What does it take to beat the Ford Raptor in the half-ton truck off-road game? We assemble the following four trucks to go over what makes these trucks uniques, and what makes the Raptor stand out. Here we have a new 2021 Nissan Titan PRO-4X, a Ram Rebel, a Chevy Silverado 1500 Trail Boss, and a new 2020 Ford Raptor.
We wanted to include the Toyota Tundra in this video, but we did not have access to one. Also, we did not include the 2021 Ram TRX in this comparison for a similar reason. The TRX is not available for purchase yet. They have not arrived at dealers.
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The off-road capability has a lot to do with ground clearance and the suspension design in order to get over obstacles while also keeping the tires on the ground. Suspension wheel travel, clearance, and shocks have everything to do with this. The Raptor has a wider track than a standard Ford F-150 in order to get the suspension geometry for greater wheel travel. The Raptor has specially tuned springs and FOX Live Valve active shocks that prioritize driving over rough pavement and terrain. The Titan and the Rebel use different iterations of Bilstein shocks. The Rebel gets a suspension lift from the factory, but neither of these trucks have a wider track width in order to get additional wheel travel. The Trail Boss offers a suspension lift from the factory and Rancho shocks.
Nathan and I did the math, and there are at least 18 unique engines that are offered by all half-ton truck manufacturers in the U.S. If you account for different transmissions, there are even more combinations available. All of these trucks offer great powerplants, but only the Raptor offers a high-output engine that was initially unique to it. Again, if you exclude the 702 hp Ram TRX – the 3.5-liter H.O. twin-turbo V6 in the Raptor is the most powerful half-ton truck engine with 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque.
The Titan offers a great 5.6L V8 with 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. It’s the only engine currently available in the Titan. The Ram Rebel offers four different engine options, but the one with the most horsepower is the 5.7-liter V8 with 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. The Chevy Trail Boss can be configured with a 6.2-liter V8 producing 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. The Trail Boss also offers several other engine/transmission combinations.
Styling / Design
Any off-road truck must look unique and cool to stand out. All trucks in this comparison do this. Each one of them have their own mucho style. Styling and design is very subjective. There is no denying that the Raptor has a cool wide-body stance and look. I personally like the Ram Rebel style a little more than the others.
This is perhaps the most critical element of any vehicle, especially an off-roader. The tire compound and tread must work great in a variety of conditions: highway, dirt, rocks, mud, ice, and snow. The tire is critical to having a great day on the trail. If it protects you from a puncture and has the traction to get through a tough situation – this saves time and avoids a bad day. The Titan comes with General Grabber tires from the factory. We tested these several times in a variety of conditions. They are good, but I found them challenged by snow and/or ice more than some of the others. The Rebel and the Trail Boss use Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires. The Ram rides on a 33-inch tire, while the Trail Boss has a 32-inch tire diameter. While the tread is about the same, the tire composition is a little different. Both of these are great tires in nearly every condition, if not just a little noisy at fast highway speeds. The 2020 Raptor uses BFGoodrich KO2 tires. This is a 35-inch tall tire for the Raptor. I would equate it more to the Duratrac in capability than the Grabber.
4×4 System / Off-Road Modes
All of these trucks offer a 4×4 system with a 4-low-range transfer case. All, except the Titan, offer an Automatic 4×4 mode that acts like an all-wheel-drive system. All, but the Trail Boss, offer a selectable rear locker. All trucks offer a Hill Descend Control system. The Raptor takes is further with a TORSEN limited-slip front differential and a selectable configuration for every major system. The Raptor allows the driver to select the steering feel, suspension stiffness, accelerator sensitivity, and transmission shift patterns.
Payload / Towing
While the Raptor is focused on the off-road performance, it suffers on maximum payload and towing capability. The fully-optioned truck you see here has 999 lbs of max. payload and 8,000 lbs of towing rating. This significantly less than the rest. For example, the Trail Boss offers around 1,650 lbs of payload and 9,500 lbs of towing.
Price / Value
As you may have guessed already, all of the off-road capability costs money. The trucks you see here have the following prices. The Titan PRO-4X is at around $61,000, the Rebel is at $56,000, the LT Trail Boss is $55,000, and this Raptor costs $77,000. Yes, you can configure each one of these truck for less or more. The $61,000 is basically the top for the Titan. A Rebel can be easily configured into the $60K+ range. A loaded Trail Boss can also be in the $60,000 range. A base Raptor crew cab starts around $55,000, but these are impossible to find if they are not specifically ordered that way. Most Ford Raptors I see have an MSRP between $67,000-$74,000.
Let us know which truck you think offers the best value.