I’ve often used the phrase “over trucked” to describe people who own full-size pickup trucks and use them merely as daily drivers. Of course, to each their own I say. But sometimes, you need even more truck and I got to spend a week in the 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty. And boy did it convince me why many opt for the even bigger truck!
While this truck was a thing of beauty and would be worthy of being a daily driver, this is really a truck aimed for the work site or at least as a weekend warrior.
I did a quick comparison of the F-250 and the F-150 and while on paper the F-150 with the maxed out towing package could pull almost as much as the F-250, the payload difference, plus the mechanical differences between the F-150 and Super Duty shows that for those who have a big boat, a fifth wheel RV or have heavy equipment needs on a worksite, nothing beats a Super Duty.
And with a hefty price tag attached to many F-150s, the F-250 is actually affordable when you compare the two. For example, my tester was the F-250 Lariat x4 Crew Cab with the Tremor Off-Road Package. And with equipment packages (like the Tremor) and options added to the base MSRP of $52,445 (a pretty affordable price point in comparison), the final price tag was $72,480. A hefty price, but certainly some F-150s can approach that level too.
So let’s take a closer look at some of the new features of the 2020 Super Duty plus look at that Godzilla engine.
What’s New On the 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty?
There are several new features for this model year. While the 14th-generation F-150 which comes out as a 2021 model year steals all the attention, the Super Duty is quietly updating and keeping itself relevant with lots updates, additions and changes. Beyond the addition of the 7.3-liter V8 engine (more on that below), there are plenty of other new features including:
• Torqshift 10-speed automatic transmission. This transmission is specially built for the Super Duty and has several adjustable modes including tow/haul and Eco.
• 35-inch off road tires. These are available on the Tremor Off Road Package, which my tester came equipped with.
• New colors including iconic silver, star white metallic tri-coat, velocity blue and Rapid Run (which is what my tester had and looked fantastic with). See photo above.
7.3-liter V8 Gasoline Engine
Known as the Godzilla engine, this big displacement engine is a favorite of many enthusiasts. I wrote about how Ford Performance has made this engine available as a crate engine and that it can even fit into a Mustang. Can you imagine?
The 7.3-liter engine in Super Duty pickup cranks out best-in-class gas V8 output of 430 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and best-in-class torque of 475 ft.-lb. at 4,000 rpm.
No other competitor provides such a powerful and advanced gasoline engine in such a broad range of offerings – from Class 2 Super Duty pickups through Class 7 commercial trucks.
“The 7.3-liter is designed for maximum durability in the harshest environments given that our customers live and work in these conditions every day,” said Joel Beltramo, Ford manager for gas V8 engines. “This engine has the largest displacement in its class and is designed to provide benefits in key areas like power, durability, ease of maintenance and total operating costs.”
Based on decades of commercial engine experience, the 7.3-liter V8 delivers class-leading performance in a compact package. The 7.3-liter V8 features an overhead valve architecture that generates power low in the rev range to help get heavier loads moving sooner and with greater confidence. It also features a variable-displacement oil pump, extra-large main bearings, forged steel crankshaft for durability, and piston cooling jets to help manage temperatures under heavy load.
This F-250 (4x4 CrewCab SRW) with the 7.3-liter V8 engine has a maximum towing capacity of 15,000 pounds and a maximum payload of nearly 3,500 pounds. So not only is it a powerful engine, but it’s one capable of doing a lot of work. It appears like Ford has a hit on their hand with this engine option for the Ford Super Duty.
However, adding this engine does drop $2,045 to the final price tag. The EPA does not do fuel ratings for heavy-duty trucks so there are no ratings. But general testing of the F-250 with 4x4 and the 7.3-liter engine showed an average of 14-15 mpg average. That’s not as good as the diesel Powerstroke of course, but it is an improvement over the 6.2-liter V8 gas engine.
Driver Assist Features in Ford Super Duty
Ford adds a lot of new driver assistance technology into this F-250. Some of the new driver assist features added include: adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor, lane keep assist warning, pre-collision assistance with emergency braking.
Additionally, Ford adds the Pro Trailer Backup Assist for XL, XLT and Lariat models (standard for the higher trims). The Tremor Off Road Package is new to the 2020 model year and is optional on XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum.
Some may poopoo the trailer assist as unnecessary and for long-time truck owners, that’s the case. But spend any time near a body of water and you see plenty of boat owners who are clearly not that comfortable backing their boat into the water. Just look at the story my colleague Marc Stern did on one such incident.
Tremor Package on Ford Super Duty
The Tremor Off-Road Package is a $3,975 added option onto the 2020 Ford F-250.
With it you get the aforementioned 35-inch tires, plus skid plates. It also has a 10,000 pound GVWR package as well as low gloss black paint aluminum 18-inch wheels.
How Much Does the Ford F-250 Super Duty Cost?
My tester had several added on features and packages that were nice, but also added a pretty penny to price.
There’s an impressive twin-panel moonroof that spans the entire roof and really adds a nice luxurious vibe, not to mention lets a lot more light into the Super Duty. The cost of this feature is $1,495.
Stowable loading ramps fold into the sides of the truck bed and can be unlocked to pull out and down, to make loading something like an ATV much easier. This neat feature has a cost of $695.
The aforementioned Pro-Trailer Backup Assist costs $1,600 and the aforementioned adaptive cruise control costs $740.
One nice touch that I took note of and had to ask a truck expert what the purpose was the lights under the side mirrors. There’s a switch to activate these. I’m told (as the suburbanite that I am) that this can be really handy on a ranch at night. Either way it looked sharp (see the photo above).
All of the options/packages added to my tester cost an extra $18,340 (ouch!). So you can pick and choose what works best for you. As tested, my 2020 Ford F-250 Lariat with Tremor and 4x4 had a final MSRP of $72,480.
I stand by my statement that often the American truck-buying consumer is over trucked. Then an even bigger truck comes into my life and tries to change my opinion. Honestly, this F-250 felt as good, as luxurious and definitely drove as nice as the F-150. So it remains a viable option for the truck-buying consumer out there.
Okay Super Duty owners out there, let’s hear from you. Why is your Super Duty better than an F-150? Why did you choose to buy it? Leave me your comment below.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.