Raptor vs F-150 Comparison

DeerHunter44

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2018 Raptor vs 2015 F-150 Comparison

Okay so I want to start off by saying I currently own both trucks and they are both excellent in most aspects. I wanted to do a comparison of real world experience and MY opinions of both. I think it’s a pretty fair comparison given both trucks are from the same generation so interior and features are very similar. I’ve had the 2015 since it was new. It is actually my wife’s vehicle and has been used as our main family vehicle since we bought it. I’ve only had the Raptor (my vehicle) for about 2 months and driven it about 3,000 miles. Hopefully this might help someone decide if they want a Raptor or F-150. I was on the fence about which to choose. I picked the Raptor and don’t regret it yet but it’s not as decisive as I thought it would be when I bought it. Here goes...

Specs:

2015 F-150, Lariat, Crew, 502A, FX4, 3.5L EcoBoost, 6r80, 3.31 gears, 5.5ft bed, P275/65/18 Michilen Defenders, 59,000 miles

2018 Raptor, 802A, Crew, 3.5L EcoBoost, 10r80, 4.10 gears, 5.5 ft bed, 315/70/17 LRE Hankook AT2s, 54,000 miles

Daily Driving: I won’t spend much effort on this section because there’s not much difference. I’ll touch on handling later. Both trucks are great daily drivers. The Raptor feels slightly bigger during normal driving. Overall this is a minimal difference. Both trucks are comfortable for all types of driving including long road trips. Road noise is comparable and creature comforts are nearly identical. The Raptor has start/stop tech while the older F-150 does not, but I see no advantage either way. Both trucks have a 36 gallon fuel tank and I love that for range and convenience. This category is a draw.

Fuel Economy: This one is a bit surprising in my mind. Overall MPGs are basically the same. The Raptor may have a slight edge but we are talking less the 0.5 MPGs in most situations. Over the 59k miles that I’ve put on the 2015 I’ve averaged consistently (hand calculated) about 15 MPG mixed driving. On a 150 mile Interstate trip (75 MPH) that I run weekly the 2015 will get 17 MPG round trip if the wind is light and much lower if there is much wind at all. I’ve made that same trip many times in the Raptor and have managed nearly identical results. Mixed driving in the Raptor has netted me closer to 16 MPGs but my sample size is smaller so my guess is once winter is over the MPG comparison will show not much difference between the two trucks. I expected the Raptor to be noticeably worse on fuel with the 35” tires but so far that is not the case. I guess gearing, 2nd Gen Eco, and the 10 speed trans make up the difference. Again, this was a pleasant surprise. I have always been a little disappointed in the MPGs for the 2015. It was rated at 17/23 and I can barely squeak out 17 MPG on the highway. Speed limits here at 75 MPH are the main reason. Slower speeds will net much better MPGs I just don’t have any significant data at slower speeds. I will also point out both trucks digital readout are optimistic by about 7% and I use hand calculations for both 100% of the time. Raptor wins this one for me.

Engine: Both truck have the 3.5L EcoBoost but they are significantly different. Most of the differences I describe are due to the different generation engine and would not be applicable if you are comparing newer F-150s because the newer trucks all have the same basic engine (Raptor and Limited have the HO version). This category definitely goes to the Raptor and it’s Gen 2 HO EcoBoost. The 2015 runs great and has been problem free. It’s a direct injection (DI) engine while the Raptor is a DI and port injection (PI) engine. The Raptor idles smoother and is much quieter at idle both inside the cab and outside in the engine bay. The power delivery is also smoother in the a Raptor. Both engines make gobs of torque but the F-150 feels slightly more powerful below 2000 RPMs at part throttle. It accelerates easier in 6th gear than the Raptor does in 10th gear. The F-150 will hold 6th on hills that the Raptor has to downshift to 9th or 8th to maintain speed. The Raptor definitely pulls harder at full throttle and at higher RPMs. My theory on the low end power is that the F-150 “feels” more powerful and is able to hold 6th is because of the significantly smaller/lighter tires. I give the nod to the Raptor and newer Eco because of the dual (DI and PI) fuel injection and just overall smoother performance and slightly better fuel economy.

Transmission: This one is another surprise for me. Just like the engines this isn’t an apples to apples comparison because they are different transmissions. I actually like the 6r80 in the F-150 better. The 10r80 is good but almost too much going on. Both transmissions are smooth and work well but the 10 speed seems really busy and so far I see minimal advantage over the 6 speed. Sport mode is much better on the 6 speed as well. I love the strategy used for sport mode on the 6 speed but on the 10 speed Sport mode is clunky and inconsistent. Both trucks allow full manual control which I love. The Raptor has paddle shifters which I thought was neat but I found that shifting through 10 gears is too much for my liking so I rarely use the paddle shifters. The 6 speed does occasionally experience a few rough or clunky shifts but I’ve had several 6r80 trucks over the years and this seems normal as they have all done this. The 10 speed has been smooth. In Normal mode the shifting is smooth and consistent. The old 6r80 wins this one for me.

Suspension: Obviously this is a big difference in these trucks. The Raptor is a different experience than any other vehicle I’ve driven. Both trucks ride great on the road with the Raptor being slightly smoother. In corners the F-150 feels more planted with less lean or body roll. On road you can feel the difference but not enough to say one is better than the other. Off road is a different story...Raptor wins. I won’t spend much time here since I think the reasons are obvious. I much prefer the Raptor when I go hunting and encounter dirt roads, pastures, and mud or sand. Raptor wins again.

Driving/Off Road Features: I didn’t know where to include this but I wanted to point out the drive mode features that the Raptor includes. There are six different modes (seven if you include towing) that you can select depending on terrain or road conditions. So far I really like this. Just drove in some bad road conditions using the weather mode and it worked great. I also used mud/sand mode and was happy during a hunting trip. This is not a deal breaker but it is a nice feature that the older F-150 doesn’t have. My F-150 does have sport and towing options which work well but it doesn’t have some of the other modes like weather, mud/sand, rock crawl, Baja. I believe some of the newer F-150 do have some additional modes but not all of them that the Raptor has. Both trucks have the automatic transfer case which allows driving on or off road in 4wd auto. This is a nice feature that on the older F-150 you could only get with the Lariat and up trim. The Raptor does win this category.

Towing: I have towed far more with the F-150 so I can’t say that I’ve put both trucks through the same situations but I’ll give my thoughts so far. Most towing is pulling a 14 ft trailer with my UTV or small tractor. Both trucks have tons of power so no issue there. The main difference I’ve noticed is the F-150 will hold 6th gear more and doesn’t require downshifting as often. The Raptor uses all 3 overdrives when towing. I’m not saying this is bad but it’s just an observation. If driving into the wind or in hilly sections I normally lock out 6th on the F-150 and 9th/10th on the Raptor. I use tow mode on both and it works well for shifting and assisting with stopping or slowing using engine braking. The Raptor does squat slightly more with the same trailer compared to the F-150 but nothing major since my loads are relatively light for both trucks. I would expect towing close to the limits of either truck would yield the advantage to the F-150. For my use they perform equally. Not necessarily just tow related but just in case it’s not obvious to anyone considering a Raptor, the payload ratings are much lower than a regular F-150 (1048 lbs vs 1630 lbs on my two trucks). This hasn’t been an issue for me so far but it could be when we decide which truck to use on family vacation. 4 people plus big dog plus stuff plus trailer with UTV could easily get past the rating on the Raptor. F-150 wins this one for me.

Reliability: Again my sample size is small for the Raptor but I’ve had the F-150 for 5 years now. I’ve had no issues with the Raptor at this point. I did have the dealer look in the Ford service records when I bought it and found nothing but recalls and normal maintenance performed. Something could have been fixed elsewhere but it’s doubtful since the truck still has warranty. I did install a set of rebuilt factory shocks just as part of routine maintenance. I’ve had two issues with the F-150. At 40k miles the fuel pump went out while we were on vacation. Cost us a tow/hotel/rental car for an extra day plus for some reason I had to pay $200 for a fuel pump driver module (which wasn’t even needed but was replaced as part of troubleshooting) that the dealer replaced but said wasn’t covered under warranty. Warranty did cover the new fuel pump but I had to argue with them and show them the warranty guide that specifically listed fuel pump under the power train warranty section. They originally tried to get me to pay $600. The second issue occurred at 50k miles when I lost the driver side IWE. Since I didn’t want to deal with this or a dealer in the future I replaced both IWEs with the permanent coupler or IWE delete. No issues since. Cost $150 and a couple hours of my time. Other than that the truck has been great. Changed spark plugs at 25k and am about to do them again. I change oil every 5k with whatever synthetic is on sale and I use a FL-500s filter every time. This one is a draw based on lack of data for the Raptor.

If I Could Change One Thing: For the F-150 it would be gears. 3.31s suck. I’ve owned two other regular F-150 ecos (both 2011s) with 3.73s and they were better all around for daily driving and towing. That extra couple hundred rpms in 6th gear helped a lot when towing and I didn’t have to lock out 6th much if ever. MPGs were equal or better with 3.73s on the older Gen trucks too. For the Raptor it would be throttle feel. I feel like I have to push and push to get much response. It’s quite odd when compared to my other vehicles. The 2015 truck is tons better than the Raptor in this regard. I’m debating a solution (tune vs pedal commander) right now.

Overall: Raptor wins....but I really like both trucks and I don’t think you could go wrong with either if you are in similar circumstances and use it like I do. For hard core off roading or heavy towing the decision would be different for sure. No doubt the Raptor is more appealing visually and is more fun off road but for 95% of what I do the F-150 is just as good or in some cases a little better. I spent lots of time debating buying another F-150 or a Raptor and even considered a Rebel (until I drove one but that’s another topic). I ended up with the Raptor and right now I’m still happy I did. I have no idea if any of this is helpful and these are just my opinions based on my experience but I figured it couldn’t hurt and all it cost me was a bit of time to write up.


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Arrowhead6R

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Awesome write up I have had a similar experience I traded my 2016 Platinum 5.0 for my 2020 Raptor. Very similar outside the Raptors suspension. Towing better on the 5.0 but I don't really haul anything on a regular basis. My only disappointment was the Raptor interior being almost exactly the same as my Platinum albeit missing some things. The Platinum was a bit more refined but the Raptor seats are more comfortable. I love my Raptor but the interior took some of the wind outta my sales when you consider no improvement over regular F-150 and what Ram is doing.
 
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DeerHunter44

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Awesome write up I have had a similar experience I traded my 2016 Platinum 5.0 for my 2020 Raptor. Very similar outside the Raptors suspension. Towing better on the 5.0 but I don't really haul anything on a regular basis. My only disappointment was the Raptor interior being almost exactly the same as my Platinum albeit missing some things. The Platinum was a bit more refined but the Raptor seats are more comfortable. I love my Raptor but the interior took some of the wind outta my sales when you consider no improvement over regular F-150 and what Ram is doing.
I have similar feelings. My 2018 Raptor and 2015 Lariat feel much the same inside the cab. I agree that the Raptor seats are more comfortable.


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