The new Ford Super Duty lineup is the strongest and toughest on the current market with the 6.7L PowerStroke diesel packing 440 horsepower, 925lb-ft of torque, a 7,630lb payload capacity and a 32,500lb towing capacity when properly equipped. My 2017 F250 Lariat test truck was fitted with that monster PowerStroke diesel engine which leads to a payload capacity of “only” 3,350lbs and a towing capacity of “only” 15,000lbs, so while this F250 isn’t the strongest truck in the Ford lineup – it is still one of the strongest trucks in the ¾-ton segment while also offering far greater capabilities than your average truck owner will ever fully utilize.
Every time I test a new truck or SUV, I put them through a standard set of “farm tests” which puts these vehicles through the paces of everyday work around a stable. I haul a dozen bales of hay (around 700-750lbs), a thousand pounds of bagged horse feed and I tow a 5,000lb, 2-horse trailer, giving me a chance to experience all of these different vehicles in the same basic tests. With my normal towing and hauling tests only reaching about a third of this F250’s capacities, it should come as no surprise that this big truck didn’t break a sweat with these loads. After all, this is a truck engineered to perform the toughest tasks, so of course it is great at being a work truck, but at the end of the day, most of the people who will buy a 2017 F250 Lariat will spend as much time driving the truck without anything in the bed or hooked to the hitch.
Because so many people will use the 2017 Ford F250 for daily driving more often than they will be towing or hauling heavy loads, the Ford team knew that they needed to balance the capabilities of their heavy duty suspension setup with ride quality – and the results are impressive, to say the least.
The Historic Issue with Heavy Duty Trucks
Over the past few years, I have had the pleasure of driving a long list of new trucks, including all of the entries from the American ¾-ton and 1-ton class. These trucks, including the Ford F250/F350, the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD/3500HD and the Ram 2500/3500, are all engineered to be the hardest working vehicles in the consumer grade segment while also being among the most common vehicles in the working world.
If you need a truck that can tow or haul heavy loads day in and day out, these big trucks are the best solution by a long shot, but the problem with these trucks in the past was that the type of heavy duty suspension needed to handle those heavy loads led to a very stiff, rough ride. Because of that, these heavy duty trucks have been less appealing to those who didn’t appreciate their working abilities, but over the past few years, all of the automakers have worked to make their toughest trucks more comfortable.
The 2017 Ford F250 Lariat is a beautiful example of those efforts, as this big, tough truck is smooth enough to draw comments from passengers who spend lots of time in big trucks.
Daily Driving the new Super Duty
During my week in the 2017 Ford F250 Super Duty, I spent time performing tasks around the 50-horse stable which my wife and I manage, including hauling around a load of hay, a load of grain and our loaded 2-horse trailer. The 12 bales of hay and 20 bags of grain were hardly noticeable in the bed, with braking, acceleration and handling being unaffected by the added weight. The 5,000lb horse trailer was a little more taxing on the new F250, but it was clear when pulling my small trailer that this Ford truck was designed to comfortably pull a much heavier load. With this in mind, I would most certainly recommend the 2017 F250 Lariat to anyone who performs similar tasks each day, even if you are towing or hauling heavier loads.
More importantly, I would recommend the 2017 Ford F250 Lariat to someone who needs these capabilities on tap while using the truck for the most basic daily driving activities, because the cabin is beautifully appointed and the ride quality is comparable to much lighter duty pickups.
I noticed this smooth ride as soon as I took to the street with the 2017 Ford F250 when driving around town, but even on Detroit’s rough highways, the new Super Duty offered a remarkably gentle ride. Sure, it is stiffer than your average sedan or crossover, so you do feel the imperfections in the road surface, but the new F250 doesn’t have the rough, abusive ride that you get from so many heavy duty trucks.
I was impressed with the ride quality of the 2017 Ford F250, but I had the ultimate gauge of a smooth ride – my wife when she isn’t feeling well. I picked her up from work early because she was a bit under the weather and when I showed up in the new F250, she was clearly not in the best of moods. The drive home entailed some highway time followed by local roads, some of which are not paved, so we were on rough roads with a truck from a class known for being particularly harsh in terms of ride quality. However, as we neared home, my wife mentioned how impressed she was with the smoothness of the new Super Duty, pointing out that it felt as smooth from the passenger’s seat as many of the smaller trucks I have tested in the past few years.
After passing the “sick wife ride quality test”, the 2017 Ford F250 might as well have been handed an award, but I wanted to get the input of a few more people. I found reasons to pick up a few of my truck-owning friends for short rides around town and in most cases, they commented on the ride quality without my asking and in the few cases where I had to ask what they thought – they all praised the smooth ride of the new F250. Included in this group of passengers were two F250 owners, both of whom believed that this new, heavier duty Ford truck offered superior ride quality to their own Ford trucks.
The Final Word
The 2017 Ford F250 Lariat Super Duty is one of the toughest, strongest and hardest-working trucks sold in America, but unlike past heavy duty pickups, this new Super Duty offers a smoother ride for daily driving. The Ford engineers worked hard to make the new F250 the most capable ever, but at the same time, they made a new F250 which is more comfortable when being subjected to the most common task performed by truck owners – daily driving.
The 2017 F250 is a great work truck and it always has been, but the newest version of Ford’s ¾-ton truck also offers the most impressive ride quality both on- and off-road – making this a great option for someone who wants a hard-working truck that can be driven daily in comfort.