2021 Ford F-250 Tremor

INDIANAPOLIS — Is it a luxury car or an all-capable pickup?  Well, in the case of the 2021 Ford F-250 Platinum Tremor, the answer is “both.”  Interior accommodations rival a Lincoln Navigator while its heavy duty engineering and off-road fortifications make it the ultimate pickup too.  It can take your family to church, then out to the wilderness to pray.  Just don’t ask it to squeeze into small spaces.  That’s not one of its luxuries.

It’s clearly not a Smart car, raised up for off-roading on its black 18” wheels shod in chiseled off-road tread.  It looks sinister in dark paint with chrome tow hooks and big Tremor logos on the bedsides.  The front is familiar with Ford’s barn size silver grille and the Crew Cab gives it visual and actual length.  It barely fits in my urban driveway, but at least it is not a dually.  Flip down the tailgate and pull out the embedded steps to leap into the bed, which is ready for work with spray-in liner, LED lighting, and cargo tie-downs.
Climbing inside, luxuries reveal themselves.  The big truck is stoked with heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, and thumping B&O audio system.  Front seat massagers are beyond.  Lean back and connect devices through Bluetooth, 4G Wi-Fi, and 110v household outlet while navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a power steering column add convenience.  An intuitive touchscreen makes everything easy.

But, there’s more tech to lighten hard work and enhance safety.  An in-dash brake controller and trailer backing assistant maneuver trailers like a pro.  Given its luxury leanings, the Tremor fits the bill with a full suite of safety gear:  Adaptive cruise, forward collision warning with auto braking, blind spot warning, lane keep assist, and rear cross path detection.  Cameras show every angle – quite helpful when docking this vessel or nosing into traffic.
It’s not cheap to feed, but the truck has near limitless capability to move souls and gear.  I’d prefer the available diesel, but our truck’s 7.3-liter V8 delivers 430 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque through a smooth 10-speed automatic transmission.  Link it all with four-wheel-drive.  It can pull up to 15,000 lbs. or carry over two tonnes in the bed.  Fuel economy is not officially rated, but think around 15-MPG on a good day.  
While it looks handsome, you do not buy this truck as a fashion accessory or to do light yard work.  It has solid axles front and rear, beefy brakes, and stiff off-road shocks.  It can ford 33” of water.  And, the underbelly is protected by a slew of skid plates.  Despite its cosseting cabin, this is not a vehicle for slaying tight city traffic to pick up groceries.  Ford offers far better choices for that like the light duty F-150, mid-size Ranger, and upcoming compact Maverick pickups.
Knowing you can load up the family and carry anything you want is one of life’s greatest luxuries and the F-250 Platinum Tremor delivers.  But, it comes at a price.  The Ford F-250 starts at $34,230 in work clothes, but came to a lush $73,825 as tested.  Competitors include the Ram 2500, Chevy Silverado 2500, and GMC Sierra 2500.  

— Casey Williams