I was going to use the old phrase 'Fish out of water' as the title for this article but to call the Ranger Raptor a fish would be an insult so I went with the alternative- 'Lion out of the jungle'! The Ranger Raptor feels like the complete package but in some ways it feels incomplete! It excels at a lot of things but there's an issue here.
Brutish on the outside
The rough and tough Raptor
The word brute really sums up the exterior. There's plastic fenders and Raptor decals everywhere so you never forget what car you are driving. The Raptor sits very high off the ground as illustrated at the end and that is something you can easily forget while you're driving the car but more on that later. It also looks very outlandish especially on the road.
WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE SIZE OF THE RAPTOR!
Because it is a detail that is very east to forget. Most cars have an ace up their sleeve somewhere and the Raptor's ace is that it handles like a sportscar. The car is so planted going around corners that you quickly forget the size of the thing. It's powered by a 2 Litre turbo diesel and weighs just over 3 tonnes, something doesn't add up here! Well, the engine feels a little weak for a car of this size especially when accelerating from a standstill but otherwise you really don't feel the weight of the car because it's 10 speed automatic transmission ensures smoother power delivery.
REFINED BUT RUGGED ON THE INSIDE
Sure, it's no Mercedes Benz but the interior is surprisingly comfy though there's no shortage of hard plastics but it is a pickup after all and not a luxury car. Ford is not messing around here, it wants you to know that you are buying a very capable off-roader and not a city tractor! Though, the suspension is set up so hard that you feel the cabin juddering a bit while going over bumps and other such imperfections in the road. You could see this as a downside but maybe we were just in the wrong mode, the Fox shocks make the suspension infinitely customizable.
It's all in the shocks!
Here's a size comparison with a standard Japanese sedan. P.s- The Lancer is mine!
For a car of this size, it handles really really well. I'm not kidding! The infinitely adjustable suspension just adds to the fun of it but doesn't change the fact that it still feels freakishly big on the road. Driving through a multi storey car park would be hard work and you'd get some nasty looks from people as well. At nearly $85,000 NZD, the price is awfully steep as well and that would probably steer me towards the Volkswagen Amarok Aventura spec which is similarly priced but far more suited to city driving.
The handling is brilliant but it's pricey and too impractical to use as a city car. Heaps of fun though.