The Ford F-150 is the best-selling truck in the U.S. for the last 46 years and also America’s best-selling vehicle for the last 41 years. The Raptor is the off-road version of the F-150 and the new Raptor R takes it to the extreme. This beast can tackle just about any kind of terrain and is loaded with features and tech. But the price tag is much heftier than a regular F-150 and it can’t haul or tow as much as its F-150 siblings.
Base Price: $75,775
As Tested: $111,935
Mileage: 10 mpg city/15 mpg highway/12 mpg combined
The F-150 Raptor is in its third generation. For 2023, the high-performance Raptor R joins the base Raptor. This monster gets a new V8 engine that cranks out a whopping 700 horsepower and other features that beef up its off-road prowess. It’s the most powerful Raptor ever.
The F-150 Raptor starts at $76,775. The Raptor R starts at $109,145? Four-wheel drive is standard on both. The Raptor is available with 35- or 37-inch tires, while 37-inch tires are standard on the Raptor R.
The Raptor is powered by a twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that makes 450 horsepower and 520 pound-feet of torque. The Raptor R gets a new 5.2-liter supercharged V8 that cranks out a massive 700 horses and 640 pound-feet paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission. This is the same engine in the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.
Push the start button and the engine roars, signaling all the power beneath the hood. This brute can hustle! Acceleration is quick from a stop – Ford says it can go from zero to 60 in less than four seconds – and there’s more than enough power for merging and passing at freeway speeds. Just touch the accelerator and you’re off! Driving this huge rig in the city can be challenging. It has civilized handling in busy traffic but its sheer size and large tires can make it difficult to squeeze into tight spaces. The off-road-tuned suspension and 37-inch tires work wonders in smoothing out bumps so you’ll barely notice potholes and rough pavement. The ten-speed shifts smoothly and quickly. Visibility is good all the way around.
You can change the sound of the engine with different settings. The default setting has a pleasing growl. “Sport” is loud and proud, while the “Quiet” setting is good for when you don’t want to disturb the neighbors. The “Baja”mode is LOUD.
The Raptor R excels in off-road adventures. This beast can tackle the toughest terrain and make it look easy. The Baja drive mode is great for deep sand and sand dunes. The forward-facing camera lets you see exactly where you’re going…over rocks, ruts, sand, snow and water, and up and down steep terrain. Ford’s Pro Power Onboard generator system is available so you can power any equipment or camping gear you bring with you on your outdoor adventures.
The Raptor R comes also comes standard with Trail Turn Assist, which allows drivers to reduce their turning radius on tight turns by braking an inside rear wheel. Ford Trail Control is basically adaptive cruise control for off-roading. It lets the driver select a set speed and steer through challenging conditions while the truck handles throttle and braking. Trail 1-Pedal Drive provides throttle and braking with just one pedal to make extreme off-roading such as rock crawling easier.
Towing and hauling capabilities are decent but not as robust as in other F-150s. The Raptor R has a maximum towing capacity of 8,700 pounds and a maximum payload of 1,400 pounds. The tailgate has an available power lift and lower feature.
Fuel efficiency is lousy but is what you’d expect in a powerful pick-up. EPA ratings for my tester are 10 mpg city and 15 mpg highway with a combined rating of 12. I got 12 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The interior looks like, well, a high-end F-150. A digital gauge cluster and 12-inch touchscreen dominate the dash. Controls are logically laid out with handy knobs and buttons that are large enough so you can wear gloves to make adjustments. The standard Recaro seats are supportive and comfortable, and there’s plenty of room for adults in both rows.
Storage in the cabin is good with two gloveboxes, several bins and a large center compartment.
Standard features include keyless entry, push button start, rearview camera with dynamic hitch support, power-adjustable, heated and ventilated Recaro seats with black leather and Alcantara suede, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated rear seats, Ford SYNC 4 infotainment system with 12-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, Bluetooth, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wireless phone charging, USB ports, Ford Power-Up over-the-air software update capability, Wi-Fi hotspot, and automatic high-beam headlights,
Available features include 360-degree camera with split-view display, 18-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system with HD Radio, rain-sensing wipers and Pro Trailer Hitch Assist.
Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency forward braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors with reverse brake assist.
Available driver assistance technologies include active drive assist prep kit, distance alert/distance indication, forward sensing system, pro trailer backup assist and trailer reverse guidance, and front parking sensors.
The Ford’s SYNC 4 infotainment system is one of the best. It’s user-friendly, graphics look sharp, and the system responds quickly to commands. Handy knobs and buttons make it easy to adjust volume, tuning and climate settings.
Exceptional off-road capabilities
Aggressive Raptor styling
Tremendous power – 700 horses!
Roomy, comfortable and upscale cabin
User-friendly infotainment system
Standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Costs much more than other F-150s
Towing and hauling capabilities are less than other F-150s
Huge size makes it challenging to drive in city traffic and tight spots
Lousy fuel economy
My tester starts at $75,775. Equipment Group 802A is $31,575. The moonroof and tailgate are $2,195. Bedliner spray-in is $595. Destination fee is $1,795 bringing the grand total to $111,935.
The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R is a beast and geared to ultimate off-roading. Those who’ll venture far off the beaten trail will be able to fully take advantage of all of the Raptor R’s features. It’s spendy but is up for extreme adventures. If tackling challenging terrain isn’t your thing, you’ll want to pick a different pickup as the Raptor R is not the best choice for a work truck or daily driver.