LONG-TERM UPDATE 1 | Ford Ranger Raptor joins us for six-month test

Caption to Raptor Main: The Ranger Raptor is a mix of belligerent aesthetics, luxury items and off-road ability.
Caption to Raptor Main: The Ranger Raptor is a mix of belligerent aesthetics, luxury items and off-road ability.
Image: SUPPLIED

The Ford Ranger has been going toe-to-toe with all the big names in the double cab wars for quite a while now and it certainly can hold its head up high when it comes to the multiple disciplines expected of the niche. It’s daily transportation for both work and family and when necessary, it tames wild terrain at the behest of adventurous owners.

We’ve welcomed a Ranger Raptor into our long-term test fleet for six-months to see how life gets on with it. In this guise Ford has layered onto that all-round usefulness a menacing machismo of flared wheel arches, a unique grille and fitted extra-large wheels.

The aftermarket modifications industry made a killing offering wild-looking body kits for the Ford Ranger, and which saw them at loggerheads with Ford’s warranty rules.

On the one hand the Raptor addresses individual needs for the monster off-roader looks while at same time being the sort of go-anywhere terrain master that’s equipped with ratified mod cons such as specialist Fox shocks which are normally fitted on bakkies with lifted suspensions. It’s 46mm higher than its Ranger Wildtrak cousin which requires a driver to be wary of their surroundings.

It also tips a hat to the Baja (Ba-ha) 1000, a Mexican off-road race where the competing cars seemingly spend the entire race airborne and it’s held annually on the Baja California Peninsula.

The Raptor has already racked up just over 1,000km since it rumbled through my gates and the 2.0l biturbo engine with its 157kW and 500Nm that’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission is strong, but it’s not what I’d describe as muscular.

Luxuries and conveniences are plentiful, and the sculpted seats are covered in grippy cloth and leather.
Luxuries and conveniences are plentiful, and the sculpted seats are covered in grippy cloth and leather.
Image: SUPPLIED

It’s enough power for overtaking and for towing it's rated 2,500kg, which is 1,000kg less than regular Ranger models, and it’s stubbornly sticking to a 10l/100km fuel eating habit. The lowest I’ve managed was 9.8l/100km and I’m still getting used to the sheer size of the thing, more so when parking. But it has proven comfortable with a fairly short turning circle for swinging around obstacles.

Luxuries and conveniences are plentiful. Cruise control, Bluetooth, the touchscreen display and either of the pair of USB ports are getting the most action. There’s nothing gimmicky in there, save perhaps for that Baja Mode, which I plan to test out as soon as I can secure a date to try it out at the Ford Club of SA’s off-road play pen out in the Haartebeestpoort area where I’m told there’s a special course designed for the high-flying Raptor.  

Baja Mode is an option in the six-mode Terrain Management System which optimises the gear-shifting for maximum performance, sharpens the steering, and decreases the traction control intervention to allow for tail-sliding action.

But it’s a pleasant enough cabin with sculpted seats covered in grippy cloth and leather combination upholstery. The command seat position is great and it allows for good views out the glasshouse.

So far so good and the only issue is my unsuccessful attempt to register it on the FordPass app which will enable remote starting of the engine and display other information.

Tech Specs

ENGINE

Type: Biturbo four-cylinder

Capacity: 2.0l

Power: 157kW

Torque: 500Nm

TRANSMISSION

Type: 10-speed Auto

DRIVETRAIN

Type: Part-time 4x4

PERFORMANCE

Top speed: N/A

0-100km/h: N/A

Fuel Consumption: 8.3l/100km (claimed), 10.0l/100km (as tested)

Emissions: 220g/km

STANDARD FEATURES

Bluetooth, navigation, electric folding mirrors, auto on/off lights, LED daytime running lights, high beam assist, adaptive cruise control, park distance control back with camera, rain sensor wipers, climate control, heated leather/cloth upholstery, keyless access, 2x USB port, ABS, stability control, seven airbags, Baja Mode    

COST OF OWNERSHIP

Warranty: Four years/120,000km

Service plan: Six years/90,000km

Price: R910,200

Lease: R19,433 per month

* at 10% interest over 60 months no deposit


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