I’ll be totally honest with you here right up front: I am not a fan of colossal, expensive pickup trucks that are a pain in the ass to drive in the city and yet too fancy and luxurious to do anything actually dirty with. I fundamentally don’t understand the point of these vehicles: they’re incredibly capable, but also nearly useless. The Ford Super Duty F-250 Limited is this sort of vehicle, but I think I actually found the one thing it makes a ton of sense for.
While this isn’t exactly a review of the Super Duty F-250 Limited (I’m just copying and pasting that long-ass name) I suppose it’s worth explaining just what this thing is. It’s a gigantic luxury heavy-duty pickup truck that costs lots of money. Lots of money as in these things start at $80,240.
To put that in a bit of context, the lower-spec F-250 XL crew cab with the same 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel engine is $46,460, a difference of $33,780, which is a hell of a lot more money to pay for a truck that is the same size and with the same drivetrain and can, really, do all of the same truck-like things as the much more expensive truck.
So what do you get for your extra thirty grand? Mostly chrome and fancy leather seats that are heated and cooled and all the electronic whatevers you could want and, perhaps most significantly, a complete loss of the ability to do anything really dirty or rough or actually useful with your truck, since it is now far too expensive to risk getting anything scratched up or mud caked on the lovely carpeted interior or any of the expensive exterior trim bits broken off.
This is a truck for people who want a luxury car but are culturally obligated to own a truck, because that’s all they’ve ever owned and cannot envision a world where truck ownership is not a factor, whether it makes sense or not.
And, for most normal driving situations, this beast makes no sense at all. It’s difficult to maneuver in so many contexts, it makes parking more of a hassle, driving through parking garages is a pain, not murdering cyclists with those massive mirrors takes conscious effort, getting in and out is a chore, it’s just not really properly scaled for most of life.
And you’re most likely not loading that bed up with gravel or manure, and you’re sure as hell not driving it through mud or over jagged rocks.
The Limited version of the F-250 is not rational at all, but, you know what, cars have never been rational, which is why we love them so. I was determined to find some context or use case where this gorilla-in-a-smoking-jacket made sense, and I think I found its perfect use:
A long, straight highway drive to pick up bulky, clean objects, and then return them home.
Oh, I suppose towing heavy things on the highway would also work, but I just tested the first one.
I used the F-250 Limited to pick up some antique furniture from my wife’s family in West Virginia. It was about a six-hour drive on long, straight, high-speed verdant highways in summer heat, and this big, fancy-ass behemoth was really the ideal vehicle for the job.
The interior is massive and roomy—more so than in most cars, thanks to the overall height and the completely flat rear floor. It’s wide and boxy and a very comfortable mobile luxo-cube to be stuck in for a few hours.
The rear bench seat was wide enough that both my young toddler and adult-human wife were able to sleep on it, like it was a bed. Which, really, is exactly what it became.
The climate control system is a loving tribute to America’s mechanized middle finger to the season of summer, and there’s 120V electrical outlets on the dash and in the back so crucial equipment like your Nintendo Switch need never run out of electro-juice.
If you’re loading in nice, clean things that you don’t want to get scratched up or in turn scratch up your expensive-ass truck, then the F-250 Limited works like a charm. The tailgate has that handy integrated fold-out step setup, and there’s even a camera so you can see what’s going on in the bed of the truck.
Sure, the gas mileage wasn’t anything spectacular—I think we started getting around 13 MPG and likely peaked at 17 MPG after all the highway driving—but in a vehicle this size, with the compromised aero from all that furniture, it makes sense.
It’s got plenty of power—450 horsepower, but also an absolutely insane 935 pound-feet of torque. So highway speeds and passing are no problem for this metal rhinoceros at all. It’s alarmingly quick considering its bulk.
It’s a wonderful feeling when you have the right tool for a particular job, and I feel comfortable saying that for the job of ferrying people at high speed on a highway in comfort to collect bulky, non-filthy things, the F-250 Limited is the right tool.
Sure, I think the lower-spec F-250s or even F-150s could likely do the job about as well as this truck for tens of thousands of dollars less, but that doesn’t take away from how well the Limited did this very specific thing.
So, if your primary driving needs are exactly these, or perhaps pretty close, only you’re towing a trailer, and you’ve got 80 grand to throw around, sure, why the hell not, get yourself one of these gilded monsters.
For everyone else, if you need a truck to actually do dirty truck things and aren’t defecating $20s every hour, look elsewhere.