2013 F-250 Crew Cab 4×4 6.2L a journeyman performer for the working man who needs a little towing muscle from time to time
By Bruce W. Smith
Look around any heavy construction jobsite and the majority of the ¾- and 1-ton Crew Cab Ford pickups are going to be diesels. Not surprising as diesel Super Duties are the go-to truck when towing and hauling heavy loads are part of the daily work load.
But when such tasks only come up a couple times a month, shelling out $8,000 for the diesel option might not make economic sense for some business owners.
That’s where F-250/F-350 Crew Cabs powered by the line’s base 6.2L gas V8 work well.
Ford’s heavy-duty gassers have the same maximum tow capacity with a conventional hitch (weight-distributing) as their diesel counterparts – but without the added cost.
The 6.2L gas V8 makes 385hp and 405 ft-lbs of torque, and with the optional ($390) 3.73 axles it’s rated to tow the same as the 6.7L Powerstroke that makes 400hp and double the torque.
We tested the Crew Cab 4×4 diesel version two years ago (February 2011) and used it as the base for our Project Super Crew in 2012.
So it was an easy transition into a 2013 powered by the gas engine for this road test.
THE RIGHT OPTIONS
For an HD, the 2013 Super Duty XLT F-250 Crew Cab 4×4 is moderately priced. The one I tested came with $5,700 in options, bringing the sticker price to $47,390.
Those options included mostly functional add-ons valuable around the jobsite: rear view camera; tailgate step; electric shift-on-the-fly transfer case; skid plates; spray-in bedliner; sliding rear window and tow mirrors.
It also came with Michelin LTX A/T 2 “all-terrain” tires – a $955 option – that one soon finds out are best suited for dry conditions.
The Michelins are good street tires, but not that great for off-pavement use. (Our advice, save the grand and pick your own tires if you want better off-pavement traction.)
On the other hand, the cloth seats with the $300 40/console/40-configuration are worth the price.
The mini-console is roomy and serves as a fine armrest during longer drives.
Speaking of comfort, for a pickup that has the 9,900-pound GVWR package, Ford’s big gasser is a comfortable ride. It’s quite inside and absorbs road irregularities with aplomb for a heavy-duty truck.
The interior ergonomics are also quite well done, too, making it a very good crew transport.
Ford’s interior designers have all the controls and switches in locations that make sense. It’s an easy truck to get comfortable in quickly.
The “upfitter” switches, a $125 option, are a nice touch as they make it easy to add auxiliary lights, warning lights and other switched electrical components.
Another nice feature of this truck is the manual/automatic front hubs. They allow the driver to lock them in manually before driving in off-pavement situations where traction varies from good to bad as you drive.
Having the hubs locked lessens the chances of blowing a hub should it not be locked all the way and then automatically slamming in when the tire is spinning.
Fuel economy is commensurate with most 5.0L- 6.0L V8s: 13.2mpg city driving and 15.4mpg cruising down the interstate at 70mph on a wind-free winter day.
I saw 16.5mpg running 55mph and 14mpg at 75mph.
The 6.2L is very sensitive to a heavy throttle and wind drag above 55mph.
The E85-capable 6.2L V8 features a single overhead cam with variable cam timing – advanced features that help optimize power throughout the speed range as well as fuel efficiency.
The engine, backed with the 6-speed automatic, is one of the quietest, smoothest running HDs we’ve tested.
The shift points are well placed so there’re no lag spots when driving. It’s just velvet-smooth.
On the dragstrip it performs like one would expect from a 7,000-pound 4×4.
Our 0-60mph sprints at Gulfport (MS) Dragway averaged 9.8 seconds while 60-0mph panic stops averaged 140 feet. The best 1/4 mi: [email protected].
(In comparison, the 6.7L diesel is about a ½-second quicker to 60, and 2/10ths and 3mph faster at the end of the ¼-mile.)
All in all, my take on the 2013 6.2L F-250 4×4 Crew Cab is this:
The gas V-8 base engine is an excellent alternative for the company who needs the Super Duty’s big load carrying/towing capacity, but not often enough to warrant the much higher price tag of a Powerstroke.
Ford’s gasoline-powered HD definitely has its place on the jobsite.
Vehicle: 2013 Ford Super Duty
Model: Crew Cab 4×4 XLT
Base Price: $40,620
Price as Tested: $47,390
Engine: 6.2L V8 Gas; 385hp/405 lb-ft
Axle Ratio: 3.73 (auto-locking diff)
Transmission: 6spd Auto
Observed MPG: City 13.2 / Hwy 15.4
Max Towing Capacity:
Conventional: 6,000 lbs. w/o WD hitch; 12,500 lbs. w/ WD hitch
5th Wheel/Gooseneck: 12,400 lbs.
Max. Payload: 3,240 lbs.
Performance: 0-60mph: 9.8 sec.; ¼-mile: 17.3 sec @ 83.6mph