2015 Ford F-350 King Ranch: Exclusive Quick Drive

2015 F-350 front 4 II

During a recent trip to Detroit to get more background on the different types of rigorous testing the folks at Ford put the 2015 Ford F-150 through, we had the chance to be the first to get inside the freshened 2015 Ford F-350 King Ranch (single rear wheel).

As a quick reminder, the 2015 King Ranch models — newly stylized for the 2015 F-150, 2015 Super Duty and 2015 Expedition SUV — offer a richer, premium interior leather; several new colors; and the redesigned King Ranch logo inserted into the center console, floormats and steering wheel. Additionally, all Super Dutys get 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets.

Our Ruby Red Metallic F-350 4x4 had 3.55:1 gears, and with an empty load there was little perceived difference from the previous model. That didn't surprise us, because many of the changes to the PowerStroke relate to changing the type of turbocharger and beefing up the bottom end of the engine (crankshaft, dampers, main bearings, oil cooling, etc.) as well as the pistons and head gasket. Additionally, Ford has made a few changes to the six-speed transmission, especially the torque converter, to handle the extra loads. No changes have been made to the axles.

As nice as all this new King Ranch upgrading is, the big news for 2015 is that the PowerStroke turbo-diesel has been upgraded and now offers the most horsepower and torque of any full-size three-quarter-ton or one-ton pickup truck in the class. Society of Automotive Engineer ratings for the 6.7-liter OHV V-8 are now 440 horsepower and 860 pounds-feet of torque (just ahead of the Ram Heavy Duty's HO Cummins torque number of 850 pounds-feet). Unfortunately, we weren't able to get our test truck to an engine dyno to verify how the engine performs, but we did get to put a few hundred miles on the truck and gather some impressions.

It's clear Ford has done a mountain of work to keep this modified engine smooth and quiet; in fact, the latter was the big standout in our mind. As the leader in pickup truck interior quietness, Ford has managed to make this truck even quieter. We assume that means been plenty of sound-deadening material has been added around the cab, plugging holes and adding thickness to doors and firewalls. Nothing is changed inside the cabin; the dash and gauge layout is identical to 2014 models.

 

2015 F-350 engine II

 

That was a little disappointing given the fact that one of the big changes in the PowerStroke engine is that it now offers drivers a controllable exhaust brake button with a dedicated Tow-Haul switch (at the end of the column shifter) and an exhaust brake button. We would have liked to have seen some kind of newly available "exhaust brake" screen that let us know how deep or shallow we were using the new feature. The button is a simple on/off control, with a small icon showing up in the information center at the center of the gauge cluster in front of the driver. We're told the turbo does offer some back pressure capabilities even with just the basic Tow/Haul mode engaged, but it becomes much more aggressive in how it operates when the exhaust brake button is pushed on. We can't wait to get a good load in the bed or behind the new PowerStroke to see how the new feature handles a real work load.

One thing that really stood out about this 8,000-pound truck (we weighed it) is how it handled the monster potholes around Detroit. As amazing as the unchanged suspension is at offering a smooth and settled ride on good roads (especially surprising since we were running empty and at 70 mph much of the day), the big potholes were difficult for this heavy-duty hauler to handle, especially when negotiating a slowly arcing turn. Anyone familiar with live-axle suspensions knows this is a small tradeoff for the load-carrying benefits of stiffer springs and stronger axles. Still, it's never fun to feel your undersides go into a bouncing vibration after hitting a series of deep ruts and holes, and feel the grip of the tires disappear and slowly float in one direction or another. That said, we were amazed at how quickly the big, empty truck settled back down, grabbed the road and got us back on course headed in the right direction. After a while we got better at avoiding those nasty obstacles as much as possible.

Over the course of our drive — which included some two-lane, winter-rutted back roads as well as freeway cruising — we averaged more than 14 mpg and never had any trouble keeping up with traffic or passing the occasional semi. For fun we decided to hit a local drag way where we got some time on the quarter-mile track. Although all our runs were not "officially" timed, we figured they were somewhere around 16.5 seconds at around 88 or 89 mph (we did fold the mirrors into the doors). This compares pretty well with the last Super Duty we track-tested that ran 17.5 seconds at 83 mph. Unfortunately, that was an F-350 dualie with 3.73:1 axle gears — not exactly apples to apples. Still, the truck ran strong and quiet and seemed to prefer running in Drive with the Tow/Haul mode.We could never get good times manually shifting; it definitely felt like the computer was confused on those runs.

Our test King Ranch priced out at $66,510, which includes a destination charge of $1,195. Base price for the F-350 SRW King Ranch 4x4 crew cab is $56,090 but our unit did have the PowerStroke, locking rear differential, extra skid plate, dual alternators, up-fitter switches, a spray-in bedliner, an engine block heater and special paint. It certainly wasn't inexpensive, but it definitely was a fun ride.

To see a pricing sheet of the standard and optional equipment on our test unit (although the truck is so new it does not have actual pricing), click here

Cars.com images by Mark Williams

 

2015 F-350 EB II

2015 F-350 KR logo II

2015 F-350 seats II

2015 F-350 axle II

2015 F-350 door tag II

2015 F-350 front 3 II

 

 

Comments

Cue the Super Duty "this is an ancient truck!" bashers in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

Where is the engine ? I see just life support hoses.

The headlights are crap. No getting around the level of disrespect that Ford has for their consumers, and other people on the road.
H13 dual beams were a dead end from day one.
(and frankly all dual beam are terrible, that is why they are found on the most entry level of vehicles)

Not enough room under the hood for a transistorized flux capacitor! Maybe for a rag to check the oil, but not much of anything else!

Anyone remember when you could open the hood of a car or truck and reach the engine with no problems? Now they everything stuffed in so tight that you can't reach anything and the costs for any repair are way to high because you have to disassemble half the crap under the hood to reach anything.

In my opinion very poor design work. This applies to all manufactures by the way.

Put a load in the bed and measure how much the truck squats. The Ford Super Duty squats under load and I wonder if Ford has addressed that issue.

As much as the Ford Super Duty is capable hauler, they need to address the fact that the doors rattle like a baby toy. Heck, my 1984 is quieter in the doors than a 2014 is, which I took out on a test drive this weekend. I would hope they would eventually cure this in the next redesign. I know they did not resolve it in the 2015's. There was a 2015 SD at the Auto Show recently and it sure didn't sound like it.

I swear that sticker says "MADE IN CHINA" somehwere. Or least it should considering the lack of quality in these trucks. Oh the fake wood is...really fake looking.

Until ford comes out with a 100k warranty they aren't even an option in my new truck search.

@Ram 4x4
I agree, but I know where to start at least in here.

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2014/03/special-package-marks-25th-anniversary-of-cummins-ram-partnership.html

100k warranty is worthless because it stays at the same 5 years. 60k/5year. 100k/5year. Same difference.

I'll give them credit for at least subduing the grill somewhat. However, that thing is just too grossly luxurious for a pickup truck and MASSIVELY overpriced; for that kind of money I could buy a Tesla Model S and never buy gas again.

No, I'm not a fan of Ford by any means, but this at least looks decent on the outside; the subdued grill helps it a LOT. They really need to do this on their mid-priced models and simply get rid of all that chrome plating that makes the nose look too big. Hey, you guys might like gaudy, but I don't. Subtle and tasteful is more my style.

The Super Duty line needs a redesign like last year! If I was in the market for a HD truck I would not even test drive a Ford right now! They also need to offer a 10 year/100K warranty on their diesel 6.7 motor to get me to part with my hard earned cash!

The only thing the Super Duty needs to do to be truly class leading is beef up the frame. As it is, this is the twistiest, most easy-to-bend frame of the all the current HD trucks. Both the Silverado and the Ram can open the bed in a twist ditch, the Ford cannot.

@Mark Tell that to the guy I was talking to at the gas station one day. He lost a turbo at 72,000 miles and the truck was only 3.5 years old. He told me Ford gave him no slack and said your out of warranty. He paid for all of it himself. What you don't understand is that a lot of people don't drive 12,000 miles a year. Hell, I'm retired and drive more than 12,000 a year, so it is a big deal to some people.

Yes the Super Duty needs a redesign and a new frame! It doesn't look too bad given its ancient design though.

Ryan, The Ford 6.7 diesel powertain warranty is 100k miles, and always has been.

Fred, Your guy you met at the gas station is full of it.


Our test King Ranch priced out at $66,510.

!?

This truck is old, that cab/bed design hasn't changed since the 90's and these things are rust buckets up here in the Midwest.. The fenders and bottoms of the doors all rustout.

I have a duramax, those power numbers are impressive if they actually get to the ground and have a decent exhaust brake I would at least look at it.
Could I recomend a test this year from Seattle, Washington to Lethbridge Alberta, to Vancouver BC. That would be a real life test.

I wish there was a pic of the yellow door sticker that shows the max payload rating on this truck, Mark???

personally i think the powerstrokes are a little overrated.i got a cousin who owns a 13 f350. regular cab 4x4 6.7 powerstroke, truck has lots of balls but has been back to ford 8 times (electrical issues,ujoints at 12,000 miles,). he traded his 2002 dodge 2500 in for it (the salesman who sold him the powerstroke bought the cummins from the dealership two days later) and he bitches all the time how much he doesnt like the 6.7 (and ford) now because of how unreliable his SD has been.hes trading his f350 in at the end of may for a cummins ram with a 6 speed.

I have a cousin who met a guy at a gas station who knows a guy who has a friend that owns a....

@jason don't you have anything better to do then troll comments?

Mark: there are a lot of folk out here that drive 100K in 5 years you know? and I for one like the idea of powertrain coverage for more than 60K ! most folks drive at least more than 60K in 5 years! so I like many others will NOT buy another vehicle without coverage till at least 100K!!! if the manufacture will not stand behind their product, how can they expect a buy too! Dave: how do you know Freds man at the gas station was talking about a Power Stroke engine? and not any one of the few Eco-Boost gasoline engines they make? you do know what assume means right?

Sandman, Before we start gettign stupid about this, consider that this blog post isn't about the EcoBoost. It's the F-350 6.7L. Powertain Warranty is 100k miles. Never believe anything your cousin's girl friend's uncle's brother-in-law's friend you met a gas station says....EVER!

I like the looks of this truck. And all the negative comments about the looks and old design... do you realize Ford has gained market share in the HD trucks? This new diesel of Ford's is rated very high amongst users. Quiet, strong, and efficient. They sell nearly as many HD's as all other brands COMBINED. The guys who buy and use trucks like these better than the other brands.

The best never rest. Sharp truck and the sales numbers tell it all. They'll change it when they get ready. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

funny? haha ha ha that even with the shortest warranty Ford Super Dutys still OUT SELL the Ram!
That means people have faith in the Ford Super Duty and they don't want a sissy shifter dial on the dash and whimpy coil springs on the rear.
YEA The Ford Super Duty LEADS IN SALES

I really like the diesel. Well, the rest of the truck is old and looks it.

I don't like the 'cowboy' interiors. They are so artificial that I would not get comfortable, but it is aimed at a certain demographic.

We will have to wait a couple of years at least for a new HD.

But in the end it's a blinged out vehicle based on a cheap work truck and this really is starting to show with these older platforms. They appear to be an overkill and gawdy.

Manufacturers should place more effort into making a vehicle appear to be prestigious or luxurious.

Like I stated I like the engine and I suppose some rich redneck who needs to tow his horse float might buy one.

Most people are not rocket scientists. That's why most HD truck owners drive Fords!

Like I stated I suppose some rich redneck who needs to tow his horse float might buy one.

It's funny how we think of 860 lb-ft as a "torque monster" when 1920s steam cars had over 1000 lb-ft https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUg_ukBwsyo

love the immediate rust on the driveshaft and starting in the corners of other components LOL..... quality is job #errr its last..... sorry i had too, why would the whole driveshaft be completely coated in rust other than them being too cheap to put a coat of paint on it!!!??

Dave: assume, means it make an a$$ out of you and me, mostly you though, as Fred's man was at a GAS station! Not a fuel station! Me? the fist thing in my mind was GASOLINE!!!! and what burns gasoline? a gasoline engine! Not a 6.7 Power Stroke diesel engine!

I prefer these trucks with the colour matched bezel or the base model flat black.

These trucks fully loaded sit around 83,000 dollars in Canada.

I've heard of a lot of guys going down to the states to buy them.

I see mostly Ford and Ram HD's. GM HD's used to be the 2nd most common truck.

I rarely see them other than base model fleet issue trucks.

I love the fact that they haven't changed the superduty much. someday I'll get a new one probably, but my 02 still has a lot of life left in it. Those that say the super duty suspension squats are just lying or don't know what they are talking about. And the frame? It's not the least bit in need of improvement if you aren't hauling huge loads on crazy bad terrain all the time. Sure you can put it on a twist ditch and the chevy or ram does better, but has anybody in the real world ever had a problem with the super duty frame? If I had the choice of a new 2015 Ram 2500 or I could buy a brand new 2002 super duty I'd take the super duty. It's a great truck. More than enough power, and super-reliable.

I still do not understand why you have to remove the body from the truck in order to changed the engine.It seems very expensive and wasteful engineering not to mention downtime for a loss of truck that someone is paying for.I just do not get Ford engineering at all, GM and Dodge do not require the body to be removed from the frame in order to remove the engine. Ford is selling best in class in hp/tq, but Mark forgot to mention is that the 2015 Ford F-350 DRW 5th wheel tow limit is 26,500 lbs,compared to the 2014 Ram 3500 DRW which is still class leading at 30,000 lbs,and this is with a redesign Powerstroke engine,and a revised transmission. I only see that with heavy incentives they continue to maintain market share,without currently a combine manufacture and dealer incentives totally around 10,000 dollars off MSRP for 1/2 ton and 3/4 and 1 ton, they would have loss market share,in the first quarter of this year.This has to hurt residues on leased trucks.

I think the area where Ford can improve most for the next gen Superduty is frame strength. The comparison test to both the GM trucks and Ram show as severe problem in that area. I will admit that even the current frame is way stronger than the older Ford HD frames. It's all relative I guess.

I know the issue of the 6.7l Powerstroke has been fiercely debated. I think most would admit that it is much better than what it replaces when the Ford/Navistar partnership fell apart.

Here's the thing though, I have heard both good and bad about the 6.7 Powerstroke. I am hesitant about it because of some of the issues I have heard about. I don't know if any of the supposed issues are really things to worry about or not, but if I was going to spend $60-70k, on a new truck I would go with a truck with a Cummins. I say that not because I'm a Ram guy, but because the Cummins is more widely used than just in pickups and the only issues I am aware of have been electronic/DEF issues that can be replaced by a simple recall or TSB.

I personally drive a F450 for a work truck with the 6.7 Powerstroke. Have had it over 2 years and still running like a champ at 98k miles

@Lalo2126
I have heard some good success stories regarding the 6.7l and were getting to that point now where there are some trucks getting to the 100-200k mile range, so I think soon enough we will know if it's a "proven" engine or not.

I know some of the early 6.7s apparently only in the chassis cabs(???) had problems with dropping valves. I presume that issue has long since been resolve. The turbo issue that was reference earlier in the comments is something I have heard as well, I know I have heard of at least a few with turboes that failed prematurely. I really don't have a problem with Ford btw, it's just that if I was going to buy such an expensive truck, I would be mortified if I encountered a $10k repair that turned out not to be covered by warranty for some reason. I know that when the 6.0l was around, Ford was really stingy about their warranty work, I don't know if that has changed or not, but that in the back of my mind is a big hindrance to me considering the Superduty.

@bravo1
I don't know what it takes to lift the cab off the truck, but I've heard some people that work on these trucks say that they actually would much rather do major engine work on the Super duty than a chevy or dodge because it is relatively easy to lift the cab, and once the cab is up it is WAY easier to get things done and get them done right. I know some shops will even lift the cab when it isn't really necessary like to change a starter. I have never had to lift the cab on my super duty or seen it done, but I know on one of my Case IH 250 horsepower tractors you can lift the cab quite easily, and it has to be done for some relatively minor repairs.

@Beebe
I know that for shops that actually do that job, it's not that big of a deal, especially when they do it every day. It makes sense, once the cab is gone, it's really easy to get to everything. Leaning over a truck or climbing up into the engine compartment all day long isn't any fun and I'm sure we all have our stories about that. I think the thing about cab removal is to the average person it sounds like a huge deal and they can go and charge an arm and a leg for the labor and it will all seem justified in they eye's of the consumer. The consumer assumes the sticker shock is all part of owning a diesel.

@HEMIMONSTER. we have our work trucks warranty at 200k. We do a lot of idling with the PTO. We had 6.0 and they were the worst trucks especially since international didn't want to help Ford warranty the engine. We had the 6.0 at the shop like 2 to 3 times a month. We do have a couple Cummins in our fleet but dodge couldn't have trucks ready soon enough we had to order and they were taking 6 to 8 weeks.

I drive a 2012 6.7 power stroke I drive it 24/7 on call and let me tell u I had it lil over year and I have 61,000 problem free the best never rest we got 2013 4500 rams and the Cummings is good but the doors falling apart dashboards electronic parts ford is number one sales for reason we have 2011 with 91,000 no problems my next truck 2015 sd hands down

@Big Al

Your dismissive notions about who (and what) a redneck is make you out to be a bigot. Redneck is most often used by narrow minded people as a pejorative expression.

Do you call people n**gers, too?

@papa jim
I do think you aren't that simple to make the comment you just made. The only reason you will make a comment like that is you are possibly offended by my use of the term 'Redneck', which is highly improbable.

Or, more than likely you are out for a troll.

The term 'Redneck' and 'N**ger' are two completely different words.

'N**ger' is inclusive of a whole group of people irrespective of paradigms and origin, whereas 'Redneck' is a very specific classification of a subset within a particular culture.

As you can see you are incorrect again in your assumptions.

A 'Redneck' more or less is attributed to those who display a simplistic rural type attitude.

In real life I'm viewed as politically incorrect in many ways, but I'm also viewed as the fairest boss at work.

I've even been called a 'Redneck', but I'm more of a larrikin.

Is larrikin offensive???

I've been a Ford fan since 14 years old. I am now 60.
Because of the many negative reviews of the Ford diesel engine over the last few years, I would have to purchase the Cummings over the Ford.
The outdated design of the Ford is a real turn off to me,,,
I think if I wanted a Ford, I would just find a used one with the 7.3 diesel and save the 1000's of dollars I would otherwise spend on the 2015 that looks like the 2000 year model,
If Ford does not get a better design team, the sales of Dodge Trucks may over take Ford as truck leader.

Well I can share a couple of things about SD trucks. I bought 3 of them brand new with the 6.0 diesel in each. A 2004, 2005 and 2006. Why so close together in model years you ask? The 2004 blew the turbo at 30,000 miles along with the head bolts and Ford lemoned that vehicle, That is when I got the 2005. She was a beauty and real head turner too. In fact, they all were. Well guess what? The 2005 also blew up around 30k miles and Ford lemoned it too under Florida law. That is when I said the 3rd time had to be charm right? Wrong again! I did end up keeping this truck for 5 whole years!! Along the way it needed 3 complete turbo replacements under warranty along with a bunch of other stuff that had to be replaced each time. I ran out of warranty and it was about time for it to blow up again so I contacted FORD about buying an extended warranty from them. Guess what? They wanted $3500 for 6 months more warranty!! I guess they knew it was time to blow up again so I went to trade for another brand. Guess who was at the dealership I went to? Yuup! My old Ford salesman!! He told me he sold so many Ford diesel trucks that all had major problems and the buyers were so unhappy and causing scenes at the dealership, he decided to leave his job there of 6 years and work at another dealer. I bought my current truck from him that day. He told me something before I bought my new truck, "Mark, these trucks don't come back." Except for some minor paint problems, this truck has been bullet proof compared to my super doodie trucks. I always worried when we took family vacations if the sds were going to make it reliably. About 15% of our trips they broke down on in some place we had never been before. Just never did what they were supposed to do. I will never trust t hem again.

Big Al, your posts used to be pretty good, but you were totally trolling with your "redneck" comment. Don't turn it around and pretend that it was an innocent comment.



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