Full-size pickup trucks come in an assortment of designs and also include light- and heavy-duty models. The Ford F-250 is the base model for the Super Duty range, what you would consider if you're in search of optimum payload and towing capacities. The 2018 Ford F-250 isn’t just another handsome face, it's a workhorse that's also ideal for family and recreational pursuits.

Best Value

Like the F-150, the Ford F-250 is available in Regular, SuperCab, and Crew Cab configurations. You also have a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive, 6.75- and eight-foot boxes, and gas or turbodiesel engines. From there, you’ll pick one of six trims: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited.

Our choice is the F-250 Lariat four-wheel-drive model with the longer bed and the turbodiesel engine. We think this combination should appeal to individuals using the truck for work purposes as well as for family use. The Lariat seats five, replaces the front split bench seat with two bucket seats, and comes with a long list of standard equipment. These items include fog lights, 18-inch aluminum wheels, a security system, air conditioning, a 110-volt power outlet, a Sony audio system, the SYNC 3 infotainment system, and a reverse sensing system.

Here’s how we’d build ours:

  • Model: 2018 Ford F-250 Lariat 4x4 Crew Cab Long Box
  • Engine: 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8
  • Output: 440 hp / 925 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy: Not rated
  • Options: Turbodiesel V8 Engine ($9,120), High Capacity Trailer Tow Package ($1,130, hill descent control, specially tuned shocks, transfer case, fuel tank skid plates, rear stabilizer bar), Blind Spot Information System ($540, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, trailer tow)
  • Base Price: $53,135 (including a $1,495 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $63,925

Performance

Ford F-250

Do you want power? The Ford F-250 delivers. Your main dilemma may be whether to go with the gas or the turbodiesel engine. Choose the latter and you’ll immediately add an eye-watering $9,120 to your price. That said, we chose the turbodiesel for several reasons, including its durability, reduced maintenance, and incredible performance numbers. If you plan to keep your F-250 for many years, then the turbodiesel makes a lot of sense.

The turbodiesel delivers the head-spinning numbers you’ve heard about, including 4,300 pounds of payload. This means you can carry five or six 200-pound people inside and all their gear and still have more than 2,000 pounds for the truck bed. With conventional hitch towing, the F-250 pulls up to 18,000 pounds. Those numbers climb ever higher for fifth-wheel and gooseneck towing, respectively.

Ford also offers adaptive steering, something it bundles with its tow tech package. This system makes it easier to control the truck as it automatically adjusts the ratio between the driver’s steering wheel input and the rotation of the front wheels. The system is located within the steering wheel and utilizes an electric motor, a tiny computer and a gear unit. In effect, the system reduces driver workload and simply makes it easier to manage the truck in tight quarters.

Style

If you like your pickup trucks big, burly, and intimidating, the Ford F-250 does not disappoint. The current-generation Super Duty now shares the same cabs with the F-150. Both use a fully boxed, ladder frame underneath that's been stiffened 24 times more than the last generation truck.

The F-250 screams “macho” and does so beginning with its over-the-top grille. That grille has twin chromed power bars flanking both sides with C-shaped headlights. A massive hood, powerful shoulders, a long slab body, and Super Duty debossing on the tailgate are just a few of the many standout features.

Inside, there's ample room for everyone. Even the Regular cab fits three with ease. The SuperCab provides a rear seat, but the Crew Cab is the better choice for carrying up to six people in full comfort. Base models have a utilitarian look, but as you move up the trim ladder, the materials improve in quantity and quality. For the most part, Ford strikes a balance between comfort and flair and this works quite well in the 2018 F-250.

The Best and Worst Things

Ford’s available turbodiesel engine is a beast. It offers excellent pulling power, which is one of the main reasons you’ll want this engine. As with any pickup truck, prices can rapidly climb. Our example model costs $30,000 over the base price. Then again, the discounts typically offered will ease some of your pain.

Right For? Wrong For?

Ford F-250

The F-250 is ideal for work crews no matter how it's configured. The turbodiesel engine should last for many years, perhaps outlasting the life of the truck. On the other hand, the F-250 may be overkill for buyers who simply want a big truck, like the Ford F-150.

The Bottom Line

The 2018 Ford F-250 is the step-off model for the Super Duty line and, therefore, offers an attractive price point for businesspeople and families alike. It harnesses the popularity of the F-150 while delivering superior payload and towing performance, with two powerful engine choices for your consideration.