Is The Ford Raptor A Good Daily Driver?


If you want a legal off-road racer, the Ford Raptor is one of your best bets. This truck gives you plenty of power, special suspension, and excellent ground clearance so you can blast over the dunes. But, sometimes, you might need to go shopping or do a run into the city. So, let’s find out if the Raptor works as a daily driver. 

Is The Ford Raptor A Good Daily Driver?

The Ford Raptor isn’t ideal for daily driving, partly due to its massive body and poor fuel economy. The Raptor aims to please the most adventurous drivers; it doesn’t have commuting in mind. Its soft suspension won’t make it ideal for highway speeds, and the tires are too expensive to be wearing them out on the pavement. What’s the point, right? 

But, if you want to, the Raptor can work as a daily driver. While there are noticeable differences between it and the F-150, it has some strong points as well. 

First of all, it combines sporty performance with excellent ground clearance. Those looking for a truck that can put most sports cars to shame, then the Raptor is a good choice. Plus, you don’t have to worry about potholes. 

This truck offers some versatility. The Raptor might not be the best at towing or hauling cargo; it didn’t roll out of the factory with those tasks in mind. But, if need be, this truck will fulfill its duty

But, in big cities’ everyday urban environments and bumper-to-bumper traffic, the flaws begin to show up. One we can’t ignore is fuel economy. Do not expect this truck to be friendly with your wallet. It’s the total opposite. 

We’ll dive deep into what makes or breaks the Ford Raptor as a daily driver. But, we’ll start by talking about this last topic: fuel economy. 

How Many Miles Per Gallon Does The Ford Raptor Get?

The Ford Raptor comes with a 3.5L twin-turbo V6 putting out 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. We’ve written about this engine before. If you want to know more about it, read our article here

This engine sends the truck from zero to 60 mph in less than six seconds. But, it also means more trips to the gas station. Ford claims the Raptor can give an EPA fuel economy estimate of 16 mpg in combined driving. 

In urban conditions, the Raptor averages a paltry 15 mpg and 18 mpg for highway driving. Let’s compare this performance to the rest of the F-150 family. 

Model*EngineCombinedCityHighway
Raptor3.5L V6 twin turbo H.O**161518
F-150 2WD3.5L V6 twin turbo252526
F-150 4WD3.5L V6 twin turbo242424
F-150 2WD5.0L V8201724
F-150 4WD5.0L V8191622

*EPA Estimates

** H.O. stands for High Output, a tuned engine for better performance. 

As you can see, the Ford Raptor gives 33% less fuel economy than the similar 3.5L V6 F-150 with four-wheel-drive. It even has worse fuel performance than the 5.0L V8 model. And, keep in mind, these are estimated numbers. 

In the real world, the Ford Raptor is even thirstier. Some users have reported as low as six mpg in extreme driving conditions or towing heavy cargo. In general, the Raptor averages two mpg below the EPA estimates. 

At least, the 10-speed automatic transmission helps the engine reach more efficient numbers on the highway. But, users have reported that it shifts aggressively from time to time. 

There’s still much uncertainty surrounding the newest Raptor R, but with a V8 producing more than 700 horsepower, we can assume it doesn’t have fuel economy as the main goal. 

So, we’ve seen that the Raptor isn’t the most fuel-friendly truck. But, perhaps the interior can make up for it. Let’s find out. 

Is The Ford Raptor Comfortable?

The Ford Raptor comes in two body configurations: the SuperCab and SuperCrew. Even though the Raptor is wider than the regular F-150, the internal capacity is the same. Depending on the configuration, you can fit either five or six passengers.

But there’s a bit of a catch. The SuperCab has less headroom in the back (40.3″ in against 40.4″ in the front) and lacks legroom. When you compare it to the SuperCrew, you that it offers 24% less legroom. 

The SuperCrew comes with 43.6″ of legroom, while the SuperCab offers only 33.6″. If you add that only the SuperCrew comes with full doors, you find that access in the SuperCab isn’t ideal. 

As with most pickups with this configuration, the Raptor SuperCab’s rear seats are ideal for smaller adults and teenagers. But, for the school run, having to fold the seat day in and day out might be uncomfortable for some. 

Then, there’s the ride. The Raptor comes with beefy 35-inch tires, but it has a small, 17-inch wheel. With plenty of rubber between the truck and the road, its ride is surprisingly soft. Also, thanks to the mid-travel suspension, you don’t feel most of the bumps and holes. 

But the suspension has one disadvantage, and that’s a very soft ride. In stop-and-go driving, it translates to more body movement, especially with brisk acceleration. Long trips on the highway can fatigue even the most energetic passengers, more those who ride on the back. 

The details that hinder the Raptor’s ability to be a daily driver don’t end there. When you add them up, you realize why this isn’t everyone’s first choice for grocery shopping. Let’s look at other aspects of the Raptor that may make daily driving a hassle. 

How Big Is The Ford Raport?

While the Raptor shares a platform with the F-150, there are dimensional differences. The reason for the Raptor’s larger size comes down to the drivetrain. 

Ford uses longer drive shafts and stronger differentials to improve its off-roading performance. But those extra inches are costly in the city. 

Let’s talk about the most evident difference between a regular F-150 and the Raptor: the track width. Compared to the F-150, the Raptor has 6,3″ more width in the front and 6″ in the back. It might not seem like a lot, but you’ll find user accounts of Raptors getting stuck on car washes and drive-throughs. 

This wider track is due to longer axles, but the tires play a crucial role in those dimensions. And, they’re a topic on their own. The Raptor’s tires are hard to find, and their pattern is ideal for off-roading. Using them on the road means they wear out faster, but finding replacements is complicated because of the wheel’s dimensions. 

Then there’s ice. If you live in an area where ice is prevalent, keep in mind that, as of early 2021, you can’t find ice tires that exactly fit the Raptor’s dimensions. So, it means spending more on other tires or using another vehicle for those winter months, and both are expensive options. 

Ford Raptors In The City 

This article aimed to answer if the Ford Raptor is a good daily driver. In short, the Ford Raptor isn’t ideal for everyday driving. 

Since its goal is to be as close as a legal off-road racer can be, it comes with massive tires, a powerful but thirsty engine, and a wider body. All of these aspects hinder its ability to navigate urban mazes comfortably. 

But that’s only part of the story. When you break down the Raptor into its components, you find that some have advantages while others don’t. 

Take the mid-travel suspension, for example. With longer shocks and softer springs, the Raptor can tackle challenging dunes and steep hills. But, when facing stop-and-go traffic, it can sway back and forth more than other trucks. 

On the other hand, the increased ground clearance, beefy tires, and specialized suspension mean you won’t feel many potholes. All the while, you need to keep track of the nearest gas station. 

The Raptor comes with Ford’s famous 3.5L V6 twin-turbo EcoBoost. It produces 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. You can expect 0-to-60 in less than six seconds, but you’ll be visiting many stations along the way. 

When towing heavy loads or blasting over dunes, the Raptor is thirsty. Users have reported six mpg in the worst of cases. On average, you can expect two mpg below the EPA average. If you compare this performance to the F-150, you’ll find remarkable differences in fuel economy. 

Finally, there’s access. The Raptor uses the SuperCab and SuperCrew configurations, with the latter being the most comfortable. With fully opening doors and more legroom, you can fit average-sized adults on the back. 

But, on the SuperCab, it’s best to reserve those seats for smaller adults and teenagers. Plus, if you’re going on the school run, remember that you have to fold the seat to access the rear area. 

All these pros and cons tell us that the Raptor doesn’t have daily driving on mind. And, that’s fine. Neither do sports cars. But, if you want to drive fast on and off the road, you’re better off with a Raptor. 

Kern Campbell

I've had a passion for four-wheel-drive vehicles since I was a kid riding in the back seat of my Grandfather's Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I have owned a lot of vehicles over the years. They each have their pros and cons and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so you can find the vehicle that's just right for your needs.

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