The 2014 Ford Super Duty trucks are offered in F-250, F-350 and F-450 models, designating progressively higher tow and weight ratings. Compared to light-duty, full-size trucks, like the F-150, the Super Duty models have a stronger structure, along with heavy-duty components throughout and a powertrain lineup chosen for sheer pulling and hauling ability.
Ford Super Duty trim levels include XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum. Throughout the lineup, there's a choice of two different engines -- either a 385-horsepower, 6.2L gasoline V8, or a 400-horsepower, 6.7L Power Stroke diesel engine. The gasoline engine is also compatible with E85 (85-percent ethanol) and can be equipped for propane or compressed natural gas, which makes it attractive for fleet use. In any practical use, the diesel engine, with its mammoth 800 pound-feet of torque, comes out far ahead of the gas engine's 405 pound-feet. No matter which engine, the Super Duty trucks come with a heavy-duty 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission.
F-350 and F-450 models get a reinforced frame and hitch system compared to F-250 models. Both the F-350 and F-450 are also offered in a dual-rear-wheel configuration for better stability with heavy loads. Models with a conventional bumper hitch can tow up to 17,500 pounds, while those that upgrade to a fifth-wheel hitch can manage up to 24,500 pounds.
All single-rear-wheel models of the Super Duty trucks come with electronic stability control plus trailer sway control and hill start assist to help with standing starts on steep uphill slopes. Anti-lock brakes are also included and an integrated trailer brake controller is available. Integrated exhaust braking -- like that of big rigs -- is on the options list with the diesel, while Hill Descent Control also helps on slippery downhills, even when towing. Big PowerScope trailer-tow mirrors are also available. Heavy-duty buyers no longer need to forgo additional airbags -- side seat airbags and side-curtain bags with a roll sensor are included.
Ford's SYNC with MyFord Touch in-dash multimedia system is standard on Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum models. It features an 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen display, with access to climate controls, phone, entertainment and navigation features, along with voice control. The display also shows view from the rear backup camera.
The options list for the F-Series Super Duty Trucks isn't as comfort-and-luxury-oriented as that of the F-150, though trucks at the top of the range can be ordered as luxuriously as you please. Some innovative specialized features, such as a Ford Work Solutions Crew Chief system for fleets and a Cable Lock security system for equipment, are geared toward those who use the Super Duty for serious work, like at a construction site.
Revisions to the F-Series Super Duty are minor for 2014 consisting mostly of a few feature changes to some of the option packages. The Value Package available on XLT models now features an auto-dimming rear view mirror and a 4.2-inch LCD screen. The XL appearance package is also new, featuring a new grill, chrome bumpers and an upgrade to the sound system.