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Thread: 30 minute review of the 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor

  1. #1
    Validated User WASP's Avatar
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    30 minute review of the 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor



    30 minutes with the 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor

    I was lucky enough to briefly sample one of Ford’s new Ranger’s. In this case a new Raptor no less. This was, in fact, my first sample of an official ‘Ford Performance’ product. The last being many years ago now in Falcon GT (under FPV guise).

    First impressions

    In the flesh, the Raptor was much more imposing than I first expected. You really notice the widebody kit and increased wheel track up close. Combined with the extra ride height and huge semi-off-road tyre’s its an ultra-aggressive looking package. The additional body moldings and wide-body lines have been beautifully integrated and present very cohesively. There is no tacked-on appearance that you can typically get with aftermarket kits. You can tell its visual appearance was important to Ford. Having such a good base to work from in the Ranger didn’t hurt either.

    The more you look at the Raptor, the more excited you become. That said, if I was to be picky at some of the details it would be aimed at the overuse (IMO) of its charcoal grey plastics and finishes which did tend to look a bit low rent. Ford has used a lot of dark grey in finishing touches all over this truck, from the huge front grill, large steel side skirts and wheel colour. I found that these charcoal elements detracted just a little from the Raptor's premium price tag, as well as disguising some of its nicer styling strengths.

    Interior
    While I’m on the record not being a huge fan of leather seats, those used in Raptor looked sensational, particularly with the suede-like material inserts. Both front and rear seats where equally as comfortable and supportive. This is something I know other duel cab Utes in this segment can struggle with.

    The dashboard on first look seems typical of what we have come to expect with Ranger, which is not a bad thing. The main standout elements from the cooking model was the instrument cluster. This surprisingly appears more analog looking than the very tech savvy version in the XLT and Wildtrak Ranger models. While I didn’t get to explore its full capabilities I was assured the Raptor had all the tech of its siblings. The reason for the analog perception was in relation to the Raptor having one single center digital display featured between two analog dials, opposed to normal Rangers duel digital displays with the one central speedo dial.

    Looking out from the cockpit you really notice the widebody moldings and height of the Raptor. It’s very cool! However, caution is needed when stepping out of the Raptor. The rough high grip finish used on the side steps can catch the back of your leg if you are not careful.

    Driving
    Given my limited time with the car, my feedback is also going to be limited to what was basically going around the block the long (and fun) way. Upon start up you notice that the Bi-Turbo two litre sounds quieter and more refined than the many 3.2 turbo diesels I have previously sampled. That said, the new diesel is not so quiet and refined that it sounds out of place in a Raptor or normal Ranger for matter. Another possible reason for the quietness is all the work Ford has done in keeping the cabin noise low in this latest model. It’s quite notable. Traveling at lower and legal speeds the Raptor feel classically Ranger. There is a noticeable stiffness in the ride but nothing that I found particular obtrusive or uncomfortable. Given the size, height and weight of the vehicle I actually found it quiet reassuring. Those huge semi-off road tyre weren't at all noisey either from inside the cabin.

    Given the smaller engine and increased gross mass of the Raptor, I had pretty low expectations on how well it would pull out of the hole, as well as accelerate way on the hop. I’m pleased to report that my reservations where put to rest as the Bi-Turbo and 10 speed made quick work of either task, noticeably more responsive and quicker to react than my previous experiences with the 3.2. Lag seemed pretty much non-existent but I would want to try it out on the open road to be more convinced.

    Another impressive bit of information I learned is the Bi-Turbo economy is quite amazing for such a small motor in such a heavy vehicle. The combination of city and hard off road driving saw this particular Raptor return an average in the 7’s. I can now better understand why Ford went down this path.

    So last, but not least is the Fox Racing suspension. Given that I am on public roads the best I could do to get somewhat of an experience was to travel at the maximum speed limit over what they call traffic calming speed treatments (in other words, large raised sections of road designed to slow down traffic). While this certainly was not much of a test for the Raptor I did note that traveling over the raised sections was almost unnoticeable. The suspension just soaked up all the bumps without even a hint of instability. It was also very smooth for regular duties.

    Verdict
    I love this truck. I left my brief experience with it plotting another life where could justify owning a Ute like the Raptor. The reality is a Raptor, or even Ranger doesn’t suit my needs just at the moment. What my experience has done is cemented the Raptors presence on my future shopping list. I’ve even confirmed it with my better half!

    The question most people will ask is does the Bi-Turbo 2 litre cut it for Raptor. My answer is that for Ranger and Everest it does in spades. I’ve read several reviews where they have been highly critical of the Raptors engine performance ability and I can honestly say, this was not my experience. Again, just keeping in mind they have trailed one much more comprehensively than I have.

    As an engine for the Raptor the Bi-Turbo is best described as sufficient. It supports everything the Ranger Raptor was designed to do. The problem, as I see it is the market and Ford Performance are at odds with what that design brief was. A word like ‘sufficient’ has no place in describing a product of Ford Performance’s making and intent.

    Could I live with it as is? Yes. The 2 litre may be hard to reconcile with but someone’s got to do it!
    Last edited by WASP; 29th November 2018 at 09:10 AM.
    Lifetime Ford Falcon enthusiast and previous owner of the following models XR, XY, XB, XC, XD, EB, AU, BA and FG.
    Current owner of a BA Mk2 FPV GT and a FG XR6 Turbo

    Mustang enthusiast and current owner of a 1969 Mach 1 351 4V 4-barrel M-Code + 2018 Mustang GT 10 speed

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    4Vman (29th November 2018),FTe217 (30th November 2018),HSE2 (29th November 2018),Perko (28th November 2018),Randel (29th November 2018)

  3. #2
    Just Arrived jayjay's Avatar
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    I don't care if it has 10 turbos, a 2 litre engine in a tank like that is crap. 70000 grand for 0-100 in 11 seconds is a joke. Why does America get the v8 Raptor and we have to be content with a 2 litre 70k shit box.

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  5. #3
    Validated User WASP's Avatar
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    Itís hardly a shit box and America get same truck but with the 2.3 T petrol as found in the Mustang.

    They also get is the Rangers Raptors bigger brother. The F150 version with the 3.5 T. Personally I would only want that model with a V8, even if only had a similar output and performance.


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    Lifetime Ford Falcon enthusiast and previous owner of the following models XR, XY, XB, XC, XD, EB, AU, BA and FG.
    Current owner of a BA Mk2 FPV GT and a FG XR6 Turbo

    Mustang enthusiast and current owner of a 1969 Mach 1 351 4V 4-barrel M-Code + 2018 Mustang GT 10 speed

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    7753 - 5030 HSE2's Avatar
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    Brilliant write up mate. Can I put this on our social media outlets please
    History is a statement, the future is a question.

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    Miami Sprint. 4Vman's Avatar
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    Great review Col!!
    My Falcon family heritage: XY V8 Falcon 500, XYGT, XBGT, XC 351 GS, XD 4.1 Spack, EF wagon, AU Wagon, AU2 Wagon, AU2 XR8, BA XR8, BF XR8, FG XR6, Lucky last: Sprint 8. Oh wait, AU3 XLS Marlin Ute!

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  11. #6
    Validated User WASP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HSE2 View Post
    Brilliant write up mate. Can I put this on our social media outlets please
    Of course Ian. Just fixed some typos
    Lifetime Ford Falcon enthusiast and previous owner of the following models XR, XY, XB, XC, XD, EB, AU, BA and FG.
    Current owner of a BA Mk2 FPV GT and a FG XR6 Turbo

    Mustang enthusiast and current owner of a 1969 Mach 1 351 4V 4-barrel M-Code + 2018 Mustang GT 10 speed

  12. #7
    Enjoying FOA's Final Masterpiece Perko's Avatar
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    Interesting your take on the motor. I found it really adequate without being exciting. I can see why they went with it but it didn't make me want to go out and buy it. Just doesn't suit me.
    Ford Heritage : KF Laser, XF Ute, XH Tradesman Ute, EL Futura, AU2 Ute, XD Ute, XH XR6 Ute, BA XR8 Ute, SX Territory, BF XR8 Sedan, EB2 S XR6, EB1 S XR8, WQ Fiesta, FGX XR8, PX2 Ranger

  13. #8
    Validated User WASP's Avatar
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    I guess I have the benefit of having driven quite a few of the 3.2’s so that was my reference point. Compared to that the Bi- Turbo 2lt felt noticeably better and more responsive. As a Ranger engine it’s an improvement for sure. As a Raptor engine it’s not aspirational but gets the job done.
    Lifetime Ford Falcon enthusiast and previous owner of the following models XR, XY, XB, XC, XD, EB, AU, BA and FG.
    Current owner of a BA Mk2 FPV GT and a FG XR6 Turbo

    Mustang enthusiast and current owner of a 1969 Mach 1 351 4V 4-barrel M-Code + 2018 Mustang GT 10 speed

  14. #9
    Miami Sprint. 4Vman's Avatar
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    "Adequate" and Ford Performance should NEVER be used in the same sentence.
    My Falcon family heritage: XY V8 Falcon 500, XYGT, XBGT, XC 351 GS, XD 4.1 Spack, EF wagon, AU Wagon, AU2 Wagon, AU2 XR8, BA XR8, BF XR8, FG XR6, Lucky last: Sprint 8. Oh wait, AU3 XLS Marlin Ute!

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  16. #10
    Validated User VZTRT's Avatar
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    I guess unless you drive this thing off road at wot you won't understand the performance part.

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