Long live the ripsnorting Ford F-150 Raptor.
Can you use too much hyperbole to describe the hyper-performing Ford F-150 SVT Raptor?
We don’t think so. With its killer mix of horsepower, off-road ability, and in-cockpit comfort, the Raptor is a category killer. It’s a CarMax Future Classic if there ever was one.
Today, the F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the US — a claim Ford has made for decades with this truck. And at this writing, a small and lucky percentage of these buyers own an SVT Raptor.
One veteran CarMax associate, a store manager who started out as a sales consultant, says driving a Raptor is “like jumping into a sports car that can navigate some of the world’s wildest terrain.”
“The Raptor attracts a wide range of customers,” he says, “from your off-road enthusiast and adventurer to your daily pickup driver who wants something that really stands out in any parking lot.”
Here are 11 wild things you’ll find on the Ford Raptor.
- Those funky bead-lock wheels are standard. What’s with those wheels? Models like the 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor come with bead-lock rims around the edges of all four wheels. They help keep the rubber tires from popping loose when you’ve aired them down for beach running or tearing around in the mud.
- Heated and cooled seats. Trucks like the 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor are available with front seats that are both heated and ventilated. So, when you and your truck are working hard, you’ll stay cool in the summer and toasty in the winter.
- Powered tailgate. At a touch of a button on your key fob, the Raptor’s tailgate unlocks and opens. Plus, the 2017 Raptors come with a step-up ladder and hand-hold that fold in and out of the tailgate — a pretty cool setup when your truck is as tall as the Raptor.
- 6.2L V8 for 2011 through 2014. Early Raptors like the 2013 F-150 SVT Raptor got a big, iron-block V8 under their hoods. And it’s plenty of motor — there’s 411 horsepower here, plus enough torque to give the 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor a maximum towing capacity of up to 11,100 pounds when properly equipped.1
- Twin turbo V6 since 2017. While earlier Raptors are available with a V8, either a 5.4L motor in the 2010 F-150 Raptor or a bigger 6.2L V8 starting in 2011, trims sold since 2017 come with a 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 that’s fed by two turbochargers. With a rating of 450 hp, the output is huge, even more than the previous V8s. Yet this engine can still return an estimated 15/18 city/hwy mpg. 2
- It’s lighter than ever. The 2017 Ford Raptor has a cab and body that are made of aluminum, making it up to 500 pounds lighter than a body made of steel. Less weight can help improve your mpg.
- Backup assist for trailering. New for 2016 and 2017 models: optional Pro Trailer Backup Assist, plus an anti-sway feature that adjusts your braking when the Raptor’s sensors ‘feel’ your trailer moving from side to side behind you.
- More than a foot of stock ground clearance. 11.5 inches, to be exact. This is a lot of height for a stock pickup. And some trucks, like the 2016 Ford Raptor, come with stock tires that stand nearly three feet tall and Fox® off-road-racing-style suspension.
- That orange glow in your rear-view means Raptor approaching. Orange lights are mandated for the front ends of vehicles that stretch wider than 80 inches. The Raptor’s width yawns across most of a highway lane, which could make navigation on narrow city streets challenging for Raptor owners and oncoming traffic. It’s enough for Ford to mount orange LEDs in the grille.
- Blindspot radar and lane change warning. These and other driver-assist features are options available on trucks like the 2017 Ford Raptor.
- Mud and Sand or Rock modes. The 2017 Raptor has six adjustable settings to tackle whatever terrain you’re covering. Dial up the Mud and Sand mode or Mud mode to give yourself an extra hand in really tough situations.
What was the first year of the F-150?
The F-150 has been around for a long time now —long before it made our list of the best pickup trucks of 2017. Ford designated its really early F-series pickups as the F1 and F-100; the first F-150s were 1975 model-year trucks, introduced in the time of tighter emission standards for US manufacturers. These first F-150s filled the gap between the fly-weight F-100 and the heavyweight F-250.
A 360ci, V8 engine worth about 145 hp was standard equipment on the original F-150, as were leaf-spring suspensions and three-speed transmissions. Pretty basic stuff.
Over the years, Ford added more comfort features to its F-150s, and pickup fans kept buying them. Starting with the early, mid-1970s models, owners could get an F-150 with two or four doors, air conditioning, and a larger, 460ci V8 for towing.
Today, you can get an F-150 with all of the features you’d find on any passenger car. The Raptor goes over the top, making it the craziest F-150 Ford has ever turned out.
Do you need this truck?
Some might say no, you don’t need a 400-plus-horsepower pickup truck. “It’s true that this truck isn’t for everybody,” says our associate (who admits to coming down on the Ford side when it comes to pickups). “But if you’re a pickup enthusiast and a Ford fan, the Raptor is the high-water mark.”
We say, if you’re a Ford fan who wants an F-150 that really stands out from the other pickups, the Raptor might just be the snorting, galloping steed you need to rule your realm.
We sell quality-certified Raptors at CarMax, and they’ve been closely inspected like all of the vehicles we sell on our retail lots. Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle. No one needs a bent or thrashed Raptor — we check their frames and look closely for flood damage before they’re OK’d to go out on our lots.
Ready to shop? Check out our supply of used Ford F-150 Raptors at CarMax – and our other performance-looking F-150s like the Ford F-150 FX4 and Ford F-150 STX. Or you can look through our full F-150 inventory. We’ve usually got around 1,000 F-150s in stock.
If you’re still researching your options, our Which to Buy: Ford F-150 vs. Dodge Ram 1500 comparison article could help you.
You can also read other Future Classic reviews, like our 9 Reasons the Mustang GT350 is Still a Classic article.
1Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
2Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
Unless otherwise noted, information relating to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.