My 2500 mile review of the 2011 Ford F450
I thought I would share my experience with the 2011 Ford F450, sort of a review of the first 2500 miles:
1. Initially drove all the heavy duty Dodge, GMC, and even F350. Loved the Dodge interior hands down but absolutely couldn’t hold candle to the power of the F350. The GMC/Chevy were too plain even in the LTZ model, seemed like a car interior and while it drove nice I just didn’t get that giddy feeling. Finally drove the F450 and literally the turning ability sold me. I live in Northern Virginia and strangely enough getting into my driveway in the sub division is tight so it makes a difference. I also felt the price difference in the F350 and F450 were so close it was a no brainer to move up.
2. Delivery was great and the dealership took care of a minor dent near the gas door..looked liked someone pressed against it. Dentless repair and it is gone. Not sure my DEF was really topped off as I have added two gallons just to see what the level was and it didn’t fill it (did this at about 1500 miles) so maybe something you should check at delivery or ask. I know I get a free refill and $50.00 off first service so it’s all good.
3. Fit and finish are great and the black tuxedo paint is just something to admire. It may show some dirt but when it’s clean there’s nothing to compare it to. I am disappointed in the level of detail of the Lariat package…little things like no wood or leather accents on the doors.
The quality of the wood look on the center dash is so fake it would have been nicer in a fake carbon look or step up on the wood. I think the leather is decent but obviously not the quality of the King Ranch. I do not like the orange appearance of the King Ranch interior or it would be in my driveway and after seeing what the leather looks like in a few years it’s a show stopper for me. There should be premium leather in a Lariat and available in natural, black, etc.
I had a Harley edition and swore to never get a painted bumper truck again…loved that truck but two bumpers later it seemed someone could have thought to cover it in something chip resistant. I suspect the King Ranch bumpers are the same but have no personal knowledge. The chrome bumpers and grille are easy to clean and so far the chip/ding factor is zero.
The dash, gauges, etc., are really great and easy to use and read. I miss the temp/fan controls on the steering wheel but understand with the media/voice it may be too many things to add to that area.
The center seat setup has the cup holders integrated into the top and I cannot figure out why there’s no way to remove that piece to clean it? Two cup holders that are guaranteed to get dirty and unless you have a vacuum it’s very hard to get to. I found cup holder inserts via the online parts layout but it says call dealership and no part number? I wonder if they exist or not? If anyone else has inserts in the cup holders please chime in. The lack of an ashtray type area is annoying as I always used to put spare change and such into the small storage area…no such setup here and the bulky console door does not have coin holder. Throw your change in there and lift up the seat J Those are happy to glad things but the two cup holder in the center dash area would be perfect if I could remove the cup holders and replace it with a tray.
The seats are great but I’d love to have them set just an inch lower. I’m 6’5” and the seats actually fit great and the headrest is the first to actually work for my size but I’m out of headroom. There are so many wires, filters and motors under the seat that space is a premium. It’s just an engineering issue waiting to be solved. I know I’m not average size but it’s a big truck and there should never be an issue of headroom in a Superduty. Heated and cooled seats are my favorite. I never thought I would need something like that in a truck but I’m sold on it.
4. Drivetrain and power were initially confusing. I loved the take off but sometimes I would get this slump in power and some jerky shifts. I have the flash update so no previous comparison of the old shifting issues. I got caught in a situation where the power dropped on takeoff that caused me to schedule a service appointment. I had to wait a couple weeks due to travel and frankly I’m glad I waited as the truck has really settled down. The shifting is much smoother and I’m getting used to the quick downshifts as it decelerates. I know it’s learning because my first few trips into work (35 miles) the transmission would downshift to fifth gear on the descents but now stays in sixth. The downshifts were unnecessary as the power band was pushing over 2,000RPM and I had no load on the truck. Didn’t make since to use the transmission to slow the vehicle to keep the speed. Clearly it learned as the same trip every day it now stays in the right gears with a few downshifts when getting below 30MPH that seem a little too quick. Those still surprises me a bit but I think 1st thru 3rd gears are really quick up and down and Ford should expand the range a bit in NON tow mode. There a few errant shifts, as in the quality of the shift may be a little noticeable but I’ve noticed that I’m paying a lot of attention to it because of my initial issue. Overall the shifts are good and smooth, especially given the power. My previous truck was probably smoother because it was slower off the line and not nearly the power this truck has. I am still in awe of the shear take off capability of this truck, lack of noise and overall smoothness.
There is some bounce in the drive but that’s to be expected with an unloaded F450. I added a ShurTrax water weight system and all is good. My tires were at 55PSI from the dealer so they must be anticipating some of the issues or the tech wasn’t on his game…I’m good with the current settings.
Gadgets: The navigation system, SYNC, etc., are all really nice but you actually have to read a manual to appreciate how everything works. I’m a tech guy by trade so I understood it all but some things are buried in the menus in odd locations. The home screen is lacking in customization features. I believe I should be able to have one big screen with a logo or picture. This seems to be a bridge too far and I find that difficult to believe. The menu for the navigation should default to the address input screen or at least have the option to set that as a feature. Too many buttons to press to get to the input. For those that will chime in about using the voice commands, I have to say I’m learning to use it more but it to can be challenging with noise or pauses as you wait for it to “listen” to your commands.
Given the incredible price, there should be some ability by users to customize or plug a laptop into the system to make adjustments. Using a total reset button that stores a factory setup in a chip would be the failsafe if “we” screwed something up.
I also agree that if you have that 10Gbs of space (jukebox) that users should be able to transfer whatever they want to that space. I know it’s designed for that user that wants to pop the purchased CD into the system and store a library. The reality is many of us have pitched the CDs we already converted into our MP3 libraries so please Ford open that up. I hate having this USB cable running into my glove box hooked to a 1TB drive (yes, you can, there’s a utility to format a large drive using Fat32). I would love to transfer my 10 favorite playlists to the jukebox and only have to use that drive on long trips. I’m thinking of someone wanting to break into my truck when they know there’s something on the end of that cable. I’ll likely look for that 2nd USB port and go that route but Ford needs to work that out.
Wheels/Tires – I get the reason why Ford went to 17” rims and E rated tires. Find a way to get to a bigger rim and wheel combination as these do not fill up the wheel wells and look a little odd. I want 19/20” rims but not the hard 20 ply tires they come with. I’ll have to make a judgment call soon as I’m probably willing to give up a little comfort to get that look. Money is the only thing holding back this purchase as new rims and tires are pricey J I’ll take donations if anyone has them.
Fenders - J Goes without saying these are a big topic and I’m wondering if Ford will make any changes in 2012? I’m going to replace the rear dually fenders despite the fact the round ones are growing on me. I guess I don’t think it should be something that I grow to like? I will either replace with 2010 fenders or hold out for the 2012 models to see if any changes are made. I guess if Ford changed them in 2012 they would be admitting that consumers are not embracing them. I’m really mixed on this one as sometimes I see the truck and just go “wow” and other times I just say “time to replace them”. Functionally they are great because you can reach into the bed at almost any point. I also suspect the aftermarket world is gearing up to change these as well. Duallyfenders.com is already showing pictures of modified 2011 DRW Superdutys.
Final comments: Probably one of the best trucks I’ve driven with a huge wow factor I don’t get from the other brands. I’m not loyal to just Ford as I’ve owned Chevy, GMC, and Dodge...many of the them. The Ford just seems to be the best for what I want in a truck and I feel the most comfortable with it.
2014 Ford F250 Lariat Ultimate Tuxedo Black
2013 Ram 1500 Sport Pitch Black
2012 Ram 1500 Longhorn Pitch Black
2011 Ford F450 Lariat Tuxedo Black
2006 Ford F250 Harley Edition Toreador Red (Favorite Truck)
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Lamarie SLT Black
2000 Chevy Tahoe LT Black
1998 Dodge Ram 1500 Lamarie SLT Red/Silver
1994 Chevy 1500 Z71 Rosewood
1993 Chevy 1500 Stepside Black/Gold fade
Last edited by Zixxer; 10-22-2010 at 04:45 PM.