The makes and models mentioned in this article are not placed in any particular order, nor intended to be viewed as a ranked list. KSL Cars does not endorse any vehicles. The views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and do not reflect the views or opinions of KSL.com or its employees.
When the Ford F-150 Raptor first came out in 2010, it was an immediate hit. Its flared bodywork, deep exhaust and powerful engine were unlike any other truck on the market. Even today, first-generation Raptors hold value well and sell quickly. Given that success, Ford has continued the Raptor through a second generation and into a third (all of which can be found here on KSL Cars).
Raptors are especially popular in Utah. Of the thousands of vehicles listed on KSL Cars, Raptors consistently rank among the top searched. As a longtime Raptor fan myself, I was interested to know why so many people choose to seek out a Raptor as their daily driver. As luck would have it, I was invited to spend a week driving a 2018 Raptor to find out why.
*These observations do not constitute an endorsement from KSL Cars. The opinions expressed are my own and may not align with KSL or KSL Cars*.
It’s fitting that the 2018 Raptor I drove was cement gray, as it definitely cemented the fact that Raptor’s looks are a real standout. With its height, width and aggressive bodywork, the Raptor has a truly imposing presence. Driving it, you feel like you rule the road. While it may not be for everyone, I can see why some buyers are willing to spend the extra dough for a Raptor based on looks alone. Its bold and aggressive styling is like no other truck on the market.
Thanks to a combination of some trick suspension tuning and brilliant engineering, the Ford Raptor is a very comfortable daily driver. I drove the Raptor everywhere a normal person would (work, Costco, the park, etc.) and found it a great place to spend time, especially with kids in tow. The backseat is large and fits my two kids and their car seats with space to spare. Even with their legs outstretched, they were unable to kick the backs of the front captain’s chairs — a huge plus for parents. The kids especially enjoyed having their own space and looking through the panoramic sunroof. There was also plenty of storage — the extra-large door pockets and center console are spacious enough for all your trinkets.
The Ford Raptor is full of luxurious amenities, too. Heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, 360-degree cameras and more will have you wondering if it might be possible to have a luxurious vehicle without the “luxury” price tag. I found the Raptor to be a versatile family hauler, and I can see why so many Utahns want one.
In its first generation, Ford offered its beloved 6.2-liter, naturally aspirated V8 as the main draw of the Raptor. Run through the wringer by engineers and enthusiasts alike, the Raptor's V8 has proved its worth over years of use and abuse. Complimented by an intoxicating exhaust note, the V8 was a first-generation Raptor highlight.
In its second-generation, Ford ditched the V8 in favor of its twin-turbo “EcoBoost” V6. Although it produced an impressive 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque (more than its V8 predecessor), the Raptor community still grieved the loss of the V8. Disappointed truck enthusiasts aside, the Raptor’s high-output V6 provides plenty of power for high-speed desert running, towing, getting to work on time and everything in between.
Weaving the V6 through some twisty roads and bustling freeways, I found its power was more than adequate for daily driving. It was fun, too — much more fun than you might think a truck could be. Coming from someone who appreciates small, lightweight sports cars, the Raptor’s performance defied its weight and size and was fun to drive in all circumstances.
Disclaimer: I am not a truck guy. Growing up in a cowboy family, I appreciated what trucks could do when needed, but they were never what I was looking for in a driving experience, i.e. fun and sporty. It always seemed odd to me that someone would want a truck as their daily driver when they rarely were doing “truck things” and the price tag was often $65,000 or more.
Until now. Driving a Raptor has made me a fan and I hope to buy one in the future. I finally understand the appeal of driving something so spacious, luxurious and versatile. Want to go offroading? No problem. Take the kids to school? Sure, why not. Cruise in comfort on a road trip to the cabin? Absolutely.
Find all Ford Raptor listings on KSL Cars here.
About the author: Having owned everything from a DeLorean to an E46 BMW M3 and a Toyota Land Cruiser, Jason Bell is a lifelong car enthusiast who loves sharing his passions as a teacher, writer, speaker and social media manager. Contact him at email@example.com for comments/questions, or just to say "hi."