Need a pickup good for more than 24,000 pounds of towing capacity or 2 tons of payload capacity? The Ford F-450 Super Duty is your truck. Previously only sold as a cab and chassis for commercial use, the F-450 recently became available to the general public with a finished pickup bed. As with the other Super Duty Ford trucks, the F-450 boasts an aggressively styled front end, a handsome cabin and an impressive number of available luxury features. The F-450 rides on its own unique chassis that greatly optimizes its towing and hauling capacities.
Make no mistake, this is a serious workhorse truck and as such it still rides stiffly when unladen, but that's the price you pay for such impressive capabilities. It is also way more than most pickup owners could ever use. If you don't require the massive towing and hauling capacities of the F-450 Super Duty, the less bulky and less expensive F-250 and F-350 pickups offer similar exterior and interior styling along with the availability of that brawny PowerStroke diesel.
Current Ford F-450 Super Duty
The Ford F-450 Super Duty pickup comes solely in a Crew Cab body style with an 8-foot bed and dual rear wheels for greater weight handling and stability. Four-wheel drive is standard and buyers may choose among five trim levels: the base XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum.
The XL is intended as a bare-bones work truck, with the step-up XLT providing more creature comforts and powered accessories. The luxurious Lariat comes fully equipped with leather and dual-zone automatic climate control, while the King Ranch offers cowboy glamour with its two-tone paint, 20-inch alloy wheels and western saddle-style leather seating and trim. Lots of options are available, including an off-road package, a stowable bed extender, a transmission power take-off (for powering accessories like snow plows), fifth-wheel mounting points (compatible with Reese hitch units), a spray-in bedliner, a sunroof, integrated accessory switches and a navigation system.
Powering the Ford F-450 is a 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 that makes 400 horsepower and a massive 800 pound-feet of torque. The V8 is hitched to a standard six-speed automatic transmission. Properly equipped, an F-450 Super Duty can tow up to 24,700 pounds and carry up to 5,880 pounds. Antilock disc brakes are standard, but you won't find side or head curtain airbags anywhere on the list.
The cabin displays a rugged industrial theme. Chrome accents brighten things up, while the center stack puts controls within easier reach. Dual door pockets and a massive center console/armrest provide plenty of storage. The console box is large enough to accommodate a laptop and/or hanging files. Folding the rear seats up reveals a flip-out utility shelf that keeps the load floor flat.
For such a mammoth vehicle, the Ford F-450 is relatively easy to maneuver, thanks in part to its specialized front suspension that allows a tight turning circle. Still, dealing with traffic and parking lots can be a chore, as its front end is considerably wider than that of its lighter-duty stablemates. An unladen F-450 has a very stiff ride, but with a trailer hooked up the ride smoothes out considerably. The turbodiesel V8 performs admirably under all conditions, especially with an oversize trailer while chugging up 6-plus-percent grades. In short, it's simply the most capable tow vehicle we've ever tested.
Used Ford F-450 Super Duty Models
The Ford F-450 was an all-new model for 2008 and came equipped with a 6.4-liter turbodiesel V8 that made 350 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission was standard, with a five-speed automatic optional. One could also choose between two- and four-wheel drive.
For 2009 and '10, Ford offered a Harley-Davidson special edition package. A significant refresh took place for 2011 with updated exterior styling, the latest 400-hp turbodiesel engine, a six-speed automatic transmission and a few new features. Other changes were minimal until 2013, when upgraded brakes, the posh Platinum trim level and the MyFord Touch infotainment interface all debuted. The latter could be prone to glitches, so make sure a used F-250 has the latest software updates.