Whether it is yanking a project vehicle cross-country or testing out new travel trailers for our sister magazine, our long-term F-350 has been put to work this quarter testing the one thing Ford says its Super Duty does best-towing.
With over 10,000 miles during this report, you can be assured we have put our 2008 Pickup Truck of the Year winner through its paces. Car hauler or travel trailer, it doesn't matter, the Super Duty excels at pulling things. The chassis is rock solid, the engine is more than willing, and the accommodations are downright five-star. One logbook comment suggested that you couldn't possibly understand what this truck stands for until you strap a trailer behind it. What is a nice truck empty becomes a great truck pulling. It is that good at towing.
Our F-350 has been all over, seen here in a cover shot for sister publication RV.
The 6.4L has proven to be a bastion of reliability, a powerhouse of an engine, and runs so much quieter than other Power Stroke engines that we have had people wanting to know what engine we are running. The F-350 has also turned out to be as reliable as anything we have tested in recent months, with only a rear door-lock solenoid being replaced under warranty and a fuel-tank bracket recall.
While the F-350 is a great truck overall, we have had complaints about the truck's performance when in regen mode. Throttle response lags, strange intake and exhaust noises are heard, and the truck seems to have a slight flutter, feeling as if it is exorcising emissions demons. We are convinced that it also seems to be exorcising fuel out of the fuel tank during the regen cycle. At least now, after a recent computer reflash at the dealer, the driver information center now reports "Cleaning Exhaust Filter" while in regen mode.
When not towing, we have seen fuel economy start to improve, but it is still short of what the 6.0L and 7.3L Power Stroke engines were capable of. Otherwise it is still a happy relationship between our staff and the truck, as it is everyone's favorite rig when there is a hauling or a towing job.
Report: 3 of 4
Previous reports: July '08, Nov. '08
Base price: $36,850
Price as tested: $56,095
Four-wheel-drive system: Two-speed, part-time electronic, shift on the fly
Miles to date: 16,838
Miles since last report: 10,981
Average mpg (this report): 12.13
Test best tank (mpg): 15.77
Test worst tank (mpg): 6.61 (towing)
10,000 miles: Warranty solenoid, recall
13,612 miles: 15K Service, $152.15
Problem areas: Rear door-lock solenoid
What's Hot, What's Not
Hot: Exceptional towing ability, great hot-weather A/C, quiet engine
Not: Fuel economy could be better, harsh unladen ride
Log Book Quotes
* "120 degrees in Death Valley and the A/C kept up just fine."
* "It is a nice truck. Hook a trailer to it and it becomes a great truck."
* "Rear door-lock solenoid is getting noisy."
* "Just paid $5.99/gallon, good thing I had first born with me to trade."
* "Love the 6.4, although as a clean diesel, fuel economy suffers."