I’ll bet my left kidney that you’ve seen this one on the road: a huge vehicle with the word FORD spelled out obnoxiously across the grille. But this isn’t just another automotive fad that would disappear into oblivion in the next year or so. This styling has been inspired by the monstrous Ford F-150 Raptor in the U.S., which sadly didn’t come as an official model in the Philippines.
Luckily, Ford decided that it’s about time to make a smaller version of the famed Raptor. Designed for countries with narrower roads and tighter parking spots, the first-ever official Ranger Raptor was born, and we get to drive one for this in-depth review.
Aside from the screaming brand name across its grille and obvious wide stance, the Ranger Raptor differs a lot from its normie siblings through a host of body kits and upgrades for it to become a legit off-road machine. Raptor-exclusive front and rear bumpers with skid plates and diffusers make getting dirty on rough terrains plausible, in combination with its 32.5º approach angle, 24º departure angle, and 24º break-over angle. The 33-inch BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires employ a tall, authoritative posture and a towering 283mm ground clearance. What isn’t seen on the surface, though, is the ultra-strength frame that makes this pickup truck a behemoth on unpaved paths.
Yes, the Ranger Raptor isn’t just an accessorized Ranger – it’s purposely built from the ground up.
HID headlamps, LED daytime running lights, and LED fog lights complement the machismo of the Ranger Raptor’s design. There are tow hooks both in the front and at the rear for when needed but in contrast to its masculine appeal, it has a tailgate lift assist system – not so macho but a welcome feature, nonetheless.
Despite the extended fender flairs, the Ranger Raptor’s size isn’t too far from a regular Ranger– it’s only 1.3 inches (44mm) longer and 2 inches (52mm) taller. However, the Ranger Raptor measures 6.6 inches (168mm) wider, which affects its maneuverability within the city. More on this later.
Stepping inside the Ranger Raptor would be a déjà vu if you’ve been inside the Ranger Wildtrak, and that's a good thing. The layout is pretty much the same except for a few alterations that gear toward looking tough like non-glossy soft plastics with an anodized iron finish. The leather-clad seats with cloth inserts are kind of genius as it allows quick cool down of seats when left in the sun and at the same time, they keep your butt in place when needed.
The analog gauges and digital multi-information display of the Ranger Raptor differ a lot from the dual digital display of the regular Rangers, and I like it better since it isn’t cluttered like the latter. I also appreciate the red marking on the steering wheel – it’s a reminder of the steering wheel’s center position, which is pretty important when you’re having too much fun behind the wheel.
As the Ranger Raptor carries the same wheelbase as the Ranger, it has the same copious amount of interior space for a cozy trip. And oh, it also inherits the nifty 230V power socket for rear passengers and the non-existent rear A/C vents.
It’s tempting to describe all the fun and action that the Ranger Raptor could provide, but it has a plethora of convenient tech features that buyers of the P2-million pickup truck would appreciate, so let’s get to that.
Beyond the aesthetics, the Ranger Raptor has pretty much everything that the range-topping Ranger Wildtrak Biturbo has: power-adjustable seats, dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview mirror, speed-sensing door locks, parking sensors, keyless entry and push-start ignition, and the eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a handy volume knob.
All of these things work like a charm without any qualm, so I didn’t bother describing how each of it works. But to put things in perspective, the Ranger and the Ranger Raptor remain to be the most high-tech pickup trucks in the Philippines as of this writing. Need I say more?
The host of features doesn’t only provide convenience, but it provides peace of mind as well. There are seven airbags inside the cabin, while hill start assist, electronic stability control with traction control, speed limiter, ABS with EBD, seatbelt reminders, and ISOFIX child seat anchors complete the set of safety features.
It doesn’t have the adaptive cruise control of the Ranger Wildtrak, though, but that’s fine in our books, so long as they add a blind spot detector to aid this fairly large machine on multi-lane roads.
Driving & Handling
At the heart of the Ranger Raptor is a 2.0-liter biturbo diesel engine that caused an uproar among the older fans of pickup trucks. The displacement does sound too small for a machine this huge, especially if you consider its more than 3,000 kg gross weight, but the output of 210 horsepower and 500 Nm torque will tell you otherwise.
In my tests, a hefty amount of torque was available as early as 1,750 RPM, which was more than enough for casual city strolls and highway runs alike. There weren’t any moments that I asked for more power from the criticized engine. While there’s a lot of power at bay, these are fed to the wheels in precise increments thanks to the 10-speed automatic gearbox.
It wasn’t easy to maneuver the Ranger Raptor in tight spaces but the proximity sensors and tall driving height made that possible. The steering wheel wasn’t too tight, but it’s heavier than a regular Ranger. With these traits, along with the phenomenal outside noise isolation, it was a comfortable drive and ride by pickup truck standards.
At play, the Ranger Raptor transforms into a different kind of animal. I looked for an unfinished container yard outside of Metro Manila to have a bit of fun with the sport truck, and boy was I not disappointed.
Switching it to Baja mode, engaging 4x4, and carelessly going through waves of dirt and sand was an exhilarating experience; it’s as if I was going through flat cement the whole time. At one time, I turned off the traction control for some donut action, which was relatively easy with the assisted steering wheel. I was tempted to fill that day with brute power, dust, and adrenaline-filled stunts but then I remembered that the Fox racing suspensions weren’t part of the vehicle’s warranty since it wears out over time.
Just like what Caco said in his video reviewof the Ranger Raptor, it’s quite pointless to keep track of this sport truck’s fuel consumption – but we did anyway and our findings were close.
Amidst heavy city traffic, the Ranger Raptor registered 8.3 km/L, while faster paces during wee hours in the morning clocked in at 12.1 km/L. Highway drives, however, read back 15.3 km/L with the cruise control nailed at 90 km/h.
The Raptor nameplate is sacred to many, to the point that even the official and first-ever Ranger Raptor drew flak from purists saying that “it isn’t a real Raptor.” But after testing the unit for quite a while and getting dirty with it out in the wild, it is, by all means, a Raptor – born out of the desire for high-speed off-road performance. Only this time, you can park it in a regular mall parking lot.
The P1,998,000 price tag might sound steep in the Philippines where midsize pickup trucks range from P1.2 to 1.6 million, but considering the list of upgrades, including the expensive Fox sport suspension setup, you’re looking at a fair deal. A steal, even.