2021 Ford F-150 Raptor
2021 Ram 1500 TRX
|Est. 450-760||Horsepower (HP)||702|
The 2021 Ford Raptor is the most highly anticipated addition to the all-new 2021 F-150 lineup. The Raptor is the original off-road pickup, and the 2021 redesign lifts the curtain on the third generation of the performance icon. What is there to look forward to in the new Raptor? And more importantly, can it beat the new challenger from Ram? After all, the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor vs 2021 Ram 1500 TRX may just be the greatest showdown in truck history.
In order to demonstrate its position as the king of off-road performance, Ford has stepped up the game with the 2021 Raptor without compromising its spirit as a real do-it-all truck. While the TRX has bet the farm on massive engine output, Ford has been going back to the basics and designed a truck that you can push to the limits and launch through the air without sacrificing the utility that comes from driving a truck. In fact, it can tow and haul more than the supposedly more powerful TRX. From off-road performance to every-day versatility, the 2021 Ford Raptor checks all the boxes while remaining attainable for the average driver.
Pop the hoods on these two off-road trucks, and you will see two very different approaches to pickup performance. While the 2021 Ford Raptor continues to make use of a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine, the 2021 Ram TRX sports a massive 6.2-liter supercharged V-8. Now, you may think that settles it - the TRX engine is larger, has more cylinders, and even boasts twice the horsepower. Game over. Right? Well, not so fast. In the real world, there are far more factors that go into making a true performance truck than engine size and raw performance.
While going fast on a well-prepared paved surface is mostly a matter of horsepower, things become a lot more complicated when you're trying to barrel down dirt trails. When you're facing rocks, ruts, and the occasional jump, how fast you can go is more a product of how much punishment you and your truck can take. This means a well-designed suspension with plenty of travel to clear obstacles and advanced dampers that can absorb the harshest impacts. The suspension has always been the key element in what makes the Raptor the legend that it is, and Ford has raised the bar even higher with the 2021 model.
Where the previous Raptor used a modified version of the leaf spring suspension in your standard F-150, the 2021 Raptor uses an all-new design based on Baja trophy trucks. This means a five-link suspension setup supported by the largest coil springs in the segment. Another critical addition is larger 3.1" next-generation FOX Live Valve shocks that can independently adjust their damping rates 500 times per second.
While the TRX uses similar technologies, the Raptor simply does it better. Where the Ram offers 13" of front suspension travel and 14" of rear suspension travel, the Ford offers 14" up front and 15" in the rear. The Raptor also offers an impressive 13.1" of ground clearance while the can only muster 11.8" of clearance. That means less fear of damaging your undercarriage by hitting an unseen obstacle at high speed.
The Raptor also backs up its superior suspension with wheels and tires better suited to handle any off-road situation. While the TRX travels on 35-inch tires wrapped around 18-inch wheels, the Raptor offers massive 37-inch tires and comes with 17-inch wheels. More sidewall means the Raptor's tires will do a better job of absorbing bumps and protecting the truck when you hit the ground after a jump.
Both the 2021 Ford Raptor and 2021 Ram TRX are thoroughly modern vehicles with all sorts of advanced technology designed to enhance performance and make your adventures more comfortable. But while the TRX is based on the Ram 1500, which was last updated back in 2019, the Raptor takes full advantage of everything the brand-new F-150 brings to the table. That means a bevy of cutting edge features that you will never want to be without.
The infotainment system is one of the most important aspects of any modern vehicle - it's what you interact with to control everything from music to navigation. Both the Raptor and the TRX come with massive 12-inch central infotainment screens, although Ford uses a more modern horizontal layout that is easier to view and leaves more space for traditional hard buttons and knobs. The Raptor also includes Ford's brand-new SYNC 4 infotainment software, which is not only faster and more intuitive than Ram's older Uconnect system but also includes support for over the air updates. That means that your Raptor will only get smarter over the years while the TRX will gradually fall even further behind.
Technology is not limited to infotainment alone. For instance, both the TRX and Raptor boast a half dozen different terrain modes designed to optimize everything from shift points to suspension feel to better suit the task at hand. However, the Raptor goes even further by implementing features from the new Ford Trail Toolbox that was introduced for the new Bronco.
These features include Trail Control and Trail 1-Pedal Drive. While the TRX has Select Speed Control, which works similarly to the Raptor's Trail Control, the Ram technology can only maintain speeds of up to 5 mph. In contrast, Ford's improved take on this feature can handle speeds of up to 20 mph, giving you more flexibility on the trail. Further, Trail 1-Pedal Drive gives you greater control in technical situations by automatically applying the brakes as you lift off the gas, preventing you from rolling too far as you move your foot to the brake pedal.
The Ford Raptor has always been far more than a pure off-road machine. At its heart, it is still an F-150 and is ready for any task that demands a pickup truck. From hauling supplies for your latest project to hitching up a trailer to move your boat, the Raptor can do it all and still conquer the trails like a champion. In contrast, the TRX sacrifices a lot of this utility and dramatically underperforms in daily life.
Towing and Hauling
Flying off jumps and splashing through the mud is fun, but what really sets a pickup apart is its ability to get work done. The 2021 Ford Raptor is rated to haul up to 1,400 pounds in the bed and can tow trailers weighing up to 8,200 pounds. While you might expect the massive V8 engine of the TRX would put the Raptor to shame when it comes to towing and hauling, the reality is rather different. Surprisingly, the TRX is only rated for up to 1,310 pounds of payload and 8,200 pounds of towing. And if you opt for the bed-mounted tire-carrier for the TRX, then you will be unable to fit more than small items in the back.
Power Your Tools
The 2021 Raptor also has another trick up its sleeve that the TRX cannot offer - 2.0 kW of electrical power thanks to the class-exclusive Pro Power Onboard. This will transform the Raptor into a mobile generator that is ready for anything from construction projects to tailgate parties. You can plug in power tools, televisions, heaters, and anything else you need to get the job done or just enjoy your adventure to the fullest.