I have made a terrible mistake. To understand what, we have to back up a couple of months, before my now 4-month-old son, Richard, was born. Executive editor Mark Rechtin was trying to assign me a new long-term vehicle. In an email subjected “Durango Dad” Mark wrote: “Figured you might need something a bit more kid-friendly than the long-term Hellcat you’re getting out of. Arriving this week is the new Durango. Seems like that might make a good fit for your situation, yes?” Mark was thinking very logically, but of course I’ve made a career out of being an obstinate weirdo. So no thank you, I’m not going to be a Durango Dad. I elected instead to wait until our 2017 Truck of the Year long-termer showed up, a two-tone Ford F-250 King Ranch 4×4. Call me Super Duty Dad!
I like having slightly left-of-center long-term vehicles. Helps me think of interesting things to do with them. My first was a Cadillac CTS-V Wagon with a six-speed manual. I drove that dreamboat across 11 States, plus Germany and Holland. After that I had a Jaguar F-Type R—the 2015 model, the only year that the 550-horsepower monster was rear-wheel drive—and I can still show you where some tire marks are. The Charger Hellcat, well, a 707-hp family sedan speaks for itself, doesn’t it? I also had a Volvo S60 T5, but all I can remember about that car are the seats. They were exceptional. The point is, I figured that a 4-ton (8,020 pounds on our scales), 21-foot behemoth with 925 lb-ft of torque would make the perfect late-night diaper runner. You know what? I was right. For about three weeks.
When Richard was not quite 2 months old, we moved into our new home. At our old house I could have easily parked a fleet of Super Duties, no problem. That old dump was parking Nirvana, so to speak. The new pad? Well, the listing read: “At the end of a cul-de-sac on a private street.” It turns out that’s relator speak for: “At the narrow dead end of a street not maintained by the city of Los Angeles.” Although the whole family loves the new digs, I am slightly less in love with the big Ford. About 100 of its 250 inches sticks out onto said “private street” when the F-250 is in our tiny driveway. Did I mention that this is the short wheelbase Super Duty Crew Cab? The long wheelbase version is 16 inches longer! True, I can park it in front of the house, but then I have to back it all the way down a kinked, narrow hill and then roll out half-blind and backwards onto a busy, four-lane street. What I’ve been doing is parking it at the bottom of the hill and walking up. Did I mention that today was a record high temperature for downtown L.A.?
Obviously, none of the above is the truck’s fault. After all, part of the reason we unanimously voted it our 2017 Truck of the Year was because of its mighty capabilities, such as being able to carry 7,630 pounds in its bed. That’s more than many trucks and SUVs can tow! Those big ole capabilities are strongly correlated to the Super Duty’s bulk, its mass, and its sheer supertruck scale. There’s nothing wrong with the F250. The problem is all me. Well, it’s all my house, but you get what I’m trying to say.
Parking woes aside, I dig everything else about “my” new ride. At $78,355 I’m riding around in the ludicrously decadent King Ranch version sitting up high above it all. That’s $19,405 in options! Yes, everything’s wrapped in leather. Really nice leather, I should add. Can I get enough of the giant, panorama sunroof? Hell no! What’s that? Your truck doesn’t have heated, cooled, and massaging seats? Are you sure it’s really a truck? As for what I’m going to be doing with my big, difficult but not-too-difficult-to-park, yearlong rolling brute squad, stay tuned. But I’m thinking a road trip is definitely in order.
|2017 Ford F-250 4×4 King Ranch|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$78,355|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door truck|
|ENGINE||6.7L/440-hp/925-lb-ft turbodiesel OHV 32-valve V-8|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||8,020 lb (59/41%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||250.0 X 80.0 X 81.5 in|
|0-60 MPH||7.1 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||15.5 sec @ 89.0 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||160 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.70 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||28.8 sec @ 0.57 g (avg)|