed liner. All of this and more were attached to my 8-foot bed. (A 6-foot bed is also available in this truck, helping to lower the price.) What else could one ask for?

More towing power than ever (Image: JeffCars.com)

Moreover, the 2011 Super Duty also increases its tow ability by offering an optional factory-installed fifth-wheel and gooseneck, providing additional towing power. Without the fifth-wheel, the truck is capable of towing up to 14,000 lbs, but adding the fifth-wheel increases the F-250 towing power by 1,700 to 15,700 lbs in the 4×4 (and up to 16,000 lbs in the 4×2).

Lastly, to help maintain control of this Super Duty when towing, a trailer sway control (TSC) helps to monitor the truck’s motion when a trailer is attached. In addition, Ford also offers a factory-installed integrated trailer brake controller, which aids the driver in offering a safer and smoother operation stopping when towing cargo. Again, Ford has thought of everything for this luxury workhorse.

CONS:

This super duty truck was accessorized with almost everything except Ford’s Blind Spot Lane-Changing System, which alerts the driver of objects in the blind spot before changing lanes. And I was somewhat disappointed that my test F-250 wasn’t equipped with a larger fuel tank, allowing for me to achieve more than 350 miles on one tank of gas.

FINAL VERDICT:

No, you won’t need a special Class A license to drive this truck, but within a matter of seconds one will easily find out that this vehicle is just as a tough as an 18-wheeler. Not only is this truck capable of pulling almost everything in sight, it does so in class and style with its bigger, bolder grille, which hides the booming sound of the diesel engine.

In fact, this miniature big rig is so interchangeable that it can be used for fieldwork during the week, towing a small yacht on the weekend or cruising across the country while towing a camper during vacation season. This everyday workingman’s (or woman’s) luxury truck is available with a diesel (or gasoline) engine in either a 4×4 (or 4×2) configuration. Yes, it’s no wonder why Ford is America’s best-selling truck in America.

Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to JeffCars.com.

ACROSS THE WEB
  • Stephan Flaming

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  • Jessica

    Hi, Loved the pictures of the train show. It was great I was spisrrued with all the people that were there, didn’t know that many people were crazy for trains like my son. Ha Grandma is still having problems with her blood pressure, don’t know what is going on but gets a little tiring. Just came in from showing, pretty nice day, yesterday it rained, snowed and hail and then the sun would shine for awhile, crazy day. I’ve got about eight lease signings next weekend and to the 1st of April so will be a busy week with paperwork. Had to run and show again, such a pretty day. You guys take care and Love you Four. Mom J.