The last update dealt with the downsides to living in the big city with an even bigger truck. To recap, I’m meeting a colleague for lunch in downtown Los Angeles, and I’m already dreading parking the mountainous Ford, as most parking garages have a height limit of 6-foot-8, and the F-250 Crew Cab is … 6-foot-8. But that was the last update. This one is concerned with the many upsides to the F-250’s formidable bulk. Towing and carrying capacity aside, allow me to list a few of the large benefits of largesse, as well as a couple of tricks Ford figured out to mask the big guy’s (massive) figure.
You’ll never lose it. Unless someone has jacked his or her truck up to the heavens, the Super Duty is the tallest vehicle in the lot. Case in point: A group of us parent types took our wee ones to see the Muppets perform at the Hollywood Bowl. If you’ve never been to a performance at the Bowl, know that leaving is literally chaos: 17,500 of your fellow not-necessarily-sober Angelenos all simultaneously make for the exit within one second of “Thank you, and goodnight!” Large groups get separated, and rendezvous points are few, far between, and likely covered in barf.
“Just meet us at my truck,” I told everyone so we could wait out the parking jam in unison. “How will we know which truck?” my friend Julie asked. “You’ll know,” I said. With a single click of the unlock button, the front of the F-250 lights up like a mini sun. I never understood the real purpose the orange lights atop the cab until that moment. Standing like a beacon in the dusk, all parties easily found my truck, and a couple of the kids horsed around in the bed while we waited. AMG lent me an alien slime green G65 for a few weeks once. This Ford is easier to spot.
I can’t really tell you how many times I’ve had conversations with folks that end with me saying, “OK, you don’t need an SUV. What you need is a wagon.” The response, 99 times out of 100 is, “But I like to sit up high so I can see over traffic.” I chuckle to myself about these Groundhog Day discussions each and every time I look down into a BMW X5’s sunroof. Or notice that the Super Duty’s hood is taller than a Lexus RX 350’s roof. You know what? Because we now live in a country where SUVs outsell sedans (8.3 million to 6.1 million), if you really want to see above everyone else, the F-250 is your best option.
Then there’s parking. Yes, obviously this Ford is simply too big not only for many spaces but also for many lots. I’ve gotten used to parking several blocks away and walking. Good for me, too. However, Ford has done a remarkable job of making this monster truck as easy to park as possible. Many vehicles have “around view” or “360 degree” cameras—systems where four camera angles are stitched together to give you a God’s-eye view of your vehicle and what it’s about to bash into—but none that I’ve used work as well as this Ford’s. Of course, none are as needed or needed as frequently. Regardless, I can essentially park this rig anywhere, even the draconically cruel lot at my kid’s day care. One gripe: When you shift from reverse to drive, the camera goes away. You can reactivate it by pushing the camera button on the upper right-hand corner of the dash (memorize that location—you’re gonna need it), but I wish it would just automatically flip the camera on. Like the way Audis work, for instance.
There’s a certain luxury in size. Perhaps it would be better if I wrote there’s a certain American luxury that comes with size. Sure, when you opt for the King Ranch (or above) trim level, Ford saddles the seats up with heat, air, and massage. Just like a gaggle of BMWs and Cadillacs and Mercedes I could name. But forget the gizmos; it’s the sheer scale of the interior that makes the Super Duty a luxury vehicle. Remember, we’re talking about a truck so large that you actually have to bend forward in your seat to get your hand on the parking brake release. (Pro-tip: You can actually use your left foot to disengage the parking brake in lieu of grabbing it.) The F-250 Super Duty is a rolling representation of the luxury of space, the pleasure of being able to stretch out. From any seat in the house, too. Rear-seat legroom? I’ve been in limos with less. Dare I say there’s a certain freedom to all the acreage? I do dare, indeed.
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