Ford Raptor vs F-150

Ford Raptor vs F-150

Last Updated October 3, 2023 | Andrew Boyle

If you’re an off-road enthusiast, you probably know all about the Ford Raptor. But if you’ve been too busy crawling over rocks or living under one to know all about Ford’s off-roading truck, then prepare to be blown away! Using the F-150 as a base, Ford created an off-roading monster with the Ford Raptor. The first Ford Raptor came to market in 2010, after originally debuting at SEMA in 2008. Inspired by the Baja 1000, Mexico’s renowned off-roading race in the desert, the Raptor was developed by the Special Vehicle Team, or SVT, at Ford. Originally dubbed the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, the SVT was dropped from the name. Since the first generation, the F-150 Raptor has shed 500 pounds thanks to an aluminum alloy body and a high-strength steel frame. But what makes the Raptor an off-roading beast? How does the Raptor differ from the F-150?

Raptor vs F-150: Exterior

When comparing the Ford Raptor vs F-150, it’s important to keep in mind that while the F-150 is a truck that suits all purposes, the Raptor is geared toward off-roading. Although some may purchase the Raptor for the capability to go where a normal truck wouldn’t dare, many prefer the aesthetics of the Raptor in comparison to the F-150. While the F-150 is a great-looking truck, the Ford Raptor is so much more. The aggressive, in-your-face grille demands attention and certainly makes a statement.

Black “FORD” lettering differentiate the Raptor’s bold grille from the normal F-150. In addition to the grille, performance bumpers in both the front and rear add a special touch to the Raptor’s exterior. Air-extracted flared front fenders and flared pickup box outers add even more dimension to the Raptor’s body while giving it some extra protection against rocks and other debris commonly found on the trail. A vented hood not only enhances the Raptor’s off-roading appearance, but it also provides some much-needed heat release. When it comes to lighting, quad-beam LED headlights and taillights give off bright, white light for enhanced visibility on the highway and when you’re off exploring in the wilderness.

Ford Raptor vs F-150 Grille and Front End
Ford Raptor vs F-150 with T-Rex grille

But what would an off-roading truck be without some body protection? Running boards not only improve accessibility, but they can also act as a guard against obstacles on the trail. Heavy-duty skid plates for the engine and front help protect critical components from getting damaged when crawling over rocks, branches, and other debris. For serious off-roaders, however, you are going to want to invest in even more armor and protection components for your Ford Raptor. Be sure to check out CJ’s for a wide variety of Raptor parts, including this Ford Performance Skid Plate!

Ford Raptor vs F-150 Tailgate

Raptor vs F-150: Interior

A good-looking truck such as the Raptor has to have a nice interior to match the exterior. Bucket seats with unique seat-back bolsters give the Raptor a different feel than the regular F-150 when it comes to the interior. Cloth comes standard, however, leather-trimmed seats are available. If you’re spending over $50k for a truck, why not splurge for leather seats as well? The Raptor features six auxiliary switches in the overhead console, so you can hook up all the off-road accessories you need such as an air compressor, off-road lights, a winch, an airhorn, backup lights, and whatever else you may need. Regarding the infotainment, other interior options, and dimensions, there’s not much difference between the F-150 and the Raptor. The Raptor will feature more upgraded interior options than other more basic F-150 models, but most of what can be found in the Raptor can be added to a regular F-150.

Ford Raptor vs F-150 Interior

Raptor vs F-150: Performance

As expected, the Ford Raptor is four-wheel drive only. Just like the F-150, the 2018 Raptor is equipped with independent front suspension. However, the Raptor has quite a few more things going for it than the F-150, all things that contribute to the off-road capability. First off, a rear electronic-locking differential with a 4.10 gear ratio is ideal for tackling tough terrain and getting out of slippery situations when off-roading. FOX Racing Shox and a long-travel suspension system are other components unique to the Raptor, which has 13.9’’ of rear suspension travel and 13’’ of front suspension travel. A Terrain Management System offers six selectable drive modes, including normal, sport, weather, mud and sand, rock/crawl, and Baja. So whether you’re doing desert racing, rock crawling, or just driving down the highway on a clear, sunny day, the Raptor can handle anything you throw at it. Paired with the four-wheel drive is a Torque-On-Demand transfer case.

So, we already get that the Raptor’s got a few special tricks up its sleeve in comparison to the F-150. But what’s under the hood? As if the off-roading performance didn’t already set the Raptor apart from the F-150, the engine certainly will. Only available for the Raptor, a high-output 3.5L EcoBoost 24-valve engine is found under the hood of the performance truck. With a twin-turbo, port fuel and direct-injection system, and a 10-speed automatic transmission, the 3.5L EcoBoost engine produces an impressive 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque. Fuel economy is a measly 15 miles per gallon in the city or 18 for the highway, which is to be expected of such a beastly truck. There are also steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters if you want to be in control over your shifting or need to get into a lower gear for rock crawling. The Raptor is equipped with beefy BFGoodrich KO2 tires, which are great tires for the highway and the trail. A dual exhaust with dual tailpipes helps increase the truck’s performance in addition to giving it a more aggressive look.

Raptor FOX Racing Shox

Raptor vs F-150: Specs

Let’s take a look at how the Ford Raptor compares to the regular F-150. Of course, the starting price for the F-150 Raptor is going to be significantly higher as it is a high-performance, off-roading truck. There are certain F-150 trim levels that are priced even higher than the Raptor, however. For a comparison of all the models, including the Raptor, check out our 2018 F-150 Specs article.

2018 Ford Raptor vs F-150 XL
Specs 2018 F-150 XL 2018 F-150 Raptor
Base Price $27,705 $50,675
Cab Styles Regular, SuperCab, SuperCrew SuperCab, SuperCrew
Box Lengths (ft.) 5-½, 6-½, 8 5-½
4WD Optional Standard
Engine 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 High-Output 3.5L V6 EcoBoost®
Horsepower/Torque 290 horsepower/265 lb.-ft. of torque 450 horsepower/510 lb.-ft. of torque
Transmission Electronic 6-Speed Transmission with Tow/Haul and Sport Modes Electronic 10-speed Transmission with Tow/Haul Mode
Wheels 17-inch silver steel wheels 17-inch cast aluminum wheels with high-gloss machined face and Magnetic-painted pockets
Fuel Economy
4x2: 19/25/22
4x4: 18/23/20
4x4: 15/18/16

Ford Raptor 2018

Raptor vs FX4 Off-Roading Package

Let’s be honest — the Ford Raptor is pretty expensive. You’re paying a premium for the appearance, performance, and off-road capability. If you are thinking about purchasing an F-150, but don’t want to shell out that much dough for a truck, then perhaps consider opting for the FX4 Off-Roading Package.

FX4 Off-Road Package Features

  • Electronic-locking rear differential
  • Transfer case and fuel tank
  • Underbody skid plates
  • Off-road display in productivity screen
  • Hill Descent Control
  • Off-road tuned shock absorbers
  • “FX4 Off-Road” decals

Ford Raptor Features

  • 3.5L EcoBoost engine
  • Heavy-duty front and engine skid plates
  • Front performance bumper
  • Paddle shifters
  • FOX Racing Shox
  • Six selectable drive modes
  • Black tow hooks in front and rear
  • Flared front fenders and pickup box outers
  • Air-extracting hood
  • 6 upfitter switches
  • Bucket seats with unique cloth

Obviously, the Raptor is going to offer many more features than the FX4 Off-Road Package, however, the package is a great affordable alternative. For a couple of hundred bucks, you can be off-road ready straight from the dealership.

So, should you get a Ford Raptor, build your own F-150, or opt for the F-150 with the FX4 Off-Roading Package? Well, it’s going to depend on your budget. Clearly, the Raptor is not a budget truck, it’s a bit pricey at over $50k for a full-size truck. However, it’s probably going to be the most capable straight off the lot. If you purchase a base F-150, you are free to build it to your liking, but getting the same features and capabilities that the Raptor offers would cost quite a bit of money. However, you would be building your rig exactly the way that you want it, with the parts that are perfect for whatever type of off-roading you engage in.

If you plan on off-roading occasionally, then perhaps an F-150 with the FX4 Off-Roading package would be a good middle-ground between building up a base F-150 or investing in the Ford Raptor. It’s worth mentioning that even if you decide to choose a different F-150 model, either with the FX4 Off-Road package or without, you won’t be getting that extremely powerful 3.5L EcoBoost motor, but Ford does offer plenty of other engines that still pack a punch. Whatever you decide, the F-Series remains one of the best-selling truck lines, so you can’t go wrong with the tried-and-true F-150, whether that’s the Raptor or another trim level.

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Sources: 2018 Ford F-150 Brochure, Ford | 2018 Raptor Supplement, Ford

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.