Making An Impression
This is the last report of our 2008 Pickup Truck Of The Year Winner, the Ford Super Duty. In the year of service it spent with Four Wheeler, our truck has been tasked to help people move, participate in desert clean-ups, towed various projects all over the country (including Colonel Mustard to Moab for Easter Jeep Safari), helped test trailers for our award-winning sister publication RV magazine, and gone wheeling from Pismo to Joshua Tree.
Over the 25,000 miles we put on the Super Duty, we were impressed with the reliability and power of the 6.4L V-8 and the comfort of the ride. While there is no mistaking it for a car, the exceptionally laid-out interior, ample size and quiet cab make for an incredible long range hauler. Hook a trailer to it, and the Super Duty is in its element. With 650 lb-ft of torque making towing effortless, even when passing, downshifts are rare and the backup camera makes single-person hitching a breeze. We have put as many as 17 straight hours in the saddle, through all types of weather, and hardly felt worse for the wear. The FX4 package gives a good mix of capability on and off highway, while retaining the Super Duty's on-road manners.
Complaints mostly centered around the clean diesel particulate filter's regeneration mode with testers commenting in the logbook, "One can re-set the trip computer mpg function at fill up, then enjoy 18 mpg on the hwy for a while, only to see the numbers plummet to the single digits as soon as the engine controller dials up another trap cleaning-guess it's not hard to figure out why the mileage isn't the same as the old trucks," and "Throttle response, intake sound and exhaust note all change for the worse during a DPF regeneration cycle, but the 500-degree exhaust tips are perfect for heating burritos". We also noted a rough ride over broken roads, but otherwise we're hard-pressed for complaints.
Reliability, as we noted in previous reports, was great with only a rear door-lock solenoid and a tire pressure monitoring sensor needing replacement.
Over the course of this past year, Ford's Super Duty has given us exceptional service and has reinforced our positive feelings for the big truck. We saw none of the early-6.0L diesel gremlins that our readers asked us to be on the lookout for, and in day-to-day use, the 6.4L has proven itself trustworthy and capable of carrying on the Power Stroke banner. If this year of experience with the F-350 proved anything, it was that we made the right choice in crowning it our 2008 PTOTY winner.
Report: 4 of 4
Previous reports: July '08, Nov. '08, Mar. '09
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: 25,845
Miles since last report: 9,016
Average mpg (this report): 13.44
Test best tank (mpg): 15.07
Test worst tank (mpg): 6.61 (towing)
19,896-miles: 20K service and fuel filters, $475.34
23,043-miles: Recall and replace TPMS sensor, warranty
24,975-miles: Service and rotation, $153.38
Problem Areas: Door lock solenoid, tire pressure sensor
What's Hot, What's Not
Hot: Clean diesel, outstanding visibility, exceptional as a tow rig
Not: Clean diesel fuel economy, rough ride on broken roads, not much
* "Cruise control cut out and truck went down on power. Restart cleared it - no more problems."
* "The mirrors are outstanding, as is the overall visibility."
* "The ride can be stiff at times, but get it out on the highway with a load on the hitch and it is as smooth as anything."
* "I am impressed with the 6.4L, it has proven to be a solid motor with no lack of power."