Appreciable differences are limited to towing and payload capacity.
The F-350 offers available dually rear-wheel configuration.
Ford’s line of F-Series Super Duty trucks make up the best selling heavy-duty pickup line in America. Buyers in the market for a heavy-duty full-size truck are wise to consider either a Ford F-250 or a F-350. The differences between these two trucks are comprised mainly of their towing and hauling capabilities, available rear wheel configurations, and of course, price. Below, we’ll get into a little more detail about what sets them apart from one another, while also touching on all of the great things they have in common.
The F-Series Super Duty lineup was last fully redesigned for the 2017 model year. As a part of this redesign, it now shares its cab with the light-duty F-150 for the first time in 20 years. The F-250 and the F-350 offer identical engine options. Buyers can choose from either a 6.2 liter gas-powered V8 making 385 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque or a 6.7-liter turbodiesel, which makes 450 hp and puts out a pavement-rippling 935 lb-ft of torque. Regardless of engine choice, either truck comes standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission — neither offers a manual.
Where these two trucks really differ is with regard to their capabilities. In the same way that buyers should only opt for a Ford F-250 over an F-150 is they need the F-250’s extra towing and payload capacities, the only reason anyone should be buying an F-350 over an F-250 is if the F-250 simply will not meet their towing and hauling needs.
Buyers trying to determine which of these trucks is right for them should take a good look at Ford’s Super Duty Towing Guide, linked here.
To summarize, depending on how it’s equipped, the gas-powered F-250 has a maximum towing capacity of up to 18,000 pounds with a conventional hitch, or 18,500 pounds with the use of a fifth-wheel. Stepping up to the F-350 sees these figures increase to 21,000 pounds with a conventional hitch or a whopping 32,000 pounds with a fifth-wheel or gooseneck, thanks to that available dually rear wheel configuration. Dually-equipped F-350s also offer an impressive payload capacity of 7,600 pounds.
The F-250 and the F-350 are offered in the exact same trim levels: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Limited. The XL is outfitted like a basic work truck with vinyl seats and next to no features. The Lariat comes with an 8-in infotainment screen, while the King Ranch is a western-themed take on the Lariat. Platinum and Limited models introduce luxury touches like power running boards, more comfortable seats, and in the case of the Limited, Camelback leather seating surfaces.
Given that they share the same cab and trim levels, the F-250 and the F-350 offer identical interiors. There is no shortage of space in an F-Series Super Duty. Front seat occupants get 40.8 inches of headroom and 43.9 inches of legroom. The back seat of the Crew Cab is absolutely cavernous, with 40.4 inches of headroom and 43.6 inches of legroom.
Super Duty trucks are available in three cab sizes and with two different bed lengths, although your options are highly dependent upon the trim level you choose and how much you want to spend. Single cab, extended or "Super Cab," and crew cab variants are offered. Bed options are either 6.75 feet or 8 feet. Upper trims like the King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited are only available in crew cab form. The Super Duty’s 6.75-foot bed offers 65 cu ft. of cargo room, while the 8-foot bed offers 77 cu ft.
These trucks share identical bodies, meaning that their exterior styling is identical. The Super Duty has a rather brutish front end, with "Super Duty" stamped into the hood. The Super Duty line also features large, extendable mirrors for use with trailering, along with front tow points. Whether a F-250, a F-350 or a F-450, the truck’s model name is displayed vertically on the front fender. Wheel options are utilitarian, as 20-in options are available, but they’re far less blingy than what you’ll find on the half-ton F-150.
Features & Tech
The features available on either of these trucks are identical. Available is an 8-in touchscreen running the latest version of Ford’s Sync infotainment system, which is generally regarded as being among the best on the market. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included, as is 4G LTE capability with Wi-Fi.
Higher end models are available with a Bang & Olufsen-branded premium audio system and a panoramic sunroof. Large, full-color infotainment screens in the gauge cluster, a step integrated into the tailgate and a variety of luxurious interior appointments are available. The Super Duty line is generous with regard to power outlets, offering four 12 volt outlets and four usb ports.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety doesn’t crash test heavy-duty trucks, but we’re willing to bet that either of these trucks will do a good job of protecting occupants in the event of an accident. For what it’s worth, the IIHS has awarded the Ford F-150 a Top Safety Pick designation.
Both the F-250 and the F-350 can be had with an identical range of active safety features consisting of forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning that offers vibrating feedback, and park assist. Both vehicles also offer a few different cameras and trailering features that help make things easier behind the wheel.
Reliability of any Super Duty truck should be pretty good, given their use in heavy duty applications. Parts and service are also extremely easy to come by, should anything go wrong. Ford offers a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Outside of price, the differences between the F-250 and the F-350 consist purely of their relative towing and payload capacities, with the F-350 boasting higher limits than an F-250 with the same engine. The F-350 is also available with a dual rear wheel setup while the F-250 is not, but the benefits of the dually still come down to payload and towing capacity. Altogether, buyers should be able to decide between the F-250 and the F-350 simply by comparing their respective towing and payload capacities and cross referencing them with their own towing and hauling needs.