Can you name the most powerful Ford diesel truck on the road today? The 2021 Ford F-350 Super Duty earns that title and is the most capable Ford diesel truck ever made. Fortunately for drivers, Ford offers the Super Duty in several options, from the F-350 XL and the XLT to the Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited. These trim packages are designed to meet a variety of budgets and needs by offering a progressive list of features from safety and technology to luxurious amenities like premium leather seats.
While the capability of the F-350 is undeniable since it’s ranked as the “most capable heavy-duty pickup ever,” the pinnacle of luxury and performance is found in the Super Duty’s top three trim packages—the King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited. What makes these models so luxurious and attractive to drivers looking for the most advanced technology, safety features, comfort, and performance? Let’s find out.
Powertrain and Performance
Before we jump into the three trim models, let’s look at the power behind the F-350—the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel engine and the Torqshift 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford redesigned the engine and its components in 2021 to optimize its performance. After strengthening the cylinder heads, connector rods, block, and bearings, in addition to integrating a turbocharger to improve throttle response, the engine now delivers 475 horsepower and a jaw-dropping 1,050 lb-ft of torque.
The transmission also boosts the engine’s power and gives drivers greater confidence behind the wheel by offering various drive modes that allow drivers to traverse a variety of terrains and driving conditions. Drivers can select between Normal, Slippery, Tow-Haul, Eco, and Deep Sand/Snow. There is also a Rock Crawl mode that’s available with the Tremor Package.
2021 F-350 King Ranch (Starting MSRP: $61,110)
Luxury first meets performance in the 2021 F-350 King Ranch. Ford first teamed up with King Ranch in 2000 to offer customers a luxurious trim package featuring premium leather interior and a long list of amenities. Fast forward two decades, and that’s still the case on the 2021 F-350 with its unique interior that offers woodgrain accents, and the King Ranch’s iconic Kingsville Antique Affect leather seats that are both ventilated and heated. But what else does the King Ranch offer in terms of luxury?
The King Ranch features dual-zone climate control but raises the bar with its optional Rapid-heat Supplemental Cab Heater, which is a self-regulating heater that quickly brings the cab’s interior temperature to a comfortable level as the engine warms. The King Ranch also comes standard with power-adjustable pedals with memory that allows drivers to program the position of the pedals to their preference. Additional features include LED lighting, a wireless charging pad, rearview camera, remote start, heated steering wheel, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
Beyond the 8-in LCD instrument panel, the King Ranch features Ford’s latest SYNC 4 technology. SYNC 4 is Ford’s communication and entertainment system that offers advanced connectivity through voice recognition and cloud connectivity to ensure drivers always have the latest information at their fingertips. What truly sets the SYNC 4 system apart is its ability to learn the driver’s preferences and make appropriate suggestions based on usage history.
2021 F-350 Platinum (Starting MSRP: $65,525)
The 2021 F-350 Platinum offers the next level of luxury by including all the King Ranch features and more. The power deployable running boards are among the most notable additions to the Platinum and offer comfort without changing the vehicle’s overall appearance or aesthetic. The running boards are an available upgrade and extend when the door is opened or retract when the door is closed, making entering and exiting the vehicle easier. Other exterior upgrades include LED fog lamps and tail lamps.
Adding heated rear seats to its interior, the Platinum also offers advanced safety features like Adaptive Cruise Control and Forward Collision Warning with Brake Support. Adaptive Cruise Control allows drivers to set the truck’s speed and the distance from the vehicles ahead. The program maintains that distance by automatically slowing down when the traffic ahead slows. Brake Support helps prevent potential collisions by flashing red lights on the windshield’s head-up display to alert the driver. If the driver doesn’t react, the system automatically pre-charges the brakes to increase their sensitivity and allow for faster stopping.
2021 F-350 Limited (Starting MSRP: $85,365)
While the F-350 King Ranch and Platinum both offer exceptional luxury, they pale in comparison to the 2021 F-350 Limited. The Limited is fit for a king and offers the utmost in luxury, comfort, and performance as Ford’s high-end diesel truck. So, what makes the Limited so unique, and what skyrockets its starting MSRP to $85,365?
A quick peek inside the Limited, and you’ll see why it’s the most luxurious Ford truck in the fleet. It boasts a Highland Tan interior with Limited badging and gauges throughout the front and rear cabin. Crew Cab models also feature a stunning twin-panel power moonroof to give drivers the luxury of open-air driving. It also features a secondary glove box, power adjustable pedals and seats, a wireless charging pad, and a telescoping steering wheel.
The Limited sets itself apart from the other F-350s by including the most advanced safety and technology features of the line. It includes Adaptive Cruise Control and Forward Collision Warning with Brake Support as well as a Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert and Trailer Coverage. It ups the ante with its adaptive steering, which adjusts the steering ratio to the vehicle’s speed depending on the driving condition. For example, the ratio decreases or the steering becomes more controlled at higher speeds; whereas, the ratio increases or the steering becomes looser at lower speeds, like when parking a trailer.
The Limited also offers a Trailer Reverse Guidance feature that enhances visibility by giving drivers a clear view of the area around the truck and trailer on the 8-in display screen. The camera makes hauling, parking, or backing up trailers efficient and easy by providing helpful guidelines on the screen so that drivers know exactly where the trailer will move as they manipulate the steering wheel. This is an outstanding feature since most F-350s are workhorses used for hauling heavy loads.
Why Luxury and Performance Go Hand-in-Hand
For many years, diesel trucks were simple workhorses that offered very little in terms of comfort beyond the basic front and rear seats, standard air conditioners, and power windows. However, times have certainly changed as manufacturers like Ford realized that consumers driving diesel trucks spend most of their time behind the wheel and deserve all the comfort that other vehicles have to offer. That’s exactly what led to the union of luxury and performance on Ford’s latest lineup of F-350s.
Today, the 2021 F-350s are designed with performance, power, comfort, and luxury in mind. Beyond the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel engine that delivers performance and power, Ford’s top three trim packages—King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited—deliver comfort and luxury. The models offer a progressive list of features that ensure drivers enjoy every moment they’re behind the wheel. In doing so, Ford has sealed the F-350’s title as one of the most luxurious and powerful workhorses on the road.