YouTuber Proclaims Roush F-150 a Better Buy Over Raptor

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While the F-150 Raptor is the king of the dirt, Roush F-150 is more versatile in so many ways, says Vehicle Virgins.

The F-150 Raptor is a purpose-built F-150, one made to look good on the street, one made to tear up every desert trail it crosses. It also has a small, twin-turbo V6, which some fans aren’t too fond of.

For them, Roush is the answer. Parker Nirenstein of popular YouTube channel Vehicle Virgins recently got his hands on a fully loaded Roush F-150, which he says is a better buy over the Raptor for a few reasons.

2018 Roush F-150

“Next to me is a 2018 Ford F-150, the most popular truck in America,” says Nirenstein. “Only this one is a little bit different. It’s been modified by Roush, a performance company based in Michigan that’s been modifying Ford cars and trucks for years.”

The F-150, he says, was a Lariat Super Crew before Roush got a hold of it, starting by dropping a mighty TVS 2650 supercharger on top of the “good old-fashion” 5.0-liter V8. What used to be a 395-horse, 400 lb-ft of torque block of metal now makes 650 horses and 610 lb-ft of torque, with cold air fed through the custom air intake system.

2018 Roush F-150

“The awesome news is it’s not all about straight-line speed,” Nirenstein says. “Roush seeks to boost performance and design in all elements of the F-150.”

Such elements include a new blacked-out grill with a trio of embedded amber LEDs over the ‘Roush’ name in the center bar, the fender flares at all corners, and a custom bumper which keeps Ford’s adaptive cruise control system in play.

2018 Roush F-150

“A huge portion of the Roush’s appeal is in its exhaust,” says Nirenstein. “It has a V8 with a supercharger, unlike the Raptors of today that come with [a] twin-turbocharged V6. They sound decent, but they don’t sound as good as a good old-fashioned V8.”

Through the Roush F-150’s custom exhaust, the truck’s V8 sounds as amazing as you imagine it to be. And as Nirenstein said, while the EcoBoost V6 is no slouch, it makes a more subtle sound of aggression.

2018 Roush F-150

As for the interior, not much was changed by Roush. The things that were, though, are very cool, such as the black leather seats perfect for long highway journeys, the plaque with the serial number of your Roush F-150, and a lockable safe in the console that can be legally used as a gun safe.

With the 2-inch lift up front and excellent seating position, any driver will have a commanding presence on the road, per Nirenstein. He also finds the Roush F-150’s visibility to be “tremendous,” with hardly any blind spots all around, an excellent feat for a truck its size.

F-150 Raptor and Roush F-150

“One advantage of the Roush, compared to the Raptor, is that because it is based on a normal F-150 chassis (like the XLT, the Lariat), it qualifies for Ford incentives,” Nirenstein says, “sometimes up to $7,000 of Ford incentives. Which means, if you’re getting $7,000 of the truck, then adding the supercharger kit on top of it seems more affordable.”

Meanwhile, the Raptor, based on its name, is selling for dealer markup of thousands of dollars on the base price, anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 over MSRP. And of course, the Raptor already lives on a higher level in price than an XLT with the Roush F-150 upgrades, which Nirenstein says “is pretty reasonable for the fact that you’re getting a 650-horsepower truck,” especially with the aforementioned incentives the Raptor lacks.

2018 Roush F-150

“The great part about going with Roush is that despite the fact that it’s heavily modified, we’ve got a supercharger on it, 650 horsepower, it still maintains a warranty,” Nirenstein says. “It’s got a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty, and that also retains Ford’s bumper-to-bumper warranty, so you feel that just because you spent a bunch of money modifying your car, you’re not gonna be left for dead if anything breaks.”

And of course, because everyone knows about Roush in some way (especially if they’re NASCAR fans), the Roush name means a greater resale value when it comes time to move on from one Roush F-150 to another, especially if selling your truck online.

Finally, Nirenstein says the biggest difference between the Raptor and the Roush F-150 is the engine. For him, the V8 in his F-150 is an improvement over the Raptor’s twin-turbo V6, from the sound of the V8, to the way it fits the truck’s character better. Plus, the truck’s slightly smaller size allows it to better navigate the city streets it will see 99 percent of the time.

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Since launching her professional writing career nearly a decade ago as a fashion blogger, Cameron Aubernon has written for a handful of online and print publications on a wide variety of subjects, including expat issues, fashion, music, and, of course, the automotive industry. The automotive expert was even the editor-in-chief of a popular online lifestyle publication, where she reviewed luxury cars and interviewed fellow automotive enthusiasts.

A graduate of The Evergreen State College Class of 2005 with a bachelor's in liberal arts, Aubernon took a left turn from fashion writing into the automotive realm when she asked a fellow writer via Facebook if she could write for their site. Following an internship, stints with a couple of hyper-local online publications, and a move to Seattle, she made her then-biggest impact with The Truth About Cars, writing full-time for the publication from 2013 to 2015.

Currently, the highly-regarded automotive journalist is a frequent contributor to the high-traffic Internet Brands Auto Group websites Rennlist, Club Lexus, LS1Tech and Mustang Forums, among others.

Aubernon’s expert knowledge of all things Ford trucks has also made her a mainstay as one of the most prolific writers on Ford Truck Enthusiasts and F-150 Online.

Aubernon can be contacted via email at [email protected].

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