Over the past decade, few trucks have captured the imagination of the off-road truck enthusiast quite like the Ford F-150 Raptor. Since making its debut in the 2010 model year, the Raptor has been the choice for those of us who love a powerful 4X4 truck with the suspension and engine to handle even the most rugged conditions. Even the truck’s namesake, the raptor birds of prey, and the prehistoric velociraptor imply something fast and powerful. Raptors are at the top of the food chain, and the Ford F-150 Raptor is no different. The current model features a high-output 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission, able to produce a best-in-class 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. In addition, it has Ford’s high tech Trail Control system, a unique cruise control system for low-traction, rugged off-road terrain. However, the base MSRP for the 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor is $53,205, which may create an obstacle too big for many of us to overcome. That is why when looking to buy, you should always consider looking into used Ford trucks. They give you a better value than buying new, as well as stronger purchasing power. This is because pickup trucks, like most vehicles, will take their biggest depreciation hit during their first year on the road. The Raptor is the same, and if you love off-roading as much as I do, then you should consider buying a used Raptor as your next truck.
First Generation Raptors
Ford Motor Company has a legacy of producing some of the top performance cars and trucks for racing, especially the wild-and-wooly sport of off-road racing. Ford enthusiasts had been clamoring for a street-legal version of the Ford’s off-road racers, and the company finally delivered in time for the 2010 model year. Built on a Ford F-150 chassis, the first generation Raptors were designed by Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) to provide a truck optimized for off-road performance. Ford even designated the truck as the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor as a nod to the great job the SVT did in designing the truck.
To help with off-road capabilities, the SVT gave the Raptor internal bypass shocks with external reservoirs from Fox Racing. This allowed for better off-road suspension than on a regular F-150. In addition, the Raptor featured a 5.4-liter V8 engine capable of producing 310 horsepower, with a 6.2-liter V8 as an option. This latter engine was capable of producing up to 411 horsepower. By the 2011 model year, the smaller engine was dropped, leaving the 6.2-liter V8 as the featured engine on the Raptor. 6-speed automatic transmission was standard.
The Raptor featured a number of other innovations. The 2010 Raptor was the first Ford vehicle with hill descent control. The SVT also gave the Raptor unique front fascia, a composite hood, and block “FORD” lettering in the front grille in place of the normal Ford blue oval logo. The 2010 model year Raptor only came in a 2+2 door SuperCab, but a four-door SuperCrew configuration was also offered beginning with the 2011 model year Raptor. This provided more space for second row passengers in the truck’s cab. In addition, the first generation Raptor had a towing capacity of up to 8,000 pounds and was able to transport up to 1,770 pounds of cargo in the payload bed of the SuperCrew configured trucks. Ford offered Raptors in colors that matched the sporty and aggressive nature of their off-road truck, including tuxedo black, blue flame, oxford white, molten orange, and ingot silver metallic.
Ford produced the first generation Raptors for five model years, starting in 2010 and ending with the 2014 model year. If you are shopping for a used Raptor, you should still be able to find a number of these first generation Raptors available for purchase from used car dealers. The pricing should be substantially less than comparable 2020 Ford F-150 Raptors. By using tools like Carfax, AutoCheck, and Kelley Blue Book, you should be able to find a good price reference on a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. Moreover, if you are planning to use this for off-roading, then having a pristine truck really won’t make much sense because you are sure to enjoy getting it nice and dirty soon after you make the purchase.
The Raptor Returns
After taking a two year break from producing Raptors during the 2015 and 2016 model years, Ford re-introduced the popular off-road truck in time for the 2017 model year. The second generation Ford F-150 Raptor also came in a choice of 2+2 door SuperCab or 4-door SuperCrew cab. However, the new version introduced a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 gas engine, with the ability to produce up to 450 horsepower. This was a major change since the previous version of the Raptor had a V8 engine. In addition, the transmission was upgraded to a 10-speed 10R80 automatic. This was the first Ford vehicle to feature a 10-speed transmission that was not designed for commercial use. Furthermore, Ford increased the amount of aluminum used on the second generation Raptors, reducing total curb weight by over 500 pounds.
Ford retained the Fox Racing shock absorbers for premium off-road performance. In addition, the look was changed to emulate the changes made with the 2015 model generation Ford F-150. This is the current generation of Raptors on offer for 2020.
Why Buy Used?
Buying used gives you more truck for your money. As already pointed out, trucks lose up to half of their value through depreciation during their first year. This is because automotive vehicles like other forms of equipment are not depreciated on a straight-line basis but rather on an accelerated basis. This depreciation is also known as the “gap,” signifying the difference between what you paid for the truck and what it is worth on a depreciated basis. When you buy new, especially if you finance or lease your vehicle, you will be required to purchase gap insurance to cover this difference. You can avoid this by buying used.
You can also benefit from this depreciation as you will get a lower price for your Raptor. Or, you can pay the same money, but get more truck, such as upgraded features, higher vehicle trims, or custom items. Ford actually provides an excellent tool on its website that allows you to build and price a 2020 Ford vehicle. You can make a checklist of the features on the used Raptor you are considering, and then “build” a comparable model on Ford’s website to see the MSRP for the same Raptor configured as a new 2020 model. You will be amazed at how much more you can get when you buy a used truck.
Another good reason to buy used is that there is less mystery in the pricing. You can consult Kelley Blue Book to get a sense of the market price for a used truck based on its model year, mileage, and condition. This is the same with the Ford F-150 Raptor. In addition, you can order a Carfax or AutoCheck report on the used Raptor you are considering purchasing; all you need is the Raptor’s vehicle identification number. This report will then tell you specific information about the truck, including prior ownership, accidents, recalls, and repairs. In other words, this is all the inside information that can help you make an educated decision.
The Ford Raptor is destined to become a modern classic in off-road truck history. Buy your own part of that history today with a used Ford Raptor, and find out why the Raptor devours the competition in off-road trucking.