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A silver 2021 Ford F-150 Tremor is shown from the front while off-road.

It’s Time to Go Off-Road in the Perfect F-150

If you’re interested in a full-size truck to take off-road, then Ford has you covered in a way that no other brand out there does. Shopping for any kind of vehicle is all about narrowing down your options so that you get exactly what you need; in this instance, you’ve probably decided on a Ford, and then the F-150 for a full-size truck, so I’m assuming you know you want a pickup that can go off-road—but at this point, you might be stuck; after all, you still have several impressive options that you need to consider before heading to your local Ford dealer and driving away in the perfect pickup.

There are three different Ford F-150 models designed for going off-road, which can make it tough to decide which is right for you. Ultimately, it comes down to the kind of power and performance you’re looking for and what kind of challenges you want to be able to handle. Your budget will also come into play, too, because the price differences on these models are significant—so keep that in mind. Let’s take a look at all three off-road F-150s and figure out which is right for you…

The Ford F-150 Tremor

Although far from an entry-level version of the Ford F-150, the Tremor is essentially the entry-level off-road option, so it’s the perfect place to start. If you’re looking for something that can handle some light trails without any problems, then this is a great choice. The Tremor comes with a 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 engine that delivers 400 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque, giving it plenty of muscle for the trail as much as for getting around town. This is paired with an electronic ten-speed automatic transmission, along with a unique dual outlet exhaust.

You get four-wheel drive (4×4) standard on the Tremor, as you’d assume from any off-road truck, along with unique Tremor control arms and front knuckles. It has front and rear off-road shocks with the Tremor logo, featuring monotube shocks up front and twin-tube shocks on the rear, designed for softer damping at low speeds and additional damping when the trail gets rough. The Tremor has selectable drive modes that include Normal, Tow/Haul, Slippery, Deep Snow/Sand, Mud/Rut, and Rock Crawl settings.

Ford has designed the Tremor with 9.4 inches of ground clearance, compared to about 8.0 inches on a lot of other models, with an approach angle of 27.6 degrees, a departure angle of 24.3 degrees, and a 21.2-degree breakover angle. Inside the Tremor, you’ll find an excellent interior with unique Tremor stitching and details on the seating and other interior elements.

This model comes with a 12.0-inch infotainment display, an 8.0-inch productivity screen for the driver, and a standard sound system. Advanced features like power-adjustable pedals, Pro Trailer Backup Assist, and a B&O sound system are available for the Tremor as upgrades.

An orange 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor is shown from the side while off-road after leaving a Ford dealer.

The Ford F-150 Raptor

Moving up to the Raptor, we find a number of upgrades designed to elevate your off-road experience and give you a truck that can go pretty much anywhere you can imagine. This beast features a High-Output 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine that provides 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque for a significant boost in power compared to the Tremor. It’s been engineered and tuned to deliver excellent low-end torque, which is perfect for maneuvering out on the trail, with an available TORSEN front limited-slip differential for fantastic overall control and performance.

You’ll find FOX Live Valve internal bypass shocks on the F-150 Raptor with advanced electronic control technology that offers position-sensitive damping adjustability. This ensures a smooth right when you’re driving to the trail, and they’ll keep you comfortable even when things get rough off-road. They’ve been designed for and tested extensively in the desert, with incredible resistance to heat buildup, so you can go longer without any worries. 35-inch tires are standard on the Raptor, giving it 12.0 inches of ground clearance, with an approach angle of 31 degrees, a 23.9-degree departure angle, and a breakover angle of 22.7 degrees.

One of my favorite things about the Raptor is that it not only includes a Terrain Management System with different drive modes but additional off-road technology. You get Trail Control, which acts as cruise control on the trail, so it maintains your speed to let you focus on maneuvering, along with Trail 1-Pedal Drive, which is perfect for navigating your way through gorgeous and challenging landscapes.

Inside the Raptor, you’ll find a 12.0-inch infotainment display joined by a 12.0-inch productivity display, along with a remote start system and more, although a B&O Unleashed 18-speaker sound system remains an available upgrade.

A white 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R is shown from the rear at an angle.

The Ford F-150 Raptor R

For the ultimate off-road experience, you can’t beat the new Ford F-150 Raptor R, which takes everything amazing about the standard Raptor and goes even harder with it. For example, the F-150 Raptor has an excellent engine with plenty of power packed into it, right? Well, that’s not good enough for the Raptor R, which comes with a High-Output 5.2L Supercharged V8 engine that roars to life with 700 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque. This thing’s an absolute monster designed to tear up any trail—and it’s incredibly fun on the road, too.

You get long-travel FOX Live Valve shocks on the Raptor R that have been specially tuned to handle the power of its V8 engine. They provide you with surprisingly smooth ride quality and comfort both on and off the road while also being able to take impressive amounts of abuse. You’ll find 37-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires standard on the Raptor R, giving it 13.1 inches of ground clearance; the Raptor R has an approach angle of 33.1 degrees, a departure angle of 24.9 degrees, and a 24.4-degree breakover angle. It’s ready to go pretty much anywhere and handle whatever the trail throws at you.

In terms of technology, Ford hasn’t cut any corners with the Raptor R, which includes a Terrain Management System, Trail Control, and Trail 1-Pedal Drive, just like the standard Raptor. The Raptor R also has a unique dual exhaust system with a pass-through muffler and active valve system that lets you choose different exhaust modes, including Normal, Sport, Quiet, and Baja. This lets you customize your driving experience and the sound of your truck, and it has unique Raptor R badging inside and out. Simply put, this is an incredible piece of machinery and Ford’s most advanced off-road truck.

Choosing the Right Truck

As I said up at the top: choosing the right off-road truck comes down to understanding what you need and what you want to tackle, then picking accordingly. The Tremor is a great choice if you do light off-roading on trails; on the other hand, if you know you want to take on greater challenges and need something with improved capability off-road, then one of the Raptor models is the way to go.

Keep in mind that while the Tremor starts at about $61k, the Raptor kicks things off at more than $76k, and the Raptor R comes in at more than $109k; that’s a significant difference going from one to the next, so before you start falling in love with any of these trucks, make sure it fits your budget. Once you have all that sorted, getting your perfect off-road and adventure-ready pickup will be a breeze.