The Third Generation F-150 Raptor: Worth the Wait?

With a new generation of Ford F-150 Raptor pickups hitting showrooms, should you head to the dealer now or look for a good deal on a used Ford Raptor?

To help you decide, we’ll look at what’s new in the third-gen Raptor and what to look for in a first or second-generation model.

What Changed in the F-150 Raptor’s Third Generation

We’ll answer the biggest question first. The rumor mills have been cranking overtime about Ford bringing back a V8 engine in the F-150 Raptor, especially after Ram introduced the new 1500 TRX in all its 707-horsepower Hellcat glory.

Ford still lists the standard V6 on the Raptor’s specs page, though, so if you’re holding out for the eight-banger, check with your local Ford dealer to confirm precisely when the V8 will be available.

That said, at 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque, the second-generation power plant is still plenty beefy when you want to crawl over debris and dominate sand dunes. But a lot of folks were disappointed when Ford stopped offering the V8 in the Raptor: and let’s face it, the smaller six just doesn’t deliver the same satisfying roar.

The third-gen F-150 Raptor also gets upgrades such as optional 37-inch tires, Fox Live Valve internal bypass shocks, and a fighter jet-inspired redesign. So, cue up the Top Gun soundtrack, strap in, and prepare for launch.

Are the Upgrades Worth It?

The quick answer: it depends. This isn’t exactly a truck for bargain hunters.

Ford lists the F-150 Raptor at just over $64k. Compared to other F-150 models, the Raptor is well-appointed with an impressive list of standard comfort and driver-assist features. But most drivers are attracted to Ford’s add-on packages that add convenience and performance-enhancing features like the retuned shocks and Recaro sport seats.

Once you start adding feature packages, the sticker price can leap higher than a Raptor off a sand dune. And it will go even higher when you swap out the V6 for the V8 engine.

If the V8 isn’t a dealbreaker for you, and you just want a truck that you can kick back and get down and dirty off-road with, a used Ford Raptor might be your best option. Bear in mind, though, that the Raptor holds its value better than most pickups, so you’re still likely to pay over $40k to get behind the wheel.

What to Look for in a Used Ford Raptor

Modern vehicles are made to run for hundreds of thousands of miles, and the Raptor is purpose-built to handle heavy punishment.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t thoroughly inspect any used Raptor you’re interested in, especially if it’s spent a lot of time off-road. Try to get a thorough maintenance record from the previous owner and pay special attention to the condition of the struts and shocks.

Ready for an Adventure Now? Check Out a Used Raptor

With supply chain issues delaying the arrival of new vehicles at showrooms, it’s well worth considering a used Ford Raptor if you’re ready for some off-road adventure. Whether you choose a second-generation or throw it all the way back for a first-gen, you’ll have a capable truck that you’ll have a blast piloting through mud, sand, and gravel.

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