For truck buyers with king-size towing and hauling requirements, a 1-ton pickup is the obvious solution: This is the largest pickup truck you can buy without needing a commercial vehicle license. Ford's entry in the 1-ton class is the F-350 Super Duty. Stronger than the already robust F-250, the 2007 Ford F-350 is capable of carrying payloads of up to 5800 pounds and towing trailers of up to 15,000 pounds (17,000 if it's a fifth-wheel trailer), although its maximum Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) still tops out at 26,000 pounds. The other main advantage to going with the F-350 is the availability of a dual rear-wheel configuration, commonly known as a dualie, which greatly improves stability when towing.
As on other Ford pickups, buyers have their choice of Regular cab, Extended Cab (SuperCab in Ford terminology) and Crew Cab body styles, as well as two bed lengths -- 6.75 feet or 8 feet. Among the engine choices, you'll find a 5.4-liter gasoline V8, a 6.8-liter gasoline V10 and a 6.0-liter diesel V8 called the Power Stroke. The diesel is by far the most popular engine in the F-350 lineup, as it offers considerably more low-end torque than even the V10 while providing a higher GCWR and better mileage.
Ford gave the Super Duty trucks a mild refresh for 2005, but this is still one of the older designs in the 1-ton-truck category. Compared to other 1-ton trucks, the F-350 has a dated interior with mediocre seats and inadequate storage space. And while the Power Stroke diesel V8 pulls smoothly, it doesn't have quite the strength or endurance of competing diesels when towing heavy loads. On the other hand, the 2007 Ford F-350 is more refined than its peers in many areas. Handling and braking are more surefooted, and the Ford's ride quality is unexpectedly compliant, even with an empty bed. For buyers who aren't concerned about having the strongest one-ton dualie on the market, the F-350 Super Duty is worth a look. Bear in mind, though, that a fully redesigned pickup truck is set to arrive for the 2008 model year.
The 1-ton 2007 Ford F-350 Super Duty pickup comes in Regular Cab, SuperCab and Crew Cab body styles. SuperCab models have small rear-opening doors, while the Crew Cab has four full-size swing-out doors. Regular cabs come in long-bed configuration only, while SuperCabs and Crew Cabs are available with a short or long bed. Buyers can choose from XL, XLT and Lariat trim levels (note that regular cabs are not available in Lariat trim). XL models are best used as work trucks, as they come with a vinyl bench seat in front; manual windows, mirrors and locks; a basic AM/FM radio; and no air-conditioner. The XLT adds a cloth-upholstered 40/20/40 front bench seat, air-conditioning, a CD player, cruise control and a full set of power controls. High-line Lariats come with features like leather upholstery, a power driver seat and dual-zone automatic climate control.
An extensive list of options is available on the F-350. Lariat buyers seeking a top-grade leather interior can go with the Harley-Davidson Package (not available on dualies) or King Ranch Package, while those needing additional off-road capability can get an electronic transfer case, upgraded shocks and skid plates in the FX4 Off-Road Package available on all trims. We highly recommend the Tow Command system option, as it provides an integrated controller that synchs up the brakes on your trailer with those on the truck.
Five or six adults can ride inside the F-350 with little problem as long as you choose the SuperCab or Crew Cab body style. Seat comfort is mediocre, though, and the F-350's aged interior design doesn't offer enough storage space for owners who live out of their trucks. If you're willing to fold up the rear seats, there is ample cargo room inside the cab, and a fold-out utility tray ensures a flat load floor.
Three engines are available on the F-350 Super Duty. The base engine is a 5.4-liter V8 that generates 300 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. An optional 6.8-liter V10 generates 362 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. The best choice for those who do serious towing and hauling, though, is the 6.0-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 rated at 325 hp and 570 lb-ft. A six-speed manual is standard with these engines, but a five-speed automatic with a tow-haul mode is also available. With the Power Stroke V8 and optional 4.30 rear gears, the F-350 has a GCWR of 26,000 pounds. Properly equipped F-350 dualies can carry payloads of up to 5800 pounds or tow trailers of up to 15,000 pounds (add another 2000 pounds if your trailer is a fifth wheel). Both two-and four-wheel drive are available on the F-350; manual locking hubs are standard on 4x4 trucks with a shift-on-the-fly transfer case optional.
Ford F-350s equipped with the Power Stroke V8 pull smoothly, and the optional five-speed automatic transmission serves up smooth upshifts and knows when to hold gears while towing. Unfortunately, the Power Stroke simply doesn't have the stamina of other diesels when towing heavy loads. On the plus side, the F-350 Super Duty pickup offers the most refined handling and braking dynamics of any truck in the 1-ton class; its large turning radius is our only complaint. And if you do have occasion to drive it with an empty bed, the ride quality is surprisingly bearable.
Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard. Reverse parking sensors are optional on all trim levels, and power-adjustable pedals are available on XLT and Lariats equipped with an automatic transmission. There is no NHTSA or IIHS crash test data on the 2007 F-350.
There are a variety of minor options and drivetrain changes on the 2007 Ford F-350 Super Duty pickup. SuperCabs are eligible for the Lariat Highline Package, which adds chrome details and black leather seating. Crew Cabs can be fitted with the Lariat Outlaw Package, which offers a black-with-red-accents color scheme inside and out. A power equipment group is now available on base XL models, as is a cloth front bench seat. F-350s equipped with the base 5.4-liter V8 have a standard 4.10 rear axle. Due to strict emissions standards in California, New York, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont, the 5.4-liter engine with a manual transmission is dropped, as is the 6.8-liter V10 in those states. Finally, Ford has extended powertrain warranty coverage to five years/60,000 miles.