2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty

2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Review: A New Benchmark

The 2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty sits right at the top of the company's Super Duty range and is one of the largest, most capable trucks in the USA. Mechanically, the F-450 remains unchanged for the 2021 model year so it retains the mighty 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbodiesel engine developing 475 horsepower and a massive 1,050 lb-ft of torque. All of that grunt is sent to the rear wheels (a dual-rear-wheel setup is standard) or all four corners. Factory-built with a gooseneck hitch, the powerhouse truck is able to tow up to 37,000 lbs (the equivalent of three African elephants), while conventional towing maxes out at 24,200 lbs. Those are superb numbers but the Ram 3500 can actually tow slightly more, with a maximum of 37,100 lbs. The 3500 also boasts a luxurious interior in its top trims. However, the Ford F-450 Super Duty remains a formidable all-rounder.

2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 F-450 Super Duty?

Ford has made a few feature updates to the F-450 lineup. There are a few new paint colors like Antimatter Blue, Carbonized Gray, and Lithium Gray. Inside, the standard 10-way power passenger seat has actually been downgraded to eight-way power-adjustability. Among the driver aids, adaptive steering is now standard on the Limited and optional on all other trims. The previous Lariat Sport Appearance Package has been dropped but a new Lariat Black Appearance Package has been added. There are a few other minor feature changes but nothing that dramatically affects the appeal or capability of the truck.

Pros and Cons

  • Potent V8 turbo diesel engine
  • Two spacious cabin options
  • Well-appointed upper trim levels
  • Phenomenal 37,000-lb towing capacity
  • Affordable starting price
  • Horrendous fuel economy
  • Interior and features are a bit dated
  • Price maxes out in the area of $100k

Best Deals on F-450 Super Duty

2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
XL
6.7L Turbo V8 Diesel
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$50,410
XLT
6.7L Turbo V8 Diesel
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$56,270
Lariat
6.7L Turbo V8 Diesel
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$67,265
King Ranch
6.7L Turbo V8 Diesel
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$75,810
Platinum
6.7L Turbo V8 Diesel
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$80,045

F-450 Super Duty Pickup Truck Exterior

Sitting at the top of the Super Duty range, the F-450 certainly looks as capable as it is. From its enormous grille, to the blocky quad halogen headlights, to the standard dual rear wheels, everything about the pickup advertises its massive capabilities. The entry-level XL comes with a solid black grille framed by automatic quad halogen headlights, while the upper trims get chrome-trimmed grilles and the upper-most trims boast LED head- and taillights as well as fog lights. Every model comes standard with 19.5-inch alloy wheels and a dual-rear-wheel configuration. The Regular Cab is mounted as standard on the XL and XLT, while the optional Crew Cab comes standard on the remaining trims. The only cargo bed available to the F-450 is the longer eight-foot bed.

2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Front Angle View Ford
2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Rear Angle View Ford
2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Front Angle View 1 Ford
See All 2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The F-450 isn't as customizable as some of the lighter-duty pick-ups. Only the shortest and longest wheelbases are available, either 141.6 inches or 176 inches, along with the longer eight-foot cargo bed, giving the truck an overall length of between 231.8 inches and 266.2 inches. The strongest Super Duty stands tall at around 82 inches and wider than most at 105.9 inches with mirrors. When necessary, the truck can go off-road with its 8.6-inch ground clearance. By comparison, the Ram Super Duty is lifted higher off the ground with a maximum ground clearance figure of 13.1 inches. but the angles of approach and departure aren't that impressive - 18.5 - 19 degrees and 18.3 - 21.6 degrees, respectively. You'll be hard-pressed to find a heavier vehicle on the road, with the lightest F-450 weighing in at 7,712 pounds, while the heaviest tips the scale at a whopping 8,587 lbs.

  • Length 231.8 in
  • Wheelbase 142.0 in
  • Height 81.7 in
  • Max Width 96.0 in

Exterior Colors

  • Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
  • Star White Metallic Tri-Coat
  • Lithium Gray Metallic
  • Antimatter Blue Metallic
  • Velocity Blue Metallic
  • Agate Black Metallic
  • Oxford White
  • Stone Gray Metallic
  • Race Red
  • Carbonized Gray Metallic
  • Iconic Silver Metallic

2021 Ford F-450 Truck Performance

2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Front View Driving Ford
2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Front Angle View 2 Ford
2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Badge Ford

Engine and Transmission

Every Ford F-450 truck model has a diesel engine that is incredibly strong, although the powertrain diversity found in the one-ton F-350 trucks is absent here. The 6.7L diesel V8 has a turbo to help it deliver peak outputs of 475 hp and 1,050 hp. It comes paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. All this power is directed towards the rear wheels as standard, but the four-wheel drivetrain is available to every model. Only the top-tier Limited comes standard with four-wheel drive.

The engine certainly isn't lacking, moving the four-ton truck without much fuss, getting up to 60 mph from a standstill in around eight seconds. This acceleration isn't too adversely affected when the truck is loaded to capacity, either. Since the F-450 comes equipped with a gooseneck hitch as standard, it's maximum towing capacity is set at 37,000 lbs right off the bat. That's the equivalent of approximately seven Blue Whale tongues, but it's surprisingly not the best specs in the segment - the Ram 3500 can tow up to 37,100 lbs. If you do decide to tow conventionally, the Ford can pull 24,200 lbs in its most optimal guise.

  • Engine
    6.7L Turbo V8 Diesel
  • Transmission
    10-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

There's no denying that the F-450 Super Duty is a gargantuan beast of a truck with a sturdy chassis and the rugged hardware required to attain those mammoth towing numbers. It certainly has the power to move around without much trouble, but its size and weight still work against it in terms of handling. However, unlike the smaller F-350 and F-250, the top-tier pick-up boasts a particularly wide front axle, which gives it a surprisingly tight turning radius. This helps the Ford feel slightly less cumbersome than it is around town, and the available adaptive steering (standard on the Limited) is not unwelcome, either.

The rugged and durable construction of the truck means that it is pretty solid on the road, but even with a bump here and there, it delivers a relatively smooth ride. Load it up, though, and the extra weight helps the pick-up smooth over the bumps more easily to feel quite pleasant. Naturally, the heavy vehicle remains planted on the road during regular driving, but try taking a corner at speed, and that quickly changes. This is a workhorse, not a racehorse.

The power-extending side tow mirrors and available blind-spot monitoring or surround view camera make towing a breeze. And speaking of breezes, the cabin is well-insulated so noise from wind and the tires won't be a huge problem. On the rare occasion when they may creep in, they are effortlessly drowned out by the roar of the V8 engine.

F-450 Super Duty Gas Mileage

Those in the know will be used to heavy-duty trucks like the F-450 gulping down gas at an alarmingly rapid rate. Due to its niche use, the Super Duty has not been rated for gas mileage by the EPA, but there are a number of real-world reports from consumers. The majority of buyers seem to favor the Crew Cab models, which seem to get an average of around 10.5 mpg in the combined mileage cycle. While there haven't been enough reports for the Regular Cab to offer an accurate reading, we expect the lighter build to get slightly better fuel consumption figures. As thirsty as the F-450 may be, it can actually cover a fair amount of ground, around 504 miles, with the larger 48-gallon tank that's fitted to the Crew Cab. The Regular Cab has a smaller 29-gallon gas tank, dropping the range to just over 300 miles assuming similar consumption.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    29.0 Gallons
* 2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty XL 2WD Regular Cab 8' Box DRW

F-450 Super Duty Interior

2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Dashboard Ford
2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Dashboard 1 Ford
2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Armrest Ford
See All 2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Outfitted with the Regular Cab, the Super Duty can accommodate up to three passengers in relative comfort. Another cab is available, though. The Crew Cab is the largest of the options, supplying more than enough room to seat up to six people. Headroom is excellent all-around and the legroom in the back is more than ample to accommodate even taller adults. Visibility is quite good thanks to the height of the cabin and position of the seats, but there isn't much adjustability on the lower trims. The upper trims come with a ten-way power-adjustable front seat, though, along with much plusher leather upholstery. For the most part, comfort is pretty good, even with the basic cloth- or vinyl-appointed seats, but the seat cushions could be better. Getting in and out could be easier, too, but the side steps and grab handles do help when climbing into the large vehicle.

  • Seating capacity
    3-seater
  • Front Leg Room 43.9 in
  • Front Head Room 40.8 in

F-450 Super Duty Trunk and Cargo Space

As one might expect from a pick-up, the F-450 has no standard trunk, instead relying on its large cargo bed for most storage. There is some space inside the cabin, though, with 11.6 cubic feet supplied behind the front seats in the Regular Cab. The larger Crew Cab comes with fold-down rear seats, increasing this area to 52.1 cubic feet. The only bed available to the F-450 is the longer eight-foot variant, with a maximum width of 66.9 inches and a height of 21.1 inches. This gives it a total of 78.5 cubic feet of storage space, although taller items can be accommodated. In its most capable configuration, the Super Duty can haul loads weighing up to 6,210 lbs.

The Regular Cab doesn't offer many places to stow smaller items, but the Crew Cab is more generous. If you swap out the front bench for bucket seats, you are given a rather large center armrest console that comes outfitted with cupholders and a storage compartment. The rear passengers get a fold-down armrest with cupholders, and all front seatbacks come with map pockets. There is a standard glove compartment, too, but the door pockets are a bit small and narrow.

2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Rear Passenger Seats Ford
2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Badge 1 Ford
2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Rear View Ford

F-450 Super Duty Infotainment and Features

Features

Presented in the same trim options as the rest of the F-series Super Duty range, the F-450 offers all the same features as its smaller brothers. The base model is the XL, which comes appointed with air conditioning, manually-adjustable seats with manual lumbar support for the driver, and a pair of 12-volt power outlets. Remote keyless entry, cargo bed locking cleats, and a 4.2-inch instrument cluster are added to the XLT, while the Lariat gets a ten-way power driver's seat, an eight-way power front passenger seat, and automatic dual-zone climate control. The King Ranch then adds heated and ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel with power tilt-and-telescoping. The penultimate Platinum gets multi-contour front seats and adaptive cruise control, while the top-tier Limited adds a twin-panel moonroof and adaptive steering. The upholstery is upgraded through the trim levels, too, starting with vinyl, before moving on to cloth and finally premium leather surfaces. The Ford Co-Pilot360 safety suite is present on even the most basic trim, while the upper trims unlock more of its features. The entire suite comprises a rearview camera, forward collision avoidance, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and a surround-view camera.

Infotainment

Only the base-level XL comes standard with the smaller 4.2-inch Sync infotainment display, programmed with Bluetooth functions and supplemented by a single USB-C port. Every other trim gets the larger eight-inch touchscreen that grants access to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM, while adding another USB port. A FordPass Connect 4G Wi-Fi Modem comes standard on every model. The King Ranch further adds HD Radio, navigation, voice commands, and a wireless charging pad. The standard sound system differs between trims, with the XL getting a four-speaker set-up or six speakers with the larger Crew Cab. The ten-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system is standard from the Lariat upwards.

F-450 Super Duty Problems and Reliability

Despite the popularity of heavy-duty trucks in the United States, the F-450 Super Duty has never received a verified dependability rating from J.D. Power. One tier down, the 2021 F-350 has received a strong rating of 86 out of 100, including an excellent 89/100 reliability and quality rating.

Nevertheless, the large truck has been recalled a number of times over the years. The 2021 model has one recall on record for inadequate windshield bonding that could see the windshield separate from the vehicle in an accident. The 2020 model was recalled for the same thing as well as a faulty rearview camera. However, the 2019 model was even worse with five recalls including a tailgate that could open unexpectedly and a fire risk from the block heater connector.

Ford offers a 36,000-mile/three-year limited warranty on new purchases, as well as 60,000 miles/five years of roadside assistance. Only the diesel powertrain which is available to the F-450, gets a longer 100,000-mile/five-year warranty. Finally, the corrosion warranty runs for a period of five years.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

F-450 Super Duty Safety

A crashworthiness review for the Ford F-450 truck has not been conducted by both the NHTSA and the IIHS. Despite this, Ford has taken pains to ensure that its pickup will keep you and your family safe. Each truck comes with standard mechanical features like ABS, stability and traction control, and six airbags: dual front, front side, and side curtain. Other standard features include a rearview camera and Ford's Co-Pilot360 safety suite. While not every trim gets the full umbrella of the features, Co-Pilot360 comprises hill start assist, lane keep assist, rear parking assistance, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beam assist, forward collision avoidance, and a surround-view camera.

Verdict: 🏁Is The 2021 Ford F-450 Diesel Truck Model Lineup A Good Choice?

If you need to tow an entire stable of horses or a small mountain, then the Ford F-450 Super Duty is pretty much the first choice in a very short list. Despite its superlative capabilities, the F-450 is matched or bettered in some ways by rivals like the Ram 3500.

Thanks to its powerful V8 diesel engine and sturdy dual-rear-wheel configuration, the Ford pick-up can haul loads of 6,210 lbs or pull up to 37,000 lbs. The Ram 3500 surpasses these figures with a maximum payload of 7,680 lbs and a towing capacity of 37,100 lbs. In terms of interior quality and feature availability, the F-450 isn't the most luxurious, and the Ram offers some advanced tech like a 12-inch touchscreen. The Ford fights back with a better reliability rating, though.

Despite its size, the F-450 Super Duty pickup truck handles quite well and delivers a relatively smooth ride. If you spec it right, the truck can serve as a family vehicle while still pulling its weight out in the field. There is little doubt that the Ford F-450 is an excellent heavy-duty truck, but whether or not it is the best choice for you will come down to very specific needs. If you're just going to be hauling cargo in the bed, there are better options, but if you're going to be towing your family caravan around the country, you can't do much better than the big Ford.

🚘What's the Price of the New F-450 Super Duty?

Despite its impressive capabilities, the starting price of the F-450 Super Duty is not overly expensive. In fact, the base-level XL can be had for as little as $50,410, while still allowing you to reach the maximum towing capacity of 24,200 - 37,000 lbs. The XLT is a modest step up in price to $56,270, but that's where modesty ends. You'll need to shell out over $65k to meet the Lariat's MSRP of $67,265, and the King Ranch adds another $10k to push the price up to $77,310. Another modest step is taken with the Platinum, starting at a cost of $80,045, before the giant leap to the top-tier Limited, which opens bidding at $91,125.

Upgrading from 4x2 to 4x4 on the cheapest model will add $3,310 to the price of the 2021 Ford F-150 truck but this changes depending on the trim and body style. For instance, the Lariat Crew Cab is $2,765 more expensive in 4x4 guise. The Limited comes with 4x4 as standard. If you want everything the truck has to offer, expect to pay much more than $100k. These prices exclude tax, registration, licensing, and Ford's $1,695 destination charge.

Among other trucks for sale in the US, the Ram 3500 is one of the best with similar capabilities. It has a lower starting price of $35,795.

2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Models

See All 2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Trims and Specs

🚗What Ford F-450 Super Duty Model Should I Buy?

The new Ford F-450 pickup truck is all about towing the heaviest loads. Sure, it can be outfitted to work double-duty as a family vehicle, especially with the spacious Crew Cab, but adding on all the comfort and tech features needed to meet that need quickly pushes the price out of the range of blue-collar workers to the white-collar 1%. In fact, it's actually the base model XL, equipped with the Regular Cab, that can do the heaviest lifting. You may want to throw on some basic comforts like dual-zone climate control or more comfortable leather upholstery. But unless you plan on making your Super Duty your daily vehicle, there's little reason to pay more than around $55k for your 2021 F-450 pickup model of choice.

2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty Comparisons

Ford F-350 Super Duty Ford
GMC Sierra 3500HD GMC
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Ford F-450 Super Duty475 hpTBC$50,410
Ford F-350 Super Duty 385 hpTBC$35,550
GMC Sierra 3500HD 401 hpTBC$37,000

2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty vs Ford F-350 Super Duty

Hailing from the same heritage as the F-450, the Ford F-350 Super Duty isn't quite as hardy as its big brother. That's not to say it can't handle itself, especially since it gets access to the same V8 diesel engine. However, the F-350 comes standard with a 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engine, with yet another available gas engine, a 7.3-liter V8. Developing 385 hp and 430 lb-ft or 430 hp and 475 lb-ft, respectively, these powertrains certainly can't handle the same work as the diesel. When properly equipped, though, the F-350 can tow 21,200 lbs in conventional style, and up to 35,750 lbs in a gooseneck configuration. This is only 1,250 lbs less than the F-450's maximum capacity. In just about every other regard, the two trucks are identical. Still, the F-350 starts at nearly $15,000 less with its base V8 engine, so unless you really need the extra towing and hauling capability, the cheaper truck should do the trick.

See Ford F-350 Super Duty Review

2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty vs GMC Sierra 3500HD

The GMC Sierra 3500HD was redesigned last year and is no longer the laughing stock of the heavy-duty community. In the past, it was barely able to tow more than half what the F-450 could manage, but thanks to various changes in its structural design, the Sierra can now tow 20,000 lbs of conventional weight or 36,000 lbs in gooseneck when equipped with its Duramax turbodiesel. And while this is still below the capacity of the Ford F-450, the GMC can actually haul heavier loads in its cargo bed - up to 7,442 lbs. Inside the cabin, the Sierra 3500HD is just as spacious as the F-450 Super Duty, and each truck delivers similar ride quality. Still, the GMC Sierra is newer, which means it has the most modern tech, but the quality of the interior still isn't up to snuff. While it may not be the young buck on the market, the powerful F-450 workhorse is still the better choice.

See GMC Sierra 3500HD Review

Ford F-450 Super Duty Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty:

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