In this video, I give you my initial impression of a 2011 Lariat F250 Powerstroke Diesel Ford truck. The most amazing thing to me is that this truck is running right now and I don’t have to raise my voice any higher than just conversational level. This truck is so quiet that you can carry on a conversation next to it even in the morning when it is cold.
Exterior: The front end of the truck is a total redo. I like when you open the hood on this truck, the grill doesn’t go with it like the 2008-2010. You don’t get snagged or caught on the back of the head every time you go under the hood. It is wonderful to have the grill actually attached to the front of the truck. The rest of the truck is very similar to the previous models back to 2008. There are a few little updates. I noticed in this truck, which has not been tuned and is a bone-stock truck with 42,000 miles, how clean the exhaust is. The selective catalyst reduction seems to be doing its job and keeping the environment clean. The rear of the truck pretty much remains unchanged from the previous model. One of the options that the Ford trucks have beginning in 2008 is the step that pulls out of the tailgate. It is a wonderful thing to have if you are going to go in and out of the truck especially in a 4×4 which sits up a little bit. It is much easier to go in and out of the back of the truck.
Interior: The interior is similar to the previous models back to 2008. The seat material is a little bit different as well as the dash cluster. This dash cluster has an electronic, heads up type display, but otherwise all the navigation is the same. The console gives you enough room for all kinds of drinks.
Under the hood: When you take a look under the hood, it is similar to the 6.4 where they pretty much put 10 lbs of manure in a 5 lb bag; it is hard to even see what is going on. One difference about the setup of this engine is the charge air cooler. The actual intercooler is a water tube air type charge air cooler instead of the air to air type in the 6.0 and 6.4 where the plumbing would go down to an intercooler out front and then go around and come back. The 6.7 is liquid cooled which makes a much more stable, predictable charge air cooler temperature. On the passenger side of the engine compartment, the computer sits pretty much in the same place as the 6.4 and the EGR system is nice and exposed so it is easier to maintain than it was with the 6.4. This engine is complicated but organized. It is not the chaos like you see under the hood of a 6.4 where it is just jammed in there. It is very well thought out. It has simple ideas and simple execution that we have grown accustom to with Ford Motor Company.
Under the truck: The suspension and frame are pretty much the same going back to 2008. The swing arm front suspension with the coil springs was a huge improvement over the old leaf spring. They did the improvement in 2005 in the 6.0L trucks but they beefed it up considerably in 2008. That is where the similarity ends. The oil cooler is easy to get to. I am a little skeptical about the plastic oil pan on the bottom of the motor. If you find yourself out in the woods and bump it on a rock I would be a little a scared of it breaking. However, on the freeway it is probably going to be just fine. The 6.7 has a good old fashion spin-on oil filter just like American cars should. Also under here is a great big six speed transmission. Ford managed to package it so that it looks relatively easy to work on.
The big news for this truck is really in the exhaust system. You have three separate systems here. The first system up in front is a standard catalyst, like a catalytic converter in the 7.3, 6.0 and the 6.4. The 6.4 implemented the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter). The DPF is designed to take the heavy wet soot that is generated by the engine, capture it, and then go into regen mode which burns it and turns it into ash. What is in the middle is what is called selective catalyst reduction. It is an unimpressive pipe but what goes on here is the essence of modern emissions technology and the clean air that comes out of the tailpipe of these trucks. The urea gets injected into this part of the exhaust system and gets converted to nitrogen oxides and less polluting molecules. The only downside of this exhaust systems is it will need required maintenance to keep up and the parts in this exhaust system are extremely expensive. The front suspension is standard fare. Again, I notice the neatness of the packaging. Ford went to great lengths to simplify and make this truck a lot less complicated.
Performance: I do feel a slight disconnect between the pedal and the actual performance of the vehicle. When I press the pedal, sometimes it feels like it takes a second or two to be able to accelerate and go like I expect. This is caused by the sophisticated computer management. This engine is capable of huge power. Ford tunes it down a little bit because they don’t want you breaking the thing.
Oil Changes: There is no oil change interval/schedule in this truck. A light on the dash will tell you when to change your oil. If you drive the truck lightly and there is not a lot of carbon put into the oil from hard use, then you have longer oil change intervals. If you pull a big trailer, drive up and down hills, and really pushing the truck all the time, then you will be changing it more often but the computer in the truck is designed to let you know that.
Overall: This is a beautiful smooth vehicle. Outside of a few minute details, this is a fantastic truck. It is fast, powerful, and it glides down the road. The only other negative of this truck is it is expensive. But you get what you pay for. This is a well designed, tight vehicle. As far as warranty repairs, only time will tell. I recommend purchasing the extended warrant if you are going to keep one of these trucks a couple 100K miles because at some point that exhaust system is going to need some attention. Make sure your warranty covers the exhaust system because the parts that are in the exhaust system are extremely expensive.
If you have the money and have a need for it, I don’t think there is anything better out there on the market. The ride, quality and comfort, it is a fantastic vehicle. I really don’t have a lot a bad to say about it and all the things that I have to say are being picky anyway. So maybe one day if I keep saying good things about Ford Motor Company they will just come and give me one. ~Bill Hewitt