When you’re browsing the inventory of your local Ford F-150 dealer, you might see a few trucks that stand above the rest. You hear names like Tremor and Raptor thrown around but don’t know what they mean. A Raptor brings to mind a vicious dinosaur, while a Tremor is something that happens after an earthquake.
Ford has a great collection of off-road vehicles, from the rugged Expedition to the beefy Bronco, but sometimes you just want a truck. Whether it’s for hauling, looks, or sheer power, Ford has you covered. The Ford F-150 is the nation’s best-selling truck for a reason. Whether it’s work or play, long drives, or punishing weather, drivers know they can depend on this bold and capable truck for all life’s needs.
If an adventurous F-150 is what you’re looking at, it would be impossible to overlook the F-150 Tremor and F-150 Raptor, both of which are designed to take off-roading to a whole new level. But what’s the difference? Does it matter? Off-roading is off-roading, right? Well, in this case, not necessarily. We investigated the two trims to see where they are the same and where they differ so that you make the best choice for your lifestyle.
The 2023 Ford F-150 Tremor can be had for $60,970, but drivers who want to get into a 2023 F-150 Raptor will have to shell out $76,775 for the experience. Opt for the top-of-the-line Raptor R package, and the price tag balloons to $107,350. That’s a pretty big price difference, so let’s take a look and see what you’re getting.
With the Tremor, drivers can expect to get a relatively normal-looking F-150 with some serious suspension upgrades. The 18-inch aluminum wheels have a dark matte finish and wear 33-inch tires. These aren’t just regular tires either but are designed for gripping and maximizing traction on rough or even surfaces. These General Grabber all-terrain tires give the truck 9.4 inches of ground clearance and a stance an inch wider than normal.
The Raptor can also be had with heavy-duty all-terrain tires designed to give drivers that boost of confidence when the road gets rough, although it wears 35-inchers. If the Raptor standard tires aren’t enough for you, drivers can opt for 37-inch tires, which are the largest factory-fitted tires for a light-duty truck on the market and give the truck 13.1 inches of ground clearance. These tires are designed for the loose dirt and grit of desert and rocky terrain. If you find yourself traversing hot sand or rocky mountain passes, the tires are what you’re looking for.
When it comes to shocks, drivers can expect a smooth ride in the Tremor, a trim designed especially for off-roading. Expect shocks tuned for a softer dampening when riding at a lower speed and extra dampening when things get rough. This is all great, but if you’re off-road more often than not, the Raptor is ready with FOX Live Valve shock absorbers. These shocks are designed for the toughest conditions. Complete with dampening adjustability, the Raptor’s shocks are made to resist heat and react faster than ever before. The Raptor not only reacts quickly to changes in terrain, but the low-friction shock fluid means a smoother, more comfortable riding experience for drivers.
And the engines? Do you even have to ask? Of course, they’re going to be top-notch. The 2023 Tremor comes standard with a 5.0L V8 producing 400 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. If you want more power, it has an available 3.5L V6 EcoBoost engine that kicks out 400 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. When it comes to towing, the Tremor offers a respectable max tow rating of 8,900 lbs, making it a serviceable work truck when you aren’t hitting the trails.
To kick things up a notch, the Raptor has two unique engine options not available on any other F-150 trim. The base engine is a High-Output 3.5L V6 EcoBoost that doesn’t mess around. Drivers can expect 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque for a powerful, desert-ready experience. New for 2023 is the supercharged 5.2L V8 found in the Raptor R package, which produces an earth-shaking 700 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque. So if raw power is what you’re looking for, your search ends here.
In comparing the two trims, the Tremor is more versatile if you need a vehicle that doubles as an everyday ride and a truck to get you off-road for a bit of fun. The Tremor styling certainly takes its cues from its big brother, the Raptor. It’s easy to see the resemblance in the wheels and beefy frame of the Tremor.
The Tremor delivers when it comes to a tough, versatile truck that can meet a variety of life’s demands, from adventure to work. Drivers can take advantage of the 4×4 drivetrain when the roads get muddy, or the trail gets rocky. You also get a great variety of driver-assist features with Ford’s Co-Pilot360 technology. Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control, and a Reverse Sensing System are other handy options, and this doesn’t even include all of the extra add-ons available. If hauling and towing is your thing, the Tremor has available Pro Trailer Backup Assist and Trailer Reverse Guidance to help relieve some of the stress of hooking up and driving with a trailer.
Overall the Tremor is a multifunction, powerful package that is perfect for drivers who often experience tough terrain, be it winter roads, back trails, or muddy lanes. The Tremor has the power and performance to easily tackle whatever the road throws at it.
When looking at the highlights, it’s easy to see where the extra money for the Raptor goes. This is a serious vehicle that doesn’t mess around when it comes to rocky, unforgiving terrain. Built to cover rocky wastes, sandy deserts, and harsh climates, the Raptor is the go-to Ford for the ultimate off-roading experience.
Drivers get a multitude of options when it comes to everything from the tires to the tech. It’s tough to miss a Raptor when you see one. This truck was inspired by heavy-duty desert racers. Its huge tires and hulking, boxy-looking four-door body can handle rock crawling, desert running, and jumps. While the Raptor is mostly touted as a desert monster, it is more than capable of taking on uneven mountain trails or muddy backroads without a problem.
Complete with Ford’s CoPilot360 system, drivers get a laundry list of driver-assist features like Hill Start Assist and Trail Control with Trail One-Pedal Drive, plus there’s the option to add on additional technology. The drawback is that while the Raptor has great performance for off-roading, it’s not at the top of the list when it comes to towing and hauling. But if you’re buying an off-roading monster like the Raptor, it’s not going to be for commercial hauling.
Which Is the Best?
When it comes to choosing a trim for your vehicle, it all depends on your wants and needs. No one trim is automatically better than another, but depending on how you intend to use it, one truck could meet your demands better than the other.
There’s no doubt that the Ford F-150 Tremor is a more than capable truck that gives drivers plenty of power when they need it. It’s a flexible truck built to deliver on multiple levels. Most drivers probably won’t ever need to take full advantage of the truck’s maximum power and performance unless they’re having a weekend adventure out in the bush.
However, the Ford F-150 Raptor is a different story. This isn’t a casual everyday ride. The Raptor was built to eat hot desert sand for breakfast and not even blink an eye. If off-roading is your passion, if adventure is something you can’t live without, then you need a truck you can depend on when things get rough, and that’s the Raptor.
It’s good to have options, and whatever type of off-roader you’re searching for, Ford delivers in a big way with high-performance trucks and SUVs that are always ready when the wild calls.