The V8 engines are great. The ride comfort, not so much.
The 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty is now the oldest of the big three American heavy-duty trucks after new generations of the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, GMC Sierra 2500HD, and Ram 2500 emerged. To ensure its best-selling truck didn't lose any ground, its Super Duty lineup received a much welcome facelift for the 2020 model year. We first drove the new Super Duty earlier this year in Arizona and found many things to like about it, including the new off-road-oriented Tremor Package.
Ford recently sent us a more road-oriented 2020 F-250 Lariat to review for a week, allowing us to get more in-depth with what's new and updated. Here's what we love about the facelifted F-250 and what we aren't so fond of.
All 2020 Super Duty models have been given a new front end, which allows for better cooling. The F-250 remains one of the more handsome full-size trucks on the market, especially when equipped with the Lariat Sport Package as seen on our tester. This $4,295 package adds a black grille, black accents, 20-inch black wheels, and a spray-in bed liner. The black accents make what is already an attractive truck look even more aggressive and prevents the Super Duty from showing signs of its age.
While Ford was busy improving the exterior of its Super Duty trucks, it was a bit less interested in improving the interior. The cabin is essentially a carryover from the 2019 model with the exclusion of some updated trim appliques on the Lariat model. Most of the plastics are what you'd expect to find on a full-size truck and the Lariat trim does bring with it some softer leathers for the seats and upper dashboard.
Overall, we'd say the F-250's cabin comes close to the newer interiors from GM but it pales in comparison to the opulence found in the Ram. An eight-inch touchscreen felt like enough when the Super Duty debuted a number of years ago but Ram's 12-inch display is massive by contrast. If you are buying a full-size truck based solely on the interior, the Ram is the clear winner.
The base engine in the F-250 is a 6.2-liter V8 but we were sent the optional 7.3-liter 'Godzilla' V8. This is the most powerful gasoline engine in the segment and the second-largest on the market next to the Bugatti's Chiron's 8.0-liter W16. With 435 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque paired with a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic, the F-250's drivetrain hums along effortlessly until you bury your foot into the accelerator releasing a throaty roar.
For even more effortless power, an optional 6.7-liter turbocharged PowerStroke diesel engine develops a whopping 475 hp and 1,050 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers beggar believe and do wonders for the F-250's towing capacity. But the 7.3-liter Godzilla is much more affordable ($2,045 compared to $10,495) and it runs quieter. If you don't need the towing capacity, get the 7.3. It's a marvel of an engine.
Moderns trucks, particularly half-ton trucks, have come a remarkably long way in terms of livability and comfort. These vehicles used to be utilitarian, built only for work purposes and the occasional need to haul co-workers in the back. While the Super Duty has become far more luxurious with trims like the King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited, its ride comfort still pales in comparison to smaller full-size options like the F-150.
Riding on a solid rear axle with leaf springs, the F-250 bounces around on road undulations like a child on a pogo stick. The bouncy suspension is a necessary evil in order to meet the Super Duty's tremendous towing capability but if you just need a comfortable truck to drive every day, we recommend going smaller.
As you'd expect from a truck that's 250 inches long in Crew Cab configuration, there is a ton of space for cargo and passengers. The cabin houses abundant storage areas in the door pockets, center console, and dashboard. Ford has even designed a clever center console storage area that can be converted into two additional cupholders. The rear boasts 43.9 inches of legroom in the Crew Cab and underneath those seats, there is a collapsable, lockable storage compartment. Bed sizes of 6.75 feet and 8 feet ensure that you can fit plenty of large cargo.
Ride comfort in the F-250 may be subpar but Ford has equipped the Lariat trim level with plenty of technology and luxury features to make it livable. The niceties including heated and ventilated leather seats with power memory, a 360-degree camera system, B&O audio system, wireless charger, panoramic roof, and an integrated bed step. There are also so many charging ports throughout the cabin, you could power a small office.