Tim Esterdahl's picture

2017 Ford Raptor and 2016 Ram Rebel Create Pointless Comparisons

Over the next few months and years, we will no doubt be bombarded with all sorts of articles comparing the new 2017 Ford Raptor to the new 2016 Ram Rebel. While both trucks may seem similar and comparable to the uniformed automotive journalist, they are dramatically different. It is a classic case of apples to oranges, yet these stories will be written, comment sections will go wild and the automakers and true truck journalists will shake their heads.

Why Is It A Pointless Comparison?

From the naked eye, you may be thinking what’s the big deal? These trucks both have a rugged look to them and feature lift kits, suspension upgrades and large, knobby tires. Also, they may seem to both share a place outside of the “regular” truck lineup meaning they are ripe for cross-shopping by consumers. If this is your thinking, stop. You are only looking like a fool.

The 2017 Ford Raptor and all the prior editions was/is/will be built for desert running. You know the type of driving where you are always in excess of 50, 60, 70+ MPH across desert terrain. The truck is basically a stock version of a Baja truck - albeit without the experienced driver and safety equipment. In fact, this truck has run the Baja in its stock form on many occasions.

On the other hand, the 2016 Ram Rebel is meant for NONE of that kind of driving. It is made for traversing the woods and taking your buddies hunting. The video Ram showed at its unveil really sums it all up - it is made for dirt. This truck will not be able to run the Baja nor will Ram encourage that. It is simply built for different purposes.

Comparisons Will Happen

One truck is meant for desert and speed while another is made to go on dirt. Yet, they will still be compared. Why? Uniformed and mislead journalists.

Standing back from the two trucks it is easy to be fooled. Both trucks have unique styling and badging telling you they are not a part of the regular lineup. They both have lift kits and they both offer powerful engines - the Raptor will offer a high-output 3.5L V6 twin-turbo EcoBoost engine and the Rebel is offered in a 5.7L V8 Hemi. Also, with the clearance of the Rebel, they both look like they are meant for the same purpose - to drive off-road really, really fast.

This is where the comparisons will come from. Journalists will see the trucks as being somewhat equal and without extensive experience as off-road race drivers (very few journalists have this in their background), these journalists will drive these trucks the same way over the same terrain.

Plus, consumers will drive them as competitors. Already, you can visit a variety of different truck forums and talk with consumers who are doing the comparison. They sad reality is that no matter what Ram says about the truck not being a “Raptor-fighter,” fans and consumers will see it as so.

In the end, the sad reality is the Ford Raptors are often never really used to their full potential - soccer moms aren’t what engineers had in mind. The Ram Rebel will, also likely rarely be used to its full potential. This means, both trucks will be compared by media outlets quite often for what they are mostly used for like as a status symbol for your buddies. And that is just pointless.

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