1995 FORD F-250 XL HD REG. CAB 2WD
Used Truck - 1995 Ford F-250 XL HD Reg. Cab 2WD in Lexington, Ky
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1995 Ford F-250 ReviewThis car review is specific to this model, not the actual vehicle for sale.
Ford’s F-Series is still king of the road.
There are more Ford F-Series pickups sold every year than any other car or truck on the market, and it has been that way for more than a decade. Such is the popularity of Ford’s full-size pickup, which has long offered a powerful one-two punch of enduring performance and rugged overall appeal.
To keep up with demand for the F-Series trucks, Ford now has five plants scattered across the country with a total manufacturing capacity of nearly 700,000 units per year.
Like the Chevrolet C/K trucks and the Dodge Ram - the Ford’s only true competitors - the F-Series comes in a huge array of short-and long-wheelbase body styles. And so that the specific needs of all commercial or personal-use customers are met, there are style and performance choices galore: 2- and 4-wheel drive; Regular Cab, SuperCab and Crew Cab body styles; Styleside and Flareside designs in trim models of Special, XL, XLT and a brand-new 1995 Eddie Bauer version; quarter-, half- and three-quarter-ton load ratings; and a range of five gasoline and diesel engines and three transmissions.
In its knack for delivering quality and consistency to a wide market, the Ford F-Series is pretty much a monument to a product that always seems to deliver a cut above the pack.
For 1995, the F-Series offers a number of significant improvements in powertrains, braking and options, as well as an expanded model range.
This truck was first introduced in 1980 and its last face-lift was back in 1992. Last year’s improvements included a whole pile of safety-related equipment, including a driver’s airbag, a center high-mounted brake light combined with the cargo bed lamp, CFC-free air conditioning, and a brake/shift interlock system. This year only a few improvements were made because the F-Series is going to be replaced for the 1996 model year with an all-new truck.
The major powertrain news for 1995 is the optional Navistar Power Stroke 7.3-liter direct-injection turbocharged diesel V8 that replaces the 7.3-liter, indirect-injection diesel. (Direct-injection diesels are, generally speaking, noisier than indirect-injection engines but offer more power per cubic inch and better fuel economy than indirects, and are less complex.)
Navistar, formerly International Harvester, has been Ford’s diesel engine supplier for a number of years in the same way that Cummins supplies GMC, Chevrolet and Dodge with their diesels.
The Power Stroke engine was introduced in late 1994 for heavy-duty work truck applications, but we think it would be an ideal engine for a great many consumer towing applications, such as recreational trailers, boats and dirt bikes.
For 1995, the Power Stroke will be available with both the standard 5-speed manual or the optional E4OD 4-speed automatic overdrive transmissions.
This is a powerful engine, making 210 hp at 3000 rpm with a huge amount of torque (425 pound-feet at a mere 2000 rpm) and about 15 percent better fuel economy than either of the previous diesel engines. This information comes from Ford, which estimates about 16 mpg in combined city/highway driving. We checked out the Power Stroke engine in an F-250 XLT Regular Cab Styleside (the lighter-duty F-150 isn’t equipped to cope with the Power Stroke diesel).
The big, brawny F-250 is the model for truck quality in this segment, with brilliant paint, deep chrome and uniform panel fits, including the tailgate and the bed. The interior fit-and-finish is on par with Ford full-size sedans. With its chromed, toothy grille, the F-250 looks tough - and is.
The F-250 XLT Power Stroke rides on LT215/85R-16D tires and eight-lug, 16-in. wheels, all controlled by Ford’s patented Twin I-Beam front suspension with coil springs. There’s a solid axle with leaf springs in the rear, and like any truck, it’s more comfortable loaded than not. However, ride harshness is not at all objectionable when it’s empty. Our vehicle came through with a minimum of pitching and hobbyhorsing.
The F-Series’ posh XLT trim level brings such pluses an interval wipers, color-keyed cloth visors with mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, fully trimmed seats, a folding bench seat with a center fold-down armrest and power lumbar on both sides, electronic AM/FM stereo with four speakers, interior and exterior brightwork and moldings, chrome outside mirrors, door panels with storage nooks, and a long list of minor standard items that make the F-250 decidedly untrucklike and much closer to a contemporary full-size car.
The F-250’s instruments are large and easy to read and use (with the diesel, you get warning lights for wait-to-start, water-in-fuel, fuel filter and engine temperature, in addition to all the regular gauges).
The bench seat is comfortable and supportive, and we found the fold-down center armrest a godsend for distance-driving comfort. Even the standard cockpit is fairly roomy and wide, though many families will probably opt for the more expensive SuperCab version.
Like all pickups, the Ford F-250 XLT Power Stroke is easy to use, not at all off-putting to the car person once you get accustomed to waiting for the glow-plug light to turn green. The driving position is commanding, there’s lots of glass area and there’s plenty of room in which to maneuver.
Some tall drivers may find the Regular Cab a bit short on headroom - not so much vertically (there’s more than 40 in. of that) but horizontally, where the back of our driver’s head touched the flat rear glass. The Dodge Ram’s standard cab holds the edge in roominess. Other than that, we don’t have any knocks on comfort or accommodation.
The 17:1 ratio power steering communicates directly with the driver but tends to be numb and needs corrections at highway speeds. The power brakes are a hefty 11.72-in. disc, 11.03-in. drum combination, with anti-lock brakes (ABS) standard on the rear axle only, and they can take a lot of punishment.
For 1995, the Ford F-Series offers a new, larger 56mm brake caliper at the front, and lining thicknesses and rotor diameters have been increased to combat premature wear.
With the Power Stroke engine and the 4-speed automatic overdrive, you get outstanding acceleration and pulling power that many large-displacement gasoline engines can’t deliver, as well as fuel economy that’s unequaled in a gasoline engine of this size (7.3 liters equates to a hefty 447 cu. in.). This truck absolutely lunges across intersections when it’s loaded, and will pull a 7000-lb. house trailer without looking back.
The downside? Noise. Direct-injection diesels are noisy. But if you stay inside the cab where you belong, you will note that Ford has done a creditable job of shielding the acceleration clatter. Once at cruise speed, in overdrive fourth, you’ll notice little commotion as you watch all those gas stations and diesel truck stops go by; you’ll get between 16 mpg and 20 mpg with this diesel, even when pulling stout loads.
The other typical diesel issue - smoke - has been addressed new fuel-injection and engine-control systems. It’s not entirely gone, but it has been minimized.
The Ford F-Series pickup is a sales giant because it’s a terrific truck offered in a mind-boggling array of combinations.
Although the 4.9-liter in-line six and the 5.0-liter, 5.8-liter and 7.3-liter gasoline V8s are all good choices for street trucks, the great choice for heavy-duty family or business towing/hauling is the new Navistar Power Stroke diesel in the F-250 XLT.
Beyond that, the continuing success of the F-Series is a tribute to high quality, an area where Ford trucks continue to hold the high ground among domestic manufacturers.
Kansas City, Missouri; Wayne, Michigan; Norfolk, Virginia; Oakville, Ontario; Louisville, Kentucky.
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