2017 Toyota Tundra TRD PRO, 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Comparison

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With the new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor hitting dealer lots, the timing is ripe for a quick comparison between Toyota’s Tundra TRD PRO and the Raptor. Even though they are separated by a considerable price difference, consumers will see them as true competitors. Here is what you need to know.

2017 Toyota Tundra TRD PRO, 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Comparison

Together they represent two of the best stock off-road truck options on the market. Here is how they compare.

Uniquely Styled Trucks

Casual consumers will likely consider both the TRD PRO and Raptor to be just the off-road versions of both the Tundra and F-150. Doing so would be a disservice to the uniqueness of both trucks. Surely both trucks carry over the characteristics of their stock brethren, they are considerably different.

2017 Toyota Tundra TRD PRO, 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor ComparisonFor the Tundra, the styling is much closer to stock than the Raptor. The tailgate and overall shapes of the exterior are very similar. The key differences being the TRD PRO stamped on the rear of the bed, the grille and the lift as well as off-road tires. It is a much more impressive looking truck than the stock model and stands out among them when standing close to one. At a distance and from different angles besides the front, it is easy to see how they blend together with other Tundra models. The interior has much of the same Tundra styling with notable differences of the headrest, shifter and TRD PRO badging as well as color theme used throughout.

2017 Toyota Tundra TRD PRO, 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor ComparisonLike the Tundra, the Raptor shares a similar interior setup with the F-150 and uses unique interior badging and styling to offset it from other models. On the exterior though, it seemingly shares some of the same body lines at a first glance and then it doesn’t. I mean, the Raptor is 6 inches wider than a stock F-150. At first glance, you don’t notice it then as you get used to the design it really stands out. The Raptor by far looks more trophy truck than the Tundra. Add in the additional touches like flared wheel arches and new front/rear bumpers and you can really see how different it is.

These trucks truly represent how much things have changed in the marketplace. I remember being a kid and seeing Z71 stickers slapped to the sides of Chevy trucks. These stickers fooled many people because you couldn’t really tell the difference between the true Z71 trucks and the stock ones (for Chevy’s you still largely can’t). However, both the Tundra and Raptor are more than just a sticker and their styling differences are fairly substantial.

2017 Toyota Tundra TRD PRO is Better Because …

2017 Toyota Tundra TRD PRO, 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor ComparisonLooking at them individually and how they compare to each other we can see a considerable amount of differences. Starting with the Tundra TRD PRO, we see a truck that meets 90 percent of the target market. The target market being consumers who like to get a little dirty or sandy on the weekends while also having a truck for everyday use. Sure, the off-road setup of these trucks negates some of the truck’s towing and hauling prowess, but again 90 percent.

The TRD PRO leans on its suspension upgrades with the TRD-tuned Bilstein shocks and tires to make it an off-road machine. It also leans on its tried-and-true 5.7L V8 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. The Tundra brings this engine to life with a TRD exhaust system with a deep throaty roar announcing to everyone it has arrived on the scene.

Plus, it is a solid steel truck with tried-and-true components. There is little doubt which truck will be more reliable in the long run and is the Tundra. Granted, you can still beat the crud out of both trucks.

2017 Toyota Tundra TRD PRO, 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor ComparisonStarting at $43,395, the TRD PRO offers a good value for the amount of off-road goodies it comes equipped with. However, compared to the Raptor, there are notable missing pieces of equipment. For example, it isn’t offered with a locking rear differential, front camera and advanced off-road technology. Plus, the fuel economy of 13/17/15 city/highway/combined isn’t great.

Simply put, it is better than the Raptor if you are looking to save some money, value reliability as a key buying factor and you don’t want/need the additional equipment.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor is Better Because …

2017 Toyota Tundra TRD PRO, 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor ComparisonFor the Raptor, the list of equipment is quite impressive and this truck can literally make a novice off-road driver much better and safer. With the six different drive modes and three different steering wheel modes, this truck can literally be equipped to handle changing terrain and the push of button. Other vehicles have these drive modes, however, what makes the Raptor that much more impressive is that each drive mode is tied to the transfer case as well. Side note, this may cause some hilarious moments though. For example, I can easily imagine many consumers being confused when they have to shift into neutral to access 4×4 low like in the Rock Crawl mode.

While the features are really good, the most controversial item on the Raptor is the use of the 3.5L EcoBoost high output V6. Ford basically took the stock EcoBoost and turned up the tune for more performance. This has the desired effect of adding that wow factor off-road especially when coming out of the corners. You simply hit the gas and you there whereas a V8 would still be catching up. This was a controversial decision for them since this meant they dropped the 6.2L V8. Losing this engine also means the loss of the throaty rumble associated with it.

The sound may have been a sacrifice for more engine performance, the rest of the truck sees no sacrifices and only improvements. I simply can’t say enough how good the KO2 tires are on this truck when off-roading, how much lighter and more nimble it feels after dropping the weight with using aluminum and how comfortable it drives on the pavement. Like the Tundra, Ford engineers did a great job getting both the on- and off-road driving down.

Now Ford did an admirable job addressing the sound issue. They ran a true dual exhaust from the engine to the rear with something like 6 inch pipes. This exhaust wraps so tightly around the spare tire and frame, engineers had to reroute all the brake lines as well as add additional heat shield around the pipes. The result looks like something they needed to add Crisco to it for it to fit.

2017 Toyota Tundra TRD PRO, 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor ComparisonWhile the engineers did their best, it still doesn’t sound great. Better than the stock EcoBoost? You bet. A deep throaty rumble like from a V8? Nope. Also, if you think the aftermarket may have a better solution, think again. For example, I spoke with Corsa exhaust about it a few years ago and they literally said their is little they can do. There just isn’t enough engine there to do a lot with. I suspect they do OK with the stock EcoBoost and will likely have no answer for the new Raptor with its dual exhaust. I just don’t see Corsa wanting to run all new exhaust pipes.

Another benefit for the Raptor is the focus on fuel economy. Equipped with a 10-speed transmission, the Raptor is slated to return 15/18/16 city/highway/combined fuel economy. This non-sequential transmission can quickly adapt to changing road conditions to return better fuel economy. I would also suspect the transmission will utilize the adaptive learn mode to return even better fuel economy than stated above. The reality is Ford cared about fuel economy even though it is an off-road truck while Toyota really didn’t.

This equipment and performance does come with a price tag. Ford says the Raptor starts at under $50k and that is true. Yet, I wonder how many of those trucks will be out there and I suspect the average transaction price to be in the mid 60s. Say what you will on the price, it is quite the truck though.

Simply put, if you really, REALLY like to go off-road and want the fastest rig money can buy, the Raptor is your choice. Just be prepared to pay for it.

2017 Toyota Tundra TRD PRO, 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor ComparisonOne final note. Both trucks did complete the BAJA 1000 in their stock form except with different results. The Ford Raptor finished third. The Toyota Tundra TRD PRO won. Draw your own conclusions.

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  1. Doesn’t the 2017 Raptor have a beefier frame than the standard F150?

    Why no comparison/mention of suspension travel, shock size, and engine specs? These features are very important to a buyer of this type of vehicle. All of which the Raptor eclipses the TRD Pro Tundra.

    The Tundra may be more reliable, maybe, but with newer technology problems will likely arise, just like with the newer Tacoma…

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      I didn’t go into depth on those things because I was focusing on the average buyer and not a true off-road racer/user. Like the article states, if you are a serious off-road driver then the Raptor makes the most sense. However, for many, they don’t need or will utilize all the depth of those differences.

      -Tim

    • hemi lol says:

      please understand that a REAL off road enthusiast doesn’t buy this truck to go off road with. you may think they do but they don’t…… they buy cheaper versions and then do all the extras to tune the truck the way they want it….

      The shocks on the Raptor really aren’t much better than the Bilsteins on the Tundra Pro… matter of fact they COPIED some of the tech that Toyota has been using on the pro’s shocks….. FURTHERMORE they copied the off road software Toyota has been using FOR YEARS now on the Tacoma, 4 Runner, Land Cruiser, and FJ Cruiser….. get your facts straight before trying to put someone on blast…. your obviously not as informed as you think you are.

      • Didn’t the Raptor precede the TRD Pro line of trucks? So, how can Ford copy Toyota?

        • hemi lol says:

          you don’t know what you think you do that’s the point…. craw control was on a 2008 Land Cruiser as a standard feature….. Raptor JUST got that tech….. The 4 Runner got that tech in 2014 as well as the FJ Cruiser the Tacoma got it in 2016…

          The Technology on the Bilstein shocks were first of its kind……… anywhere! that showed up on the TRD PRO in 2015 and the Raptor just got it….. Fox never had that technology they are copying what bilstein has already done…. I hope not too close because im pretty sure Thyssen Krupp has that patented… the shocks basically have 3 stages of internal valving that keeps the shock riding great on road but the harder the hit the harder the shock fights it. Sorry to bust your bubble.

          • I’m happy to inform you that you are not busting my bubble 🙂

            So, Fox is copying Bilstein when patents last for 13 years? Hmm, that’s a tough one to believe.

            Funny thing is, no else buys that the Tundra TRD Pro is better than the Raptor.

  2. Ken says:

    Kind of an unusual comparison. The 2 trucks really aren’t in the same class. The Raptor is head and shoulders above the TRD in almost every statistic.
    You might want to do just a tiny bit of research on the 2016 Baja 1000. The TRD did NOT even compete. The vehicles were:
    #1 – H1
    #2 – 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser (Pretty heavily modified)
    #3 – 2017 Raptor (Added fire extinguisher, roll cage, and harness)

    I think it’s great that you wrote a comparison article. I think it is always a good thing to compare competing vehicles. However, a little accuracy would be helpful.

    I don’t think too many consumers will have much trouble shifting into 4L . And no “throaty rumble?” I’ll take power, torque, and comfort over the “rumble” any day. Stuff like that makes it hard to take the rest of the article seriously.

    • NoQDRTundr says:

      Ken, good points. I’m not sure if this article tries puts the TRD Pro Tundra in a good light or comical one.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      A few thoughts. First, the Raptor ran in 2016 and the TRD PRO ran in 2015. They weren’t direct competitors because of the timing of the vehicle launches. They did both run the same race as the layout and conditions didn’t dramatically change.

      The biggest outcry from journalists and Raptor fans has been the lack of exhaust sound. You can read about it everywhere. So, yes it is a big issue.

      And no, I don’t agree the Raptor is head and shoulders above the TRD PRO in every category. Also, I don’t think the average competitor is going to see them as that much different as well.

      -Tim

  3. 2017 Raptor: Way more horsepower and Torque, lighter, longer suspension travel, 10 speed tranny, stronger frame, way, way more options, and rear locker.
    And you think the Tundra is a better choice? THQ articles in the past were truly objective; is that the case now?

  4. My conclusion: collateral damage. Back in ’07 Toyota was wholly committed to the light truck market. The Tundra was all new and superior to its direct competitors. Toyota built the billion dollar San Antonio plant to manufacturer it, along with the best truck advertising in the universe. Tim, Jason, and many, many other light truck guys, including myself, saw this. For those of us who were Big Three dedicated, we jumped ship and supported the Tundra. Tim and Jason, and others produced THQ, the site to follow for informative and useful Tundra articles. Myself and many others bought one, some, like HEMI LOL went as far to mod them, producing a good looking and still functional truck. But around ’10, something happened with Toyota and the Tundra when a new president and new chief engineer took their respective helms. The big three started to make changes to be competitive, but Toyota didn’t. Toyota’s new timid position continued for another four years. The ’14 Tundra was considered by some a step backwards with the loss of some interior features (driver’s side grab handle, single climate control, single glove box and non-reclining seats) and still no larger fuel tank or ITBC, or changes in drive train to improve mileage. Aggressive advertising stopped too. All clear signs that Toyota’s “Truck that was to change it all” was now “Not changing at all”.

    So, why should all those who wholly backed the Tundra, with time, money, and effort continue to support it when Toyota isn’t?

    That’s my conclusion.

    • Dalton says:

      This is a great post. If I may add my .02c…

      I believe the biggest flaw with all of these comparisons, is just that. Nobody really compares Apples to Apples… Now don’t freak out everyone…

      What we should really be comparing is the base model and associated upgrade packages along with TOTAL costs associated. I built (virtual, of course) a Sick Raptor with “add-ons” and ended up bringing the cost up to around $75k list. Not the same truck as the $48k TRD PRO WHAT-SO-EVER! I believe the F150 Raptor would be equivalent to a TRD PRO Supercharged… (this comparison reminds me of when Top Gear compared a badass AEV JEEP BRUTE DOUBLE CAB- $110K to the $38k Trail Teams FJ Cruiser… I was so pissed! BOTH ARE GREAT VEHICLES!!! BUT I COULD BUILD A VERY BADASS, SINGLE AXLE, SUPER CHARGED 5.7L, SUPER LONG TRAVEL FJ CRUISER FOR THE $70K DELTA!!!)

      I, personally, think the Ford has a true winner with their Raptor Series of trucks. That said, I just bought a new ’17 Tundra SR5 TRD Off Road (large gas tank!), added new suspension, audio, dual TRD exhaust, custom leather interior-heated ALL seats, remote start, complete vehicle black out, tint, and a Supercharger… I may not have the a RAPTOR but I saved about $20k and get to drive the Truck I love to drive WITH 550HP!!!

      Now, back the fella who mentioned true off road people purchase base models and build them from there… I have to agree. Friends don’t let friends drive stock!

      Semper Fi!

      D

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