Review: New Ford Ranger ‘Raptor’ is Jurassic Park on four wheels

Motoring journalist Tony Yates explains why Ford's highest performing Ranger is "the real deal"

Review: New Ford Ranger ‘Raptor’ is Jurassic Park on four wheels
A dramatic new grille dominates the space between the xenon high-intensity discharge headlights and above a frame mounted front-bumper system.

For this month’s review, I feel like I’m on the set of the new Jurassic World movie.

The Ford Ranger ‘Raptor’ you see before you here is not only menacing, it’s downright wonderful.

For years I have always had a soft spot for the Land Rover Defender – and I still do, but the ‘Raptor’ goes one step more in the looks department.

Also, having a vehicle with ‘Raptor’ written down the side is pretty cool.

Just as cool as the jacked-up suspension and the blacked-out windows.

Plus wherever you park the ‘Raptor’, it turns heads.

To be honest, I wish all vehicles of this type had funky names such as the ‘Indominus rex’ for instance or, if we’re getting crazy here, how about some real classic Jurassic Park predators such as the ‘Tyrannosaurus’ or the ‘Velociraptor’.

Ford Ranger Raptor price and specs

  • Price: £47,874 inc. VAT
  • Engine: Bi-turbo 2.0‑litre EcoBlue diesel
  • Power: 213PS and 500Nm of torque
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic

Power and efficiency

The ‘Raptor’ version I had on test was fitted with a 2.0-litre EcoBlue – 213 PS diesel engine and a 10-speed automatic gearbox.

Torque, well let’s just say it has more than enough grunt to keep you going.

For those of you who want to know the combined fuel consumption?

Well, let’s just say it was good at around 36.6mpg.

Plus the brilliant thing about owning a Ford Ranger ‘Raptor’ is that it will tow a ship or anything else that takes your fancy.

Top speed, well let’s just say it will max out at around 112mph.

The Raptor has a commanding presence thanks to its imposing dimensions and extreme styling.

On the road

Well, it’s a pickup truck on steroids, so it looks good to the casual admirer.

So then, it acts just like a pickup truck, meaning its dreadfully slow – but then it’s not slow actually – in fact, it feels ‘brisk’ because you are up so high – which means everybody else looks very small.

The suspension setup is also lovely and it doesn’t really feel like a pickup at all.

Actually its quite refined, but still able to do all the off-road stuff you would expect a vehicle like this to do.

Talking about off-road, I took the ‘Raptor’ on quick ‘field trip’ around the muddy roads and rivers where I live – and to my surprise it was brilliant.

We have also had a lot of rain here recently, but that did not stop the ‘Raptor’ making its way through enough mud to keep even a Land Rover Defender happy.

The bolstered seats are specially designed for off-road high speed support.

Interior and technology

The inside was kitted out very well, and here are some of the features you can expect to get as standard on the Ford Ranger ‘Raptor including; unique 17″ alloy wheels with all-terrain tyres, unique Raptor front grille, widened front and rear wheel arches with150 mm wider track, aerodynamic sports hoop with integrated load box illumination, unique front and rear bumpers, front aluminium skid plate, FOX Pro shock absorbers with position-sensitive damping, front and rear ventilated disc brakes, four off-road tow hooks, strengthened alloy side steps, loadbox roller shutter and carry bars.

Plus; unique Raptor suede trim with heated and power-adjustable seats, unique perforated leather sports steering wheel with centre marker and Raptor logo, unique instrument panel cluster, Terrain Management System with six selectable drive modes, FordPass Connect onboard modem, SYNC 3 with 8″ Touchscreen and Navigation.

I can also tell you that the inside does not feel cheaply made either and you get plenty of toys to play with – and all the controls are set out nicely with many of the buttons and switches having a quality feel.

Even the seating is brilliant and nothing like you would expect from a car with the words ‘workhorse’ in mind.

Drivers can select from six ‘terrain management system’ modes to tackle a wide range of terrain and driving scenarios.

Can it go off-road?

Well, I can answer this one really easy – yes.

So a message to all you Land Rover owners.

The Raptor is pretty good on the muddy stuff. It does not slither about trying to find grip.

What it actually does is point its nose in the direction of travel you want to go in and then steam ahead like Ivor The Engine.

Plus going off-road in the Raptor is pretty cool because, not only does it look cool, it sounds pretty cool too.

For me, it’s a real pop stars 4X4.

If the Ford Raptor was a heavy metal song it would be called ‘Back in Black’ by AC/DC.

Now, some will say that the Ford Raptor is nothing more than ‘bling’ on big wheels and only worth buying if you have more money than sense and live on a housing estate.

Well, I say the ‘Raptor’ is utterly brilliant and Mr Land Rover Discovery owner can in my very own words ‘eat my Raptor dust’.

Maybe that’s why I keep seeing more and more of them out on the open road or messing around on muddy farmland.

Trust me, farmers know their wheels.

I was impressed with the Ford Ranger Raptor, yes it may look like a pop star’s 4X4 – but I’m telling you now – the new Raptor is the real deal – it’s a real ‘workhorse’.

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