Who doesn’t like getting dirty? Everyone should, especially if they can do it while luxuriating in a leather-trimmed bucket seat while listening to their favorite tunes.
In today’s poll, we pit two popular off-road pickups against each other, the Ram 1500 Rebel and Ford’s F-150 Raptor. These are both capable machines, whether you’re fording a river, bombing through the desert or snaking your way up an abandoned logging trail, though their philosophies are quite different.
The Raptor is built more for high-speed travel in open country while the Rebel is better suited to rock-crawling. Drive Ford’s offering out into the wilderness and you can safely do 50, 60, 70 miles an hour or more without losing control or bruising your internal organs. How does it achieve this feat? Well, part of what makes the Raptor so impressive is its suspension travel, which measures more than 13 inches front and rear. Massive Fox shock absorbers help keep everything on an even keel.
Power is provided by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. With a turbocharger hanging off each cylinder head, this powerplant delivers 450 horses and 510 lb.-ft. of torque. A brand-new 10-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels as required.
The only thing this engine lacks is a deep-throated rumble. Unfortunately, it’ll never outrun the six-cylinder sounds it makes.
While the Rebel’s base powerplant is also a V6 (a capable, naturally aspirated 3.6-liter unit), the engine you really want is the optional 5.7-liter Hemi. Sonorous and smooth, this pushrod V8 cranks out a more than respectable 395 horses and 410 lb.-ft. of twist. The only transmission offered in this pickup is an eight-speed automatic.
Ensuring it’s ready for just about anything you encounter on the trail, this truck features a lifted body, Bilstein shock absorbers and gnarly 33-inch tires. Available skid plates protect its underbody vitals while an air suspension system allows you to adjust the ride height for even more capability on the trail (and greater efficiency when driving home).
Each of these off-road rigs is ready to get dirty, but is one a better option? That’s your job to decide. For more information, compare these trucks here and don’t forget to vote in our poll!