Ford Raptor vs. Tacoma TRD Pro: Is It a Fair Comparison?
Does the legendary Raptor topple all of its competition? FTE‘s Chad Kirchner finds out firsthand.
We all know that the Ford Raptor is one of the baddest off-road pickup trucks on Earth. The new EcoBoost-powered one is better than ever, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only game in town. In fact, it’s far from it.
When I talk about the Raptor and other off-road trucks, people are often curious as to how they compare to each other. While the Raptor isn’t in the same size class as the Ram Rebel or Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, I’m often asked how they stack up.
It’s easy to understand why, especially with the Tacoma TRD Pro. They’re both designed to be off-road monsters and are purchased by the same type of buyer looking for a truck that’s also a fun toy. To that end, I think it’s fair to compare the two.
There are some obvious differences between the two trucks. The most obvious is the size. The Tacoma is a midsize pickup, while the Raptor is full size. Additionally, the Raptor is wider than a standard F-150, which is why it has the cool DOT lights on it.
The other obvious difference is the power. The EcoBoost 3.5L in the Raptor makes 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque mated to an advanced 10-speed automatic transmission. The smaller Tacoma TRD Pro makes do with a 3.5L V6 making 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque mated to a 6-speed automatic.
In the technology department, the Raptor also takes the lead, with a multi-terrain system that sets the truck up depending on the driving situation.
While neither truck is slow, it’s obvious which one is quicker. That extra power is noticeable, and useful when off-road.
Another difference between the two is the OEM tires. The Tacoma comes with a set of Goodyear tires, whereas the Raptor has BFGoodrich KO2 Baja Champions. The sand and mud grip of the BFGs are relentless, and help the Raptor go places you never thought possible.
In the technology department, the Raptor also takes the lead. There’s a multi-terrain system that sets the truck up depending on the driving situation, including a Baja mode.
There’s cameras everywhere, including a useful 360° camera system. The front camera even has a washer nozzle in case the camera gets gummed up.
The Tacoma isn’t without technology, though. Sure, it doesn’t support Apple Car Play or Android Auto, but it does have CRAWL Control which, you can bury the truck up to the axles in sand, and it’ll dig itself out.
But what about where it counts? What are the differences out on the trail, in the real world?
While I’d love to sit here and say how amazing the Raptor is — and it is — the TRD Pro Tacoma is extremely capable. The size advantage the Tacoma has also means you can go down more trails without worrying about damaging your truck.
The Raptor is still the king off-road, and I’d never say it isn’t. But don’t knock the Tacoma’s off-road prowess, it might just surprise you.