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Ford F250 Lariat 4x4

by Ali Arsham
Tuesday, January 22, 2008

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Ford F250 Lariat 4x4
If you are in need of a heavy duty truck, chances are you already know about Ford’d F250.  But what you may not know is how improved the 2008 model is compared to the previous F250.  Driving the F250 will amaze you at the levels Ford has gone to improve this beast in almost every aspect.

Heavy duty truck buyers are most interested in power and that’s the biggest news for 2008.  Ford has upped the ante with a new 6.4 liter V8 twin turbo diesel engine.  This is a clean burning engine that puts out 350 hp and 650 lb. ft. of torque.  Gasoline engine fans can have a 362 hp V10 engine.  Our tester had the diesel engine and this engine was a monster.  There is so much power available that you may think to yourself that nothing will ever stop this truck.  We tried towing a 4000 pound trailer behind the F250 and this truck would still accelerate from a standstill with ease.  Going up hills was no big deal and would barely slow the F250 down.  And you never get the feel that the engine is working too hard.  It just does it with very little drama.  While you are towing your load to the top of the tallest mountains, you can enjoy the best truck interior available.

Interior
Ford designed an all new interior for this truck and the level of refinement and quietness is above anything in this segment.  Our Lariat F250 had beautifully detailed gauges with rings around them.  The materials used were first rate and felt more like a Lincoln rather than a truck.  There is a huge center console that can keep file folders and lap tops out of sight.  A very effective and simple climate control system can keep you at whatever temperature you want no matter what the temperature outside is.  The Lariat even comes with a dual zone system so that the passenger and driver can each be comfortable.  There are heated seats as well for the two front passengers so that they can be extra comfortable.  There is a fantastic 6 disc CD changer and satellite radio that plays MP3 files or can hook up to your iPod.  This system even comes with a subwoofer under the back seat.  Our truck had the optional navigation system that was only available in luxury cars only a few years ago. 

The interior also has many features that you may not be able to see.  Ford wanted to ensure a very quiet cabin so they developed something called Quiet Steel.  It is a composite laminated sheet metal that makes up the dash panels and acts like having extra sound insulation.  They also opted for thicker side glass to further keep the interior quiet. “The goal was to deliver a “wow” factor,” said Giri Nammalwar, Super Duty Vehicle NVH Supervisor, “and give Super Duty customers a level of sophistication that’s unexpected, yet appreciated. We made sure we let in only the good sounds.”

All of the interior work pays off as the F250 is super quiet and comfortable at freeway speeds.  The only noise you hear is a little wind noise from the huge towing mirrors.  Otherwise, you would never guess you are riding inside a heavy duty truck.  The only complaint regarding the interior is that the gauges are a little too small and the seats are not supportive enough on long trips.

Ford has really done their research to see what people want.  We already talked about the power under the hood.  But there are lots of other details that should be noted.  One of the best is the TowCommand system which is an integrated trailer brake controller.  Research has shown that about 80% of heavy duty truck buyers tow with their truck but everyone has to go out and buy a brake controller.  It was about time that there was a factory installed one.  The Ford system is sweet.  Just plug your trailer in and the TowCommand system works with no clutter or wiring needed.  Very simple and clean.  Another is the tailgate step and handle.  We all need to climb into the bed every now and then but the trucks are very high and it requires a big effort.  Ford gives you a step and handle built into the tailgate.  It is so simple and so brilliant that you will wonder why it took them this long and why nobody else is doing it.  The huge mirrors are another item.  Towing big loads requires big mirrors and Ford has done an excellent job with these.  You can see all around you on the interstate and you can see well when you are trying to squeeze that trailer into a tight spot. 

Other neat features include the Rapid Heat.  If you live in a cold area, the new system quickens the time needed to get heat into the cabin and makes the interior more comfortable quicker.  They even redesigned the defroster so that it cleans quicker and more evenly.

When it comes to towing, the Super Duty is just amazing.  Our Super Cab F250 with the diesel engine can tow up to 15,900 pounds.  Pick the right options and you can go up to 24,500 pounds with and F450 dually.  That is some serious weight.

An F250 Lariat 4x4 like ours starts out at around $35,000.  There are so many options available that will make your head spin.  Our truck had a bunch of them ranging from the $6900 diesel engine to $25 for rubber floor mats.  The final price came out to $51,000.  That is some serious money and you can go higher than that.  But this is the problem.  Customers want more comfort and more luxury from their trucks which raises the price.  If you want your truck more old fashioned (vinyl seats rather than leather, for example) then the F250 XL is for you.  This is a simple truck that under the hood can have the same drivetrain but without the luxury touches.  A similar XL will cost you about $31,000.  So you can save a whopping $20,000 if you are willing to live without things like leather, navigation and fancy stereo.  It may not be for everyone but it is nice that there is a choice.  Either way this is one of the best trucks out there and you need to test drive one to believe it.

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