I finally got the chance to drive a 6.2 yesterday. I also had a very good dealer experience as well that I'd like to share. The short story - I really wish I were in a better position to buy as I may have left a deposit on the truck yesterday. It's probably good that it wasn't a long bed and didn't have a 4.30 or it would have really been difficult to leave! I liked that overall it felt like a "new and improved" version of my 2000 F250 and still had that big truck Ford feel.
2012 Ford F-250 Super Duty Lariat | New F-250 Super Duty | Spartanburg, SC | 1FT7W2B61CEC64958
Pics (from their website):
Long story (yeah I always have to have a long version)...
Yesterday I had a free afternoon (Momma and the kids are out of town so I found something to keep myself busy ) and decided to drive a few cars and check out this truck (2012 F250 CC Lariat 4x4 6.2). I'll talk about the cars later - if anyone can lend advice.
I went to Vic Bailey Ford in Spartanburg, SC and met with Grant Calhoun. He's a sales manager there and I was immediately struck by two things: 1) I had told them via email I would be there at 4pm and he was waiting for me at 4pm and 2) Totally no pressure approach. Grant never hit me with any kind of a sales pitch. In fact he volunteered up the invoice for me, showed me rebates, X-plan pricing, etc. We basically drove around and talked trucks for the hour or so I was there. Cool.
I first checked out a few things around the truck. Noticed the tailgate is much easier to lift and close. The body just looks BIG. That front end all chromed up is very substantial. I like how high it's stance is. I'm 6'3" and I needed to step up onto the tow hooks to get a good look into the engine bay. Speaking of, everything looked nicely arranged and somewhat roomy, I guess when you have to make space for the diesel and all the plumbing in the same place, it ends up being more roomy for the gas engine. I also thought that the steering box looked exactly like what I have in my 2000. Interesting. The other thing I thought is that 12 years later they could improve the underhood lighting. One little 12v bulb is still the norm? How about some LEDs for those of us that have to get under the hood in the dark? But that's nit picky.
Getting in I immediately noticed how roomy the interior was. I was kind of surprised as I think the dimensions of the new trucks are very similar to my old one, so they must be doing some tricks with materials and the dash size etc to make that happen. But for sure the center console was enormous. It seemed twice the size as what I have. And a back seat that didn't seem like an afterthought - will be good for growing kids that will probably be around my height someday.
The interior in general I thought was well laid out with controls that felt "quality" - not el cheapo switches, etc. I'd say more about the inside but I don't have the words ... it's like they took all the cues from a nice modern living room and put them in the cab. Soft leather but firm seats, stylish vents, chrome accents, and so on. It's a place you could see yourself driving for hours on end in.
Then the drive - we pulled out of the parking lot and into a left turn lane to get onto a main road. I was a bit late to the green (yellow) arrow and gassed it to make it through and took the opportunity to see how the big thing would take a corner. I was very surprised by the handling. It's like Ford took a big German sedan and put a bed on the back. The ride was very forgiving compared to my F250, yet the suspension worked just right when you needed to whip it around a corner. You can tell they have done a lot of work on their damping technology and how the whole package of springs, bushings etc work together. On the way back Grant took me down a road that had a few manhole covers and potholes, and I aimed for all of them. It was very nice how the chassis soaked up those bumps - that would normally pogo-stick me in my truck.
Engine and tranny ... I can identify with you guys who say these trucks are a bit sluggish when new. There were only ~60 miles on this one and it did not have the pep and throttle response I was expecting. However from what I've read it really opens up after use, and especially after a 5 star tune so I didn't think much of it. I did wind it out once getting on the interstate and it had a fairly strong pull up to redline and a great sound (in its defense, I had just driven some sports cars earlier so it didn't exactly have a fair chance in my mind at that point). For me it's about if the truck can pull my trailer and I can tell from the OH truck pulls, forum reviews and pickuptrucks.com reports that it would do just fine.
Brakes and steering ... very little effort for so much response. I think my Mom could drive this thing and get full braking out of it, the pedal was well boosted and didn't require the he-man force that mine does. The steering was almost effortless, I could drive with two fingers and cruise down the road. I did think that the on-center feel going down the road could be better, in fact I thought that it was a bit better in my truck. I'll chalk that up to the tires. Sorry Conti, but I think Michelin makes a better tire for the truck (but I am biased).
With all these comparisons to my current truck you'd figure everything is better ... which is pretty much the case. But for a different comparison, a few months ago I drove a Ram 3500 Cummins and on the balance I'd say I prefer the Ford. I think the Ram rode a bit better, but I'd first say that's because of the LWB chassis. In my opinion, 12 years later, Ford has kept the Super Duty "pedigree" going and that's just fine for me.
In the end I'm happy I drove one. Now I know I want one, albeit with the 4.30 and long bed. I am jealous of you guys that have one now as I would like one now too ... but I'm going to stay true to my game plan and get rid of some debt first. I will most likely be playing in the used market at that time. But I will say that the pricing on this one looks really compelling.
You can see on the invoice - it seems like this one can be had for a shade under $40k. I don't even know if there's more rebates available, it's possible. Compare to the best (advertised) used deal I've found so far on a similar 2011 - $35k for one with over 60k - if you can swing it, new makes more sense.
If anyone is in the area and thinking of buying a truck like this, I highly recommend you go see Grant and make a deal.
So I did mention cars ... I drove a 2006 350z and a 2012 370z Nismo (that last one was really more for fun ... but I'm glad I drove it). I've tossed around the idea of replacing my 13yr old Audi after I replace the truck and been thinking about going somewhat impractical for fun. I liked the 350z better, believe it or not. It seemed to have better midrange power than the 370 - which really wanted you to rev it. But the interior was much nicer in the 370z, and looks better on the outside too. I can certainly say I don't like the Nismo package on the 370z. Looks cool but the ride was harsh and tires were very noisy. The 350z was better in that regard. Anyway if any of ya'll have experience with a 350z I'd certainly like to know.
Okay I'm done typing!