Ford Ranger Raptor Review
Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert.
If you like a good pick-up or ‘truck’ as they are commonly referred to stateside then you will be no stranger to the name Raptor. Back in late 2018 we were teased that the Raptor would be coming to the European/Irish market and this made many very excited. Surely it would be based on the F-150 as in the US and made right hand drive like Ford had just done for the first time with the new Mustang. The answer soon became apparent and a hint of disappointment set in. Ford confirmed it would be based on the already successful Ranger but feature a smaller 2.0 litre engine. Suddenly this seamed like a dulled down tame Euro version but how wrong we were.
Developed by Ford Performance for the true off-road enthusiast, the first-ever Ranger Raptor was born and along with it, a very competent machine was about to arrive on Irish shores. Powered by a Bi-turbo version of Ford’s 2.0‑litre EcoBlue diesel engine that delivers 213 PS and 500 Nm of torque mated to a new 10-speed automatic gearbox it certainly got our attention. When the covers were removed a commanding beefed up Ranger with extreme styling certainly had that go-anywhere capability was revealed.
Built to withstand high-impact off-road trails the Ranger Raptor’s features a tough reinforced chassis frame using high-strength, low-alloy steels to endure the punishment usually delivered in off-road racing. The race-bred suspension is actually visible from the side and offers complete control and comfort regardless of the terrain. Using a 150 mm wider track and 51 mm taller ride height compared with the regular Ranger, the FOX shock absorbers with Position Sensitive Damping provide higher damping forces at extremes for unparalleled off-road capability. Front damper travel is increased by 32%, and rear travel by 18%. It doesn’t stop there with braking uprated to twin-piston front calipers with 332 mm front and rear ventilated discs. The 33-inch by 11-inch tyres offer a tough sidewall to take on the most formidable environments. This off-road geometry delivers 283 mm ground clearance and 850 mm wading depth with a 32.5-degree approach angle.
What catches your eye first is no doubt that dramatic grille inspired by the American Ford F‑150 Raptor that dominates the nose. Oversized, flared composite front wings are designed to allow longer suspension travel and clearance for those massive tyres. The side step boards were made specifically to prevent rock spray from hitting the rear of the truck, and feature drain points for sand, mud and snow. Inside the new Ranger Raptor its not at all agricultural like expected but more comfortable and convenient with features like Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, which can be controlled via the central 8-inch colour touchscreen.
We also love the fact that the sat-nav has a “breadcrumb” feature to leave a trail when exploring unchartered areas so you wont get lost. It won’t help you if you get stuck though so be careful! Premium leather and suede bolstered seats are specially designed for not just comfort but also support when off road. We also noticed the lightweight, racing-style magnesium paddle shifters carried over from the new Ford GT Supercar, which is a nice touch. It really feels like a purposeful well thought out interior and a pleasure to do miles in.
The Ford engineers extensively tested the new Raptor’s powerful Bi-turbo 2.0-litre EcoBlue and 10‑speed automatic powertrain to prove durability in the most challenging conditions. Believe it or not they ran high and low-pressure turbochargers until they glowed red-hot for 200 hours non-stop! The two turbochargers work in series at lower engine rpms for enhanced torque and responsiveness.
At higher rpm, the larger low-pressure turbocharger delivers peak power. Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission came from the US F-150 Raptor and has been created with high-strength steel, aluminium and composites for maximum durability and weight. The wider ratio-span results in better acceleration, responsiveness and contributes to 8.9 l/100 km fuel-efficiency and 233 g/km CO2 emissions.
This engine can actually produce more power than the original 3.2 that was found in the Ranger so don’t feel hard done by!
Like most Ford’s on today’s roads the driver assistance and safety technologies are there to boost confidence for drivers facing unknown off-road challenges or demanding working environments. The latest Ford Stability Control incorporating Roll Mitigation Function and Electronic Stability Control, Trailer Sway Control, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control and Load Adaptive Control. Airbags are plentiful throughout the cabin and it feels like a safe place to be.
Ford Ranger Raptor Prices
The Ford Ranger Raptor kicks off at €63,365 at the time of writing but there are various models below the Raptor including the Wildtrak at a cheaper price point. Ford dealerships have unique finance offerings and promotions from time to time so be sure to contact your local dealer.
After living with the new Ford Ranger Raptor for a week it is safe to say that it remains a true workhorse that now has a sense of fun for the weekend. Under that modified rear bumper it features an integrated tow bar with 2,500 kg pulling capacity. This means your workhorse will make light work of towing dirtbikes, jet skis or even a track car on weekends.
The drive is comfortable and commanding with the added height and it makes you want to explore places you couldn’t ordinarily go with the fear of getting into difficulty. We took on some challenging terrain, which is well known military proving ground and the Raptor handled it with ease. Just be sure to use the side steps when entering and exiting the vehicle because if you try step over them, the back of your leg will get destroyed in muck! First hand experience… Get down to your local Ford Dealership today if you fancy adding a little more adventure into your life.
Ford Ranger Raptor Pros
Ford Ranger Raptor Cons
Not a lot really.
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