2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty Jonny Lieber­man

Motor Trend (USA) - - Updates -

“Like sit­ting up high? Ford built a so­lu­tion to the prob­lem of need­ing to see over a sea of SUVS. Kid­ding/ not kid­ding.”

What is life like like here in the City of An­gels with a truck that’s (prob­a­bly) the size of Rhode Is­land? You can ar­gue that heavy-duty trucks weren’t de­signed with Los Angeles in mind. How­ever—and be­lieve me, I’ve been look­ing— there are throngs of them to be found in the na­tion’s sec­ond-largest city. There are 23 states with smaller pop­u­la­tions than L.A. (4,041,707 denizens in 2017). If we’re talk­ing coun­ties, Los Angeles County (10 mil­lion, give or take) is larger than North Car­olina, the 10th most pop­u­lous state in the na­tion. L.A. County is also big­ger than Rhode Is­land. And Del­a­ware. Com­bined.

Just like ev­ery coin has two sides, there are two sides to driv­ing a 8,020-pound beast of bur­den around an ur­ban area. This up­date con­cerns it­self with the down­side of such an en­deavor. Should you live in a place like Wyoming—50th in terms of pop­u­la­tion with noth­ing but wide-open spa­ces, and most ve­hi­cles you see are trucks—feel free to laugh at the city slicker (moi) who just doesn’t get it. For the other 63 per­cent of you who live in cities, feel free to laugh, too.

I get agita leav­ing the house. We live at the top of a nar­row, steeply in­clined hill, and the F-250 gets parked up against our dead end nose first. With ev­ery other ve­hi­cle I’ve ever brought home, leav­ing isn’t an is­sue be­cause I can just make a three-point turn and go. Not pos­si­ble with the Super Duty. So I back it down the hill. Not a big deal, save for the fact that our tiny lit­tle street dumps onto a ma­jor four-lane thor­ough­fare, so it’s best/quick­est/safest to leave home fac­ing for­ward. My op­tions then be­come: Do I want to re­verse into the neigh­bor’s drive­way that’s too shal­low or the one that’s not quite wide enough? I’m like Sisy­phus hav­ing to make So­phie’s choice. I know the F-250 is only about a foot longer than an F-150, but those 12 inches make all the painful dif­fer­ence.

Leav­ing is one thing, but un­less I’m go­ing to Mo­tor Trend HQ (where I’ve worked out a semise­cret spot), I’m gonna have to park the big Ford some­where, and it’s not go­ing to be easy. Be­fore be­ing given the F-250 for a year, my no­tion of hell was hav­ing to eat at a Mex­i­can restau­rant in Stutt­gart, Ger­many, for all eter­nity. (Trust me—i’ve done it—barf.) These days? Hell is parking the King Ranch at the Whole Foods in West Hol­ly­wood. Or worse: the Trader Joe’s in Sil­ver Lake! The worst! It’s a weird feel­ing head­ing some­where know­ing that be­cause of what you’re driv­ing, you’re not go­ing to be able to park. Just this past week­end I had to drive by three spots I knew the Ford wouldn’t fit in, only to find a one-hour spot three blocks from the brunch spot. Nat­u­rally, when I had to run out half­way through the meal to put money in the me­ter, it was rain­ing. Tiny vi­o­lins, I know.

Then there’s the bed. I’m not short. As I’m con­stantly re­mind­ing my wife, 5-foot-11 is slightly taller than av­er­age. But man, do I feel like a mini-me when I walk up to the F-250’s bed. If I stick my arms straight out in front of me, my el­bows clear the top of the side walls by an inch. Lift with your knees? Ha! More like lift with your an­kles. Even if you’re Dutch (Hol­land boasts the tallest av­er­age height), you’re still go­ing to have a hard time load­ing and un­load­ing this beast. If there’s some­thing heavy in the bed, for­get about lift­ing it up and over; you’re go­ing in. Get­ting in ain’t no pic­nic, ei­ther, as the tail­gate is above my hips. Yeah, yeah, there’s Ford’s Man Step, which is so named be­cause—as Chevy pointed out nine years ago—it’s not manly. Nor does it do you much good if you’ve got to unload some­thing large—the han­dle blocks your exit. Yes, yes, the F-250 can carry nearly two tons of stuff in the bed. That’s why the truck’s so mas­sive. It’s just that get­ting said stuff in or out sucks.

This com­pletes the “huge truck is huge, wa­ter is wet” portion of our long-term up­date. Be­fore you fire off the an­gry let­ter stat­ing some­thing to the ef­fect of, “Duh!” know that I’m not alone in my as­ser­tion that this truck (I’d say “and trucks like it,” but the Super Duty is XXXL to Chevy and Ram’s XXL of­fer­ings) is too big is backed up by Ford fol­low­ing Chevy’s Col­orado lead and of­fer­ing a small(ish) Ranger. Some peo­ple need a truck but not all the ca­pa­bil­ity a mon­ster like this King Ranch, or even an F-150, has to of­fer. Stay tuned for the next Size Mat­ters up­date, where I ex­plain the up­sides to the F-250’s in­cred­i­ble bulk.

With great size comes great parking re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

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