Toughened Up Toy Truck

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ford take their Ranger workhorse pick-up and turn the volume to 11 making it into a BIG plaything. 

Compared to the standard workday Ranger, the Ranger Raptor really is BIG. The reinforced chassis and body shell make it both imposing and rugged but does that make it massive and unyielding? 

One thing to remember is that this is a European Raptor. It’s not the US Raptor which means it is suited to our roads and our unknown roads because it will travel well off-road.

Off-road, its ability to cushion the ruts was astounding. The increases in height and track width playing a great part here. It all became a bit of a disappointment. Shocked by this admission, the man from Ford was intrigued by my statement and keen to find out why. The suspension soaks up the worst of the rough and smooths it like a cheesecake topping spread on a rough crumbly biscuit base.

That capable suspension being made of linkages, coilover springs and Fox suspension systems in place of trusty but non-compliant leaf springs. It all comes together to make for a better than happy medium. 

On-road this translates into a comfortable ride with very little road noise from the 30 plus inch wheel and purpose-built tyres with a 20 per cent strengthened sidewall. That said, push the mighty truck into a corner and you soon get complaints from the tyres.

As is typical with a pick-up, the load bed area isn’t integrated with the main shell. This can have a detrimental effect with inertia shaking the rear end, more so when on the road than off-road. Like the main body, the bed is well bolted to the chassis.

What doesn’t work is the engine and the 10-speed automatic gearbox. While the 10 speed is good at keeping the engine on the power band, in standard mode, it keeps it around 2500rpm. The changes are smooth and in some ways it behaves like a typical torque converter system with a bit of slush from the box. It belies the power outputs of the engine. 

The engine, being a 2-litre turbo diesel, develops 213PS from a low 1500rpm and the 500Nm of torque is good in almost any situation. Mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox, it has a ratio for every situation you are ever likely to encounter.

On the road, it doesn’t quite work out as well as you’d think on paper. Power delivery is smooth but it doesn’t feel as quick as the stated 10 seconds quoted. Overtaking needs to be planned. It doesn’t quite fit in with the promise of power that you’d expect. 

I do love a truck so performance of the 0-60 variety isn’t my thing. It’s no Ford F-150 Lightening. What I would be looking at when buying this at almost £50k as tested is its ability to go off-road but also be comfortable on-road and thankfully it does both. So it’s nice to see the inside logical, convenient and comfortable with the fit and finish perhaps a little too good for a workhorse.  

Cheap it might not be but then most playthings aren’t these days and that’s sort of what you have here and it’s fabulous. Speaking of playthings, on its launch, computer game Forza launched the Ranger Raptor to the game. Former TGUK motoring journalist, Alan Taylor-Jones proved to be quite the whizz kid. I wasn’t. Thankfully for me, Ford doesn’t test us on computers simulators first before setting us free. If they did I might be writing this from the other side of the cabin on the comfortable passenger’s seat! 

Love 

The size

Fit and finish

Smooth on road driving

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Loathe

The size

Price

Performance

The Lowdown

Car –  Ford Ranger Raptor

Price – £ 48,000 (as tested)

MPG – 24.4 mpg (combined)

Power – 213PS

0-62mph –  10.5 seconds

Top Speed –  106 mph

Co2 – 233 (g/km)