Long-term update: Ford Ranger Raptor hits the open road
By: Reon Pillay
JOHANNESBURG - Having recently done a 752km drive from Johannesburg to Durban’s South Coast in the Drive360/IOL long-term Ford Ranger Raptor test car, I’m confident in saying that this bakkie does it all and does it well.
At a first glance, The Raptor is quite intimidating with its bold block letter grille, exposed Fox shocks and huge rugged tyres. One would say that the new Ford Raptor is only meant to go off-road but this gentle giant does both extremely well.
The interior design with the leather/suede sport seats that hug you, making you feel safer, is not what I expected to be welcomed with. Ford has really upped its game with this model. I got myself familiar with the layout and tech the Raptor has to offer quite quickly. With a few touches, my destination was set in the multi-view satellite Navigation, and displayed on the 8 inch high quality touchscreen.
The only negative I picked up was when my wife asked to adjust her seat and noticed the passenger seat was not electric.
Our journey was kilometres of open highway which was the perfect test for the Raptor to see how smooth and comfortable it could be. We were not disappointed at all, especially encountering many stops due to roadworks on the N3.
The drive over the unfinished road was like driving on newly laid down tar thanks to the advanced suspension and 35 inch tyres. One of the most memorable parts of the journey was the reaction from other drivers when they saw this beast approaching them in their rear-view mirrors. The Raptor certainly commands respect on the road.
I was curious to feel how the new 2-litre twin turbo and 10-speed automatic transmission was going to gain speed, considering the weight it carries and once again, it did not disappoint, quickly getting me to 120km/h. The quick changes on the new transmission, made it effortless and as a result this vehicle feels perfect for the open road.
Once I was settled and enjoying the drive, the thoughts going through my mind were about what the fuel consumption would be for a bakkie this size? Where is the next filling station and should I need to re-fuel? Once again, the Raptor blew my mind. Averaging only 9.5L/100km at an average of 1700rpm, I reached my destination, 752km later, with fuel to spare.
Driving through the narrow roads of the South Coast and with a strong coastal breeze, there were times when I felt that the Raptor might be too big but thanks to the lane assist function, I was able to stay in my lane with ease.
Some other safety features include Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking..
Having previously done this long trip in my Toyota Fortuner, I thought I had found the ultimate roadtrip vehicle but the Raptor has changed that. It’s not only great on the open highway and off-road, but as a daily drive, this big double cab does it all and is not damaging to the pocket in terms of fuel consumption.
The retail price though at R875 700 might be a different story for our current market.