Car Enthusiast - click here to access the home page


 



Driven: 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor V6. Image by Ford.

Driven: 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor V6
Fordís new Ranger Raptor gets petrol power, as well as diesel, but does the madcap pick-up truck make sense in this high-performance form?

   



<< earlier review     later review >>

Reviews homepage -> Ford reviews

2023 Ford Ranger Raptor 3.0 V6

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

The previous-generation Raptor developed so much interest for Ford that a new model, based on the latest iteration of the Ranger, was inevitable. And we're here to find out whether it's just as good as its predecessor. But we're also on another mission, because Ford has taken the decision to offer a petrol-powered version, and it's that car you see before you. The diesel remains on sale, but will this 3.0-litre V6 version be the more desirable of the two?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor 3.0 EcoBoost V6
Price: From £59,160
Engine: 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 petrol
Transmission: 10-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Power: 292hp
Torque: 491Nm
Emissions: 315g/km
Economy: 20.5mpg
0-62mph: 7.9 seconds
Top speed: 111mph
Gross Payload: 701kg
Max Towing Capacity: 2,410kg

Styling

Naturally, because the latest-generation Raptor takes its inspiration from the latest-generation Ranger, the design follows that of the newer pick-up truck. That means the bodywork is more boxy and more modern, with a massive front grille into which the lights are integrated. But the Raptor accoutrements are quite similar, in that there are massive wheel arch protectors, huge off-road tyres and special bumpers, as well as the Raptor decals on the flanks. The result is a truck that looks even cooler than before, although the extra style is almost entirely taken from the Ranger platform, rather than Ford's Raptor-specific tweaks.

Interior

As with the exterior, the Raptor's cabin is a development of the standard Ranger's interior. That means you get the same basic dashboard design, with its massive portrait-orientated touchscreen, rectangular air vents and digital instrument display. But Ford has added some sporty touches, with a bespoke steering wheel and seats, as well as a few other visual tweaks.

It's a smart cabin, when all's said and done, but it does come with some quality-related hangovers from the common-or-garden Ranger. Chief among these are the door catches, which are hidden in the arm rests and feel a bit plasticky and fragile, which means they're not at all in keeping with the vehicle's rugged image. The same applies to some of the rotary controls on the lower dashboard, which also feel quite flimsy.

But part of the reason for this impression is that the rest of the cabin feels fairly solid. The dashboard is chunky, the buttons on the steering wheel feel robust and the materials are pretty good in the context of other pick-up trucks. It's hardly the most premium environment, but the Raptor-centric tweaks are enough to make it feel special.

And the technology is impressive, too. The touchscreen is essentially taken from the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV, and it uses some modern technology and graphics to feel very contemporary and quite classy. It isn't the best system on the market by any stretch, but it's far from the worst. And though the digital instrument display is a little chaotic in its layout, it still manages to offer all the information you need and present it clearly enough.

Practicality

In the world of pick-up trucks, practicality isn't really measured in terms of boot space, but in payload, and there the Raptor struggles slightly. Whereas a more conventional Ranger can easily carry a tonne of cargo in its rear load bed, the Raptor isn't so well-endowed, with a payload of just over 700kg, and that means there's a tax implication for company car drivers. It also means the Raptor isn't quite as much use as a pick-up truck. The Raptor can't tow as much as a conventional Ranger, either, but a 2.4-tonne maximum trailer weight isn't exactly a disaster. It's just nothing like the 3.5 tonnes you can tow with a Ranger Wildtrak.

But it isn't all about weights. The Raptor obviously goes without a boot, although you can have a cover for the load bed, and there's enough space inside to carry a family of four with no issues. You can get adults in the rear seats, too, although they might not be quite so comfy.

Performance

Up front, the Ranger Raptor was previously offered with just one engine Ė a 2.0-litre diesel with 210hp Ė but the more enlightened new model adds to the range with a more powerful 3.0-litre V6 petrol tested here. Offering 292hp, it has plenty of grunt, and it sends its power to the wheels via a 10-speed automatic gearbox and a selectable all-wheel-drive system. That means 0-62mph takes 7.9 seconds and the top speed is 111mph, which isnít all that impressive for something that costs about £60,000. However, itís ballistic for a pick-up truck, and it means the Raptor can easily keep up with most executive saloons in a way your average pick-up simply canít.

Naturally, though, using a petrol engine in a pick-up truck comes with an economy penalty. Even the diesel engine isnít that efficient Ė youíre probably looking at economy in the high-20s in the real world Ė but the petrol engineís official figures put its economy at 20.5mpg. And in the real world, that looks more like the high teens. But at least the engine is smooth and punchy, and it has a lovely burble to it as the revs build.

Ride & Handling

Although the Raptor is an expensive vehicle, and a rival for luxury SUVs in the eyes of many, it's still a pick-up truck, and it has to be viewed in that context. Fortunately, it's a very capable pick-up truck, so it stacks up pretty well. Not that we're surprised by that, because the conventional Ranger is such a competent vehicle both on- and off-road.

Let's start with the road manners, because that's where the Raptor will spend most of its time. Like a conventional Ranger, it has great steering, which means it's precise and easy to place, but the clever suspension means the Raptor has better body control than a normal pick-up truck, allowing it to corner without too much roll. That means the Raptor feels more like an SUV than a truck, although the all-terrain tyres mean it doesn't quite have the grip it would find from more conventional rubber.

Off-road, however, the Raptor really shows its worth. Whereas a conventional Ranger is a very capable thing, the Raptor can jump over berms, plough through streams and spray dirt everywhere like some kind of overgrown rally car. It's immensely tough, and that strength, combined with the underbody protection and selectable all-wheel-drive system, means it can take off-roading to the next level. It's so much more than just a 4x4.

But despite all that, it's surprisingly comfortable. Sure, it doesn't ride as well as a Mercedes-Benz GLC or any other £60,000 luxury SUV, but it isn't that far behind. It's certainly more than acceptable on the motorway, and it's as good as, if not better than, any other pick-up on the market.

Value

The Ranger Raptor doesn't come cheap. A basic diesel comes in at £55,560, while the petrol tested here will set you back £59,160. And that's before you start mucking about with options. Yes, you get a big, rough-and-tumble vehicle for your money, but aside from the rally stuff, the equipment is little better than you'll find on a Wildtrak, with satellite navigation, a digital instrument display and leather upholstery standard across both models. For company car drivers, however, the Wildtrak will be considerably cheaper in terms of tax.

Verdict

Nobody has any need for a Ranger Raptor, but that doesn't mean nobody will want one. It's outrageously quick, it has oodles of presence and it sounds epic. It drives well, too, and it can do all the cool off-road stuff for which it was designed. But most of all, it's cool in a ridiculous, rufty-tufty kind of way.



James Fossdyke - 2 Jan 2024



  www.ford.co.uk    - Ford road tests
- Ford news
- Ranger images

2023 Ford Ranger Raptor. Image by Ford.2023 Ford Ranger Raptor. Image by Ford.2023 Ford Ranger Raptor. Image by Ford.2023 Ford Ranger Raptor. Image by Ford.2023 Ford Ranger Raptor. Image by Ford.

2023 Ford Ranger Raptor. Image by Ford.2023 Ford Ranger Raptor. Image by Ford.2023 Ford Ranger Raptor. Image by Ford.2023 Ford Ranger Raptor. Image by Ford.







 

Internal links:   | Home | Privacy | Contact us | Archives | Old motor show reports | Follow Car Enthusiast on Twitter | Copyright 1999-2024 ©