2021 Ram 1500 TRX vs 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor

March 15th, 2024 by

The battle for the best high-performance truck just got interesting now that the 702-horsepower Ram 1500 TRX has entered the arena and it’s set its sights squarely on Ford’s 450-horsepower F-150 Raptor. You know Ford will answer the 1500 TRX’s challenge, most likely bringing back the powerful V-8 the Raptor use to have. But in terms of performance is horsepower everything? Or does Ford’s Raptor still outpace Ram’s 1500 TRX simply because it’s been on the road, hills, dirt, sand, and pretty much any other surface, besides water, for longer? Read on below as we analyze these two barrier-breaking trucks and determine who is king of the mountain now.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Ram 1500 TRX

 

Ram stepped into the high-performance truck ring this year with the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX by throwing in the Hellcat engine into the half-ton. But power isn’t the only thing that the TRX has brought to the table, it also makes a play for sophistication with a seriously luxurious interior and all the latest tech. Power aside, the TRX is an impressive and intimidating machine with a body that is 8-inches wider than the regular Ram 1500 and its off-road capabilities are next level thanks to a stronger frame, an even more complex suspension, and a whole other assortment of enhanced characteristics.  The TRX is bringing about a new class of vehicle; the luxury off-road high-performance truck.

 

Exterior

The 2021 TRX was built to have a menacing stance with eight extra inches and 35-inch tires, Ram knocked it out of the park in that regard. A functional air intake scoop and flow-through R-A-M badge ensure unobstructed airflow is the main design for the front of the TRX. That, accented by the Adaptive Forward Lighting system that comes standard on the TRX, creates an intimidating look as you approach people on the road or trail.  One of the main features that give the TRX its muscled body look is the wide fenders and box-outers that are flared 8-inches to accommodate a wide track and allow for the placement of seven airflow features designed to optimize cooling and aerodynamics.

Ram 1500 TRX FrontRam 1500 TRX Truck BedRam 1500 TRX LED HeadlightsRam TRX Rambar

All-in-all Ram has built a rig that has the look of a beast with the power to match. The design choices not only stem from wanting to build a cool looking truck but are also there to optimize performance. From the LED lights, an 8-inch wider frame, and wide-set fenders, all of those features are there to allow you to get the most out of the truck.

 

Interior & Tech

Ram has stepped up its game in terms of truck interiors with the last few iterations of the half-ton pickups. Delivering rich-looking materials and fantastic outside noise insulation, that level of luxury continues with the TRX. The base model has cloth upholstery and the standard equipment similar to the Ram 1500 Rebel. If you go with the optional TR1 or TR2 package then the cabin’s look will feel much more sophisticated because of the leather-covered surfaces and a mix of microsuede and carbon-fiber accents. The TRX also sports a flat-bottom steering where with a pair of paddle shifters and if you go with the top options you get a digital rearview mirror, a heads-up display, and then heated and ventilated front seats.

Ram 1500 TRX Interior DashRam 1500 TRX DashRam 1500 TRX Steering Wheel

On every dash of the TRX is a vertically mounted 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system that boasts Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, built-in navigation, and SiriusXM satellite radio. One awesome feature is the display’s ability to be divided into separate menus so that you can have multiple applications open at once. Also, the 1500 TRX can be outfitted with a 900-watt, 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system to ensure some outstanding music while taking on the off-road trails.

 

Performance

Power is the name of the game for the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX. Under the hood, you find a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8, more popularly known as the Hellcat engine, that produces 702-horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque that is sent to all four wheels through its eight-speed automatic transmission. While there haven’t been independent tests yet, the TRX claims to have a 0-to-60-mph time of 4.5-seconds and a time of 12.9-seconds at 108 mph when completing the quarter-mile. But speed or not, the Hellcat-powered Ram is meant for the mud, rocks, and sand. Rocking a reinforced steel frame, it also boasts a beefed-up suspension that is built to bend and bound with more than 13-inches of travel. Adding in 35-inch all-terrain tires on 18-inch and you get the truck’s 11.8 inches of ground clearance, a clearance that Ram says allows the TRX to ford up to 32 inches of water, too.

Ram 1500 TRX Offroad

In terms of towing and payload capacity, the TRX may not be able to tow as much as some Ram models, which are currently able to tow up to 12,750 pounds, the TRX can still pull a substantial amount with a maximum towing capacity of 8100 pounds. That is 100 pounds over its competitor, the F-150 Raptor.

 

Safety & Driver-Assistance Features

While the Ram TRX hasn’t been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety yet it still does have a slew of safety features built-in including available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, available blind-spot monitoring, and available adaptive cruise control.

 

 

2020 Ford F-150 Raptor

Ford Raptor Offroad

The Ford F-150 Raptor is the current king of the road, mud, dirt, and sand, and is just an overall fun truck to drive pretty much anywhere you decide to drive it thanks to big all-terrain tires, a lane-filling stance, and widened F-150 body. The Raptor’s long-travel suspension makes it awesome to take off-road but still maintains impressive ride comfortability. The Ford Raptor is and has been a step above the rest delivering a serious mixture of capability and the pure fun link no other vehicle on the road out there today. While the RAM 1500 TRX is definitely making a play for the title of an ultimate off-road truck, the Ford F-150 Raptor is still the king… at least until the TRX officially hits the market.

 

Exterior

From the outside, spotting a Ford Raptor on the streets isn’t a hard thing to do. Flared fenders, a massive Ford badge on the front grill, a special vented hood, and unique bumpers and skid plates, all make it clear that this isn’t your normal F-150. You have the option to go with an extended cab or crew cab paired with a 5.5-foot bed. At ground level, the 17-inch wheels wrapped in big off-road tires have a gap between them to allow you to see the Fox shocks that make off-roading in this rig so much fun. Lastly, the Raptor sports quad-beam LED headlights on the front and LEDs in the rear to really make sure it stands out from the crowd at night as well.

 

Interior & Tech

The Ford F-150 Raptor’s rugged exterior and macho look is definitely at odds with its want for a luxurious interior. At its base form, the interior is what you would expect out of a truck that builds its reputation off of being the ultimate off-road machine but once you start adding in features like heated and cooled leather seats and unique color choices then the luxury game comes in to focus.

Ford Raptor Interior Dash

The Raptor’s touchscreen infotainment system is easy to use and while it does support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto the load times tend to be a bit longer than its other rivals.

 

Performance

For some reason in 2020 Ford decided to ditch the V-8 and go with the twin-turbo V-6 that Ford seems to be throwing into everything from the standard F-150 to its GT supercar. But, while the abandonment of the V-8 in the “ultimate performance truck” might be sacrilegious to some, the new Raptor’s 450-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 is a beast and definitely doesn’t leave you wanting when you’re behind the wheel. Its suspension allows for smooth sailing on the road and absolutely amazing control when you’re taking on the terrain off-road. One slight and we mean slight, drawback to the Fox suspension is that when braking on the road the nose can dive hard when applying serious pressure to the brakes. But that soft suspension allows for braking off-road feel more reassuring.

 

Safety & Driver-Assistance Features

The Ford Raptor has excellent crash-test ratings and offers several driver-assistance technologies. Key safety features include:

 

  • Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
  • Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
  • Available blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert

 

And the Winner Is…

While the 2020 Ford Raptor is definitely still a force to be reckoned with on and off-road the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is taking the king of the hill title here. With over 700-horsepower straight out of the gate and a more luxurious and technically standard interior, there is no doubt that the TRX is the superior off-road high-performance rig.

Winner 2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Interested in learning more about the Ram 1500 TRX? Give us a call or check out the 2020 Ram 1500s here.

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