2021 Ford F-250 Super Duty 4x4 Crew Cab Platinum Review

The Tremor Package delivers full-on Beast Mode


Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief



Positives: Supremely capable off-road, huge cabin seats five easily, great towing technology, easy infotainment.
Negatives: Jarring ride on pavement, hard to drive at highway speeds, infotainment screen is dinky, cabin is a bit low rent for the price, some garish styling elements, a lot of truck to manuever.
Bottom Line: The F-250 Tremor is an excellent off-road monster, but it's a challenge to drive every day. Awesome V8 power, great ground clearance, and tons of space make it truly capable for those who need real utility.
Ford Super Duty trucks are certainly heavy hitters, mostly equipped for towing, hauling, and serious levels of work. But the F-250 with the Tremor Package is meant for off-road duties. So, in addition to being able to tow a nutty 15,000 pounds, the F-250 outfitted with the Tremor package can manage more difficult trail conditions than standard F-250s. We got to drive it in nearly top Platinum trim for a week, albeit not outside of normal road conditions. Read ahead for our full review.
 

Driving Experience

8

 

Let's make things clear: the F-250 outfitted with the Tremor Package is not comfy to ride in. But that almost doesn't matter because this big beast of a body-on-frame off-roader was meant for more than just pavement. At least there's plenty of power on tap from the big V8, and the big truck drives a bit smaller than its hulking self would communicate. Off-road, it's a serious monster that can take on what other heavy-duty trucks can't, and that's where it's meant to thrive.

Ride Quality: The Tremor setup adds even more ride harshness than the typical F-250, which is to say, quite a bit.

Acceleration: The powerful V8 moves the big truck quickly. It'll move to 60 mph in about 7 seconds, which is admirable given the truck's size and weight. Transmission shifts are smooth and without error.

Braking: The brakes lack feel, but they had no problem bringing the truck to a halt.

Steering: There is some good steering effort, but there is very little feedback present. Placing it in tight spaces takes some work.

Handling: The height doesn't make for quick transitions, but you can enter and exit a turn without drama as long as you don't push it too hard. There's some body roll, but it's not terrible.

Technology

7.6

 

It's a good thing the 2022 F-250 will upsize its infotainment display screen from a small 8 inches to a big 12 inches (in higher trims) and also its OS from the good SYNC 3 to the great SYNC 4. For a truck of this price, it's only right. That said, the system in our 2021 was still pretty easy to use and attractive to look at.

Infotainment System: 8 inches of screen real estate is paltry compared to competitors. When you spend north of $70k on a massive truck, you should really get a massive screen that matches. SYNC 3 is, at least, very responsive, and easy to navigate in terms of menus.

Controls: The screen's responsiveness is excellent, but we're not huge fans of the amalgam of HVAC buttons that are clustered between the climate control knobs or the media control buttons between the audio knobs. It makes them hard to use while driving at highway speeds. We should, at least, be thankful that there are still mostly physical controls instead of all touchscreen versions.

Styling

6.8

 

The F-250 is not a handsome truck. Its massive size and the thickness of the front end don't do it any favors, but it does look purpose-built, which isn't the worst criticism. Proportions from front to rear are aided by the long crew cab, and the black wheels are a nice touch. We're not sure why our Tremor package-outfitted F-250 didn't have black trim bits all over.

Front: There's a ton of chrome up front, and it's a bit on the garish side with the large and intricate grille. It looks overly thick and could use some simplification.

Rear: It's definitely all truck back here. Some might think the silver trim in the tailgate looks good but we think it needs body-coloring that would match better with the dark wheels. The rear bumper is huge, and that big silver exhaust tip is very pronounced.

Profile: The F-250 is very long, but it looks good from the side view. The black wheels add some attitude, but we wish the chrome trim on the fender, door handles, and the side mirrors were replaced by black trim.

Cabin: The interior is mostly pretty good, with the exception of a bit too much hard, black plastic in the center stack and center console. The block dash and vents are starting to look dated. It's not as nice of a place as the Ram 2500.

Comfort

8.5

 

In terms of of occupant comfort (if you disregard the F-250's harsh ride), it's actually quite a nice place to spend time. The seats are supportive, legroom and headroom are plentiful, and the windows are big.

Front Seats: The big bucket seats are large enough to accommodate just about everyone with good cushioning and decent bolstering. Adjustability is also very good. The leather quality for the upholstery is top notch, and the leather is very soft.

Rear Seats: All three positions are comfortable thanks to good cushioning and acres of leg, shoulder, and headroom. It's tremendous for families.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): There is some road noise from the tires, as well as wind noise from the large side mirrors, but otherwise the NVH is manageable.

Visibility: The hood is tall, and it makes moving the truck around parking lots a challenge. Windows are large, which helps overall visibility.

Climate: The climate system sends powerful cooling and heat through the large vents, and the heated seat and steering wheel fire up quickly.

Safety

5.6

 

Heavy duty trucks don't get crash tested, and the F-250 doesn't get much in the way of accident avoidance or driver assistance technology. It really does need a 360-degree birds-eye camera to get into and out of tight spots.

IIHS Rating: Not tested.

NHTSA Rating: Not tested.

Standard Tech: Aside from a Blind Spot Information System w/ Cross-Traffic Alert and Automatic Emergency Braking, the F-250 only comes with a rearview camera.

Optional Tech: None.

Storage/Cargo

9

 

Although the F-250 isn't the best, ergonomically speaking, there are plenty of storage options and a big truck bed. Most of the interior storage choices are well-thought out and very useful.

Storage Space: There's a big binnacle in front of the shifter, large convertible cupholders that open to reveal more storage. Door pockets and a large center compartment make it even more practical.

Cargo Room: Our Crew Cab model had the 6.75" bed, which is plenty deep for most tasks. The 8' bed would be more useful but would make this beast that much harder to move around.

Fuel Economy

4.8

 

There are no EPA fuel economy ratings for heavy-duty trucks, and it comes as no surprise that a huge 4x4 truck with off-road leanings does poorly in this category. The 7.3-liter V8 is the bigger of the two V8 engines, and it's not as efficient as the turbodiesel. Our experience was about what we expected.

Observed: 11.3 mpg.

Distance Driven: 84 miles.

Audio

8.6

 

The premium 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen is an excellent system, and it comes standard on the Platinum trim. It sounds great and provides plenty of bass without distortion. For a truck of this size and power, the system is just right.



Final Thoughts

The F-250 with the Tremor Package is a highly specialized truck that's not great to drive on pavement but excels when you head off the beaten path. It's too big for daily driving duties, and it will be a challenge to park, as well as to maneuver in tight spots. But it does deliver excellent towing power, tons of space, and off-road prowess that's leveled up from most HDs. Few folks will need something this big to take off-road and drive every day, but it is a beast of a work horse, and it can go uphill, downhill, and everywhere in between when the road ends.
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