Ford F-350 Super Duty fills ‘big feature’ demand by truck owners
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For the greatest part of the past century, pickup trucks have been no-frills vehicles sold mostly for work duty. The embodiment of the no-nonsense truck, known for its muscle, is the 1-ton pickup.
Consumers continue to demand its power, but also want luxury. Ford answers consumers demand with the new 2018 F-350 Super Duty pickups, featuring interiors and smart technologies that rival luxury sedans.
Six F-350 models are offered for the 2018 model year, and the best sellers are the high-end models. These upscale trucks include Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and the newly introduced Limited.
Leather upholstery and front bucket seats flanking a large center console are common to all top models, but the execution of the leather treatment varies. Lariat seats are clad in “premium” leather, and are available in Camel or black. Front driver and passenger seats are 10-way power adjustable, and heated 60/40-split-fold-up rear seats are a $300 option.
The King Ranch Super Duty’s interior appeals to truckers wanting a distinctive look, and fills that need with a ranch-inspired western theme. Seating surfaces are covered in Unique King Ranch Mesa leather with the King Ranch brand logo adorning seatbacks and center console lid. Front driver and passenger seats have 10-way power with memory, and are heated and cooled. Heated rear seats are a $300 option.
Platinum interiors have a more-refined look with the choice of black or Dark Marsala Unique Platinum Leather. Dark Marsala is a deep red, which in certain lighting can appear black. Front seats are a multi-contour design, engineered to reduce muscle fatigue in the lower back and legs. This is accomplished by changing seatback and cushion contour with air chambers that create gentle movement. Front seats are 10-way adjustable with memory, and are heated and cooled. Heated rear seats are standard.
The Limited interior represents the highest level of Super Duty luxury. Ford Design Manager Aileen Barraza likens the sensation of life within Limited’s cab to “opening the door to your humidor and sinking into your favorite lounge chair.”
Limited seats are upholstered in two-tone black-and-gray Custom Camelback leather. The instrument panel, steering wheel and armrests are leather clad, and the headliner is Miko suede. Limited badging adorns seatbacks, and a large serial-numbered laser-etched Limited badge sits atop the center console lid.
With the demands of truck buyers skewing toward high-end pickups, expectations are that luxurious interiors be accompanied with advanced technologies for entertainment, connectivity and safety. Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Limited models come standard with Sync 3 communications and entertainment system featuring voice-activated technology. Enhanced voice recognition allows the use of conversational real-world voice commands and reduces the number of steps needed to carry out a command.
The system’s 8-inch touchscreen is more efficient, providing increased responsiveness with multi-touch gestures akin to using a smartphone. Sync 3 also is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible. A voice-activated navigation system is standard on King Ranch, Platinum and Limited, and a $570 option on the Lariat. All top-four Super Duty models are fitted with SiriusXM Satellite Radio and a Sony single-CD/MP3 player with HD radio that pumps tunes through 10 speakers and a subwoofer.
Along with being entertained and informed, Super Duty pickups boost driver confidence with smart safety systems. Standard on all of the high-end pickups is SOS Post Crash Alert System, Reverse Sensing System and a tailgate-mounted rear-view camera.
The Platinum level adds Blind Spot Monitoring System with Cross-traffic Alert and trailer-tow detection, and an Adaptive Front Steering system that adjusts steering ratio according to vehicle speed. Limited pickups get an extra dose of smart tech. Standard are the Ultimate Trailer Tow Camera System, Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support. The Ultimate Trailer Tow Camera System utilizes high-definition cameras that provide views on all sides of the truck.
Base pricing for crew-cab single-rear-wheel models is: Lariat (4×2), $49,420; King Ranch (4×2), $56,365; Platinum (4×4), $64,290; and Limited (4×4), $81,195. Lariat also is offered in a SuperCab version, base priced at $47,090. Four-wheel drive is standard on Platinum and Limited models, and adds just under $3,200 to Lariat and King Ranch price tags.