How We'd Spec It: 2024 F-150 Raptor R and Ford's Other Off-Road Trucks

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How We'd Spec It: Most of Ford's Off-Road TrucksCar and Driver

Ford's selection of off-road-oriented pickup trucks is more deliciously diverse than a buffet at a Ponderosa Steakhouse. Here at Car and Driver, our staff has a big appetite when it comes to trucks that are designed to play in the dirt and not only fly through the air but survive the landing. The latter applies to Ford's rowdy, wide-bodied Raptor variants, which are offered on the mid-size Ranger as well as the full-size F-150. The Tremor models aren't quite as extreme, but they represent a more affordable entry-point for aspiring off-road enthusiasts. Unless you're technical editor Austin Irwin, of course, who managed to push the price of his ideal F-150 Tremor to nearly $80K. Read on to see how we each configured our favorite Ford off-road truck.

Eric Stafford's $35,715 Maverick Tremor

Without a doubt, the Maverick Tremor is the least capable member of Ford's family of off-road pickups. But that's fine by me, as it's the only one I can actually afford. I also rarely go places where the Maverick might get stuck, and when I do, I prefer to drive a side-by-side. Still, the Tremor is tougher than it looks. Sure, its lengthy wheelbase and lousy RTI score contribute to limitations off-road, but it can comfortably handle many of the country's public ORV trails. And for Ford truck fans, the Maverick Tremor is the cheapest way to do it.

hwsi maverick tremor exterior

To unlock the $3495 Tremor treatment, the Maverick must be an XLT or Lariat trim equipped with the upgraded 250-hp 2.0-liter turbo four and advanced all-wheel drive. Compared with the regular AWD system, the advanced one adds a useful torque-vectoring rear diff. Despite fewer niceties, I'd choose the XLT over the Lariat. The Maverick XLT with the Tremor transformation starts at $35,025—about $5700 less than the Lariat version.

hwsi maverick tremor interior

What do I get with the Tremor package that I don't get with the cheaper FX4 package? For starters, the twin-clutch rear end with an electronic locking center diff. The suspension also has beefier components and a 1.0-inch lift, which provides 9.4 inches of ground clearance and—along with a unique front bumper—an approach angle of 30.7 degrees (nine more than other AWD models. Other ingredients that come with the Tremor recipe are 30-inch Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires, a front skid plate, a full-size spare, an upgraded transmission cooler, and dark-painted 17-inch wheels with an orange pocket so finding the valve stem is extra easy. As for other options, there aren't many I'd choose. I love the fresh look of the complimentary Cactus Gray paint. I'd also protect the bed with the $495 spray-in liner and get the $195 keypad to offset my truck's lack of passive entry. All in, my 2024 Ford Maverick XLT Tremor stickers for $35,715. For that price, I could also buy a Polaris RZR XP that'll go places Jack's nearly $60K Ranger Raptor can't and still have money to spare. –Eric Stafford

Jack Fitzgerald's $59,700 Ranger Raptor

The Ranger Raptor is almost the perfect Raptor. It's smaller and cheaper than the F-150 and Bronco Raptors, plus it's nearly as fast. Unfortunately, the Ranger Raptor isn't as rowdy as its older siblings. At 405 horses, the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 is plenty powerful, but I wish its exhaust sounded more dominant and less flatulent. Like its larger siblings, the wide-bodied Ranger rides on a cleverly engineered suspension. On the road where the truck will spend most of its life, the cushy 33-inch BFG KO3 off-road tires and Fox 2.5-inch internal-bypass dampers help make broken pavement feel more like smooth blacktop. Hit the trails—speedy or technical—and the suspension proves its worth.


For my own Ranger Raptor, I'd fork over the $495 for the Hot Pepper Red metallic paint. It's an over-the-top truck so why not add an over-the-top paint? With Ford checking nearly every box for you, there aren't many options to pick between beyond color. I'd spend $1495 on the 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels so that I can air-down my tires on more technical trails. Lastly, I'd tack on another $495 for the spray-in bedliner. My ideal truck stickers at $59,700—leaving a surplus to hopefully find an aftermarket solution to improve the exhaust sound. —Jack Fitzgerald

Austin Irwin's $79,275 F-150 Tremor

We like to imagine our four-wheeling adventures as pure survival expeditions. You know, mid-1980s Camel Trophy type of stuff. Man, I wish. Unfortunately, there's a long stretch of paved reality in the way of our imagination. I'm throwing my recovery rope in the Ford F-150 Tremor. Fundamentally, it's a great vehicle. A full-size crew-cab pickup with 9.5 inches of ground clearance, a mechanical-locking transfer case, a five-foot-five-inch bed, and 33-inch General Grabber A/TX tires will get you deep into the woods. That's only the start.

hwsi f150 tremor exterior

Cash is king when it comes to modern off-roaders. Prices have grown as tall as 'Squatch while Jeep Wranglers go for as much as $93,440 (Rubicon 392) and mid-size pickups such as the GMC Canyon AT4X AEV and new Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro hover around $66K. The Tremor starts at $66,145—and that buys a lot of truck. I'm sticking with Ford's trusty 400-hp 5.0-liter V-8 as standard. There's a boost in horsepower and torque by selecting the optional twin-turbo V-6, but I prefer the caramel smoothness of the eight-cylinder. Plus, the EPA gives both F-150 powertrains identical ratings.

hwsi f150 tremor interior

The Tremor High (402A) Equipment Group ($11,710) package adds the Hi-Lock transfer case from the Raptor and a Torsen limited-slip front differential. Heated seats and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system are a good part of that package, but the 2.0-kilowatt Pro Power Onboard generator is the real star. The modular front bumper is just asking to get bedazzled with a constellation of LED lighting. I'd also add the spray-in bedliner ($595) to soften the guilt of camping gear sliding around back there. At $79,275, this 2024 Ford F-150 Tremor has a lot in its rucksack, including 10,000 pounds of towing capacity and a trailer brake controller. –Austin Irwin

Andrew Krok's $81,080 V-6 F-150 Raptor

Sometimes, you just want a fun street truck that isn't terrible overkill. In that vein, I went with something on the stealthier side. This V-6 Raptor doesn't have the punch of the V-8 Raptor R, but at $81,080, it's vastly less expensive and still promises 450 horsepower. I went with Shelter Green paint, opted for the graphics delete at no extra cost, and that's it. The 37-inch tire package includes a whole bunch of mild upgrades inside and out, but for $11,470, I'm okay skipping it. There's still a whole lot of truck here. –Andrew Krok

hwsi v6 raptor exterior

Caleb Miller's $117,185 F-150 Raptor R

There are plenty of capable off-road-oriented pickup trucks available these days, but only one has a supercharged 5.2-liter V-8, and that’s the Ford F-150 Raptor R. There’s just something about the roar of eight-cylinders that scratches a primal itch in my brain, so I went for the V-8 behemoth while I still can. Along with 720 horsepower, the R-rated Raptor packs an advanced suspension featuring Fox Dual Live Valve dampers with continuously variable rebound control. It also comes standard with 37-inch BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrain tires.

There aren’t a ton of options on the Raptor R, which comes pretty much fully loaded with the highest base price of any F-150 at $111,550. I selected Shelter Green and removed the cheesy graphics on the fenders for a subtle look—the 5.2-liter will be causing enough of a ruckus anyway. I threw in the Tough Bed spray-in bedliner for $595 to protect against scratches for loading in kayaks and other toys, as well as a $2200 retractable tonneau cover for when I need to park with cargo in an urban area. The only other option I added was a twin-panel moonroof ($1495), for gazing up at the stars after navigating trails in the vast American wilderness. Hopefully the supercharged V-8’s whine doesn’t scare away all the animals when I get there. –Caleb Miller

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