There’s a reason why the Ford F-Series has the best-selling truck for the last 40 years, and that comes down to the sheer variety this truck offers. From basic work trucks to the performance-oriented Raptor, Ford makes a version of its full-size truck for every taste. But surprisingly, the backbone of the F-Series lineup comes down to luxury. In fact, Ford says that 71 percent of its Super Duty sales come from the higher trim levels, which currently include the Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum. There’s also an all-new Limited trim on the way.
With this in mind (and having recently sampled the 2017 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD), we climbed up into a decked-out 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty 4×4 Platinum to see what all the fuss is about.
2017 Ford F-250 Platinum Exterior
Since it was introduced in 1999, Ford’s Super Duty trucks have had unique styling compared to the F-150, but the 2017 Ford F-250 shares more with its light-duty counterpart than any of the preceding models. Not only does this truck have a weight-saving, all-aluminum body like the F-150, but for the first time, the two trucks also share the same three cab designs. In this truck’s case, that would be the four-door Crew Cab.
That’s about where the commonalities end, though. The new Super Duty gets a unmistakably bigger and bolder look that starts with the massive headlights and even bigger grille, as well as a completely unique cargo bed. Each of the Super Duty’s trim levels gets a distinct grille design, and the Platinum proudly displays a matte-finished, twin-bar grille.
For now, the 2017 Ford F-250 Platinum stands as the highest of the Super Duty’s trim levels, and it shows with high-end and high-tech features like the 20-inch wheels, power-retractable side steps, a remote tailgate release, and tow mirrors which are both power retractable and power folding, and sport integrated LED spot lights to boot. Speaking of LEDs, these lights reign supreme on the F-250 Platinum, as the headlights, taillights, roof clearance lights (an $80 option), tailgate spot light, in-bed lighting, and rear dome light all use the trick tech.
2017 Ford F-250 Platinum Interior
The 2017 Ford F-250 might be ready for any job, but you won’t find vinyl seats or rubber floors in this Platinum trim level Super Duty. Like the exterior, the cabin of the new Super Duty trucks is practically identical to the F-150, with the exception of small add-on features designed for heavy-duty truck owners (like the secondary glove box, collapsible storage compartment under the rear seats, and the optional bank of upfitter switches).
One thing you can’t get in a Super Duty that the F-150 offers? A console-mounted shifter. Apparently real truckers only want column shifters.
Sharing a cab has also allowed the F-250 Platinum to take advantage of some of the features found in higher-trim versions of the F-150. Most notably is the class-exclusive, twin-panel panoramic sunroof–included in the $2,785 Platinum Ultimate package–which stretches almost the entire length of the cab. But it’s the seats that make this truck feel more like a luxury sedan than your typical heavy-duty truck. Of course, the front thrones are heated and cooled, but they also feature 10 ways of power adjustability, as well as the massaging “multi-contour” function. For good measure, the rear outboard seats are also heated, and other high-end goodies include a heated steering wheel, a power-tilting and telescoping steering wheel, and power-adjustable pedals.
The trimmings of this cabin are as luxurious as the amenities, with two-tone leather seats, matching stitched leather on the instrument panel and door panels, and “Platinum” call-outs by way of seat badges and illuminated door sills. The combination of a customizable digital gauge cluster and Ford’s latest SYNC 3 infotainment system rounds out the upscale cabin with a high-tech touch.
2017 Ford F-250 Platinum Powertrain
The best way to experience the 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty (or any pickup truck, in my opinion) is with a diesel engine, which in this case is the optional ($8,595) 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8. Output of this engine is officially rated at 440 horsepower and 925 lb-ft of torque, which gives this massive truck surprisingly quick acceleration. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to haul anything with this Super Duty, but I saw an average of 16.2 mpg in combined driving, including 19.5 mpg in two long (100-plus miles) highway runs, and 12.4 mpg in city driving. As is the case with heavy-duty trucks, the EPA does not give the F-250 official fuel economy estimates.
Pair these as-tested fuel economy figures with the tank’s capacity of 34 gallons, and this big truck has a formidable range.
Unlike the heavy-duty trucks of yesteryear, the 2017 Ford F-250 is easily driven. Although it’s designed to be loaded up with a maximum towing capacity of 14,700 pounds (15,400 pounds with a gooseneck or fifth-wheel hitch), this 2017 Ford F-250 Crew Cab 4×4 Platinum tester still rode fairly smooth in daily driving. Despite the big wheels, long wheelbase, tall stance, and the fact that it dwarfed just about everything else on the road, this F-250 was easy to drive around town. One key factor in the truck’s handling is the Adaptive Steering, which automatically adjusts the steering ratio in response to vehicle speed. It adapts automatically to the driving situation, whether you’re doing a low-speed maneuver like parking or backing up a trailer, or traveling at cruising speed on the highway. At lower speeds, the steering ratio increases, requiring fewer turns of the steering wheel (and less steering effort), while at driving speeds, the steering ratio decreases for a firmer feel.
2017 Ford F-250 Platinum Safety
From its smallest cars to its biggest trucks, Ford shows a constant commitment to safety. This is apparent with the 2017 Ford F-250 Crew Cab 4×4 having received a four-star overall crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration–the two-wheel drive version has a five-star rating. Optional safety features on this tester include the adaptive cruise control with collision warning, lane keep assist, and innovative trailer tow camera, which provides a 360-degree view of the truck, and incorporates the helpful Trailer Reverse Guidance feature.
2017 Ford F-250 Platinum Overall
Driving this 2017 Ford F-250 without towing something might seem as much of a shame as driving a Jeep Wrangler without off-roading or a Nissan GT-R without going to a track, but that’s exactly what the Platinum trim level was designed for—it’s a comfortable and luxurious daily driver that can haul when the time comes. Combining these luxury attributes into a mammoth truck like the Super Duty is no cheap feat, though. With an as-tested price of $77,505 for this Platinum Crew Cab 4×4, that represents more than double the $32,535* starting price for a base, stripped-down gasser 2017 Ford F-250. But as crazy as the idea of a $78,000 pickup truck might seem, Ford is taking its luxury Super Duty to new heights with the forthcoming Limited trim, where models will top out at over $100,000!
Make sure to visit your local AutoNation Ford dealership and test drive the broad range of 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty trucks today!
*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.