If there’s a single word, to sum up the Ford Raptor, bonkers might be the most appropriate. It’s raw, eye-catching and isn’t trying to be too many things at once. Simply put, this brazen truck is about performance and stands out among a crowded truck market—and that certainly says a lot.
Yet for all its perks—as with any vehicle—it has its shortcomings. Just because the truck excels at how well it handles and performs doesn’t mean there aren’t issues—and boy, does the Raptor got issues.
When someone gets a hold of a vehicle they’re really proud of owning, they become blinded to its flaws. They only see its bright spots. In the Raptor’s case, they only want to acknowledge its amazing off-roading skills, noteworthy suspension and 450 horsepower (CNET). To them, it’s all that matters.
If owners were honest with themselves, however, they’d open up their eyes to the things that are really bugging them about their Raptor. Underneath the surface, there are annoyances over design choices, some of its features and even how the auto world perceives the truck that owners just can't shake off.
It’s time to gather round and have a group therapy session about the Ford Raptor. We’re going to look at honest flaws with the vehicle that the diehards refuse to accept. This list forces Ford fans to come to terms over the many issues, big and small, surrounding the Raptor, despite it being one of the best factory trucks today.
18 Ford Is Holding Back On Really Improving The Truck
Ford seems content with the Raptor as is. However, that doesn’t mean owners should be too. They should want and expect more out of a truck that’s been around almost ten years. In their review, Autoweek reports that the 2019 model got some welcome upgrades, but nothing major. It’s still missing a V8 and the powertrain remains as is, which we delve into greater detail elsewhere on the list. Was the Ford Raptor meant to be an innovative truck?
Not really. Yet it says something about a truck with loads of potential to be even better with little changes over the years.
17 O V8, Where Art Thou?
For a truck that specializes in performance, the engine raises an eyebrow. A V8 seems like a given for this truck, yet as the YouTube channel Town and Country TV notes, the Raptor instead carries a measly EcoBoost V6. It’s almost offensive to release a truck like this without a V8, which would match the truck’s aesthetic with an equally attention-grabbing roar.
Granted, Ford looks to be finally getting their act together with a supercharged V8 arriving in the Raptor possibly on the horizon, as per Car and Driver. The fact that the Raptor launched in 2010 means it has been nearly a decade without one.
16 It's Only Worth Owning If Sand Dunes Are Close By
If there's one thing everyone can agree on when it comes to the Ford Raptor, it’s that these trucks belong on sand dunes. They’re built for that kind of terrain, have the features to enhance the off-roading experience and will make drivers feel most at home there. The only problem with that is an obvious one The Truth About Cars points out: not everyone lives near one.
There’s no shortage of dunes around the globe, but it still stands that to really get the most out of a Raptor, owners ought to live close enough to these areas. Otherwise, it’s like owning a catamaran far from the ocean.
15 They Cost Nearly The Same Used
Good luck finding a Ford Raptor used for a decent rate. These trucks are in high demand, which keeps resellers from putting it up for sale at much of a discount. Autotrader reports at the end of 2016 that up to 4-year old Raptors weren’t much cheaper than what owners paid for them brand spanking new. They note that the price difference on the used market was only a few thousand dollars less.
On the one hand, this speaks to the popularity of the vehicle, while on the other hand, it points out how abysmal the Raptor used market is too. Don’t expect to hear it from bros though.
14 Where Ford Put The Drive Mode Makes No Sense
A Ford employee either had a bad day or wasn’t thinking when selecting a spot to place the Raptor’s drive mode. To see what the problem is, one merely has to sit in the driver’s seat of a Raptor and take a look at the steering wheel. In a breakdown by YouTube channel Town and Country TV, the right side of the steering wheel has the volume controls within easy reach at the top—so far so good.
Way down below is the audio buttons for phone calls, and then smack dab in between those is the drive mode. Of the three features detailed, the drive mode is the least important, so it makes little sense prioritizing it above audio.
13 The Frame Bends
As a preface, this issue no longer appears to plague the Raptors of today. For earlier models though, it’s a different story. Owners of the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor noticed their frames bending, as per a report by Autoblog in 2011. Granted, many of the owners noticed it after a Raptor Run where vehicles were probably pushed to the limit.
The outcome of these Raptors after this event shouldn’t reflect on all Raptors, though it may have spelled out the potential risk involved for owners who have a penchant for off-roading. Plus, it’s a flaw that can still affect owners who buy off the used market.
12 It's Too Wide For Car Washes
The Ford Raptor isn’t a practical truck. That’s not a slam against it—just an honest reality when it comes to performance cars in general. There’s a price drivers have to pay for buying a supercar or, in this case, a performance pickup. With the Raptor, one of those unfortunate sacrifices is being able to get it washed easily.
YouTube channel Town and Country TV claims that it's too wide to take through automatic car washes. Most owners will undoubtedly take the car’s wide stance over the ability to go through car washes, but it’s a flaw they're not willing to concede.
11 The Bump Stops Leave Room For Improvement
This next problem with the Raptor gets a little technical, but it’s important to point out. As touched upon earlier, the suspension is one of the highlights to the truck. It isn’t perfect though. The bump stops are one area that’s sorely lacking. As AutoAnything notes, these parts help preserve the suspension longer, preventing further wear and tear over time. That means the material they’re made out of better be strong.
Ford decided to go with polyurethane bump stops for the Raptor, as per Oppositelock, instead of hydraulic ones. It’s one of those strange choices that even Raptor owners can’t defend, though will find a way to change the subject quickly.
10 Not Racing Recommended
This next one may help to explain another flaw on the list, which was the possible bent frame in earlier models. As the site Oppositelock notes, the Raptor isn’t a race vehicle, and that might be a detriment. In offering drivers with an exhilarating off-road experience at breakneck speeds, the Raptor has the potential to give drivers the wrong impression.
The same source makes a case that the truck wasn’t meant for a race track, or even for racing against other trucks. Doing so could push the truck too far and lead to undesirable outcomes that will break the bank and perhaps even the ego of owners.
9 The Trail Control System Isn’t Foolproof
Minor but worth the mention, the Trail Control feature is more complicated than it should be. Here’s what it does, as per Ford’s official site: while off-roading, the system takes care of the throttle and braking while drivers can steer without worrying about the rest. They describe it as cruise control for lower speeds, which is useful for rugged terrains. The only problem is that the feature isn’t as simple to use as they espouse.
In Autoweek’s review, they note that while it’s easy to turn on, what’s confusing at first is that drivers use the same cruise control buttons while in this mode. It’s a feature that takes a little getting used to for new users.
8 Lacks Massaging Seats Available On Other Ford Pickups
Cars have become mobile pampering machines. That’s not a complaint, but an acceptance of the times and how automobiles now set the bar high in providing drivers with luxury. The Ford Raptor is behind the times in this regard. While not a deal breaker, the lack of contour seats with massage features is a major oversight.
As YouTube channel Town and Country TV points out, Ford included this feature in the F-150 Platinum and King models, so it stands to reason they'd offer it in the Raptor as well. Without it, the Raptor lacks the complete package that this truck clearly deserves.
7 It’s Not Indestructible
One of Ford’s slogans is “built tough.” That may not apply to the Raptor, however. In expanding on an earlier point, the Ford Raptor has the potential of leading its owners astray into thinking the truck can handle whatever comes its way. In possessing the level of speeds and horsepower the Raptor is capable of, however, it forfeits durability.
The site Oppositelock even notes that while taking it off-roading, drivers may feel like it's not getting a scratch on it. In reality, though, the truck isn’t made to withstand the severe punishment conventional trucks can, let alone after several jumps.
6 Say So Long To Locking Differential In Two-Wheel-Drive
When a vehicle has an open differential, the wheels rotate independently of each other. By activating the locking differential, each set of wheels are going to work in unison (CJ Pony Parts). This comes in handy for off-roaders who don’t want to get stuck or bogged down by the rugged landscape. The Raptor, which is great for off-roading, has a bit of a downside when it comes to the locking differential.
According to YouTube channel Town and Country TV, it doesn’t let you engage this option while in two-wheel drive. While not necessarily a make or break for the Raptor, it’s still a strange drawback.
5 The Fuel Economy Is Laughable
We get it—people don’t buy the Ford Raptor for its fuel economy. If there’s one driver we’d have to guess cares the least about fuel economy, it’d have to be truck drivers. With that said, the Ford Raptor has unremarkable MPG. According to The Truth About Cars, it gets a sad 15 mpg in cities, 18 on highways. That, combined with the truck’s lofty price tag, makes this one expensive truck.
Still, the bros who own these trucks that can’t say anything bad about them won’t admit their wallets are lighter thanks to their Raptors, which they'll praise no matter what.
4 They Turn People Off, Including Car Enthusiasts
Car enthusiasts see a lot to hate about the Ford Raptor from the outside. As The Truth About Cars points out, the Raptor can be inconvenient when it comes to parking and the fuel economy is a joke. At the same time, the truck offers thrills in doses that any enthusiast can appreciate. That’s why many of them, despite their reservations about the Raptor, wouldn’t turn one down.
It’s a strange contradictory stance many enthusiasts take, but one that perfectly sums up this polarizing truck. Even the owners might feel this way from time to time but would never show any sign of it.
3 The Transmission Isn’t Perfect
To expect perfection from any vehicle has the risk of drivers verging on greediness. It’s best to accept a car’s upside and not let the downsides dominate one’s thinking. Raptor fans may be taking that a little too far though. They won’t even admit to some of the transmission problems the truck has.
According to Car and Driver, over the course of their review, they found that when changing the 10-speed gearbox to second and third gears, it did so roughly. In defense, they only made mention of it on streets, not on highways, but it’s a flaw worth noting, even if fans don’t agree.
2 Automakers Won’t Go Up Against It
When we say the Ford Raptor is a one of a kind truck, we mean it. There isn’t much else out there like it. That’s either a good or bad thing depending on how one feels about performance pickups. As Autotrader points out, no other automaker has really come out with a truck to compete directly with the Raptor.
They speculate on one possibility for this, suggesting automakers see the Raptor, and performance trucks like this, as a fad. Without healthy competition, the Raptor may not have what it needs to adequately grow this area of the market, although one hopes it sticks around.
1 The Powertrain Isn’t Getting Any Better
For the most part, Ford seems content with the Raptor as is, foregoing major changes with each new model they roll out. Can you blame them? It’s a popular truck that buyers keep scooping up, so there isn’t much incentive on their part to change what’s already a slam dunk. Then again, the powertrain could use a boost.
Autoweek reports that it remains the same for the 2019 year model as it was the last outing. We can already hear the Ford Raptor bros’ defense: “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” or “why change what’s already awesome?” While there’s truth in such rebuttals, the flaw still stands.
Sources: CNET, Car and Driver, CJ Pony Parts, YouTube, Autoblog, Oppositelock, AutoAnything, Ford.com, Autoweek, Autotrader, The Truth About Cars