Ford is leveraging its highly successful Ranger range with a new model Raptor. Aimed at the premium sector of the Ute market, the Raptor will compete against HSV’s SportsCat, HiLux Rugged X, and even the entry level RAM 1500 Express.
Raptor allows buyers to have many of the extras that they often add on aftermarket, but with the integrated design and warranty of the original manufacturer.
The Raptor has been highly anticipated, but how does it measure up.
From the outside, Raptor is all about the look. However the look has a purpose, one of facilitating off road performance.
The first thing that stands out is the aggressive grille with bold FORD lettering that defines the DNA. The second thing is the overall aggressive stance with off road tyres, higher ground clearance and wider track. Raptor runs 285/70 R17 BF Goodrich All Terrain KO2 tyres on some fairly stylish alloy rims.
There is also the added bling, but with purpose. The front fenders are made from durable composite materials for adventurous off-road driving. Along with the 25W HID headlights with LED Daytime Running Lamps, the front bumper includes new LED fog lamps with air-curtain ducts, which reduce air resistance. The flared shape of the fenders have been designed to accommodate the long travel suspension and off-road tyres.
Firstly the Raptor inside is Ranger through and through, with, again, more bling. Seating is performance styled with high side bolsters and more support for the back and shoulders. Electric seat adjustment for the driver and a manual lever controlled lumbar support allow the driver to find a good position. Seat fabric is a leather surround with an insert of ‘Technical Suede’ and blue highlight stitching that is actually quite comfortable.
In front of the driver is a Raptor instrument cluster with a blue theme, two larger outside dials and a digital MFD between. It looks good and adds to the sporty ambiance.
The steering wheel features perforated leather hand grip sections, paired with Raptor DNA lightweight magnesium paddle shifters. The Raptor logo is embossed into the bespoke bezel of the steering wheel and an “On-Centre” marker – a red stripe at the top-middle of the wheel, which I actually like. If your wheel alignment is spot on, it is helpful in off road situations for wheel placement.
Other than that the interior is as you would expect from say a Ranger Wildtrak. The centre console, transmission section is well laid out, with a padded console bin top. Centre stack is the same, with the touch screen now well integrated.
Storage is adequate all round. Rear seat room is ok for two more than three, with, like most Utes, slightly limited knee and leg room for taller occupants. There are no A/C vents back there but a couple of 12V plugs for the kids electronic equipment.
Raptor features an integrated 8 inch full colour touchscreen centre stack that is home for Sync 3 III. This is Ford’s system that now comes with voice control which can be a little temperamental. The system makes all functions available from the home screen which is split into 4 functions: climate, audio, phone and navigation, and has Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
The Raptor has Sat Nav with traffic management channel. The system has the unusual feature of allowing access to alternative screens from each screen making it easily navigable. The 6 speaker sound system belts out a good rock tune along with DAB audio. The Satellite Navigation System offers a “breadcrumb” feature to leave a trail in uncharted areas – perfect for the serious off-roader.
Other features include an adjustable speed limiter, Electronic Automatic Temperature Control, Passive Entry Passive Start (PEPS), Auto lighting, Rain-sensing wipers, auto stop start and rear-view camera.
Drive and Engine
Apart from the look the main story with the Raptor is the engine, suspension and drivetrain.
Raptor features an all-new 2.0L sequential Bi-Turbo engine that delivers power of 157Kw/500Nm, this runs through an innovative 10 speed automatic transmission to extract the best from the engine Raptor has a dual range part time 4×4 with Terrain Management System. It also features a unique Transmission Calibration and “Live in Drive” Functionality, according to Ford. My take on this is that you can, like most drivers, leave it in drive and it will maximise performance for you.
Two other key areas where Ford has made modifications to the Raptor are firstly the seriously beefed up suspension and secondly the brakes. Uniquely the Raptor has upgraded boosted disc brakes front and rear, placing it amongst rare territory in Utes.
Driving the Raptor is very similar to driving any modified Ute with a lift kit and larger off road tyres, with more composure.
In general off road conditions, the improved approach, rampover and departure angles as well as much improved ground clearance brings the Raptor in line with most aftermarket modified Utes running around.
Like all Ford Rangers the Raptor has 5 Star ANCAP safety rating. Features include:
- Electronic Stability Control
- Rear Parking Sensors
- Lane Departure Warning
- Lane Keep Assist
- Hill Start Assist (HAS)
- Hill Descent Control (HDC)
- ESC system with Trailer Sway Control (TSC)
- Load Adaptive Control (LAC)
- Roll Over Mitigation (ROM)
- Traffic Sign Recognition
- Roll Stability Control
- Adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning
- Multiple airbags everywhere
- Hill descent control and hill launch control and
- Rear view camera.
Raptor also features Unique Disc Brake system (Front & Rear) with integrated park brake, Electronic four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS), with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) all operating through disc brakes front and rear.
- Smooth engine/transmission
- Additional features
- Reliability and robustness
Not so Good Bits:
- Towing Ability
- Lacking some safety features
- No rear diff lock
There is no denying the appealing appearance of the Raptor. It screams ‘look at me’ loud and clear. However it also has detailed functionality underneath.
It is beyond all standard Ute capabilities and configurations. It competes with the top spec Utes and more with aftermarket modified vehicles.
The benefit to buyers is that these modifications are integrated and covered by manufacturer’s warranties. However at this price point, buyers may expect a few more items they deem necessities like rear doff lock, electric lumbar support, heads up display and some safety features like AEB and more.
It is pricey though and I suspect buyers will buy it for the look rather than actually make use of the capabilities.
I predict that Ford will sell every Raptor they can lay their hands on.
Also look at:
Facts and Figures: 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor
- Engine: 2.0 L 4Cyl TwinTurbo producing 157kW/500Nm
- Transmission: 4WD 10 speed Auto
- Warranty: 5 Yr./ Unlimited km with 5 Yr. roadside assist
- Safety: Five stars
- Origin: Thailand
- Price: from $74,990 MLP*
*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.