2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty Limited
Off-Roading and Towing With Our $90,000 Ford Super Duty
When we last left off, we had introduced our new long-term 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty Limited. The truck sports a 6.7L Power Stroke diesel engine with 1,050 lb-ft of torque, 445 hp, and a 10-speed TorqShift automatic transmission. And the truck arrived to us in top-of-the-line Limited trim with an $89,000 price tag. In that first report we logged just over 5,000 miles and had zero issues with the truck. We're glad to report that for the second installment period, we've had largely the same result. With more than 12,000 miles on the odometer, we've had zero issues.
For the first report we spent the majority of our time cruising the highways of the Western United States. Since then, we've diversified our driving by both hitching up and towing a variety of trailers and heading out into the dirt for some off-roading. Let's dig in and take a look at how the luxury truck wheels.
You can excuse us for our hesitation at first to head too far into the wild with our long-term 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty. Although the new Super Duty Tremor is designed for such adventures, our Limited trim is far better suited to comfortably cruising the highways. Nonetheless, the truck came to us with four-wheel drive, a selectable electronic locking rear differential, and hill descent control. Large 20-inch wheels means there's not a lot of sidewall to work with, despite sporting all-terrain tires. And the extra-low front air dam takes extra care not to have forcibly removed while wandering the hills and rocks.
Despite all of these things working against it, the Limited Super Duty held its own on some of our tougher (by factory vehicle standards) testing hills. Traction was great, and when the road got soft, the rear locker could easily be engaged by simply pulling out on the four-wheel-drive selection knob. We had to take care to not damage the fancy 20-inch wheels or relatively thin-sidewall tires along with protecting the front air dam. The suspension is also quite firm—it is a -ton truck after all—so the going was quite slow to save our backs, as well.
Although the Super Duty was certainly capable of hitting the trails, if you took care of its special needs, it's a truck that's far better suited to hauling the toys instead of being one of them. In the previous installment we teased towing heavy with the Super Duty. We still plan to max out the truck at some point, but instead for this report we decided to start small and work our way up with some of the more common trailers folks will tow with a Ford F-250 Super Duty. The smallest thing we towed was a 2021 John Deere Gator XUV on our flatbed utility trailer. Altogether, this combination tipped the scales at about 5,500 pounds. Needless to say, with a max conventional tow rating of 15,000 pounds the truck couldn't even tell the trailer was behind it.
Next, we hitched up a pair of toy-hauler travel trailers, both of which were about 22 feet long and both weighing about 7,500 pounds. The biggest difference between the toy-hauler trailers and the utility trailer, aside from about 2,000 pounds more weight, was the larger frontal area affecting wind resistance. Even still, at about half of the F-250's rated towing ability, the truck had zero issues hauling these trailers around. We were even able to accelerate, sometimes well past the posted speed limit, while towing uphill on some of the steepest grades in Southern California.
The only notable downside of towing with the 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty was its immense thirst for diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). During normal, unloaded driving we estimated that the 7.5-gallon DEF tank would last about 8,000 miles. Our suspicions were confirmed when the DEF gauge finally hit zero at 8,500 miles. Shortly after refilling the tank with three totes of the new BlueDEF Platinum diesel exhaust fluid, we began towing this trio of trailers almost weekly. In the 4,000 miles since refilling the DEF tank initially, we've had to add another 2.5-gallon tote of BlueDEF Platinum, and the dealer added another half tank when we went in for the truck's first oil change. What this is telling us is that when towing, even a relatively light load, the truck is using somewhere between double and four times as much exhaust fluid as when it's unloaded. Needless to say, we carry a spare tote while towing now.
Now that we're about halfway through our testing period, we can confidently say that we adore this truck. It is incredibly comfortable, more powerful than most things on the road, and a real head turner. Add in the very respectable fuel economy, and we're having a difficult time coming up with a reason not to own one.
Report: 2 of 6
Previous reports: N/A
Base price: $83,930
Price as tested: $89,155
Miles to date: 12,840.9
Miles since last report: 5,416.3
Average mpg (this report): 16.45
Test best tank (mpg): 20.22
Test worst tank (mpg): 10.29 (towing)
This period: Oil change, DEF refill, camera recall
Problem areas: None
What's Hot, What's Not
Hot: Fuel economy is still averaging better than 16 mpg in combined driving
Not: When towing a load of any size, big or small, this truck swills DEF like it's going out of style
"Finally figured out the driver seat memory function which only took half a year. "
"10,000 miles in, and it still shifts hard into third gear, but it's far less frequent now. "
"I'm still getting so many compliments on the looks of the truck; it's unbelievable. "
"This truck tows like a locomotive without any freight cars attached. It flat rips with torque for days!"
"I'm really impressed with the consistency of the fuel economy for such a large truck!"
Options As Tested
Rapid Red paint ($395), 3.31:1 electronic locking axle ($390), all-weather floormats ($135), FX4 Off-Road package ($400), stowable loading ramps ($695), Fifth-Wheel Hitch Prep package ($500), roof clearance lights ($95), wheelwell liners ($325), delivery and destination ($1,695)