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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

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A silver 2021 Ram TRX is off-roading in the desert at dusk and kicking up a dust trail.

2021 Ram TRX vs 2020 Ford Raptor: How Do They Compare?

Trucks are extremely versatile machines, and because of this, they’re driven by millions of enthusiastic fans every year. With so many shoppers interested in trucks, manufacturers are constantly competing with one another to create the next best truck. As is tradition, vehicles such as the Ford Raptor have received its annual refresh, but we’re also seeing some new faces this time around. This year, the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX was officially unveiled and gives drivers a glimpse of tomorrow’s automobiles in the current day. Comparing the 2021 Ram TRX vs 2020 Ford Raptor nets some interesting results as both vehicles have a plethora of similarities and differences.

Manufacturers such as Ram and Ford are renowned for their high-quality vehicles that are historically built to last. Both the 2021 Ram TRX and 2020 Ford Raptor stand out for their off-roading performance as each one is built specifically with this in mind. To be efficient for both the open road as well as off-road, both vehicles have been custom designed with the proper suspensions along with shock absorbers and powerful engines to cap it all off.

However, both of these vehicles are immensely different, even though they have the same kind of customer in mind. It’s worth keeping in mind that these two vehicles don’t share the same price bracket, which is most apparent when looking at the performance metrics. When putting the Ram TRX and Ford Raptor side by side, it’s practically a night-and-day difference.

How Do Both Vehicles Perform?

A red 2020 Ford Raptor is shown from the rear on sand.

The 2020 Ford Raptor is a powerhouse in its own right, but when compared to the 2021 Ram TRX, it falls flat in many ways. For starters, the engines found in both vehicles are immensely different. Inside of the 2020 Ford Raptor, you’ll find a twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6, which is by no means a weak engine by today’s standards with its 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. However, when we bring in the 2021 TRX with its 6.2L V8 engine that produces a whopping 702 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque, the Ford Raptor doesn’t stand a chance. With the new V8 engine, Ram claims the 2021 TRX can accelerate from 0-60 mph in a mere 4.5 seconds. You’ll certainly notice the improvements when driving the TRX due to its impressive 56% increase in horsepower and 28% increase in torque.

As both of these trucks are well suited for off-roading, they need a proper way of adapting to a wide range of different terrains. To do this, both trucks allow for a variety of driving modes with the 2020 Raptor offering six modes while the 2021 TRX has eight. According to Ford, the six drive modes that may be applied on the Raptor are Sport, Slippery, Tow/Haul, Deep Snow/Sand, Baja, and Rock Crawl. While these six drive modes cover many of the major climate situations, the TRX adds mud mode to the mix along with a custom mode that allows you to input your own settings.

Aside from drive modes, the TRX achieves overall better off-roading performance thanks in part to its menacing 35-inch tires. Compared to the 34-inch tires seen on the Raptor, this is another difference. Simply put, the TRX is the perfect truck for those who need a powerful work truck that can also retain its performance when off-roading. The Raptor is by no means a slouch in this regard as it’s still ahead of the curve against many of its competition. However, when put against the TRX, its performance, along with off-roading capabilities, have difficulty competing with the sheer power the TRX promises to deliver.

Another reason why the TRX performs so well when off-roading its 13-inch front suspension travel and 14-inch rear suspension travel. Couple this with 11.8 inches of ground clearance instead of the 11.5 inches of ground clearance seen on the Raptor, and the gap between the two trucks continues to widen. While the Raptor still boasts some impressive results, the Raptor simply doesn’t have the performance necessary to compete at the TRX’s level.

A red 2021 Ram TRX is parked in front of desert cliffs after winning the 2021 Ram TRX vs 2020 Ford Raptor comparison.

Interior Features

Although performance is a massive piece of the puzzle when building a truck, manufacturers have to consider their interiors as well. Both the TRX and Raptor have spacious and comfortable interiors that are loaded with tech-centric features. Sitting inside of the TRX is a monumental difference as the TRX lends itself to a futuristic feel with a 12-inch touch screen. Compared to the Raptor’s standard SYNC 3 system that only has a 4.2-inch screen and lacks many connectivity features, the TRX is massively superior. However, the Raptor owners can opt for an 8-inch touch screen for an additional fee that gains many of the features that come standard on the TRX.

The 2021 TRX and 2020 Raptor have a mutual set of features that drivers have come to expect in the modern-day. Among these features is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which have both paved the way for a new era of accessing media. Everybody loves listening to music while on the road, and with these features, you’ll have immediate access to your favorite music. The most exciting part about this is the speakers, as both vehicles provide excellent options.

Inside of the 2020 Raptor, you can opt for a premium audio system from Bang & Olufsen that provides ten high-quality speakers with 750-watt output. While these speakers are certainly better than your average setup, the available premium audio system in the 2021 TRX is superb. Owners of the TRX can opt for a sound system developed by Harman Kardon, which outfits your cab with a striking 19-speakers with 900-watt output.

Another tech feature available on the TRX that you cannot find on the Raptor is a large color head-up display projected on the windscreen to show you vital information without taking your eyes off the road. Further, in the Ram, you can relax on warm summer days with the available ventilated front seats. Altogether, the Raptor is as badly outmatched when it comes to tech and comfort as it is when it comes to performance.

Our Conclusion: Which One Should You Buy?

As previously mentioned, the 2021 TRX and 2020 Raptor do not share similar prices. However, those who have the means of obtaining a TRX should do so. Not only is the TRX immensely more powerful than the Raptor, but it’s also loaded with all of the most relevant features that are becoming much more prevalent in the market today, especially when looking at each vehicle’s interiors. With the introduction of the 2021 TRX, Ram took the opportunity to set precedents that have never been achieved before by a vehicle manufacturer.

Ram has gone to great lengths to ensure the TRX is the definition of a premium truck with limitless potential. Although the 2020 Raptor is still a powerful machine, the 2021 TRX has it beat in more ways than one. The future is looking bright for Ram, and with new trucks such as the TRX, they have laid a foundation that can be built upon for years to come. If you’re interested in the 2021 TRX, your best opportunity to get hands-on time with it is by visiting your local Ram dealer and see the new generation of trucks in action.

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