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Test Drive: Deluxe Trucks

Along with their inherent utility, trucks are now sporting some of the most attractive styling and feature-rich interiors. They also work harder and smarter than ever before.

Test Drive: Ford Super Duty

(Photo: Ford)

Just like the sumo wrestlers rings, the Ford Super Duty uses size to its advantage.

Of course, you expect that such heavy-duty pickups are going to be big machines. That said, the 21 feet of F-250 crew cab I tested felt bigger than most.

Powering this beast was Ford’s humongous new 7.3-liter gasoline V-8, which gives the truck a robust max towing capacity of 19,000 pounds. The available 6.7-liter turbo-diesel V-8 gives the F-250 enough grunt to handle another ton or so of trailer.

Size has its downsides, however. Without a load, the F-250’s ride is a tad too firm. Its height also makes handling rather ponderous and stopping this much truck can be a challenge.

My upscale Platinum test truck was filled with high-end amenities, like adaptive cruise control, wireless cellphone charging and an oversize power moonroof.

In the final measure, though, it’s less a luxury truck than it is a 3-ton bruiser made for moving sizable stuff.

Test Drive: Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Whether you need a pickup for work or want one to tow your boat, you may figure poor fuel economy is just the price you have to pay. One look at the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is likely to convince you otherwise, however.

What sets this version of Ram’s full-size, half-ton pickup apart is the spunky 3.0-liter, turbo-diesel V-6 under the hood. This impressively efficient powertrain makes it possible to go more than 1,000 miles between fill-ups with the available 33-gallon tank.

The Ram 1500’s car-like attributes extend to a surprisingly smooth ride, especially with the available four-corner air suspension, and it offers class-leading towing capabilities, with the ability to pull trailers up to 12,560 pounds.

Add some of the nicest interiors on four wheels and a wealth of available technology including a giant 12-inch reconfigurable center display and you have the nicest pickup on the road.

Looking for a new ride? Check out more car reviews at AAA.com/TestDrive.

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