2020 Ford F-250 Review
  • Car Review

2020 Ford F-250 Review

By Autolist Editorial | October 1, 2020

Quick Facts:

Pros:

  • Strong and capable engine choices.
  • Comfortable ride and confident handling.
  • High level of customization available.

Cons:

  • Can become prohibitively expensive.
  • Spotty projected quality ratings.
  • Feels every bit as big as it is.

Vehicle Type: A full-size, heavy-duty pickup truck that is aimed at commercial owners and buyers needing ultimate truck capabilities.

Price Range: $35,400 to $85,295, including destination but before options.

Powertrain: The Ford F-250 is offered with three engine choices and two different transmissions, any of which brings higher towing and payload capacities than can be had in the light-duty F-150 pickup.

  • The standard engine is a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 385 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox.
  • A 7.3-liter V8 is available that makes 430 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque. This engine comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
  • At the top of the Ford Super Duty heap lies a 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8 that is rated at 475 horsepower and 1,050 lb-ft of torque. This engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
  • Depending on the engine and body configuration, the F-250 is rated to tow between 13,300 and 22,800 pounds. Payload capacity ranges from 3,040 to 4,290 pounds.

More Photos

See more 2020 Ford F-250 photos here.


Overview:

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When it comes to towing and hauling, almost nothing does it better than a heavy-duty truck, and no truck brand is more popular than Ford’s F-Series pickups. The F-250 sits right at the beginning of Ford’s heavy-duty lineup (Ford calls it Super Duty), with capabilities that exceed that of the light-duty F-150 and that fall just short of the payload and towing capacities of the F-350. Though the lines between ‘pickup truck’ and ‘luxury car’ have blurred over the years, especially in the super-expensive world of heavy-duty models, there’s no mistaking where the F-250 stands on that spectrum. Any one of the three available powertrains will deliver enough towing and payload capacity to keep all but the most demanding commercial buyers happy.

The 2020 Ford F-250 is aimed at new car buyers that need the extra space and abilities afforded by a heavy-duty pickup, but don’t want to give up on creature comforts completely. It competes against the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, GMC Sierra 2500HD, and the Ram 2500.

Ford sells more F-Series trucks than many other brands sell across their entire model lines, so it’s no surprise that the company was careful with its updates to the 2020 F-250. The new trucks get an updated grille, a new headlight design, and an optional winch package. A new Tremor off-road package also joins the F-250 lineup that helps it compete with the Ram 2500 Power Wagon package and almost turns the Ford into a heavy-duty version of the smaller Raptor pickup.

The 2020 model year also brings improvements that make the Super Duty’s engine lineup the most powerful that Ford’s heavy-duty trucks have ever had.

The F-250 is available in one of six trim levels: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited.

If that level of choice isn’t enough, buyers can choose from one of three powerful engines: a standard 6.2-liter V8 that produces 385 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, a 7.3-liter V8 that makes 430 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque, or a 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 that delivers 475 horsepower and a whopping 1,050 lb-ft of torque.

The 6.2-liter comes paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, while the two larger engines come with a 10-speed.

The trucks are available in either two- or four-wheel-drive configurations.

Overall Score: 7.1/10


Safety Features: 6/10

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The 2020 Ford F-250 has not yet been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 2019 model earned five stars from the organization.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety hasn’t yet rated the 2020 Ford F-250.

Available safety equipment includes automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automated emergency braking, a multi-view camera system, and blind-spot monitoring with trailer coverage. When equipped, the added safety features work as intended and have few “false alarms.” Ford has also done a good job of making alerts and warnings friendlier and less frightening, which can be helpful for drivers that aren’t used to the new technology.


Value: 6/10

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It’s awfully hard to consider a $100,000 truck a good value, but when the F-250’s technology and capabilities are in the conversation, that leap gets a little shorter.

The F-250’s pricing is in line with the heavy-duty competition, where nearly all models become expensive quickly as trim levels and options are added.
The most basic F-250 is missing key safety and convenience features that would bump the entry-level value factor considerably.

The F-250 has received mixed reviews for its reliability over the years, even as recently as 2017. The fuel system, power equipment, and body integrity have all been cited as problem areas for the trucks.


Tech Features: 6/10

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Because it’s a work truck, tech offerings in the most basic F-250 are quite slim. The F-250 XL comes with an AM/FM stereo, an MP3 player, and either five or seven speakers depending on the cab configuration.

Available features include a FordPass Connect 4G LTE WI-FI hotspot, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, SYNC 3 infotainment software, a Bang & Olufson 10-speaker audio system with subwoofer, an 8-inch LCD screen, a rearview camera, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and navigation.

Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system is colorful, easy to read, and easy to use in most circumstances. Some vehicle settings and controls are buried too deeply in multiple menus, requiring too much interaction to make a selection.


Practicality: 9/10

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The F-250 fulfills its purpose in life with ease and relative style, making it one of the more useful and compelling heavy-duty truck options on the market today.

Towing capabilities range from 13,300 pounds all the way up to 22,800 pounds, and payload capacity ranges from 3,040 to 4,290 pounds.

The F-250’s interior is packed with clever and useful storage spaces, cubbies, and has more than enough room for a family of four. Fold-up rear seats mean that adding extra interior space doesn’t take away the ability to tote around larger items inside the cabin.


Styling & Design: 8/10

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Ford’s F-250 Super Duty pickup trucks have a straightforward yet bold exterior style relative to their peers, but it’s a modern look that has remained up-to-date over the years.

The F-250’s interior, even at the highest trim level, is set up to be useful and easy to understand. Controls and buttons are super-sized, as you’d expect inside a large pickup truck. Despite having a multitude of features and functions, the F-250’s dash does not feel cluttered.

The front seats are wide, flat, well-padded, and supremely comfortable for long drives. In models with a rear seat, the bench is flat and somewhat under-padded, but headroom and legroom are both abundant. The F-250’s added ground clearance might be an issue for shorter owners and passengers, but the available step rail solves that problem.

Ford let a surprising number of low-rent materials slide into the F-250’s interior, even in the more expensive models, but overall fit and finish are excellent.


Driving Experience: 8/10

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Heavy-duty trucks can be exceedingly rough and jittery over uneven road surfaces, and the F-250 is no exception, though its ride is more refined and manageable than HD offerings from Chevy and GMC. Still, the smaller F-150 has a more comfortable ride, which is a tradeoff that may be tempting for some buyers.

There’s no mistaking the size of the vehicle you’re driving in the F-250, but the available camera system and parking sensors make parking and driving in tight spaces slightly less heartburn-inducing.

The 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 provides maximum torque for towing and payload capacity but can feel jerky at times in everyday driving situations. Both gas engines feel silky smooth in almost all conditions.

All of the F-250’s powertrain options are refined and do their jobs without much in the way of noise and complaint, but they all make enough noise to advertise the truck’s muscle when the driver puts a foot down. That noise does not translate to agitation inside the F-250’s cabin, as noise insulation is more than adequate to block both mechanical noises and road noise such as wind.

Outward visibility is more than decent for such a large vehicle, as the F-250’s windows are large and shaped to allow better lines of sight. This is made even better with the surround-view camera option.


Fuel Efficiency: 7/10

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Heavy-duty trucks are not required to advertise fuel economy numbers like the rest of the automotive world, which can make finding accurate gas mileage figures difficult.

Consumer Reports found a recent model year of the F-250 with a diesel engine to average 15 mpg. The publication found that, with a trailer hitched up, the F-250’s fuel economy dipped considerably, but by how much will depend on the trailer’s weight and size, elevation changes, and even weather.

The F-250’s fuel economy, as observed by Consumer Reports, is slightly better than Ram, Chevrolet, or GMC, and match up with the Nissan Titan XD – a less capable truck.

Newer versions of the F-250 are constructed with a mixture of high-strength steel and lightweight aluminum, which make them lighter than older models. This helps them achieve much better fuel economy without sacrificing rigidity or toughness.


What’s it Going to Cost Me?

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The 2020 Ford F-250 XL starts at $35,400 including a $1,695 destination charge, and comes with a 6.2-liter gas V8 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, a regular cab, coat hooks, black painted bumpers, auto on/off headlamps, 17-inch wheels, manual windows, manual single-zone air conditioning, an AM/FM stereo with MP3, Ford SYNC infotainment software, a 4G LTE hotspot, black vinyl floor coverings, manual door locks, and two 110-volt power outlets.

The F-250 XLT starts at $40,180 after destination and comes with chrome bumpers, a chrome grille, blind-spot monitors, 18-inch wheels, power windows and door locks, five speakers, Sirius XM Radio, SYNC 3, an eight-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, color-coordinated carpet floor mats, and a 4.2-inch LCD driver information screen.

The F-250 Lariat starts at $48,295, including destination and comes with an LED utility lighting system, power-folding mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate controls, a B&O sound system from Bang & Olufson, an eight-inch driver information display, leather upholstery, and power-adjustable front seats.

The F-250 King Ranch starts at $60,695 after destination and comes with accent-color bumpers, LED box lighting, power telescoping mirrors, a remote tailgate release, voice-activated navigation with HD radio, a remote start system, unique King Ranch leather upholstery, and memory seats.

The F-250 Platinum starts at $67,590, including destination and comes with body-color bumpers and chrome door handles, 20-inch wheels, and Platinum trim-exclusive leather upholstery.

The F-250 Limited starts at $85,295 after destination, and comes with a 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8, satin door handles, 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, and Limited trim-exclusive leather upholstery.

Adding the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 is a $10,495 upcharge while upgrading to the 7.3-liter V8 brings a $2,045 premium. Four-wheel drive is available, and prices range from $1,695 to $2,790, depending on the trim level.

If it were our money buying an F-250, we’d choose the Lariat trim with 4x4 and at least the 7.3-liter engine. The added functionality of the larger engine makes the F-250 a more useful truck, and the Lariat’s extra level of luxury and creature comforts make it a more tolerable daily driver.


More Photos

See more 2020 Ford F-250 photos here.