Up until a few years ago, truck buyers who needed extreme towing or hauling capabilities didn’t have much to choose from above the F-350 or its 3500 counterparts. The only realistic option was to switch from traditional pickups to a commercial grade chassis cab rig. Then they would have to send it over to an aftermarket outfitter to add the custom cargo bed and reupholster the interior as well as add additional amenities. Ford was the first manufacturer to identify this need which is when it introduced the F-450. Similar to all of the other Ford F Series trucks, it offers a range of trim levels including the King Ranch edition. The only immediate downside to the Ford F-450 is it currently only offers one configuration which is a crew cab with a long (8 feet) bed.
While the Ford F-450 only has one configuration, customers can choose from five different trim levels. They carry the same name as the five trim levels available on the F-250 and F-350. The base trim level include 17 inch alloy wheels, running boards, manual telescoping trailer tow mirror, vinyl upholstery, black grille and bumpers, roof clearance lights, to speaker radio, 40/20/40 split front bench, and 60/40 split folding rear bench seat.
The next step up is the XLT which add a chrome grille and bumper to the exterior. It also adds heated outside mirrors, full power accessories, keyless entry, carpeted floor, cloth upholstery, cruise control, lockable second row under seat storage, and four speaker sound systems with CD player and auxiliary audio Jack.
Above the XLT is the Lariat trim level. It features power telescoping mirrors, power rear sliding window with the frost, fog lights, rear parking sensors, chrome tubular step bars, rearview camera, leather interior up all street, and dual zone automatic climate control. It also adds a significant amount of equipment including a 4.2 inch LCD multifunction screen, MyFord Touch, auto dimming rearview mirror, a speaker audio system with satellite radio, wood grain trim, and power adjustable pedals. Additionally, the front seat has a center console and 10 way power seats.
The King Ranch trim level adds power folding in telescoping tow mirrors, body colored grille with chrome inserts, two-tone paint, and lighted running boards. It also has remote start capabilities, upgraded leather bull Street, heated and ventilated seats, driver seat memory, and comprehensive navigation system.
The highest level option is the Platinum trim package. It includes all of the Lariat features as well as more chrome exterior trim, unique wood tone interior trim, 10 way power front seats, heated steering wheel, power adjustable pedals, 20 inch polished alloy wheels, and unique wood tone interior trim.
The Ford Work Solutions package can be added to the XL and XLT trim levels. It adds an in dash computer which can be customized to suit commercial users and fleets. Other work related options that can be added to the Ford F-450 include a snowplow, off-road package, and camper prepped package.
The Ford F-450 truck only has one engine option and it is a 6.7 liter diesel V-8. It can generate up to 400 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque. It also includes an engine exhaust braking system to help maintain control on downhill grades while telling. The standard option is a six speed automatic with four-wheel-drive. In total, this truck can tow up to 17,500 pounds with a conventional trailer. When a fifth wheel towing is added, it’s towing capacity increases to an outstanding 24,700 pounds. The maximum payload capacity has been rated out as 5880 pounds.
The Ford F-450 Super Duty includes several essential safety features. They are antilock brakes, Hill start assist, side curtain airbags, front seat mounted side airbags, trailer sway control, and the SOS post-crash alert system. It is important to note that stability control is not available.
There is no doubt that choosing the upper trim levels will provide a significantly better, more upscale experience with the addition of leather and amenities. At the lower trim levels, the Ford F-450 has more of an industrial theme which can look dated compared to other heavy duty trucks. There are a number of storage and utility options including lockable bins under the front and rear seats. The rear vent is large enough to accommodate long items like hunting rifles. It also provides a 12 volt power point to charge computers or cell phones. The front seat console is ideal for hanging files and includes a 110 volt household style outlet.
The upper trim levels also boast a multifunction display screen which allows drivers to customize a variety of settings and gain better control over fuel economy, towing, and off-road information. Some trim levels also include an additional storage area on top of the dash which features two USB ports, A/V connection, additional 12 volt charging port, and SD card slot.
While the Ford paste doesn’t have any direct competition in its class, it definitely falls in line with other Ford super duty trucks. This means it has a strong ride quality and is relatively resistant of exterior noises. In total, it spans nearly 22 feet long and is nine feet wide at the mirrors. This means it can be problematic in tight traffic or crowded parking lots. Another thing to keep in mind is the front track is six inches wider than the rest of the Ford F Series trucks so you will need additional room to turn.
At the same time, the primary reason people turn to this truck is for its towing and hauling capabilities. At that level there is no doubt this is one of the best options available without switching over to commercial grade trucks. The 6.7 liter turbo diesel V-8 offers outstanding towing capabilities. As an added bonus, drivers have the ability to lock out higher gears when necessary to generate optimal telling prowess uphill or downhill. The diesel exhaust break also makes dissents much safer than comparable pickups.