Following the trail blazed by the latest F-150, the heavy-duty Ford F-250 pickup truck is redesigned for the 2017 model year and comes with technology levels not often found in this class. Like the light-duty F-150, the new F-250 gets an aluminum-alloy body and a frame mostly made from high-strength steel, a combination that makes the new truck about 350 pounds lighter than the previous model.

Power comes from a standard gas 6.2-liter V8 engine producing 385 hp and 430 lb.-ft. of torque. Most will likely opt for the 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 that puts out 440 hp and a rocking 925 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines are hooked up to a six-speed automatic transmission. Maximum towing capacity for the F-250 (with the trailer tow package) is 18,000 pounds.

2017 Ford F-250 Pickup Truck interior

Other technological highlights include several available camera/monitor systems, including one camera mounted near the top of the cab. This can let the driver check on what is in the cargo box or help when hooking up gooseneck or fifth-wheel trailers, which use an in-bed assembly.

The truck also offers a trailer-tow camera system that uses four high-definition cameras to give the driver a 360-degree bird's-eye view surrounding the truck. An optional “Trailer Reverse Guidance” system helps you hook up your trailer when you’re traveling solo by instructing the driver which way to turn the steering wheel while reversing, based on the trailer direction. There is also a factory-available camera that can be placed on a trailer to provide further assistance when reversing, as well as an in-cab system to monitor the pressure of the tires on a trailer the F-250 is towing.

Available safety features include blind-spot monitoring that can see the entire length of a 33-foot trailer, plus adaptive cruise control and forward-collision warning with brake support for when towing a heavy trailer.

Finally, the new F-250 is available with a unique adaptive steering system, which, the company says, makes the big truck easier to steer at all speeds. The system changes the steering gear ratios based on the driver’s inputs and vehicle speed.

2017 Ford F-250 Pickup Truck rear

CR’s Take: Clearly, not everyone needs a heavy-duty truck. But if you haul massive loads or tow super-heavy trailers (such as a fifth-wheel camper), then these beasts can do the job. The last F-250 we tested had clumsy handling and a ride that was stiffer and snappier than in the F-150. Plus, climbing up into this big rig was not an easy task. We’ve purchased a new F-250, and look forward to testing its capacities.