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2017 Ford F-350 Tremendous Obligation Platinum

6.7-liter turbocharged V8 diesel, (440 horsepower @ 2,800 rpm; 925 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm)

Six-speed computerized transmission, four-wheel drive

Not Rated (EPA Ranking, MPG)

13.5 mpg (Noticed)

Base Value: $63,285 (U.S.)

As Examined: $78,585 (U.S.)

Value contains $1,195 Vacation spot and supply cost.

After introducing the Tremendous Obligation in 1998, Ford stored making upgrades to the identical primary cab and body all the best way as much as 2016. A number of refreshes throughout three generations couldn’t disguise the truth that this truck rode on outdated bones, making the 2017 mannequin yr redesign a welcome change.

We had an opportunity check out the brand new design by borrowing a 2017 F-350 Platinum for a latest journey to West Virginia, which appropriately featured a Miata on trailer behind us. Whereas our race automobile and trailer combo solely made up a fraction of the utmost towing capability of the diesel-powered behemoth, it gave us an appreciation of getting a bit additional room whereas towing.

Our schedule stated we needed to be on observe at Summit Level for a drivers assembly at eight a.m. on Saturday morning, so we tried to pack as a lot as doable earlier than the Tremendous Obligation arrived with a purpose to hit the street rapidly. When the truck arrived on Friday afternoon we ran over to the U-Haul retailer to select up a trailer. Hooking up was a breeze — even within the tight confines of the again lot — because the backup digicam, together with the birds eye view, rapidly bought us lined up with the trailer and on our approach to load the race automobile.

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After arriving at my brother’s home we began loading up plastic bins and unfastened elements into the mattress, which was coated with an non-obligatory $495 Powerful Mattress spray-in bedliner. The liner might be a sensible choice to assist decrease injury to the truck’s new aluminum mattress. Value is on par with different premium spray-in liners and it carries the good thing about being coated by the automobile’s manufacturing facility guarantee.

The tailgate on this trim options an digital push-button that slowly lowers it through built-in raise helps. It’s useful, however might be a possible level of failure for vans working in tough conditions. Our loaner was additionally outfitted with the corporate’s once-ridiculed “Man Step,” which proved very useful when loading up (and when utilizing the mattress as a viewing platform).

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After loading up the mattress, we strapped the race automobile down and did our last checks earlier than hitting the street. The hood opens broad to show a tech-laden 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 engine that appears utterly overseas when in comparison with the outdated 7.Three-liter motors I’m used to engaged on. The hood rises excessive sufficient for me to barely attain it when making an attempt to shut it. I can see the way it may helpful for future upkeep or repairs as one may simply climb up there for service and never bang their head.

On the street, the four,000-pound load of Miata and trailer nearly appeared prefer it wasn’t there because of the accessible torque and the 160 inches of wheelbase. Our route — up by way of the hills on US-220 towards Roanoke, Virginia — will be difficult for brakes, however the Ford’s transmission programming ensured that the truck dropped a gear any time we began to get into the brakes (and so long as we stored the Tow/Haul Mode enabled).

We made our first cease simply as we have been approaching I-81 close to Roanoke, noting that we had used about 9 gallons of diesel to cowl 110 miles. That gave us an efficient 12 miles per gallon — a determine that might solely rise about half a mile per gallon for the rest of our journey.

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Arriving at our resort in Winchester, Virginia, a bit earlier than midnight, we parked the truck in a distant nook of the parking zone and blocked it with a purpose to decrease the probabilities of something disappearing. We woke as much as an exceptionally chilly morning; fortunately I used to be in a position to begin the truck remotely from our room, which was a number of hundred ft away. By the point we bought to the truck, the cabin, seats, and steering wheel have been all toasty heat.

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On the observe, we dropped the trailer and moved the spare elements over to Jack’s Silverado so we may use the F-350 to maneuver across the observe and watch the periods. The built-in 400-watt inverter is a welcome addition that noticed loads of use because it charged the batteries for the electrical impression and our radios. USB ports have been plentiful on the within, however charging by way of a typical adapter nonetheless gave the impression to be sooner. This truck additionally options the flamboyant sliding cupholder we coated final yr, although it was largely stored closed as we used the left facet for mobile phone and snack storage.

The remainder of the inside was appointed in plum leather-based and wooden together with a number of aluminum accents which wouldn’t really feel misplaced in a Navigator. The seats have been snug and the plastics on the sprint felt considerably higher than what I’m used to seeing within the XL trim vans I often spend time in.

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It’s no shock that Ford is including an excellent larger trim stage subsequent yr, as even this truck — with a complete value approaching $80,000 — appears to have a spot amongst a crowd that wishes luxurious and the power to tow their boat, race automobile, or horse trailer. The F-350 Platinum four×four begins at $63,285; including the diesel engine brings the worth to $71,880. Many of the choices, just like the mattress liner or the digital locking differential, are a number of hundred every, and the one different vital add-on is the $2,785 Platinum Final Package deal that features a big twin panel moonroof, towing cameras, and adaptive cruise.

The moonroof, whereas good, isn’t one thing I’d spend cash on individually, however the towing cameras proved very helpful and could be one thing I would choose. We made intensive use of the adaptive cruise, which stored an affordable distance and was very clean even with the trailer hooked up. The lane-keeping perform made itself very obvious, shaking the wheel as we have been approaching the tiny roads into Summit Level. That’s the extent of the steering help, for the reason that Tremendous Obligation seems to nonetheless run totally hydraulic steering — stopping it from pushing the wheel again or having the tiny wheel just like the F-150 for backing as much as a trailer.

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The Sync Three head unit bought loads of use, largely in its native state taking part in music over Bluetooth from our telephones, although we did check out Apple CarPlay for a bit and the transitions have been clean. There are many menus accessible within the head unit and a few of the options are nested deep inside them. Sadly, we didn’t work out the Ford had massaging seats till our journey again to North Carolina, as the choice was hidden below the superior seat changes.

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Parking the truck in smaller parking heaps was a little bit of a problem because of the lengthy wheelbase and enormous total bundle. We ended up on the outskirts of some parking heaps simply to keep away from having to re-position the truck a number of occasions with a purpose to get it into an area. The big tow mirrors have been useful when rolling and backing up and the powered extension function was helpful when higher rearward visibility grew to become obligatory.

There’s clearly a marketplace for higher-end trims within the Tremendous Obligation lineup, as Ford is introducing an much more costly trim for 2018. Nonetheless, we’d probably go for one thing a bit extra conservative. The diesel motor could be the very first thing on the chopping block, because the $eight,595 premium shouldn’t be actually justified except you’re towing big masses. The F-350’s base 6.2-liter fuel V8 is a lot highly effective for towing one thing like a race automobile and would supply comparable gasoline economic system. Inside appointments are good however, coming from extra of labor truck background, an XLT with a number of choices within the mid-$40s would probably be a lot for our makes use of.

[Images: © 2017 Bozi Tatarevic/The Truth About Cars]

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