The automotive world is constantly evolving, and with each passing year, we witness the birth of new vehicles that push the boundaries of what’s possible. One such vehicle that has been turning heads and conquering terrains is the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor. With a starting price of $78,720 and a stellar 9/10 rating from Car and Driver, this truck is truly a force to be reckoned with. In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve deep into the specs, features, and performance of the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor, and why it continues to earn accolades as an Editor’s Choice.
The Ford F-150 Raptor is not your everyday pickup truck; it’s a beast on and off the road. This truck seems like it was designed with one purpose in mind – to dominate any terrain it encounters. Its aggressive stance is complemented by extra-wide fenders, long-travel suspension, and imposing tires that scream power. In fact, the F-150 Raptor earned a well-deserved place on the 10Best Trucks and SUVs list for 2023.
Most F-150 Raptors are equipped with a twin-turbo 450-horsepower V-6 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain combination offers impressive performance, but Ford has an even wilder variant on the horizon – the Raptor R. The Raptor R boasts a monstrous 700-horsepower supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 engine, making it a worthy contender against the formidable Ram TRX. The Raptor R comes standard with 37-inch BFGoodrich K02 tires, while the standard V-6 models get 35-inch rubber.
One of the standout features of the F-150 Raptor is its surprising ride comfort. Despite its enormity and off-road prowess, it manages to offer one of the smoothest rides in the full-size pickup truck segment. This is thanks to its long-travel suspension, specifically engineered to absorb bumps, dips, and jumps, whether you’re cruising on the highway or tackling rugged off-road trails. However, it’s worth noting that maneuvering this size-XXL F-150 in tight spaces might pose a challenge.
What’s New for 2023?
The 2023 model year brings something truly exciting to the Ford F-150 Raptor lineup – the Raptor R. This new addition takes performance to the extreme with a 700-horsepower supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 Predator engine borrowed from the Mustang GT500. To handle the power, it includes a 9.75-inch rear axle with an electronically controlled locking rear differential and 37-inch tires as standard. The Raptor R’s interior boasts carbon-fiber accents, black leather mixed with microsuede upholstery, and Recaro front seats, ensuring a premium experience.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
When it comes to choosing the right F-150 Raptor, you’ll have two main options:
- F-150 Raptor: Starting at $78,720
- F-150 Raptor R: Starting at $109,145
Choosing between these two beasts can be a tough decision. The base Raptor offers plenty of power and capability, while the Raptor R takes things to the next level with its 700-horsepower V-8 engine. If you crave heart-pounding acceleration and peak performance, the Raptor R is the obvious choice. Opting for the R package also opens up other options, including the Raptor Carbon Fiber Package, and let’s not forget the glorious sound of that supercharged V-8 engine.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Under the hood of the 2023 F-150 Raptor, you’ll find a high-output twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine that produces an impressive 450 horsepower. This power is channeled through a 10-speed automatic transmission, delivering power to all four wheels through a standard all-wheel-drive system. It’s a setup that ensures the Raptor can tackle a wide range of driving conditions with confidence.
For those who crave even more power, the Raptor R comes equipped with a 700-horsepower supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 engine that produces a staggering 640 pound-feet of torque. This engine catapults the Raptor R into a league of its own, making it one of the most powerful trucks on the market.
When it comes to suspension, the F-150 Raptor boasts a sophisticated setup with larger internal-bypass dampers and a five-link rear coil-spring configuration. This setup not only provides incredible traction but also offers an impressive ride quality even on challenging terrains. Additionally, the Raptor offers various tire options, including a set of 37-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tires for improved approach, departure, and breakover angles.
Towing and Payload Capacity
The 2023 F-150 Raptor is not just about power and performance; it’s also a workhorse. It can tow more weight than its predecessor, with a maximum payload capacity of 1400 pounds and a conventional tow rating of 8200 pounds, representing an increase of 200 pounds for both categories. This makes it a versatile choice for those who require both performance and practicality in their truck.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
While the F-150 Raptor offers thrilling performance, it’s important to consider fuel economy. The standard model is rated at up to 15 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. However, opting for the larger 37-inch tires can reduce these figures to 14 mpg in the city and 16 mpg on the highway. The Raptor R, with its 700-horsepower V-8, has the lowest fuel efficiency estimates at 10 mpg in the city and 15 mpg on the highway. It’s important to note that these are manufacturer ratings, and real-world fuel economy may vary based on driving conditions and driving habits.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside the F-150 Raptor, you’ll find a cabin that offers both comfort and functionality. The design and layout of the interior are similar to the regular F-150 SuperCrew, with ample passenger space for five occupants. The high-performance version comes standard with a 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster, adding a futuristic touch to the cockpit. Ford has also made improvements in terms of interior storage space and materials, using nicer materials to enhance the overall feel of the cabin.
The steering wheel in the Raptor features a laser-etched logo and a race car-style orange mark at the 12 o’clock position, adding to the sporty vibe. Aluminum paddle shifters behind the steering wheel provide an engaging driving experience. For those who desire a more aggressive look and feel, the Raptor offers optional carbon-fiber interior accents and more heavily bolstered Recaro front seats. It’s worth noting that the F-150 Raptor is only available in the SuperCrew crew cab configuration, which offers more rear-seat space and pairs with a 5.5-foot cargo box for practicality.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The F-150 Raptor comes equipped with a massive 12.0-inch touchscreen dominating the dashboard. This touchscreen supports Ford’s Sync 4 infotainment system, offering a user-friendly interface and a host of features. It allows interaction with Amazon Alexa, receives over-the-air updates, and provides wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Ford has wisely included physical volume and tuning knobs, in addition to steering-wheel controls and voice commands. If you’re an audiophile, you can opt for the 18-speaker B&O sound system to elevate your audio experience. Furthermore, the Raptor can be equipped with a useful 2.0-kW mobile generator mounted in the cargo bed, capable of powering tools and equipment on the go.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Safety is a top priority for Ford, and the F-150 Raptor is no exception. It offers a range of driver-assistance technologies to enhance safety and ease of driving. These include standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist. Additionally, the Raptor features what Ford calls Trail Control and Trail 1-Pedal Drive, making off-road adventures safer and more manageable.
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
While Ford doesn’t offer complimentary maintenance like some of its competitors, it provides competitive warranty coverage:
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles.
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles.
In conclusion, the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor is a remarkable truck that combines power, performance, and versatility. With its powerful engine options, impressive off-road capabilities, and a comfortable interior, it’s a top choice for those who demand the best from their trucks. Whether you opt for the standard F-150 Raptor or the high-performance Raptor R, you’re in for an exhilarating ride. Just be prepared for the growl of the engine and the hefty gas bill that comes with such power.