Is the King Ranch a forceful fit in the F-350 Super Duty lineup?

The ongoing paradigm shift towards SUVs and trucks has put a lot of pressure on automakers, especially the crown-bearer, Ford. Ford has literally been dominating the truck market for as long as one can remember. Its trucks used to be second to none, but that is changing now. With GMC and Ram stepping up their game and getting fierce with their own offerings, the Blue Oval has had to up the ante to continue sitting on the throne. The Ford Super Duty name is not just another marketing tactic; Ford has built this truck differently right from its core - the chassis. The distinct chassis allows for higher towing and payload capabilities. Although the Super Duty series looks very similar to the lighter trucks, they are built using high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy that shaves off a few hundred pounds while maintaining the structural integrity. Ford also made changes to make the Super Duty series more efficient by using stronger steel frame and chassis components.

Exterior

  • Front fascia will draw polarizing opinions
  • LED DRLs could be integrated in a better manner
  • Halogen headlights as standard
  • 18-inch wheels as standard
  • Powerscope mirrors are a boon to use in day-to-day life
  • Comes with a rather basic tailgate
  • Available in long wheelbase versions as well
  • Horizontally-mounted tow hooks on the front bumper
2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch
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To give you a preview of the range and the trims, Ford has the F-250, F-350, and F-450 trucks in the Super Duty Series that have multiple trims within them ranging from $33,000 to $86,000. Install even a fraction of the official accessories and you could very well see the price touch the six-digit mark. The trim that we will be talking about here is the F-350 King Ranch; fourth trim in the ascending order out of the six on offer.

Up front, the Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch features a busy face. As is the norm in the segment, it features two huge chrome strips on the grille.

The Blue Oval badge is slapped in between. A set of vertically stacked headlamp clusters surround the grille. The F-350 Super Duty King Ranch comes with LED Daytime Running Lamps, but it does not look as appealing as the Rams and the GMCs. Perhaps, Ford should look to integrate it better to make this truck a looker. The headlights feature a quad-dual beam halogen headlights setup with automatic high-beam. Customers looking to upgrade the lights can choose the LED headlights from Ford’s catalog of accessories. Moving down, the bumper, finished in chrome, houses two square fog lights and two tow hooks in the middle.

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch
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I find the side profile of the Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch to be its most photogenic angle. The chrome appliqué is not overdone here and it looks fairly sedate. But the sheer size of the truck can be intimidating. The XL-sized wing mirrors are held by two fairly long struts that also house the turn indicators.

You can extend the mirrors out to help you view all the action happening at the back of the truck.

Ford calls them Powerscope Mirrors and this can be very helpful if you are hitching a trailer on the truck’s ass. The alloys look decent as per segment standards, but if Ford plans to hold the apex position in the market, it needs to work on this to improve the aesthetics. For instance, the ones on the Chevy Silverado look pretty darn cool. Given the mammoth size of the F-350 Super Duty King Ranch, I honestly feel Ford didn’t do justice with the wheels. To put it simply, the 18-inch wheels look puny on this truck. The F-350 King Ranch comes with wheel arches and a tall stance, so at least 20-inch wheels would make more sense, and they would improve the handling and would add a lot of character to the truck. The Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch can be availed in the regular cab, super cab, or the crew cab form. The latter two are offered in long wheelbase versions as well.

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch
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The rear is where Ford needs to improve immensely. At a time when the competition has changed the way a tailgate works, Ford is still stuck in the past century. GMC has the MultiPro tailgate, while Ram has the MultiFunction tailgate. And, what does Ford have?

A Tailgate Step that can be deployed when you pull out the top edge of the tailgate when it is lowered.

This is not expected from a company that has been leading the sales charts over the years. We are not sure if Ford has something big up its sleeve, or is just being complacent. Forget about its primary competitors. Even the Honda Ridgeline comes with a fancier tailgate! Whatever it is, the American automaker needs to come up with an answer for this very soon. Other than this, the rear is a standard affair, but it looks much better than the one seen in previous iterations. The vertical taillight looks quite good, and even extends to the profile. The Blue Oval logo features on the tailgate along with ’SUPER DUTY’ embossed on it.
Just to give you a hint of how extensive Ford’s optional list is, here are a ’few’ options that you can choose just for the truck bed:

  • Spray-In Bedliner
  • Drop-In Bedliner
  • Skid Plates
  • Bed Mat
2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch exterior dimensions
Regular Supercab Supercab LWB Crewcab Crewcab LWB
Wheelbase (inches) 141.2 148 164.2 159.8 176
Departure Angle (degrees) 18.7 18.4 18 17.9 17.6
Ramp Breakover Angle (degrees) 20 19 17.7 17.8 16.7
Approach Angle (degrees) 17.5 17.3 18 17.6 17.9
Cargo volume (cubic-feet) 78.5 65.4 78.5 65.4 78.5

Interior

  • No dearth of space
  • Cabin material quality is exemplary
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Power adjustable seats with memory function
  • Eight-inch touchscreen SYNC 3 system
  • Supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Heated and cooled front seats
2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch
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Step inside the Ford F-350 Super King Ranch, and you will be welcomed to a cabin that exudes luxury all around.

Gone are the days when trucks used to come with bare bone cabins, and Ford has to be given credit for upping the ante in this department. The cabin looks and feels great while being functional at the same time. The company has chosen a neutral, soothing blue color for the instrument cluster lighting. Although I prefer all the crucial controls to be within hand’s reach, a cluttered steering wheel is something I despise. The Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch’s steering wheels is quite cluttered with buttons all over it. The center console is a nice mix of modern technology in SYNC (pun intended) with the conventional buttons and knobs. The truck features an eight-inch SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment system that supports Android Auto as well as Apple CarPlay. Ford has also offered voice-navigation on this trim.

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch
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This is one accessory that Ford has to either offer as standard, or needs to market it all the more - the Trailer camera. GMC offers a 15-camera setup along with a Trailering app that makes driving the truck a breeze even with a trailer attached. It is such niceties that persuade customers to go for the product. However, Ford is a mile away when it comes to such nifty features. Coming back to the interior, the vertically-placed dual-zone climate control air conditioning vents provide generous airflow to keep you cool on a hot day.

There is absolutely no dearth of space anywhere inside the cabin.

Ford offers lockable under-seat storage in the crew cab models. Also, the dual shade here keeps things interesting and breaks the monotony of the otherwise dark theme. Other useful and noteworthy features include:

  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Leather-trimmed brown seating
  • 10-way power adjustable front seats
  • Heated and cooled front seats
  • Driver’s seat with memory
  • B&O 10-speaker audio system
  • Cruise Control
  • Power-adjustable pedals with memory
  • Six-inch chrome angular step bars
  • Rear view camera with a reverse sensing system

Drivetrain

  • 6.2-liter, V-8 mill
  • 385 Horsepower
  • 430 pound-feet of torque
  • 6.7-liter, V-8 engine
  • 450 Horsepower
  • 935 pound-feet of torque
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Towing capacity of 35,000
  • Payload capacity of 7,640 pounds
The New 7.3-Liter V-8 Gasser In the 2020 Ford Super Duty Is a Combination of Old School and New School
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The Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch is offered with two engine options - a 6.2-liter, V-8 mill that produces 385 horses and 430 pound-feet of twist or a 6.7-liter, Power Stroke turbodiesel V-8 engine that churns out 450 horses and a mammoth 935 pound-feet of torque! This torque figure is not the best out there - Ram touched the four-digit mark - but 935 pound-feet is more than enough in real-world conditions.

To make things simpler, a higher torque helps you have ample 'pulling' power right from the word go.

While it helps with faster 0-60 times in small cars, in trucks it helps you pull thousands of pounds of cargo from a standstill without breaking a sweat.

Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch drivetrain specifications
Engine 6.2-liter, V-8 6.7-liter, Power Stroke turbodiesel V-8
Horsepower 385 HP 450 HP
Torque 430 LB-FT 935 LB-FT
Drivetrain 2WD/AWD 2WD/AWD
Transmission six-speed automatic six-speed automatic

The Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch is offered in both, two-wheel-drive setup, as well as all-wheel-drive configurations. Both the drive configurations and engines are mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. With so much torque available at your disposal, you need a bigger gearbox to optimize it to the fullest. The six-speed gearbox needs to be replaced soon with a bigger one.

Good news is that the Blue Oval will be introducing its all-new 10-speed automatic gearbox, that it has developed one with General Motors, in the 2020 model.

Not just this, Ford will also be bringing a new optional engine in the lineup. That will be a 7.3-liter, V-8 engine and will be available from the new Super Duty F-250 trims. Wish Ford showed such promptness with some of its age-old features.

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch
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As I mentioned earlier, the cut-throat competition is not limited to actual performance anymore. Automakers are trying to pip one another with figures on paper. The Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch comes with a towing capacity of 35,000 pounds. This is not a small achievement in any way, but the competition has frog-leaped it by a whisker. The Ram 3500 comes with a towing capacity of 35,100 pounds, but Chevy takes the cake with the Silverado HD’s 35,500 pound figure. The Ford F-350 Super duty comes with a maximum payload capacity of 7,640 pounds, while the Ram and the Chevrolet trucks feature a rating of 7,680 and 7,466 pounds, respectively.

Pricing

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch
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The Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch comes with a starting price of $58,100. However, if you plan to equip your truck with options and packages, the price could soar as high as $75,000.

Competition

GMC Sierra HD

2020 GMC Sierra HD Exterior
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The Chevy Silverado has been the Ford F-Series’ primary rival for a long time. But it is Ram and GMC that have upped their game, so let’s pit them against the Ford. The 2020 Sierra HD grabbed eyeballs with its shiny, blingy look, thanks to the new monstrous chrome grille. What makes the Sierra HD a threat to the F-350 Super Duty King Ranch is stuff like best-in-class legroom, 15-camera setup, MultiPro Tailgate, etc.

The Sierra HD features a 6.6-liter, V-8 Duramax engine that produces 445 horses and 910 pound-feet of torque. Even this truck doesn’t trump the Ram’s four-digit torque figure. However, it is mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox. GMC offers this heavy beast with a gasoline engine, God knows why! The fuel economy takes a major hit and you will surely think twice before stepping hard on that A-pedal.

Read our full review on the 2020 GMC Sierra HD

Ram HD

2019 Ram Heavy Duty Looks Menacing, Pumps out 1,000 Pound-Feet! Exterior
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The truck I have been gushing about, well kind of, is this offering from Ram. There is oodles of chrome for the bling-aficionados. However, things are a little uninteresting on the inside. Things have gotten better than before, but it is still nowhere in the league of the Ford F-350 or the GMC Sierra HD. The top-trim comes with a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen. Other tid-bits include three 115-volt plugs, five USB ports, and wireless charging docks. But if you are looking for cabin and storage space, this truck will leave you impressed.

Talking about its drivetrain, the Ram HD comes with 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 engine under the hood of the entry level trim. It produces 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of twist. Move up the order and you can get yourself the 6.7-liter, Cummins, turbodiesel engine that produces 400 ponies and a mammoth 1,000 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to a six-speed gearbox. If you’re looking for the higher displacement engine but with slightly lower power output figures, Ram offers it with 370 horsepower and 850 pound-feet of torque. What makes the Ram HD even more special is its reworked chassis and body that reduces the trucks weight by 143 pounds when compared to the preceding model, and the fact that it can be customized with a rear air suspension that helps while loading and unloading cargo.

Read our full review on the 2019 Ram HD

Final Thoughts

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch
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The Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch is mid-range trim that comes with all bells and whistles you can ask for. Ford has cleverly divulged the F-350 Super Duty into six trims to make sure that there is a truck in every budget for the customer. While the base XL and XLT trims can be considered bare bones, the mid Lariat and King Ranch come with decent spec-list. The King Ranch makes for a practical choice, but we would recommend the Lariat trim over the King Ranch. The Lariat is $11,000 cheaper than the King Ranch, and for the differentiating features, it is not worth it. Rather use that moolah on optional accessories and you can have a truck better suited to your taste. Ford truck is the best seller as of today, but with the growing competition, Ford needs to tweak stuff like an age-old tailgate, offer better features as standard on the lower and mid-range trims, and update the truck mechanically as well.

  • Leave it
    • Rivals offer better value-for-money propositions
    • The tailgate belongs to the past century and needs to be upgraded immediately
    • Looks are subjective

Further Reading

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Lariat
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Read our full review on the 2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty Lariat.

2019 Chicago Auto Show - Everything You Need To Know
- image 819688

How Ford Crashed Chevy’s Heavy Duty Truck Party In Chicago

2020 F-Series Super Duty Promises to Offer Highest Towing and Payload Ratings
- image 819686

2020 F-Series Super Duty Promises To Offer Highest Towing And Payload Ratings

2017 Ford Super Duty High Resolution Exterior
- image 648383

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Super Duty.

2018 Ford F-150 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 700453

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.

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