The Ford F-250 has a reputation as an excellent work truck. Now with the optional Tremor option, it can be a great off-road rig too. The base engine is a 6.2 V8 at 385 horsepower, with a bigger 430 hp 7.3 liter also available.
The third choice, a monster 6.7 diesel, is the top dog. It is rated at 475 hp, but a massive 1,050 pound-feet of torque at a low 1,600 rpm. That is 620 more than the base 6.2! A 10-speed transmission routes all this power. This engine will cost $10,500 extra.
The Tremor package gives larger wheels, off-road tires, heavy-duty shocks, a suspension raised 2 inches, skid plates and locking differential. This is a deal at $4K. Another option is a built-in winch for serious trail busting at $3K.
On the highway, this is a smooth truck, great for long trips. Fuel economy was 14/21 mpg. Taking this rig off road was a pleasure with the Tremor package, and this big vehicle holds lots of gear for your next camping or hunting trip.
The base price of an F-250 can be reasonable at $52K, but with all the goodies seen here, the tab jumped to $77K. Still, this is a lot of vehicle for the money.
Next up is the Honda Ridgeline. Some people say this is not a real truck because it has a minivan unibody structure. So what? It can haul 1,580 pounds in the bed and tow 5,000 pounds, more than most drivers will ever need.
Under the hood is a reliable 3.5-liter V6 rated at 280 horsepower, and hooked to all-wheel drive for great four-wheel traction. Fuel economy is listed at 18/24 mpg, which is what we got.
This Honda has lots of great features. The spare tire is hidden under the cargo floor for easy access, and there is a large trunk there too. The cargo gate can be opened flat for tailgate parties or sideways for loading gear. An excellent push-button transmission makes gear selection easy. It has a reputation for being the most reliable truck out there, with super high resale value.
The base fee is $36K. A fully loaded version will hit about $45K. While the Ridgeline does not have the hardcore ability of that F-250, it is a fantastic choice for everyday use.
Chad Haire, of Phoenix, test-drives vehicles for this feature.