Review: The 2009 Ford F-250 Cabela's Edition 4x4

Jun. 01, 2009 By Dan Sanchez

The Cabela’s FX4 F-250 is a special edition pickup with an appearance package that should appeal to hunters and fishermen who enjoy the outdoors and need a capable off-road pickup.

Most of us think that guys who are willing to hike through the woods with a firearm, ready to take down a 12-point buck, are more interested in the quality of their deer scent than the performance of their pickup trucks. The fact is that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Most avid hunters have lifted 4x4s and utilize them when entering into areas that can’t be accessed by any other type of vehicle.

But aside from off-road capabilities, their trucks also have to be able to haul a pair of ATVs, heavy equipment, or be hooked up to a trailer on a daily basis. It’s for this reason, and the fact that 76 percent of truck owners hunt and fish, that Ford collaborated with one of the country’s largest retailers of outdoor sportsman equipment, Cabela’s, to create a special-edition pickup.

The 6.4L Power Stroke turbo diesel has 350 horsepower and 650 ft.-lbs. of torque, making it a work-horse for easily climbing hills or towing a heavy load.

The Cabela’s FX4 F-250 package features a two-tone paint scheme that is available in a variety of colors. Our test model featured Royal Red Metallic and included running boards and dark wheel lip moldings. The interior features the Cabela’s logo on standard cloth or optional Aniline leather upholstery that has a two-tone embossed grain pattern. A wood dash appliqué is also included in the Cabela’s edition, as well as a lockable gun storage console that’s located under the rear seating area.

Aside from the appearance, our test model was based off of the 4x4 Crew Cab, equipped with the FX4 package and a 6.4L turbo diesel. This original equipment alone means that you’ve got plenty of off-road capabilities, as the suspension uses Rancho shock absorbers and specially tuned leaf springs that allow for greater articulation, a smoother ride, and more stability over rough terrain. When matched to a set of 20-inch wheels mounted on LT275/65R20 all-terrain tires and a 3.73 ratio, limited-slip differential, you have one of the most off-road capable full-size trucks on the market.

With a wood grain appliqué on the dash, the Cabela’s FX4 package offers a more luxurious interior with plenty of electronic options available, including satellite radio, backup camera, power rear window and GPS navigation.



Unique to the Cabela’s package is the locking gun storage case under the back seat. It features plenty of foam padding and the hard plastic makes it very secure.

Part of the Cabela’s package are two-tone seats with the Cabela’s logo. You can get them in both cloth or leather.

But the Cabela’s FX4  F-250 isn’t just all about its looks. It lived up to the performance we expected from the FX4 off-road package when we took it for an off-road excursion. We tested the truck’s capabilities up steep terrain and through deep ruts that cranked the shocks and leaf springs as far as they could extend and compress.

Aside from its long wheel-base, only the ride height prevented us from getting the truck into more aggressive terrain. Nevertheless, the F-250 was easy to maneuver around large rocks and tight passes. We were also impressed by the truck’s agility when we crawled up a steep hill. We simply let the torque from the 6.4L turbocharged Power Stroke do the job with minimal throttle jockeying, and it instilled enough confidence to allow us to keep our foot off the brake knowing the truck wouldn’t roll back.

The Torqshift five-speed automatic transmission provided smooth transitions through each gear change, which allowed the engine to apply all of its power within its torque range. Fortunately, most of it is in the lower RPM range, so climbing up out of a steep river wash or hauling a large trailer is easy when the torque is applied to the wheels.

The F-250’s new integrated power-fold mirrors also aid when you’re hitched up to something big. They telescope out and fold in at the touch of a button, allowing for quick and easy adjustments in the cab.

When you need good articulation and traction, Ford’s FX4 package delivers. With staggered Rancho shocks and improved leaf springs for more stability, the F-250 maneuvers gracefully over difficult terrain.


Stick it in gear and let the Power Stroke pull the 7000+ pound pickup up a steep grade without any problems.

Our particular test model also had options such as a backup rear view camera, a power slide moon roof, navigation with satellite radio and much more. It’s an impressive ride both on- and off-road. The FX4 equipped F-250 was comfortable and predictable, allowing the driver greater maneuverability off-road or when towing a trailer. Our only limitation was the ride height, which one could easily fix with a lift kit or body lift, allowing the truck to be outfitted with 35-inch tall tires.

The Cabela's F-250 FX4 we tested has an MSRP of just over $60,000.

The longer wheelbase of the Crew Cab also absorbed much of the freeway hop, but although the Goodyear Wrangler AT/S all-terrain tires provided good grip and a comfortable ride, they did generate some road noise that’s more noticeable when you come to a stop. The 350 horsepower and 650 ft.-lbs. of torque from the 6.4L Power Stroke definitely has enough power to quickly move this 7400-plus-pound truck into the fast lane. It provides smooth power and plenty of torque that left us pondering the fact that the truck could be unstoppable if it were equipped with front and rear locking differentials.

While the Cabela’s FX4 package does have some cool amenities, you can get the same performance from a standard FX4 package on the F-250 for a lot less. But with a big truck like this one, you know that it isn’t cheap anyway you order it. The price tag for our test model, which was fully equipped (preferred equipment package 605A), had an MSRP of a little over $60,000. If you’re one of those hunters with several hand-engraved, $100,000 shotguns and trophies from around the world, the Cabela’s FX4 pickup is definitely your cup of tea. But, for the average hunter that wants a capable off-road truck that can also be used as a work truck or transportation for the kids, any model F-250 with the FX4 package will do the trick, and allow you to make those weekend hunting trips off-road, a fun and challenging experience.

The truck’s 20-inch wheels and all-terrain tires were coupled with a limited slip differential, traction control and a 3.73 geared rear end that gave this truck incredible pulling power and off-road capabilities. Newsletter
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