During the launch event of the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R, I had the opportunity to speak with Carl Widdman, the head of Ford Performance, about the vehicle’s horsepower. I questioned why they didn’t tune it for a few extra horses to surpass the Ram TRX. Widdman responded to my query with a counter-question, reminiscent of my frustrating childhood experiences with my Uncle Robert: “Why bother?”
At the time, Widdman’s answer didn’t fully resonate with me, but after spending a week with the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor, embarking on multiple road trips across the Midwest, and refueling it three times with premium gas, I now comprehend the essence of Widdman’s rationale. The additional horsepower wouldn’t have made a significant difference.
On the surface, the Ford F-150 Raptor R and the Ram TRX may appear to be similar trucks, boasting comparable horsepower and specifications. However, living with both vehicles has revealed their stark differences. Ford’s F-150 Raptor R leverages an array of tricks to offer a more dynamic and well-rounded driving experience compared to the Ram TRX.
Pro: Split Personality Enhances the Ford F-150 Raptor R
Upon startup, the Raptor R defaults to its Normal drive mode, which, dare I say it, makes this 700-horsepower, 8-foot-wide beast feel like just another loud pickup truck. Despite the immense power generated by the 2.7-liter supercharger attached to its engine, it nonchalantly goes about its daily business. However, with a flick of the drive mode knob to Sport, the Raptor R awakens, delivering quicker shifts, opening up the active exhaust baffles for a more engaging sound, and enhancing throttle response and tip-in. Additionally, the four-wheel drive system transitions from 2WD to 4WD auto, providing improved traction. Sport mode transforms the Raptor R into the truck you expect it to be, without being confined to that persona at all times.
Con: Thirsty Thirsty Raptor R
No surprises here: the 700-horsepower supercharged V-8 engine is a thirsty one, demanding premium fuel in significant quantities. The EPA fuel economy ratings stand at an underwhelming 10 mpg city, 15 mpg highway, and 12 mpg combined. During my mixed suburban driving, I achieved an average of 11.1 mpg, aligning with the EPA estimates.
On three out of four highway road trips, the supercharged monster managed to surpass the EPA highway rating, achieving an average of 16.0 mpg while cruising at speeds well over 70 mph with the assistance of the cruise control. However, on the fourth road trip, battling against a headwind resulted in a dismal fuel economy of 12.4 mpg. After all, this is an 8-foot-wide pickup truck soaring through the air on 37-inch tires. Be prepared to budget for gas, as this truck boasts a 36-gallon fuel tank.
Pro: Light on Its Rubber Feet – F-150 Raptor R’s Nimble Performance
In nearly every daily driving scenario, the Raptor R feels noticeably lighter and more agile compared to the TRX. With a weight reduction of approximately 400 pounds, the Raptor R exhibits quick direction changes and enhanced maneuverability without compromising stability.
Con: Interior Falls Short of the TRX’s Opulence
Although the Raptor R offers pleasant front Recaro bucket seats and a satisfactory interior, it fails to match the luxuriousness of the Ram TRX’s cabin. From the quality of plastics used to the fit and
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R review
Q: What is the price of the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R?
A: The base price of the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R is $109,245, including a $1,895 destination charge.
Q: How powerful is the engine in the Ford F-150 Raptor R?
A: The Ford F-150 Raptor R features a supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 engine that delivers an impressive 700 horsepower.
Q: What is the fuel economy of the Ford F-150 Raptor R?
A: The EPA fuel economy ratings for the Ford F-150 Raptor R are 10 mpg in the city, 15 mpg on the highway, and a combined rating of 12 mpg.
Q: How does the Ford F-150 Raptor R compare to the Ram TRX?
A: While both trucks may appear similar on paper, living with them reveals their differences. The Ford F-150 Raptor R offers a more dynamic and versatile driving experience, lighter weight for enhanced agility, but falls short in terms of interior luxury compared to the Ram TRX.
Q: Is the Ford F-150 Raptor R a good choice for off-roading and work purposes?
A: Yes, the Ford F-150 Raptor R retains the F-150’s useful features and capabilities, making it suitable for work-related tasks. Additionally, it is capable of tackling off-road adventures with its impressive suspension, all-terrain tires, and ample suspension travel.
Q: Is the Ford F-150 Raptor R considered a sleeper vehicle?
A: Despite its size and potential loudness, the Ford F-150 Raptor R has a relatively understated appearance, making it a sleeper in the sense that it may surprise others who assume it is a standard Raptor with a turbo-6 engine.
Q: How does the Ford F-150 Raptor R’s interior compare to the Ram TRX?
A: While the interior of the Ford F-150 Raptor R is nice, it falls short of the opulence found in the Ram TRX. The quality of plastics, fit and finish, and overall refinement are not at the same level as the TRX’s interior.
Q: Is the Ford F-150 Raptor R an expensive truck?
A: Yes, the Ford F-150 Raptor R comes with a higher price tag. With an added cost of $30,575 for the supercharged V-8 engine, it can reach a total price of around $110,000, making it considerably more expensive than a comparable Ram TRX.
More about 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R review
- 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Official Website
- Ram TRX Official Website
- EPA Fuel Economy Ratings
- Ford F-150 Raptor R vs Ram TRX Comparison
- Off-Roading Capabilities of Ford F-150 Raptor R
- Interior Comparison: Ford F-150 Raptor R vs Ram TRX
- Price Comparison: Ford F-150 Raptor R vs Ram TRX