Vehicle-based adventures seem to be getting more popular by the day as people seek to leave the big cities in a quest for nature. Arguably, this is happening due to the increasing noise and stress of our concrete-filled environments; however, the reason behind this isn’t a topic of today. What is a topic though, is the fact that this increase in adventure popularity has also led to an increase in off-road truck models and that is a good thing!
We now have plenty of machines to choose from and there is certainly a vehicle for everyone out there regardless of what type of off-roading they want to do. However, this also presents a problem as an increase in choices also leads to an increase in complexity when it comes to actually buying something.
In this article, we will be comparing Ford’s two most off-road capable pickups within its F-150 lineup, which are the F-150 Tremor and Raptor. Should you save your money and get the Tremor? Let’s find out.
The F-150 Tremor Is A Normal F-150 With Added Off-Road Abilities
It is important to understand that the F-150 Tremor is a normal F-150 with additional off-road capability that is achieved through factory upgrades. Therefore, the Tremor doesn’t really lose any of its truck attributes. It can still tow and haul as much as the normal F-150 and is a car that could easily be used both for work and pleasure.
So, what upgrades does the Tremor get? Well, first and foremost it has more off-road oriented suspension that provides better damping, more travel (articulation), and a 1.2-inch increase in ground clearance. Also, the Tremor is an inch wider which helps increase stability both on and off-road.
The Tremor sits on 33-inch General Grabber all-terrain tires and comes with a locking rear differential and an optional front Torsen diff that can further increase traction abilities. Ford’s wide variety of electronically controlled off-road features and modes are also available. As you can see, the Tremor offers plenty of functional upgrades and it is safe to say that it will surely be more capable than the normal F-150 variants.
The F-150 Raptor Sits On A Redesigned Platform
So, the Tremor is a normal F-150 that has been upgraded; however, the Raptor isn’t. Sure, the basic design and structure are the same, but this F-150 has been made more capable and stronger in many ways. For example, parts of the chassis have been strengthened to withstand big hits from high-speed desert bashing and off-road jumps.
Also, the rear end of the Raptor doesn’t sit on leaf springs. It has a completely different coil-sprung system that makes a huge difference when it comes to off-road suspension control, wheel articulation, and even on-road manners. Furthermore, the FOX shocks that come as standard are much more effective in damping high-speed impacts and are thicker more robust units in general.
Aside from the drivetrain, we also have the fact that the Raptor is wider and taller than the Tremor thanks to bigger 35-inch tires or optional 37s. Worth mentioning is the fact that both vehicles use the same 3.5-liter turbo V-6 engine but the Tremor gets 400 horsepower while the Raptor makes do with 450.
So, as you can see, the Raptor is drastically different than normal F-150 trucks. This means it is much more capable off-road; however, it is less capable as a truck. The soft rear suspension means that payload and towing are lower than other F-150 models while the larger tires make it thirstier with an EPA-rated 16 combined mpg. As is always the case, more off-road abilities come at the price of towing abilities and vice versa.
How Do The Two F-150s Compare?
On the road, the Raptor is the more comfortable vehicle thanks to its incredible suspension setup. The FOX shocks work perfectly with the coil-sprung rear end and eliminate the bumpiness often felt in leaf-sprung pickups like the Tremor.
The interior in both vehicles offers the same amount of space; however, the Raptor comes well-spec'ed without having to add any options; therefore, at the base price, the Raptor is equipped far better. Talking about price, the Tremor will set you back $60,970 while the Raptor will cost $76,775. So, as you can see, there is a huge difference between the base prices of the two vehicles. However, the Raptor offers a lot of upgrades that justify the difference, but are those upgrades really worth it?
Should You Still Buy A Raptor Over A Tremor?
We believe that the vast majority of buyers do not need the Raptor as it is a purpose-built machine designed for high-speed off-roading and the sort of terrain that most owners will never take their trucks down. In the Tremor, you will be able to tackle the vast majority of trails, just as you would be able to in the Raptor with the exception of high-speed off-roading and a few insanely difficult trails that even the Raptor will struggle on. It is important to understand that the biggest difference in capabilities between the two won’t be seen on big obstacles but when driving fast through uneven terrain. High-speed desert bashing is the Raptor’s strong point and the reason it was designed for.
Finally, the Tremor can also be used as a proper truck. It has a higher towing (10,900 pounds) and payload capacity (1,885 pounds), and it will be at home on a work site or an offroad playground. So, to conclude, the added abilities of the Raptor will be useful only to a few. Therefore, for the vast majority of buyers, the Tremor is the better truck. However, some may simply adore the way the Raptor looks and that alone can be a selling point even if they never plan on taking it off-road.