2013 Ford F-Series Super Duty Preview

Jeff Youngs | May 14, 2013
  • Platinum trim level now available, plus four others
  • Versatile seating configurations offer flexibility
  • 4-wheel drive is available on all trim levels
  • Conventional and diesel engines are available
  • Diesel engine's power tops out at 800 lb.-ft. of torque


The Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks are not simply heavier versions of the classic F-150. The F-250, F-350, F-450, and F-550 vary considerably in size, weight, and capabilities, and are popular for various towing, hauling and commercial applications. The F-250 and F-350 are sometimes used as personal vehicles, and are offered with three different cabs (Regular, SuperCab, and SuperCrew) and bed lengths of 81 or 96 inches (Long bed only, for the Regular cab.) Two engines, 2- and 4-wheel drive (2WD and 4WD), and 2- and 4-door body styles are available. These trucks compete mainly with the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD, and with the Ram 2500 and 3500. The 2013 Ford F-250 and F-350 are each available in a total of five trim levels: base XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum. The F-450 is offered only in the crew cab style, with a long bed, and 4WD, but at all trim levels. The F-550 is a commercial chassis cab that can be fitted with a cargo bed to suit the buyer's needs. The F-450, properly equipped, can tow up to 24,700 pounds; the F-250 and F-350 offer lower, but still formidable, towing capacities.

Exterior Features

F-Series Super Duty trucks are available in 10 exterior colors (color availability varies by trim level) with standard 17-inch wheels, drop-in bedliner, and black grille and bumpers. The XLT trim level adds chrome trim, cast aluminum wheels, keyless entry, and an integrated trailer brake controller. The Lariat adds 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, power-sliding rear window, telescoping mirrors, and rear park-assist sensors. The Platinum trim level features more chrome, along with 20-inch polished alloy wheels.

Interior Features

The base F-Series Super Duty interior includes air conditioning and a radio, plus vinyl upholstery. The XLT adds cruise control, cloth upholstery, Ford's Sync system and Bluetooth, carpeted floor, 4-speaker sound system with CD player, and a lockable storage compartment under the rear seat (if any). The Lariat's standard upholstery is leather, with 8-way power-adjustable heated front seats and the MyFord Touch electronics interface. The Lariat also adds dual-zone automatic climate control, woodgrain trim, large trip computer screen, 8-speaker audio system, and a front seat with a center console that can be converted to accommodate an extra passenger. The Platinum trim level is similar to the Lariat but with upgraded leather upholstery and woodgrain trim, plus a heated steering wheel and heated and ventilated seats.

Optional Features

The F-Series Super Duty line offers many option packages at various levels. Many of the standard features on the upper trim levels are available as options on the lower trim levels, either as part of a package or individually. By the time the Super Duty Limited trim level is reached, only a few optional features remain. These include a choice of hard or soft tonneau covers, bed liners, rear-seat entertainment features, cargo covers and organizers, a bed extender, hitch prep packages, and other extras.

Under the Hood

The Ford F-250 and F-350 are available in 2WD or 4WD, and with a choice of two engines. The standard engine is a 6.2-liter, 385-horsepower V-8 model that produces 405 lb.-ft. of torque. Optional is a 6.7-liter, 400-horsepower, turbo-diesel V-8 engine with engine exhaust braking, which produces up to 800 lb.-ft. of torque. The diesel engine is standard on the F-450, which is only available with 4WD. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard on all F-Series Super Duty models. The F-250 can boost its maximum payload to 4,240 pounds with proper equipment, and can tow up to 16,800 pounds with a fifth-wheel setup. The F-350 can haul up to 4,540 pounds and can tow up to 22,800 pounds. Maximum payload for the F-450 is 5,880 pounds.

Fuel Economy

The EPA does not publish fuel-economy estimates for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating above 8,500 pounds, as federal fuel-economy regulations do not apply to these vehicles. Therefore there are no official mpg estimates for the 2013 Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks.


Standard safety features on 2013 Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks include stability and traction control, trailer sway control, front-seat side and curtain air bags. Many other safety features are available at upper trim levels as standard equipment or options.

In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the 2013 Ford F-250 receives 4 stars (out of a possible 5) for overall impact protection, including 5 stars for side-impact protection, 4 stars for front-impact protection, and 3 stars for rollover protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not yet published safety ratings for the F-Series Super Duty line as this preview is written.


Ford's Sync technology includes voice-controlled phone capability, automatic phone book download, photo transfer, voice-activated music search and radio tuning, an integrated navigation system, turn-by-turn directions, voice access to business listings, audible text messages, and much more. Sync works in concert with the MyFord Touch electronics interface, which includes three displays and allows the use of various entertainment and communications-related attachments.
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