Off-road vehicles and trucks are some of the best selling segments of automobiles
at the moment, so it makes sense that
off-road-capable trucks are quite the hot commodity right now. All of the
biggest trucks out on the market today
have their own dedicated off-road package, like Ford's FX4 and FX2 and Chevy’s
Z71. Some truck owners want more
off-road performance out of their trucks, however, and that’s where the top of
the line trucks like the Ford Raptor
and the Ram Rebel come into play.
At first glance, you can immediately see the performance capabilities of both of
these trucks. They both have a tough
and rugged design that you can’t help but imagine blazing through the woods.
Both of these trucks are intended to be
the ultimate performance trucks for those who are more interested in rocks and
trails than race tracks and drag
Let’s take a look at which of these trucks comes out on top and which one is
right for you.
The Raptor and Rebel's General Information
First off, there’s the Ford Raptor. Based on the F-150, this truck comes with
a large swathe of upgrades. From
the signature front grille to the high output 3.5L EcoBoost engine, the Raptor
is a sort of icon in the truck world. The Ford Raptor can safely handle going
off of jumps, an ability that is undeniably cool. It is basically a trophy truck
that you can buy straight from a dealership and use as your daily. While the
current 2019 Raptors are quite impressive in their own rights, a 2021 Raptor is
on its way, and it looks like it will make several large tweaks that can further
cement the Raptor's position as one of the flashiest yet capable trucks on the market.
The Ram Rebel is an off-road performance-focused model of the Ram 1500. It is the
smaller counterpart of the Ram
Power Wagon (much in the same way that the F-series Tremor is a bigger version of the
Raptor). The Rebel, like several of the other trims offered for the Ram 1500,
has its own distinct sporty appearance. The black and red accents on the Rebel
speak to the type of performance machine that it is intended to be.
Engines and Power Figures
If you are looking for absolute raw power in your truck, then the F-150 Raptor is
your choice. The high output (HO)
variant of the 3.5L EcoBoost engine makes 450 hp at 5,000 rpm and 510 lb-ft of
torque at 3,500 rpm. Even though
the technology has been proven to be effective and powerful, many truck fans
still need assurance that a four
cylinder engine can hang with high displacement engines with more cylinders.
While the numbers should speak for themselves, the EcoBoost-equipped Raptor is a
considerable upgrade from the
previous V8 Raptors. Not only is this engine making more power than its
predecessors, it helps the Raptor shed some weight as well.
The Ram Rebel, on the other hand, can come with a V8 engine. The 5.7L Hemi that's an option on the Ram Rebel (with or
without the assistance of the semi-hybrid eTorque system) makes 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque; the base 3.6L Pentastar engine makes 305hp and 269 lb-ft of torque.
A special edition of the Rebel called the Rebel TRX is going to be released. This
special edition Rebel will come with a Hellcat engine that makes an absolutely
absurd amount of power. The 6.2L V8 the TRX comes with makes around 707 hp, an
amount of power close to the new GT500.
The Ram Rebel is an overall much more flexible package. Unlike the Raptor, there
are several engine and transmission
options, and it can also come with a 4X2 driveline configuration. While there
are enough exclusive features to the
Ram Rebel, it is more of a package for the Ram 1500 than the Ford Raptor is a
package for the F-150.
The Belly Of the Beasts: Interiors Compared
Consistent with the rest of the Ram brand, the interior of the Rebel is quite
nice. Both the raptor and the Rebel
have nice interiors, but the overall design of the Rebel is much
more angled towards feeling more like
a comfortable "dailyable" truck. There are options for a 12-inch infotainment
display and a 9 speaker sound system on
the Rebel, which can practically convert the truck into an off-road movie
Both of these trucks' interiors do very much resemble their standard counterparts,
and the Ram 1500 is again the truck
with the more refined cabin. The Rebel even takes it a step further with
black and red accents throughout the
truck’s interior, highlighting its enhanced performance. While it’s difficult for
some truck drivers to admit they want
any sort of comfort and luxury, the more time you spend in your vehicle, the
more it matters.
That being said, there is an odd design choice on the Ram Rebel’s upholstery.
A tire tread pattern that matches
the Rebel’s Goodyear LT275 All-Terrain tires. This is certainly a design choice
unique to the Rebel, and ultimately,
it's up to you if you like it or not. At least you won't have to worry about
losing grip on your seat.
Where the Rubber Hits the Mud: Off-Road Performance
The F-150 Raptor comes equipped with a number of off-roading goodies. It comes
with an array of skid plates, some
bead-lock capable 17-inch wheels, and Fox live valve shocks.
Perhaps the star feature of the Raptor is its terrain management system. This
system allows the whole truck to
essentially tune itself on the fly for particular types of terrain. There's a
standard, sport, wet/snow, mud/sand,
Baja, and rock crawling mode available with the system, and each of them is
capable of being activated in a matter
The Ram Rebel isn't without similar technology. While not as versatile as the
Raptor's terrain management system, the
Ram Rebel does come with hill descent control, which operates as a low speed
cruise control mode made for
The Rebel also has its fair share of off-road accessories as well. It is
similarly equipped with skid plates and
comes with four-corner air suspension.
Both the Rebel and the Raptor are geared similarly, the Raptor with a 4.10 axle
ratio and the Rebel with 3.92.
Additionally, they are relatively close in terms of their overall off-roading angles.
The Raptor has a better approach
angle by around 7 degrees while the Rebel has a 4 degree higher angle of
Off Roading Angles
The Ram Rebel is the cheaper option of the two, with a base price of $47,990 (for
the 4X4 model, the 4X2 model starts
at $44,490). The Ford Raptor's starting price is a few thousand more at $52,855.
That being said, the Raptor doesn't cost more just for the sake of it, you are
getting more truck for your money. But
the question of the matter is, how much truck do you truly need?
Herein lies the big difference between the Ford F-150 Raptor and the Ram Rebel.
The Raptor offers all of the
performance that you could possibly want, while the Rebel provides all of the
performance that you’ll probably need.
While this isn’t true for every driver, the upper limits on the Raptor’s
capabilities are quite high, and finding an
excuse to use them isn’t necessarily an easy task. Just think about it, what
type of off-roading is available
immediately around you? Unless you live in the American southwest, there won’t
be too many opportunities to use your
Raptor’s Baja drive mode.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting the high level of performance that the Raptor
offers, but unless you plan on using
it to its absolute limits, then the Ram Rebel can save you some money (and
wasted potential) in the long run.
Sources: Ford | Ram | Car and Driver
Image Credit: Ford | FiatChrysler Media