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The F-350 XL is the work truck of the range, but comes in either regular, crew or super cab versions, with beds ranging from 6 3/4-feet to 8 feet. The standard engine is a 6.2-liter V8 with 385 horsepower and a six-speed automatic. Buyers can also opt for a 6.7-liter diesel V8 with massive torque figures.
Standard features also include a front bench seat, split-folding bench on crew cab and super cab models, air conditioning, vinyl floor, front seat lumbar adjustment, two-speaker audio system, trip computer, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and telescoping side mirrors. The XLT model adds cup holders, soft-touch interior trim, cruise control, a carpeted floor, AUX input for the radio that includes a CD player and other convenience features. The luxurious Lariat trim comes as either a crew cab or super cab and adds dual-zone automatic climate control, special paint, Sony Premium Audio, Ford's SYNC system and premium leather seats.
See our picks for best pickup trucks in the CarsDirect 2013 Pickup Truck Buying Guide.
The Chevy Silverado 2500 and GMC Sierra 2500 trucks offer stronger powerplants and are sometimes cheaper depending on trim level, but offer inferior luxury features. The Ram 3500 also has a strong diesel option and an interior that's better appointed on all trim levels, but doesn't haul quite as much. As for imports, the Toyota Tundra offers a strong 5.6-liter V8 but doesn't offer a heavy duty option that really competes with the Ford, let alone the other domestics.
With that, the F-350 shows why it's part of the extremely successful F-series of Ford trucks. There's a wide selection and configurations to suit every want and need, and there's a powerful gas V8 and V8 diesel, as well as the opulent Lariat version – and many versions are available with the same convenience and technology features Ford puts in its cars. A serious truck like the F-350 merits serious consideration from anyone shopping in this segment.
The XL aims to be for buyers looking for just the basics in a heavy duty truck, but it still has enough amenities to make it livable. The standard engine is a 6.2-liter V8 with 385 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission. Power goes through the rear wheels or all four with the optional four-wheel drive system. It's available in regular cab, super cab and 4-door crew cab versions. XL models get a 40/20/40 split front bench seat for three passengers and a vinyl floor covering. Bed lengths are available in 6 3/4-foot and 8-foot. Air conditioning is standard, along with a two-speaker AM/FM radio, trip computer, tilt and telescopic steering wheel and tie-down hooks in the bed. A 6.7-liter diesel V8 is optional and offers 400 horsepower and 800 lb-ft. of torque. The XL Value Package includes a four-speaker audio system with CD player, cruise control and chrome exterior trim. The Power Group adds power windows, mirrors and locks with remote keyless entry and soft-touch interior trim. Remote start, steering wheel mounted audio controls, SYNC, upfitter switches and cloth upholstery are also options.
The XLT includes a few more creature comforts to make life in this big truck a little more relaxing. XLT includes equipment from the Value Package and Power Group, and also offers either a 6.2-liter V8 or 6.7-liter diesel with the same cab and bed options. Cupholders up front are standard, as are carpets, steering wheel audio controls, articulating headrests, AUX input, Ford's SYNC system with USB, cloth upholstery and chrome bumpers. The XLT Value Package adds a power driver's seat, power adjustable pedals, automatic door locks, rear parking sensors and a door-mounted keypad. SiriusXM satellite radio, four-wheel drive and a multi-function dash display are also options.
The Lariat comes packed with features more typical of a luxury car than a big truck. Available only in super cab and crew cab, the Lariat comes standard with premium leather seats, special paint and exterior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, power adjustable pedals, wood-tone trim, an LCD productivity screen, a 110-volt outlet, backup camera, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, parking sensors and a Sony premium audio system with SiriusXM. Options include a touchscreen navigation system, memory settings for the driver, a diesel engine and four-wheel drive.
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Age is starting to show, but still offers lots of capability and good engines and transmission
Powerful engines and good value but interior shows its age
Strong diesel option and nice interior, but can be very expensive
Not a heavy duty option, but offers a robust V8 and lots of towing and payload capacity