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2018 Ford F-250 vs. 2018 Ford F-350: What's the Difference?

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author photo by Eric Brandt September 2018
  • The 2018 Ford F-250 and 2018 Ford F-350 are heavy-duty pickup trucks with a lot of similarities, but different capabilities.

  • The trims and options for these trucks are almost identical.

  • The F-350 is available with dual rear wheels and the F-250 is not.

If you're in the business of doing serious towing and hauling on a regular basis, then you probably need a serious truck to get the job done. Ford's Super Duty line of heavy-duty trucks are about the most capable trucks you can get, short of something bigger that requires a commercial driver's license.

If you're shopping for a Ford Super Duty, you might be wondering what the differences are between the F-250 and F-350. Let's get into what these trucks have in common, what they don't and which one is right for you or your business.

Styling

Other than size, the styling of the F-250 and F-350 is pretty much identical inside and out. The dimensions depend on the configuration of the cab and box, but the F-350 is generally bigger than the F-250. In their longest configurations, they can get to be more than 22 feet long. making them a bit hard to maneuver in parking lots.

One big difference between the F-250 and F-350 is the availability of dual rear wheels also known as a "dually" in the F-350. That not only changes the truck's capability, but it also makes it quite a bit wider in the back by more than a foot, also making a styling statement.

Mechanicals

There are two engines available in both the F-250 and F-350. The base engine is a gas-powered 6.2-liter V8, which makes 385 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. That's class-leading torque for a gas engine, but to turn the torque and the capability way up, you can upgrade to the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel, which makes 450 hp and 935 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to a TorqShift 6-speed automatic transmission.

On both trucks, rear-wheel drive is standard and 4-wheel drive is optional with the exception of the Limited trim, where 4-wheel drive is standard.

Capability

Despite having the same engines available under the hood, the capabilities of these two trucks are quite different. Beyond the engines, things like axles and suspension are different making the "one ton" F-350 more capable than the "three-quarter ton" F-250.

The maximum towing capacity of the Ford F-250 is 18,000 lbs, or 18,500 lbs with use of the optional fifth wheel. Its maximum payload is 4,200 lbs. If you upgrade to the F-350, it can tow up to 21,000 lbs, but can tow significantly more with a gooseneck trailer thanks to its available DRW (dual rear wheel) configuration at 32,000 lbs. DRW also ramps up its maximum payload rating to 7,600 lbs.

The F-250 is a very capable truck, but the F-350 takes it to the next level when optioned appropriately. If you're going to get a lot of use out of a fifth-wheel, you may want to take a closer look at the F-350. If not, and you just need something more capable than an F-150, then an F-250 might fit the bill.

Features and Technology

The F-250 and the F-350 have the same trims: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Limited. The XL is the base trim that's strictly a work truck for any driver or business on a budget. XLT is the mid-range trim that adds some extra standard features, like cloth seats rather than vinyl, power windows and door locks, a better radio with SiriusXM, cruise control and more. The Lariat trim is where things start getting luxurious with the addition of standard leather seats. The King Ranch, Platinum and Limited trims are the high-end luxury trims of these trucks that can get very nice, but also very expensive.

There are a few available tech features that can help make you more productive. The available trailer reverse guidance feature uses multiple cameras and visual aids on your infotainment screen, making it possible to line up your truck with your trailer without needing a human helper. Another nice available feature is tire pressure monitoring for both the truck and the trailer. No more going outside with a tire gauge to measure the pressure in your trailer tires.

Pricing

Being bigger, more capable trucks than the more mainstream full-size trucks on the market, these Super Duty pickups are more expensive. Pricing for the F-250 starts at $33,150, and the F-350 starts at $37,120. The range-topping Limited trim for both trucks starts way up above the $80,000 mark. There are a lot of options in between allowing you to get the perfect truck for you whether you want a purely utilitarian work truck, a luxurious workhorse or something in between. Because of the extra capability, the F-350 is consistently a bit more expensive than the F-250 throughout the model ranges.

Conclusion

On the surface, there really aren't a lot of differences between the F-250 and F-350. These Super Duty trucks have a lot in common, but the differences lie where they really count: capability. An F-250 should be sufficient for most drivers and businesses in the market for a heavy-duty pickup, but if you require more grunt than that, the F-350 is a great truck for the really heavy lifting. Whether you need a no-nonsense work truck and don't mind vinyl seats and crank windows, or if you want the latest and greatest in luxury features and technology, there's a Ford Super Duty out there for you.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2018 Ford F-250 vs. 2018 Ford F-350: What's the Difference? - Autotrader