2017 Ford F-350 DRW 4x4 Super Duty Review

Huge, fast and surprisingly nimble

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December 7, 2016

2017 Ford F-350 DRW 4x4 Super Duty Review

Driving Experience

Sitting in the Super Duty feels like you're at the helm of a big ship. It's large, and its size is apparent. It also feels remarkably powerful and surprisingly quick, refined and nimble. Something this big doesn't seem like it should steer so well, nor does it seem like it should move this fast. Push the pedal anywhere near the floor and the 6.7-liter Turbodiesel winds up and then shoots you forward with gusto. While we didn't clock this beast to 60 mph, Car and Driver reports the Super Duty will make it between 7.0-8.2 seconds depending on how it's equipped.

Our only gripe about the behemoth was its sheer size, and its stiff brakes that offered little to no feel. Narrow city streets barely accommodated the F-350, but the good thing about driving something so large is that people seem happy to get out of your way and let you through.

Ride Quality: Smoother than we thought. Bumps are felt, but they're not jarring and do little to disrupt the truck.

Acceleration: There's a slight hesitation before you're launched forward with an energetic, whirring growl.

Braking: Stiff and unfeeling. You have to gauge how well they're working by how much the scenery around the truck slows down.

Steering: Remarkably tight and precise. You have to adjust how you enter turns due to the trucks overall size, but other than that, steering is good.

Handling: Much better than we thought. There's a little body roll, but this thing seems just as happy powering through a curve as it does on the highway. Also, it's so heavy the tires feel like they have tons of grip.

2017 Ford F-350 Super Duty Technology

Ford certainly didn't skimp on technology with this truck. It's a work truck for the modern age with Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system and tons of amenities and driver-assist features. There's available adaptive cruise control, adaptive steering, a utility light system, blind spot monitoring (both for the vehicle and trailer), cross traffic alert, collision warning with automatic braking, trailer reverse guidance, 360-degree camera and a backup camera. Our Lariat trim tester came with most of these features as standard equipment.

Although Ford didn't provide us with a monroney stating all of the technology on our tester, we were able to determine that our vehicle came with the LARIAT Ultimate Package, which has the vast majority of the Super Duty's best features, including Intelligent Access with Push Button Start, power adjusting steering wheel, PowerScope trailer tow mirrors, remote start, remote tailgate release, tailgate step, voice-activated navigation, Sirius XM Radio and more.

Infotainment System: Ford's Sync 3 system functioned smooth and was easy to use. The large 8-inch display made accessing features easy and seamless.

Controls: There are a lot of switches and buttons throughout the cabin of the Super Duty. The touchscreen is used for quite a lot as well. Ford does a good job putting things were you'd expect them to be, and the company does its best to make things easy although the myriad of controls does take some getting used to.

Bluetooth Pairing: Connecting a smartphone was quick and easy. We experienced no issues.

Voice Call Quality: Phone calls were crisp and clear on both ends with no connectivity issues.

2017 Ford F-350 Super Duty Styling

Ford went with a domineering and boxy look for this truck. Its sheer size demands your attention, but Ford exacerbates it's noticeable features through the use of large brand emblems and lots of rectangular shapes. The word we would use to describe the Super Duty is broad. Everything about it feels large and wide, from the front of the pickup to the cabin and all the way to the rear. The truck looks confident and purposeful.

Front: The front of the truck is dominated by the large, chrome grille that's in the shape of a rectangle. The LED running lights help frame the truck, giving it even more of a boxy appearance.

Rear: The tailgate features another huge Ford emblem and the words 'Super Duty' across the bottom. The bulging haunches of the dually rear tires work with the large badges to make the tall rectangular taillights look almost small.

Profile: From the side, you really appreciate how long the F-350 is. Our tester had a crew cab and a full 8-ft bed. That set the overall length at about 22-ft long.

Cabin: The inside of the truck features one of Ford's best interiors. It's big and wide, and it looks and feels like there's plenty of room no matter where you sit.

2017 Ford F-350 Super Duty Comfort

The folks buying Super Duty trucks do so because they lead a life that requires a huge, powerful and capable pickup. That usually means they spend a lot of time in the vehicle. Well, we're happy to state that spending a lot of time in the F-350's cabin is an easy thing to do. There's plenty of space, the seats are comfortable and there's tons of amenities and features.

Front Seats: The leather, heated and cooled front seats offer a lot of padding and adjustment. They're plenty comfortable for the long haul.

Rear Seats: The rear seats comfortable as well, offering good padding, leather upholstery and tons of hip and leg room. Construction teams will have no problem fitting everyone in the crew cab of this pickup.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The cabin is exceptionally quiet. There's some engine noise (which is actually enjoyable), but otherwise there's not much to bring up.

Visibility: One of the biggest pluses of this vehicle is the view you get of the road. You can see everything in front of you for blocks, and the large mirrors and number of cameras provide you with a good view around the truck.

Climate: The HVAC unit in the Super Duty is of high quality, making it easy to cool off or heat up the cabin at will.

2017 Ford F-350 Super Duty Safety

Neither the IIHS nor the NHTSA have rated the Ford F-350 yet. However, with the truck being so large, and because it features a stronger, fully-boxed, high-strength steel frame as well as a large number of new safety features, we'd bet that when it is tested, it'll score pretty high. It certainly feels invincible.

IIHS Rating: Not yet rated by the IIHS.

Standard Tech: Airbags, SOS post-crash alert system, trailer sway control, AdvanceTrac with roll stability control, backup camera, reverse sensing system, child tethers.

Optional Tech: 360-degree camera, collision alert system with automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning.

2017 Ford F-350 Super Duty Storage

One of the reasons to buy the Super Duty is for the amount of cargo and storage space it offers. There's plenty of room and places to put things inside the cabin. Outside, the full-size bed offers a lot of room for whatever you need to haul around. It's hard to find a more capable truck when it comes to storage and cargo space.

Storage Space: The interior of the Super Duty is chalked full of bins, compartments and cup holders. No matter what you're bringing with you, you should have a place to put it. The rear under seat storage is quite helpful as well. Hunters have enough room to fit their rifles in the fold-up box beneath the seat.

Cargo Room: The bed is a very usable space. It's easy to access thanks to the easy fold down tailgate and the tailgate step. Our tester came with cargo space lights so you can keep working even when the sun goes down.

2017 Ford F-350 Super Duty Fuel Economy

Fuel economy numbers are not published for heavy duty trucks. As such, it's hard to guess what the EPA estimates would be. Still, for a truck that's so big with an engine that's so large, we have to guess that fuel consumption is high. Meaning you could be filling up the Super Duty's 48-gallon gas tank often.

Having said that, this new Super Duty is made with lighter materials and has modern engine technology, so its fuel consumption should be lower than previous models. The number that we ended up with almost seemed too high, considering the V8 F-150 gets 15 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. Still, we were driving the diesel version of the Super Duty. Had we had more time to test the truck, we would have liked to do a more extensive mileage test.

Observed: During our week with the vehicle we saw an average of 14 mpg, which was higher than expected.

Driving Factors: We did a lot of city driving. On the highway we wouldn't be surprised if you managed to get around 20 miles per gallon. If you choose to pull a trailer behind you, there's no telling how low the number will go.

2017 Ford F-350 Super Duty Audio

The Sony 10-speaker audio system includes a subwoofer and is plenty loud enough for most folks. It also provides crisp and clear sound with a good range. This system, paired with Ford's Sync 3, system makes for a favorable option. We had no issues with it and would expect only true audiophiles would even think of upgrading. The vast majority of shoppers will be happy with this system.

Final Thoughts The Ford F-350 Super Duty is an awesome truck and a worthy successor to the model that dominated the commercial truck scene for all these years. Ford has brought their big boy truck into the new age and because of this, we'd be willing to expect that it will attract even more buyers to the blue oval. Our only real gripe about the vehicle was the brakes. While we didn't love how they felt, they did do a fine job of slowing down this leviathan.


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