2019 Ford F-250 Limited 4X4 Crew Cab
Class: Large Pickup Truck
Miles driven: 218
Fuel used: 15.6 gallons
|CG Report Card
|Room and Comfort
|Power and Performance
|Fit and Finish
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
|Big & Tall Comfort
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Real-world fuel economy: 13.9 mpg
Driving mix: 50% city, 50% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: N/A
Fuel type: Diesel
Base price: $80,240 (not including $1595 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: 3.55 electronic-locking axle ($390), gooseneck hitch kit ($250), all-weather floor mats ($135), FX4 Off-Road Package ($400), 5th-wheel hitch-prep package ($500), Tough Bed spray-in bedliner ($595)
Price as tested: $84,105
The great: Cavernous interior; impressive towing and hauling capabilities
The good: Surprisingly easy to drive, considering the XXL dimensions
The not so good: Steep prices; fuel economy
From the inside, the 2019 Ford F-150 half-ton pickups and F-250 ¾-ton pickups are remarkably similar. The two vehicles share the same cab, as do the even-heavier-duty F-350 and F-450 trucks. There are some trim and detail differences, but if you’ve sat behind the wheel of an F-150, you’ll feel at home in the F-250.
The F-150 is not branded Super Duty, however, and there’s a reason for that. Despite boasting driving manners that rival most crossovers, the F-150 is a capable worker, but generally considered a light-duty vehicle. Experts in towing and hauling generally recommend not pulling anything much heavier than 9000 pounds with any half-ton truck, the F-150 included.
In brief, upgrading from an F-150 to an F-250 nets you a heavier-duty frame; full-floating, 8-lug axles (up from semi-floating 6-lug units); increased ride height; unique powertrain options; and significantly improved towing and hauling capabilities. So, what’s the downside? Primarily increased purchase cost, diminished handling prowess and ride quality, and an increased turning radius that can make in-city maneuvering a serious hassle. You will also be asked to pay a large sum of money for the available—and seriously powerful—Power Stroke diesel engine. More on that engine in a moment.
We recently spent a week behind the wheel of the 2019 Ford F-250 in top-of-the-line Limited trim. Our opulently appointed crew-cab test truck came to $84,105 with a handful of options that included a locking rear axle, fifth-wheel trailering equipment, a spray-in bedliner, and the FX4 Off-Road Package. For 2019, all F-250 Limited models include the Power Stroke engine, which lists for roughly $9000 as on option on other F-250 trim levels.
The 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 produces 450 horsepower and a stout 935 lb-ft of torque, and mates only to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Standard on most other F-250 models is a 385-horsepower 6.2-liter gasoline V8. Note that a new optional 7.3-liter gas engine is being added to the F-250 engine lineup for 2020.
Given all the power, equipment, and torque, the actual F-250 driving experience is surprisingly tranquil. Ford’s Super Duty trucks ride and handle about as well as the F-150 did a couple of generations ago, and require little additional care in operation, save for awareness of the vehicle’s sheer mass.
In Limited trim, the F-250’s cabin is shamelessly luxurious, and rivals the cabins of many luxury vehicles. The Power Stroke engine is not quite as quiet as General Motors’ big Duramax diesel, but it’s close, and is much quieter than the Ram’s seemingly intentionally trucky Cummins diesel powerplant.
Unladen, the diesel-powered F-250 is expectedly quick off the line, though some testers detected a brief lag when accelerating from a stop. There’s no shortage of passing and merging power.
We averaged just under 14 mpg in roughly 50-percent city driving. This is in line with the fuel economy we’ve observed driving other heavy-duty pickup trucks, and significantly better than the 11 mpg returned by a gas-powered Ram 3500 we recently tested.
It is difficult to imagine how Ford—or any manufacturer—could make a pickup this large and capable any easier to live with in regular driving. Regarding the lofty price of our test truck: A less-opulent midlevel XLT with roughly the same equipment would list for just under $60,000, and be just as capable.
2019 Ford F-250 Super Duty