2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty King Ranch Review


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This update is concerned with what life is like here in the City of Angeles with a truck that’s (probably) the size of Rhode Island. You can argue that heavy-duty trucks weren’t designed with Los Angeles in mind. However—and believe me, I’ve been looking—there are throngs of them to be found in the nation’s second-largest city. Remember, there are 23 states here in America with smaller populations than L.A. (4,041,707 denizens in 2017). If we’re talking counties, Los Angeles County (10 million folks, give or take) is larger than North Carolina, the 10th most populous state in the nation. L.A. County is also bigger than Rhode Island. And Delaware. Combined.

Just like every coin has two sides, there are two sides to driving a 8,020-pound beast of burden around a densely populated urban area. This update is going to concern itself with the downside of such an endeavor. Should you live in a place like Wyoming—50th in terms of population with nothing but wide-open spaces, and most vehicles you see are trucks—feel free to laugh at the city slicker (moi) who just doesn’t get it.  For the other 63 percent of you that live in cities, feel free to laugh, too.

I get agita leaving the house. We live at the top of a narrow, steeply inclined hill, and the F-250 gets parked up against our dead end nose first. With every other vehicle I’ve ever brought home, leaving isn’t an issue because I can just make a three point turn and go. Not possible with the Super Duty. So I back it down the hill. Not a big deal, save for the fact that our tiny little street dumps onto a major four-lane thoroughfare, so it’s best/quickest/safest to leave home facing forward. My options then become do I want to reverse into the neighbor’s driveway that’s too shallow or the one that’s not quite wide enough? I’m like Sisyphus having to make Sophie’s choice. I know the F-250 is only about a foot longer than an F-150, but those 12 inches make all the painful difference.

Leaving is one thing, but unless I’m going to Motor Trend HQ (where I’ve worked out a semi-secret spot), I’m gonna have to park the big Ford somewhere, and it’s not going to be easy. Before being given the F-250 for a year, my notion of hell was having to eat at a Mexican restaurant in Stuttgart, Germany, for all eternity. (Trust me—I’ve done it—barf.) These days? Hell is parking the King Ranch at the Whole Foods in West Hollywood. Or worse: the Trader Joe’s in Silver Lake! The worst! It’s a weird feeling heading somewhere knowing that because of what you’re driving you’re not going to be able to park. Just this past weekend I had to drive by three spots I knew the Ford wouldn’t fit in, only to find a one-hour spot three blocks from the brunch spot. Naturally, when I had to run out halfway through the meal to put money in the meter, it was raining. Tiny violins, I know.

Then there’s the bed. I’m not short. As I’m constantly reminding my wife, 5-foot-11 is slightly taller than average. But man, do I feel like a mini-me when I walk up to the F-250’s bed. If I stick my arms straight out in front of me, my elbows clear the top of the side walls by an inch, maybe 2. Lift with your knees? Ha! More like lift with your ankles. Even if you’re Dutch (Holland boasts the tallest average height on earth), you’re still going to have a hard time loading and unloading this beast. If there’s something heavy in the bed, fuhgeddaboud lifting it up and over; you’re going in. Getting in ain’t no picnic, either, as the tailgate is above my hips. Yeah, yeah, there’s Ford’s Man Step, which is so named because—as Chevy pointed out nine years ago—it’s not manly. Nor does it do you much good if you’ve got to unload something large—the Man Step’s handle blocks your exit. Yes, yes, the F-250 can carry nearly two tons of stuff in the bed. That’s why the truck’s so massive. It’s just that getting said stuff in or out sucks.

This completes the huge truck is huge, water is wet portion of our long-term update. Before you fire off the angry letter stating something to the effect of, “Duh!” know that I’m not alone in my assertion that this truck (I’d say “and trucks like it,” but the Super Duty is XXXL to Chevy and Ram’s XXL offerings) is too big is backed up by the fact that Ford is following Chevy’s Colorado lead and offering a small(ish) pickup called Ranger. Some people need a truck but not all the capability a monster like this here King Ranch, or even an F-150, has to offer. Again, this is part one. Stayed tuned for the next Size Matters update, where I explain the upsides to the F-250’s incredible bulk.

Read more about our 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty here: