The Ford F-450 was, at one time, a commercial-only vehicle that companies would buy as a cab-only model and upfit it with a back end that suited their needs. In 2008, however, Ford saw it fit to slap a standard pickup bed on the back of this heavy-duty truck and offer it to retail buyers that needed some serious towing power.
What's New For 2015
For 2015, the F-450 gets even tougher, thanks to revised suspension and drivetrain bits, and commercial-grade wheels. This helps increase its max towing capacity to a class-leading 31,200 pounds. Also new is the second-generation, 6.7-liter, Power Stroke engine.
Choosing Your F-450
The big-daddy of the Ford F-Series Super Duty pickups, the F-450, sees plenty of under-the-skin revisions for 2015, but the most noticeable is the second-generation, 6.7-liter, Power Stroke diesel engine that now produces 440 horsepower and 860 foot-pounds of torque -- a 40 horsepower and 60 foot-pound increase. The only transmission available with this new engine is Ford's TorquShift six-speed SelectShift automatic and it mates to a standard four-wheel-drive system.
Though the drivetrain selection is very limited, the trim levels are not. You can choose a completely stripped-out model, a fully loaded luxury truck, or anything in between. In total, there are five trim levels available within the 2015 F-450 lineup:
The XL trim level is the base setup for the 2015 Ford F-450, and it comes standard with only a handful of features to help keep the price low. The XL's standard features include manual air conditioning, vinyl floor covering, map lights, two auxiliary power points, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a two-speaker audio system with AM/FM capabilities, vinyl seating with a 40/20/40 split bench seat, steel bumpers painted black, molded cab steps, black door handles and grille, lighted cargo area, roof clearance lights, tinted glass, trailer sway control, trailer hitch and 19.5-inch aluminum wheels. This relatively stripped-out model starts out at $51,720.
The XLT trim level pushes the base price up to $56,010, and its standard features make it a little more bearable inside and out. The XLT trim adds in front and rear cup holders, cruise control, soft-touch armrests, carpeted floor with floor mats, power windows and door locks, four power outlets, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, four-way headrests, an AM/FM/CD/MP3/SiriusXM audio system with four speakers and aux-in, Ford Sync Basic, cloth seats, chrome bumpers and grille, trailer mirrors with heat and spotter mirror, and an integrated trailer brake controller.
The Lariat trim level injects tons more premium features into the F-450, but it also cranks the price up to $62,705. For this extra cash, the Lariat adds in dual-zone auto climate control, power-adjustable pedals, a 4.2-inch LCD productivity screen, 110-volt power outlet, a review camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a reverse-sensing system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, premium Sony audio system with nine speakers and AM/FX/CD/MP3/ SiriusXM capabilities, Sync with MyFord Touch, premium leather seats with 10-way power up front, chrome tubular cab steps, body-color door handles, fog lights, power telescoping side-view mirrors, sliding rear glass, and a 200-amp alternator.
The $68,265 King Ranch is adds some basic features to the Lariat model and a good bit of exclusive, ranch-themed add-on items. The basic features the King Ranch adds include memory for the adjustable pedals, remote start, a universal garage door opener, navigation, position memory for the front seats with easy entry and exit, heated and cooled front seats, accent-colored bumpers with step pad, cad steps with illuminated accents, chrome grille with body-color surround, two-tone paint, and mirror-position memory. The King Ranch-exclusive features include a Mesa Brown leather-wrapped steering wheel and King Ranch Leather seating.
The Platinum is the range-topping trim within the F-450 lineup, as it builds on the already-loaded Lariat trim. For $68,790, the Platinum trim adds in memory for adjustable pedals, remote start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood trim and heat, a universal garage door opener, voice-activated navigation with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link, exclusive leather seating, seat-position memory with easy entry and exit, heated and cooled front seats, body-color bumpers, angular chrome cab steps, body-color door handles with chrome accents, a satin-chrome grille, tailgate step and handle, and chrome tow hooks.
For those looking for luxury, don't think that you can simply load up an XLT with all the bells and whistles to try and save money, as the XLT is not available with leather and is only a few hundred dollars shy of the Lariat when similarly equipped.