Two Generations of the Ford F-150 Raptor; Which Is Actually Better?

The Ford F-150 Raptor is still a relatively new name in the pickup truck market. When you hear it mentioned, visions of off-road dominance, high-speed desert crossing, and insane trail riding come to mind. Both generations of this truck are pretty awesome, but should you drive the first or second-generation model?

What model years did each Ford F-150 Raptor generation cover?

Promo photo of a blue 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor pickup truck parked on a rock-strewn off-roading trail.
2021 Ford F-150 Raptor | Ford

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MotorTrend reminds us the first generation of the half-ton Raptor was in the market from 2010 to 2014. The second generation didn’t begin until 2017. The Hennessey VelociRaptor filled the gap between these two specialized truck generations.

Which Ford team made each Raptor truck?

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor on the trails
2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor | Ford

Different teams made the two generations of the F-150 Raptor. The original came from the Ford Special Vehicle Team (SVT), a smaller and more exclusive group and part of the current Ford Performance arm of the brand. The second-generation Raptor came from Ford Performance.

Because the SVT model came from a smaller section of Ford, fewer first-generation models were made than the second.

Which Ford F-150 Raptor has more power?

As you would expect, the second generation of the Raptor is the more powerful model. The SVT version used a larger engine to produce incredible sounds, but the noise didn’t translate into power.

A 6.2-liter V8 engine powered the first-gen Raptor. It produced 411 horsepower and 454 lb-ft of torque. The second generation gives us the high-output 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The current Raptor produces 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque.

Which Raptor is better suited for off-road adventures?

Black and Yellow Ford F-150 Raptor
Black and Yellow Ford F-150 Raptor | Ford

Another expected advantage for the current generation of this Ford F-150 is the off-road credentials. The second-gen model offers:

  • 11.5 inches of ground clearance
  • 13.0 inches of front suspension travel
  • 13.9 inches of rear suspension travel

Compared to the first generation Raptor, which offered:

  • 9.5 inches of ground clearance
  • 11.2 inches of front suspension travel
  • 12.1 inches of rear suspension travel

Not only does the current Raptor stand taller and offer more flexibility, but it also has a set of Fox 3.0 internal-bypass shocks. These shocks include Live Valve Technology, which automatically adjusts to changing conditions with continuously variable compression damping.

The Fox 2.5 shocks of the first-gen Ford F-150 Raptor were excellent, but adding more tech gives the current model an advantage.

The second-generation Ford F-150 Raptor benefits from modern technology

2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor posed
2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor | Ford

Even though these two trucks share the same name, the second-generation model benefits from advancements that came about between the two generations. The second coming of this half-ton truck is more powerful and brings more off-road equipment for your fun on the trails.

The latest Ford F-150 Raptor has a serious tech advantage

You can’t fault the first-generation SVT Raptor for being made when it was. This model didn’t offer some of the tech we see in the Ford Performance version. Features you can find in the latest Raptor that the first model didn’t offer include:

  • Lockable/remote opening tailgate
  • Large panoramic sunroof
  • Push-button starting
  • Electric power-assisted steering
  • Pro Trailer Backup Assist
  • 360-degree camera
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Blind-spot monitoring

Which generation of the Raptor is better?

Orange Ford F-150 Raptor Posed in the desert
Ford F-150 Raptor | Ford

Comparing the two Ford F-150 Raptor generations is almost like comparing apples and oranges. They share a name and a goal but not much else.

If you want a naturally aspirated specialty truck with tons of off-road credentials at a reasonable used truck price, the first-generation Raptor could be right for you.

On the other hand, if you’re after all of the bells and whistles, an advanced hardcore off-road truck, and you’re willing to spend $75,000 or more for your truck, the latest generation is the Raptor you’ll want to drive.

Next, check out 5 special edition trucks you’ve never heard of, or watch this Ford Raptor video below:

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