2017 Ford F250 — Brute power in an Armani suit

By Jim Prueter

(April 25, 2017) SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — While Scottsdale may declare itself “The West’s Most Western Town,” and even have a bucking horse emblazoned on its city seal, it’s been a long time since pistols have been drawn on a dusty trail outside the saloon.

The chamber of commerce feverishly sells the city as “Southwest Sophistication,” with its bravado of high-class luxury resorts and five-star dining. Make no mistake, the “Old West” is alive and thriving. Heck, you can still carry a sidearm without the need for a license.

Western wear, cowboy hats, and the horse business is booming. One only needs to look to north Scottsdale and WestWorld, the premier, nationally recognized equestrian center of the world for confirmation.

While you’ll find no shortage of Bentleys, Porsches and Ferraris in the glitzy glam Scottsdale shopping districts, WestWorld, with more than 11,000 parking spots and 500 RV spaces is overflowing with heavy-duty luxury trucks used for events like the annual Arabian Horse show.

Owners from around the country pull enormous horse trailers with their Sumo-sized pickups, looming trompe l’oeil over mere luxury sedans and sports cars, competing for bragging rights for the biggest, strongest and most capable.

While Chevrolet, Ram GMC all offer three-quarter and one-ton pickup trucks, Ford F250 Super Duty King Ranch is the 900-pound gorilla of the bunch.

With over 44 configurations — including two or four-wheel drive, single or dual rear wheels, a wide choice of cabs, bed sizes, trim levels and engine choices — Ford has the big truck market covered. In fact, they’ve had the best selling truck for 38 straight years.

For 2017, the Super Duty has been completely redesigned, including an all-new aluminum body structure.

We drove and tested the top-of-the-line King Ranch model, powered by 6.7-liter diesel with 440 horsepower and an unholy 925 lb-ft torque. Towing capacity of 15,000 pounds is easily enough to tow the largest horse trailer.

Inside the King Ranch, trim is luxurious enough to make Bentley owners jealous. Trimmed in rich Mesa brown embossed leather, the saddlery is beyond comfortable.

But most impressive are the two major new driver-aid enhancements that differentiate the Super Duty from competitors. Those include view cameras that give a 360-degree top-down look of the truck, and guidance for trailer-connecting. A trailer reverse guidance system helps ease backing up a trailer, and a blind spot information system with trailer tow provides up to 33 feet of visibility to monitor areas that otherwise may not be visible to the driver.

Overall, there is little not to love about the Super Duty, most of which is the absolute fun of driving such a large, capable, luxurious truck that looks wickedly gorgeous. Add the fact that I got to pretend I was a wealthy Arabian-horse-owning cowboy for a week driving a luxury truck in the “West’s Most Western Town.”

Vital Stats

Base Price: $58,650
Price as Tested: $77,390
Engine: 6.7-Liter V8 diesel
Horsepower: 440-hp
Fuel Economy: Not rated
Crash Test Safety Ratings: To be rated

Competes With:

Chevrolet Silverado HD
GMC Sierra HD
Ram Heavy Duty

What Stands Out

Exceptional hauling and towing capability
Luxury car opulence inside and out
Advanced state of the art technology