What are the Best Years for the Ford Raptor? (Revealed!)


Ford’s SVT built the Ford Raptor for performance. It is a truck built off the Ford F-150 and one that you can drive over rocks, through pools of water, and through the most rugged terrain. The truck has been through two generations now, and it continues to offer more and more power, making it a go-anywhere kind of truck. 

But have things always been smooth for this truck? 

What are the Best Years for the Ford Raptor? 

The best years for the Ford Raptor are 2010 and 2020. In 2010, Ford launched the Raptor, and the design team really put in the work to create a truck that was nearly perfect. The 2020 model has seen more technology advancements and Ford has fixed most of the issues that previous models had. 

Although most of the other models have enjoyed great success too, there are some that have had several issues and consumers were not happy. Read on to learn more. 

Which is the Worst Year for the Ford Raptor? 

The 2012 model received the highest number of complaints from consumers, making it a model that you should avoid at all costs. Consumers complained of the engine while others noted that the truck has transmission issues. 

The Ford Raptor is a highly reliable truck, whether you drive it off-road or on the highway. However, some models perform better than others. Over time, Ford has worked on most of the issues that drivers have raised, making the newer models the best. 

After a successful launch, everyone was eager for the third production year of the Ford Raptor, but then issues started cropping up. 

The main issue reported was that the engine would flip up when the drivers tried to accelerate. This issue required a replacement spark plug. Although this issue did not cost the drivers a lot of money, it sure gave them problems on and off the road. 

With some drivers, the truck suffered vibrations at high speeds. This was for trucks that had driven about 60,000 miles. A spark plug could not fix the issue and the drivers had to replace the engine. 

At 60,000 miles, the truck was way past the warranty mileage and the drivers had to pay for the repairs and replacements. 

Transmission issues were also reported. According to some of the drivers of the 2012 Ford Raptor, the gear would slip without warning. There were some cracked frames issues that the drivers reported to have replaced. 

The windows of the 2012 Ford Raptor were weak. From the reviews we explored, drivers reported having windows break during winter. Thankfully, Ford offered to repair the broken windows for free.

Some drivers claimed that the steering wheels became tight after them driving for about 55,000 miles. 

This made it challenging for them to maneuver on the highway. Because the warranty was expired by the time the truck hit its 55,0000-mile, the drivers had to meet the cost of repairs from their pockets. 

Other Model Years That Had Issues

For a long time, the Ford Raptor has had an issue with leaky oil pans. This is one that is consistent throughout the models from the earliest 2010 model. In some models, such as the 2018 model, the issue is more. 

This issue was fixed for the 2020 model, making it one of the best models so far. Although the 2020 model had one recall for fears that its tires might not have been in their best condition, the model is still one of the best. 

The 2018 model had a few recalls for a few issues – not as many as those of the 2012 model. Issues with the 2018 model were structural and do not affect the performance of the Raptor on the road. 

Drivers complained of structural roof braces that had missing rivets, making them less safe.

Ford fixed the issues of the missing rivets for free for the drivers affected. The issue was not enough to make anyone rule out the 2018 model. 

Is The First Or Second Generation Raptor Better?

Ford released the Ford Raptor in 2010. The model ran from 2010 to 2014 and then went into a hiatus until 2017. The current model started in 2017 and has been turning heads on and off the roads. 

The biggest difference between these two models is in technology. If you want more convenience and more driver assistance features, you better pick the second-generation Raptor. However, there is also a difference in the engines of the vehicles. 

The Exterior and Interior Differences

The 2010 model of the Raptor was available only as SuperCab. However, Ford added the SuperCrew four-door model to go with the 2011 model.

The newer models from the first generation had better towing capacity and more cabin space, but they were not better for off-road driving. 

The grill of the newer and older generation are the same and so are the fascia. However, the first generation’s front design is flatter with a boxy design. The lines are fairly smooth, making the grille almost like a perfect rectangle. 

If you are looking for fluid styling lines, the second-generation model of the Raptor will meet your needs. There are more color choices for the new generation Raptor. 

Luxury may not be the first thing you consider when shopping for an off-roader. However, the new generation of the Ford Raptor has several features that make it a luxurious model.

However, even the first generation had a luxurious cabin that allows you to drive for long distances without any challenges. 

The only thing missing from the first generation was the orange accent that made the interior of the first-generation models stand out. 

When it comes to tech features, the older generation shows its age. However, you will get this older generation for less than you would the technologically advanced models. 

Which Performs Better? 

The original SVT Raptor was available in a 5.4L V8 engine and an optional 6.2L V8 engine. In 2011, Ford made the larger engine standard on all Raptors to offer more power. 

When creating the second generation, Ford used a more powerful EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 engine that is quicker and more efficient than the V8 engines from the first generation models. 

This engine also offers more torque at 510-pound feet of torque. 

The first generation had a six-speed automatic transmission. This received an update to a 10-speed automatic transmission for the newer models to make the truck more powerful.

The setup also gives the models better fuel economy. You will have better payload capacities with the newer models, but the towing capacities remain the same

For the engines, you only lose the exhaust note from the V8 engines. 

There are several other changes from the older model. For instance, the first generation used a hydraulic steering system, but that was replaced by an electronic system. Further, Ford added more steering modes to make the truck more drivable. 

In terms of off-road driving capability, the 2017 model has a better suspension system that makes it more comfortable when you drive off the road.

It also comes with a Terrain Management System that allows the computer to assess the terrain and help you choose one of the six available driving modes. 

Best Ford Raptor Years

While it is evident that the best years for the Ford Raptor are in the new generation, you will have to pay more for these models. The depreciation rates for all the Ford Raptor models are slow. Like the Ford F-150, this model can drive for longer than 300,000 miles with good care. 

If you need models that are bare-bones but offer the off-road and on-road performance of a beast, pick the first generation models, but avoid the 2012 model. You can upgrade them with some aftermarket equipment to make them better

If you need technology advancements and more comfort and convenience features, pick any model with 2017. The 2020 model has the least number of issues – it will be great for a used model. 

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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