Performance » 7
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
Ford offers three engine choices for work, play or any combination of the two.
Kelley Blue Book
Tows and hauls so easily it makes light-duty trucks look like Tonka toys
Car and Driver
Automatic transmissions responsive and smooth.
The firm suspension provided a compliant ride along with relatively crisp handling.
The Ford Super Duty is designed for hard work, and it shines when hauling or towing, but when running empty, its performance is less than stellar.
With the 2008 Ford Super Duty, "Ford offers three engine choices for work, play or any combination of the two," notes Kelley Blue Book. Those choices are the base 5.4-liter Triton V8 with 300 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, the 6.8-liter Triton V-10 with 362 hp and 457 pound-feet, and the 6.4-liter Power Stroke diesel with 350 hp and 650 pound-feet of torque. In their test of a Super Duty, Edmunds finds, "even with a 15,000-pound trailer hitched to the back, acceleration was smooth and linear thanks to the diesel V8." Car and Driver says the 2008 Ford Super Duty "tows and hauls so easily it makes light-duty trucks look like Tonka toys; with the torquey diesel, pretty speedy for a big boy." And though the Ford Super Duty 2008 "is built to do one thing: pull stuff," they note, "more than four tons [8,120 pounds, to be exact] of Ford fun get to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds."
The 2008 Ford Super Duty comes with either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. Edmunds reports "buyers can choose either two- or four-wheel drive across the board." ConsumerGuide notes that "automatic transmissions [are] responsive and smooth" and caution "4-wheel drive should not be left engaged on dry pavement."
As a truck, the Ford Super Duty is not required to post government fuel ratings, but Car and Driver says the 2008 Ford Super Duty "gulps fuel in big-rig quantities" and has "RV-like fuel economy." In their test of a Ford Super Duty 2008, USA Today notes that "fuel economy was an issue. The tester showed a meager 6.2 miles per gallon around the suburbs." Though, they add, "Ford quickly protests that it's wildly unrepresentative." ConsumerGuide's test of a diesel F-450 crew cab "averaged 10.1 mpg."
Reviews of the Ford Super Duty's ride read by TheCarConnection.com are mixed. For example, Car and Driver says the heavy-duty truck has a "harsh ride when empty" and is "a big truck with a stiff and jittery ride." They recommend, "put a few thousand pounds in the bed or a trailer and it smoothes out." But USA Today remarks their tester "rode pleasantly...just enough big-truck jiggle and bump but nothing harsh." Edmunds feels the suspension is "firm" and "provided a compliant ride along with relatively crisp handling." Relative to what is the question. Do they mean a city bus or a family sedan?
Steering is "a bit numb on-center, but responsive enough," finds ConsumerGuide. But the Ford Super Duty 2008's brake pedal "felt dead" to USA Today. According to Edmunds, an available system called Tow Command "integrates the control of the trailer brakes with those on the truck."
If you're concerned about good fuel economy or handling, the 2008 Ford Super Duty is probably not for you.