5 Reasons Why the Tundra is Better than Ford’s Raptor
Often-overlooked Toyota TRD Pro leaves its competition in the dust.
These days all the rage in stock off-road pickups revolves around the new 2017 Ford Raptor. However, Toyota fans know better. The 2017 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is a much better choice. Here are our five reasons why.
However, before we get into those reasons, it is worth noting the similarities. Both trucks are aggressively styled, have unique interior treatments and offer equipment changes over their stock offerings. For example, the Raptor has a different 3.5L EcoBoost engine than is offered in stock trucks, and the Tundra has a TRD suspension not offered with stock vehicles. Each truck is designed to do the same things as well, like tearing up the dirt and/or hauling your toys to the desert. Yet, they accomplish both of these tasks in different ways.
The largest difference between the two trucks — and a point in favor of the Tundra — is price. Ford says its Raptor begins at just under $50k, but a quick search for 4WD Ford Raptor trucks in Denver, Colorado, on a popular online auto sales site says the market average is $57k on models with no options.
On the other hand, the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro starts at $43,395, and that same auto sales site finds the average price of a 4WD, double cab model to be around $46,464. That is a nearly $10,000 difference between off-road trucks built for a pretty similar reason.
Ford Raptor owners want a truck to race in the desert, and they would have us all believe they are the next big thing in off-road driving. They would also try to convince us the Ford Raptor is the only truck capable of reaching triple digits in the sand. The truth is, this simply isn’t the case. Actually, the truck is more capable and powerful than they can handle. This is the precise reason why Ford has a Raptor driving school — to teach owners how to drive the truck.
Tundra owners can go just as fast in the desert as Raptor owners,
and their truck will handle somewhat similar.
Toyota Tundra TRD Pro owners don’t have that same driving school option. Why? The truck meets their needs without needlessly exceeding them. Tundra TRD Pro owners can go just as fast in the desert as Raptor owners, and their truck will handle somewhat similar. It won’t be as fast off the line as the Raptor, yet why does that even matter if you aren’t in the Baja 1000? It doesn’t. Plus, the Tundra TRD Pro truck better handles the task it was designed for.
In the end, the new Ford Raptor is indeed more capable than the Tundra TRD Pro, but who cares? We aren’t all driving like Ivan Stewart.
The new Ford Raptor comes with a high-output 3.5L EcoBoost engine with twin scroll turbochargers, a 10-speed transmission, a suite of technology features and numerous driving modes that alter the transmission and the steering wheel, plus new-to-the-market shocks and tires. Wow. That’s a lot of new features needing a well-trained and experienced mechanic to fix.
The 2017 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro comes with the proven 5.7L V8 engine, a common 6-speed transmission, a variety of proven suspension features and a very reliable wheel choice.
For consumers, the question comes down to this: Would you take the latest and greatest Ford tech over the proven powertrain and choices of the Tundra when driving in the 100-degree, desolate desert? We know how we would answer.
What’s so great about having a badass truck if you can’t hear it? Nothing. Ford engineers have done a remarkable job of maximizing the Raptor’s exhaust using every trick in the book. However, it is still a smaller displacement V6, and every exhaust guy in the world will tell you there just isn’t enough displacement there to make it sound great. Indeed, the Raptor just sounds OK.
For the Tundra TRD Pro, well, this is a different story. It has a deep, throaty sound and really gets loud at full acceleration. The rumble is carried through the cabin and even the seats vibrate. You can’t have that experience with sound piped into the cabin.
Toyota wins this hands down and the difference is quite remarkable between the two trucks.
Finally, both trucks feature a variety of off-road gear and new technology. Without a doubt, the Ford Raptor wins the discussion on which truck has more stuff. Its cabin and off-road technology simply outpaces the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. However, how much of this equipment is going to be usable?
The reality is, many of us only play on the weekends, tow occasionally and do a lot of daily commuting. We then barely use all the features built into the trucks until we go off-road or tow. For example, the Ford Raptor can be equipped with paddle shifters, trailer backup assist and a myriad of advanced driving modes. That’s a lot of technology and equipment that likely won’t be used.
Fortunately, the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro doesn’t come with any of that nonsense. The rear back-up camera can be used to line up the trailer hitch, the shift knob has the ability to control the gears manually and there aren’t a slew of driving modes to forget about.
The Raptor’s off-road technology outpaces the Tundra,
but it’s a lot of equipment that likely won’t be used.
One other note on usable equipment: While the EcoBoost provides better fuel economy on paper, in real-world use, we doubt it will return the same. Turbocharged vehicles tend to not be very fuel efficient while in boost, like when off-roading at high speed. The 5.7L V8 in the Tundra will then have similar fuel economy numbers. Just something for certain buyers to consider. When we think of an off-road beast like the Tundra TRD Pro, the last thing we are concerned about is fuel economy.
In the end, the differences really come down to what you are paying for. If you like wasting money on features that you will likely either never use or you will forget about, by all means, the Ford Raptor is the ideal truck for you. For Toyota fans, we consider value and reliability to be much more important, and the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro meets both of these requirements quite well.