Here’s a Look at an $80,000 Ford F-250 Platinum Pickup Truck
I recently drove a brand-new 2017 Ford F-250 Platinum with a window-sticker price of just under $80,000. This did not happen in Philadelphia, which is where I live. Philadelphia is too dense for the Ford F-250. The Ford F-250 would take up four lanes of traffic in Philadelphia. Instead, this happened at Hoffman Ford in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where vehicles like this F-250 Platinum are not especially unusual. In fact, I think the person who was most surprised by this thing was … me.
I was surprised by the F-250 for many reasons, and the sticker price was certainly one of them. I think the total figure was something like $77,700, which is an enormous amount of money for a pickup truck. I remember, when I was a kid, you could buy a Mitsubishi Mighty Max for like $8,400, and Mitsubishi sold that thing right up until safety regulations made them stop. THAT was a pickup truck. This new F-250 is a luxury vehicle.
And yet, really, it’s a pickup truck. For one thing, it’s 267 inches long. If you don’t know much about car lengths, it’s hard to explain how ridiculous that is, but here’s a quick illustration: If I parked a Toyota Camry next to the F-250 and laid down behind the Camry, the F-250 would still be longer. You can park a Ford Focus, entirely, in its wheelbase. It is truly massive.
And it has a lot of massive stuff to go with it, as I’ve outlined in the video. My favorite, of course, is the engine: This thing uses a 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 with 440 horsepower and 925 lb-ft of torque. Nine hundred. And twenty five. This truck has so much pulling power that it can pull three more of itself — or about five normal cars — without breaking a sweat. It’s amazing.
But if I’m buying a pickup for $80,000, it better do a lot more than that. And so it does. Consider this: The F-250 Platinum has a power tailgate. Remember when a tailgate was something you opened up and threw stuff over, not caring if it got smashed or dented? Not anymore. There’s also a cool “floating” window in back of the cab, and a step to climb into the bed. The running boards extend and retract automatically. The front seats are heated and cooled … and they can massage you. There’s a panoramic sunroof. There’s a remote starter. The mirrors extend further from the body with the push of a button. There’s a boost gauge.
I could go on and on, but I’m going to focus on the driving experience for a little while now, because the driving experience is the best part. I’ll put it simply: Climbing behind the wheel of this truck is absolutely insane. It feels like you’re driving a monster truck, because you’re absolutely towering over everyone. I could see the roofs of SUVs and smaller, lesser trucks, include the also-large Ford F-150. The sheer width is ridiculous; I can’t imagine civilian vehicles getting much wider than this, lest they begin taking up two lanes on the interstate. And then there’s the length: Your first glance in the mirror and, truly, you think you’re towing a trailer.
And yet, when you drive this pickup, you sort of start to understand it. For one thing, it’s tremendously comfortable. Just unendingly, relaxingly nice and coddling. The ride quality is excellent, the seats are supportive, and there’s room in this truck to basically lay down, regardless of whether you’re in front or back. Of course, there’s more: The truck is loaded with technology — it has a 360-degree camera! A configurable gauge cluster! Ford’s latest MyFordTouch system! (Which is actually pretty good.) And it’s actually kind of fast, with a 6.9-second 0-to-60 time. And then you have to consider the king-of-the-road driving position, and the fact that you can do basically anything in your truck: tow, haul, even some light off-roading.
Basically, this is such a capable, comfortable, go-anywhere, do-anything vehicle that I completely understand why someone would buy one of these if they lived in a place where they never had to worry about the size of their vehicle. Want a nice, comfortable, quiet ride? Take the truck. Want something to tow the horse trailer? Take the truck. Want a massage as you drive down the road? Take the truck. There are few things it can’t do — from serious hauling to family transport. And then there’s the other aspect: While we view McLarens and S-Classes as status symbols in “the city,” this pickup is truly king out on the country — everyone knows trucks, and everyone respects trucks like this. Out in the country, you’d be laughed at if you got an S-Class. You’d be respected if you got one of these.
And so the F-250 Platinum is one of the most ridiculous, outsize vehicles I’ve ever driven. I can’t imagine spending $80,000 — certified pre-owned Porsche 911 money! — on a pickup truck. And yet, after this drive, I sort of understand it. And if my circumstances were a little different, I’d probably do it, too.
Also published on Medium.