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Seismic: The 2021 Ford F-250 Tremor

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor front 3/4 view

Regular readers know I've been on a bit of a rant about how needlessly massive trucks have become. Even half-tons are getting cartoonish about the whole "Big. Brawny. Badass." thing. And 3/4 tons---the Heavy Duties and Super Duties of the world? Well, I pretty well spelled that out a month ago in my review of the 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 Denali. Turns out I hadn't seen nuthin' yet.

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor fender badge, running board and mirror

The 2021 Ford F-250 Tremor is freaking huge. Never mind my usual measurements for such things. Let's just cut straight to the chase. I'm six feet tall. When I walked up to the Tremor, the first thing I noticed was that the tops of the running boards were at the bottom of my knees.

The stamped "SUPER DUTY" logo in the leading edge of the hood was at chin level.

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor tire and wheel

Part of the reason the Tremor stands so tall is the tire and wheel combo---18-inch wheels running on 35-inch off-road tires. The F-250 Tremor's front springs also add another inch in height.

The point was really driven home the next day, when the 2021 Honda Ridgeline arrived and was parked next to the Tremor in my driveway:

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor and 2021 Honda Ridgeline

Note for context: The 2021 Honda Ridgeline is within fractions of an inch in length and height to a 1991 Ford F-150. The Honda is 2 inches narrower.

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor and 2021 Honda Ridgeline

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor and 2021 Honda Ridgeline

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor ground clearance

But, ya see, height adds ground clearance---a total of 10.8 inches---and the F-250 Tremor is an honest-to-God off-road capable truck. It's a machine built for a purpose (actually, two---and we'll get to that in a second), and I can respect that, even if I can't climb behind the wheel without a bit of effort.

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor hood up

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor engine

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor engine detail

You might expect to see a diesel under the F-250 Tremor's hood, and you can get one, but our tester was equipped with the 7.3-liter V8. Mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, it gets---well, the EPA doesn't require manufacturers to tell us about that when it comes to Super Duty trucks---but let's just say that in a week of city streets, urban freeways and Sierra foothills backroads, plus some dusty trails, the fuel economy readout settled in at 10.4 miles per gallon. Those Sierra foothills backroads led me to very near the western terminus of the Rubicon Trail, an 18.7-mile shortcut between Loon Lake and Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe , a trip that works out to a shade under 75 miles if you go by paved roads (but which is still a heckuva lot quicker).

And while my wife and I were scouting out campsites, and enjoying the admiring looks aimed at the Tremor, I realized this truck's dual purpose. A regular F-250 can tow a serious camping trailer out to unforgiving territory (the first landmark after the Rubicon Trailhead is called Devil's Peak), but it also can, after setting up camp, go easily and confidently where other trucks can't. I suggested over a beer at Uncle Tom's Cabin (established 1864 and a favorite watering hole of Rubicon runners) that the sheer length of the F-250 Tremor might be a disadvantage on the Rubicon Trail---and was corrected. A short-wheelbase two-door Jeep has its strong points (Jeep uses the Rubicon as a benchmark for bestowing it's "Trail Rated" branding on its most capable off-roaders), but so would the Tremor, I was told.

I'll let someone else prove that right or wrong.

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor rear 3/4 view

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor tailgate down

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor bed

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor rear seat

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor front seats

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor front seat detail

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor instrument panel

To get a 2021 Ford F-250 Tremor, you start with an F-250 Super Duty. In the case of our tester, a 4X4 Crew Cab in Lariat trim. Base price $52,730. The window sticker is at the end of this review so you can see for yourself, but among the standard equipment highlights at that price are a 4.30 electronic locking axle, automatic headlights with automatic high beams, a power sliding rear window, trailer brake controller and trailer sway control, a 110V/400 watt power outlet, dual-zone automatic climate control and a ten-speaker B&O audio system.

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor steering wheel and gauge cluster

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor gauge cluster

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor stop-start, 4wd and trailering

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor infotainment and HVAC

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor HVAC

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor power outlets and nameplate

There was $10,110 worth of extra-cost options on our tester, including $2,045 for the 7.3-liter V8, $3,975 for the Tremor off-road package, which brought the aforementioned tires and wheels, skid plates and a 10,000 GVWR package. And then there was $595 for the spray-in bedliner and $3,495 for the Lariat Ultimate package, which brought niceties like navigation, LED box lighting, a remote start system, a tailgate step, driver's side memory and heated and ventilated front seat.

With $1,695 destination and delivery and after a $570 "Tremor w/Lariat" discount, the as-tested price of the 2021 Ford F-250 Tremor is $63,965.

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor front view

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor side view

2021 Ford F-250 Tremor rear view

Bottom line for me is that I have huge respect for this huge truck. It's meant to do two things really well---tow and go off road. And it does.


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