2011 Ford Super Duty F-250 4x4 Crew Cab XLT

The thing about the F-250: Amateurs need not apply.

The thing about the F-250: Amateurs need not apply.

Did you ever have that experience when you’ve come across a word that strikes you—“Gee, that’s interesting; I haven’t thought about that for a long time”—and then before too long, you read or see it again? Or the same could happen in the context of seeing an actress or something else.

Because you’ve noticed it, you can’t help but to notice it repeatedly.

And it occurred to me that there are plenty of people driving pickups in the Detroit metro area. If this isn’t one of the places where there is a freakish concentration of them, I don’t know what is.

Well, it occurred to me when I was behind the wheel of the F-250. Soon, there were pickups everywhere, being driven by people ranging from contractors to college students.

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But I think I noticed them for one reason: Because this is one Hard-Asterisked pickup truck, and boy did I ever feel it when I was behind the wheel.  The others I saw seemed puny by comparison.  When I was stopped at a light next to someone in another, generally lesser, truck, I could feel the envy. When it was parked in my driveway it seemed big enough to be an addition onto my garage onto itself. Huge. Massive. Impressive.

If it didn’t have the chrome tubular cab step I would have probably pulled something trying to climb into it. If it didn’t have Ford’s highly clever Tailgate Step option, I would have never been able to climb into the bed, which was covered with the optional Tough Bed spray-in bedliner. (I didn’t actually need to do anything back there; I just figured that it would be obligatory to this to use it.) I’d like to think that if it didn’t have the optional reverse vehicle aid sensor and optional rear view camera I would have still been able to do a reasonable job of backing it up. But one of my colleagues soundly disagrees.

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The vehicle is equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 engine that generates 385 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque, which, compared to the previous 5.4-liter V8 gasoline engine, is 85 hp better and 40 lb-ft more. There is a new six-speed transmission. There is a 35-gallon fuel tank, and the engine runs on regular or E-85. You’ll be glad that it can run on regular because, well, it is a Big-Asterisked pickup truck and after it gets up and goes, it needs a long, hard drink. Which is to say that even though the fuel economy is said to be “improved,” there is no EPA Fuel Economy Estimates on the window sticker because they’re not required for a truck like this. And it is sort of like the old line, “If you’ve got to ask, you can’t afford it.”

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So here’s the thing: This is a serious work truck for serious people. In the array as Driven, I can say that it had a comfortable, roomy interior with a good audio system. It is about the size of my office. For the people who actually drive these trucks, the interior often is their office, so spaciousness, comfort, and utility are key attributes. Which is about as far as I can take it.

Because this is a truck for serious truck people. And I’m not one of them.

But damn if I didn’t feel cocky driving it amid all of those other pickup drivers who were in other vehicles.

Selected Specs

Engine: 6.2-liter V8

Material: Cast-iron block and aluminum heads

Horsepower: 385 @ 5,500 rpm

Torque: 405 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Wheelbase: 156.2 in.

Length: 246.8 in.

Width: 79.7 in.

Height: 79.9 in.

Box length: 81.8 in.

Box width (max): 69.3 in.

Box width (wheelhouse): 50.9 in.

Box height: 79.7 in.

MSRP: $39,420

Price as Driven: $45,245