2023 Ford Ranger Raptor

When Ford Philippines launched the Next-Gen Raptor, we were all left wanting a new Ranger Raptor, but now that the Blue Oval has gone all-in with its lineup, we’re ecstatic and excited. The Ford Ranger Raptor made a huge splash before the T6.2 platform broke cover in the Philippines, and it was one of Ford’s best-sellers at some point. 

With demand through the roof at the time, and hungry customers wanting the form and function that the Raptor offers, we’re anticipating that the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor will be yet another big hit for the Blue Oval. 

2023 Ford Ranger Raptor Front Tires BF Goodrich

There are quite a number of changes made to the 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor and the chief of which is the looks. Wider, longer, and taller than the standard Ranger, the Raptor presents a big change to the Ranger’s personality. From a do-it-all to conquer-it-all attitude, you get a bulkier exterior. At 5,381mm long, 1,922mm wide, and 1,955mm tall, it’s 11mm longer, 4mm wider, and 71 mm taller than the standard Ranger. The added length is brought on by a set of Raptor-specific bumpers that give the Raptor added approach and departure angles to clear deeper ruts and taller inclines. The Raptor is wider because of the LT285/70/R17 tires from BF Goodrich. 

The Ranger Raptor isn’t bigger just to look different, it’s bigger to be better. For off-roading, the taller your suspension, the clearer your ground clearance, and the meatier your tires are, the more capable your car will look from the get-go. Ford, however, is not just about the looks. The added style factor in the Ranger Raptor has a focus on performance first so it’s not just all flash. 

2023 Ford Ranger Raptor Water Wading

“Built Ford Tough” is a tagline that the Blue Oval has been pushing since way back, and the Ranger Raptor has a ton of things going for it in that department. The chassis of the standard Ranger is primarily built for hauling and for dealing with terrain that will challenge the model’s torsional rigidity. However, the Ranger Raptor is built with speed and strength in mind off the beaten path. In terms of its suspension, 2.5-inch Fox shocks are a unicorn in the off-road world, often costing up to over half a million Philippine Pesos for a set—high-end stuff. Not only do these shocks grant the Ranger Raptor an added lift, but it also allows the model to make mince meat out of rocky and loose trails. If there is one car that you can trust to blast down an open stretch of dirt, the Ranger Raptor would always be our first choice straight out of the factory. In fact, the Raptor is known to be a great jumper. The previous gen’s tendency to murder the dirt and catch some air was unparalleled by any other pickup straight off the production line. Ford knew what they were doing when reworking the chassis and tuning the chassis to be the ultimate Baja machine straight from the dealership. If you find a few things lacking about the Ranger Raptor, however, don’t worry as there is a healthy aftermarket of parts, accessories, and hardware that can enhance your ownership experience with the car. Though, you might be hard-pressed to find better hardware than what Ford’s already given. 

Then we go into the water wading capacity which is rated at 800mm, but we think that’s a little understated as the Ford Ranger Wildtrak and its lower-end variants all sport the same capacity for flood and river wading. With the added ride height of the Ranger Raptor, it should live up to the advertised wading capacity and then some. In terms of being a pickup that can brave a storm, Ford claims that the Rangers can do it, and it is also the highest rating from a manufacturer in the Philippines so far. 

Going off-road can damage your truck, but Ford has thought ahead with OEM protection parts in the form of metal underbody protection. These plates shield the car from rocks and stones that may get kicked up through the trails. While it is rare for the under chassis to get scarred up in city driving conditions, on the trail, it’s a definite must-have and a feature that the Ranger Raptor already has out of the factory. 

Fox Suspension Ford Ranger Raptor

There is no one perfect car for everything, and the Ranger Raptor is an exercise of compromise. For the tradeoff of load-bearing capacity, the Ranger Raptor takes a bit of payload capacity away in favor of a more dynamic and comfortable rear end. Traditional pickups are built with a leaf-spring rear suspension setup, but the dynamism of this type of suspension is limited compared to the independent Double Wishbone setup that the Raptor flaunts. As such, only up to 717 kg can be loaded at the back of this pickup at a time, which is a bit low, but that’s not the focus of the Ranger. In its defense, however, you will rarely max out the payload capabilities of most modern pickups, in contrast, the load-bearing capacity of the standard Rangers is in the ballpark of over 1,000 kg, which is rather overbuilt for most loads. Trading off the payload capacity for the best performance, and added comfort, however, is a great plus, especially if you’re buying the truck for more of a lifestyle use case, which is what we feel will fit the bill for most weekend trail warriors anyway. 

Ford Ranger Raptor 360-Degree Camera

If there is one thing that is consistent with Ford, it’s the fact that the brand knows how to load up a truck with the best specs and features in its class. The fact that advanced driver assist systems are in place is only the tip of the iceberg for this model, not to mention that you get all the goodies that can be found in the standard Wildtraks, and then some. A full suite of airbags is given at this price point, as well as ABS, with an electronic stability program, traction control, an electric brake booster, hill-launch assist, rollover mitigation, hill descent control, security alarm, immobilizer, and ISOFIX tethers are all expected in this class of pickup. However, the Raptor-specific features make this truck something that’s truly special. 

2023 Ford Ranger Raptor Dashboard

For starters, the 360-degree camera is a god-send for crawling through single tracks and going up inclines. Ford also gears this feature for off-road use. On top of that, Ford is also pushing for a new technology feature called Ford Pass, which is an app that has Remote Vehicle Lock & Unlock, Remote Vehicle Start and Stop, a Vehicle Locator, and a Vehicle Status readout. The app is compatible with the Ranger Raptor and it brings, admittedly, Tesla-like features to the table in a rugged and tough package. 

2023 Ford Ranger Raptor Dashboard Infotainment System

Now that the Ranger lineup is updated, it’s also one of the best deals in the market today thanks to its myriad of tech features. The 12-inch portrait-oriented infotainment system is amazing to use, the 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster greets you every time you start the car, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. While you’re bombing trails and going through the motions on the dirt, you can rest easy knowing that the Raptor has got all of its tech in check and is uncompromised in its experience. Forgot your cable? If your phone supports it, there is a wireless charging pad. Need Apple CarPlay or Android Auto? Those two features are wireless as well. Need to power something big? There’s a 230-volt plug stationed in the back row along with a good number of 12-volt sockets. 

2023 Ford Ranger Raptor Rear Jump

Now, here’s the thing. Features are great but the Ranger Raptor has a very specific lifestyle in mind. Not all of us are blessed with a backyard trail, so we’ll have to do a bit of traveling to get to where we want to go. Whether it’s the lahar beds of Porac Pampanga or the trails and crossings of Jungle base, there is a bit of asphalt that needs to be traversed before we get into the real adventure—considering that you're based in Metro Manila. Road manners are handled well by the suspension setup. It’s easily the most comfortable pickup truck in the market today because of this, and it is also not bad as a highway cruiser. It makes decent power for the road and good amounts of low-end torque for the dirt. At 207 hp and 500 Nm of torque, it still boasts some of the highest power and torque outputs in its class, and all of this grunt is coming from a 2.0-liter Bi-turbo diesel engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. 

2023 Ford Ranger Raptor Jump

No other manufacturer has gone down the performance lifestyle pickup route just yet, at least in the midsize segment. Sure, there are some kitted-out models from Japanese brands, but none are as detailed and as focused as the Ranger Raptor. The truck command a premium, but it is all worth it based on the meat and bones of the vehicle plus all the added fluff. A unique value proposition in the market, it stands on its own in its niche, and it has, literally and figuratively speaking, broad appeal. We’re frankly unable to compare it to anything else because it’s just incomparable for now. That is, unless another brand has the gall to go toe-to-toe with a Raptor. 

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