Review update: The 2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor aims for work and play

October 19, 2020

Ford finally introduced a heavy duty pickup with real off-road chops. The real question is what took so long?

The Ford Super Duty is capable out of the box as a work truck, but the $3,975 Tremor off-road package adds serious capability thanks to 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 35-inch Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires, an upgraded off-road suspension and a locking differential.

The 2020 Ford Super Duty has a TCC Rating of 6.8 out of 10 thanks in part to a dizzying array of configurations that include a new pushrod 7.3-liter gas V-8 that can tow up to 21,200 pounds when equipped as a 350 dually. Add the Tremor off-road package that is a value on its own, but the Super Duty as a whole can get quite expensive and can’t match the interior refinement of the competition.

The competition? It’s a lineup of one. The interior of the Ram Heavy Duty Power Wagon shames the Super Duty’s injection-molded plastics, and its tech appeals with an available 12.0-inch touchscreen.

I spent a week running around town, road tripping with the family to northern Minnesota, and heading off the pavement in the 2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor to see what it’s really like to live with.

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

Hit: It can do that

Need to tow a massive boat or camper? It can do that. Need to go off the beaten path to get your friend’s GMC Sierra AT4 unstuck? It can do that. Need to take a family road trip? It can do that. The upgrades that make this Super Duty a Tremor enable the massive truck to crawl, climb, or claw its way over whatever it needs to with 10.8 inches of ground clearance. The only vehicle in this class with similar off-road capabilities is the Ram Power Wagon, but it isn’t rated to carry 4,210 pounds of payload and tow up to 15,000 pounds with a conventional hitch or 21,900 pounds with a gooseneck, though not all at the same time.

2020 Ford Super Duty F-250 Tremor

2020 Ford Super Duty F-250 Tremor

Miss: But it’s not king

Capable, yes, but the Super Duty Tremor will not best everything off road. It can tow more than a Ram 2500 Power Wagon but it lacks a front bumper-mounted winch standard on the Ram (it’s a $3,000 option on the Super Duty). The Tremor also lacks the Power Wagon’s electronic disconnecting front sway bar, which allows the Power Wagon to increase its wheel articulation in off-road situations. It’s also massive and simply can’t go everywhere a Jeep Wrangler, Gladiator or a Ford Bronco can. There are limits and compromises.

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

Hit: A gas burner worth your time

When it comes to heavy duty trucks, buyers might be tempted to tick the expensive turbodiesel V-8 engine option box. That’s $10,795 extra in the Super Duty. Stop. Don’t do that for the Super Duty. A new gas-powered 7.3-liter V-8 with 430 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque is a no brainer for $1,705 over the base 6.2-liter V-8 engine and doesn’t make the turbodiesel-sized dent in the wallet. It pairs perfectly with the 10-speed automatic transmission. It sounds great and has enough low-end grunt that the transmission can lug along in 10th gear and while still increasing the large truck’s speed.

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

Miss: What gas mileage?

The Super Duty’s big, heavy, and thirsty. The 7.3-liter V-8 drank a lot of gas. Whether on the highway or around town I never saw an average of more than 14 mpg according to the onboard trip computer. That’s without a load behind it. The diesel would be more efficient on the highway, but it would take a lot of miles over a lot of years to recoup the $10,795 diesel charge. Sharpen your pencil before making the choice.

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

Hit: It’s comfortable

The interior of the four-door Super Duty is massive. The seats are wide with long bottoms that provide full support for a long road trip. These seats were made for Super Size me Americans. An adult can nearly fit between two cars seats in the rear and there’s plenty of stretch out room in the back. The Tremor’s ride is more compliant and settled than other Super Dutys thanks to the off-road suspension and large 35-inch tires soaking up bumps in the road or surface imperfections on the pock-marked Minnesota roads.

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor

Miss: It’s massive

Driving the Super Duty Tremor on the open road to northern Minnesota isn’t a big deal as the wide lanes of I-94 are made for semis. Around town is a different story. Narrow two-lane city streets can pose a challenge since the Tremor’s as wide as a lane. There’s no room for error. It’s unlikely the Tremor will fit in your standard garage due to its height and length.

2020 Ford Super Duty F-250 Tremor

2020 Ford Super Duty F-250 Tremor

Miss: It costs how much?

My mildly optioned 2020 F-350 Super Duty Lariat had a sticker price of $70,120. That’s a lot of money for a truck that isn’t even the top spec. It was well equipped with the 7.3-liter V-8, Tremor off-road package, adaptive cruise control, navigation system, and LED box lighting along with what might be the best integrated tailgate step in the industry. But it had halogen head- and taillights. That’s borderline offensive when a $20,000 Toyota Corolla comes standard with LED headlights.

The 2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty with the Tremor off-road package is far more capable when it comes to getting work done than the Power Wagon, but the Power Wagon retains a slight edge off-road.

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2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Tremor
Base price: $35,300
Price as tested: $70.120
EPA fuel economy: N/A
The hits: Fantastic new gas V-8, huge cabin, comfortable, capable off-road or at the job site
The misses: Awful fuel economy, gets incredibly expensive quickly, not king of the off-road jungle

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