Ford’s coveted line of F-Series trucks is reaching new heights in comfort, technology, and drivability. With the 2018 Ford Super Duty pickup truck, drivers get a vehicle tough enough to withstand rough off-road handling yet refined enough to make city driving a pleasurable experience. As only the second year model in the fourth generation of Super Duty trucks, the 2018 shares many of the features that made last year’s redesign such a standout. Changes to the body-panel material shave hundreds of pounds off the truck, improving its handling and performance; however, the truck still has a heavy-duty frame to maximize its utility.
While at first glance the overall styling looks no different than previous models, the wider grille makes the truck look slightly more aggressive. Under the hood, the high-torque engine puts a bit more oomph in the acceleration. Drivers will also appreciate the plentiful upgrades inside of the cabin like an advanced driver-aid system and infotainment features. Ford wisely decided to polish the features brought over from the 2017 instead of making drastic changes to give drivers a well-rounded pick-up truck without steering away from the rugged capability that has earned the F-Series countless accolades.
To protect the Super Duty’s reputation as a hauling, pulling, and towing king, the 2018’s chassis is constructed from a rigid, high-strength steel that offers better towing capability and stability. However, the body consists of the same dent-resistant lightweight aluminum found on the F-150, which is new as of the fourth-generation redesign. Both metals work in tandem to create a powerful yet agile truck that is 350 pounds lighter than the third Super Duty generation. Thanks to the decrease in weight, drivers of the 2018 Super Duty will get a truck with enhanced aerodynamics and slightly improved fuel efficiency.
Focusing on the exterior details, the chrome trim on the massive two-bar front grille and the bulked-up bumper give the truck that rugged appearance that driver’s love. Its stacked headlights blend seamlessly into the grille, and they are partially surrounded by sharp-lined turn signals. The boxy body of the 2018 Super Duty has clean lines that exude power and strength. Utilizing LED technology, the headlamps are designed to improve nighttime and poor-weather visibility. On the rear, utility and usability take center stage with an automatically opening tailgate that lowers to reveal a sizable cargo bed and large 18-inch high-performance alloy wheels.
The interior is where luxury comes into play. This year model has more cabin space than those before it. As of last year, the body shell of these trucks has increased in length, ranging from 3 more inches in the crew-cab models and 6 inches in the extended-cab models. These measurements offer plenty of leg room even for adults who sit in the rear bench seat. The 2018 Super Duty also has a jump seat to offer space for an additional passenger. Certain trim packages offer comfort features like heated and perforated power seats with leather upholstery and 10-way adjustment controls.
Extravagance is carried throughout the rest of the interior with a heated telescopic steering wheel, dual climate control, and contoured front seats. Power pedals, which were once only seen in high-end automobiles, are now available in the Super Duty, and the driver’s seat even has a memory setting. Ford also did away with the plastic it used for the interior trim, choosing to accent the interior with metallic and wood elements. The large HD touchscreen dominates the dashboard, and the center console features a double cup holder that neatly slides to the side to double the cup holder’s capacity. There is also a lockable storage compartment located under the rear seat. When empty, the box folds, lining up flush with the floor.
Drivers who want the latest automobile technology that Ford has to offer will not be disappointed. The voice-command Sync 3 system supports navigation control, the six-speaker satellite radio and other infotainment features. Also included in the Super Duty is the updated MyFord Touch that assists drivers with integrating their smartphone and other devices with the truck’s communication system. Two USB charging ports offer connectivity for the driver and front passenger. In crew cabs and extended cabs, the overhead console contains dual storage bins, and some trim packages even boast heated mirrors.
Ford implemented a variety of standard safety features in the 2018 Super Duty, such as trailer-sway control, hill-start assist and traction control. Truck owners who have teenage drivers can set driving restrictions with the MyKey feature. There are also front and side airbags for both rows, an optional inflatable seat belt and lane-departure warning.
The most impressive feature on this truck is its multiple-camera Ultimate Trailer Tow Camera System, which provides a full-circle view from the 4.2-inch in-dash display. This system has a grille-mounted camera that improves sight lines and blind-spot monitoring that covers the entire length of a 33-foot trailer. When backing up a trailer, the Trailer Reverse Guidance System tells the driver what direction to turn to reverse the truck in a straight line.
Its on-point suspension and solid frame offer drivers a smoother ride and steadier handling than the third generation of Super Duty trucks. The adaptive steering adjusts the steering ratio for responsive maneuverability, and there is a noticeable improvement in the 2018’s straight-line capability when in tow mode. Therefore, there is no performance degradation when towing a trailer even when traveling on steep downhill grades.
In terms of fuel consumption, the 2018 Ford Super Duty gets relatively economical gas mileage for a heavy-duty pick-up truck. When city driving, the truck gets 19 miles per gallon, and during long highway stretches, the truck gets 25 miles per gallon. The combined average gives drivers 20 miles per gallon. The F-250’s towing capacity of 13,300 is even more impressive than the decent gas mileage.
Base Price: F-250 starts at $32,000, F-350 starts at $37,800, F-450 starts at $53,500.
Vehicle Layout: Front-engine, RWD/4WD, 3-6 passenger, 2/2 and 2/4-door.