Posted: June 20, 2016 in Kenworth

If you found Ford’s previous F650 useful, comfortable, and easy to drive, you’ll feel the same way about this new generation.  The new series of medium-duty trucks looks and drives a lot like the older ones, even if the 2016s sit on new frames and are assembled in the U. S. instead of Mexico.  The production change was the result of the expiration of the Blue Diamond deal with Navistar, which had assembled the midrange F-series using Ford cabs and many other components on Navistar-designed frames. I can make comparisons because 2 years ago, Ford sent me an F-650 dump with the Triton V-10 engine outfitted to burn compressed natural gas.  In the following week I found that, except for the large cabinet that housed the CNG cylinders, it ran like a gasoline-engine truck.  My only concern was where to refuel it.  Two months ago, from Ford headquarters came a bright-orange F-650 dump, also with the Triton V-10.  It burned gasoline and ran like the CNG-powered engine.  A gasoline-powered V-10 F-650 lists for about $15,000 less than one with Ford’s Power Stroke V-8 diesel.  The new series F650 features fresh styling with attractive creases in its hood and a sleeker look to its grille.  Headlamps are projector-beam halogens that light the way quite well.  The hood-and-fender assembly opens fairly easily, revealing the shrouded engine and all the plumbing and wiring associated with it.  Cabs and interiors are carried over from the previous midrange model, and from behind the wheel things look similar.  The gauges, controls, and overall dash design are very much like those from the previous series.  The F-650 can be had with three cab styles-2-door regular ,and  4-door Super and Crew.  The driving experience is much like the older series: an easy climb up, good visibility all around, and good ride.  From the drivers perspective, the new Ford is a familiar vehicle.  Production is at Avon Lake, Ohio.       This is a reprint from a test drive made by Tom Berg and can be found in Heavy Duty Trucking magazine.


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