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2020 Ford Ranger Raptor Review




Ford has been manufacturing durable trucks for decades. And when you think ‘pick-up truck,’ it’s arguably almost one of the first brands to come into mind. In 1983, the Ford Ranger series was introduced. Fast forward to 38 years later, and here we are with their latest and most decked-out iteration yet, the Ford Ranger Raptor 2020.  But if the XLS and XLT models make for great utilitarian pick-ups, while the Wildtracks cater to a more sporty and luxurious appeal, where does that leave their most premium variant?

Injected with Ford Performance DNA to thrive in the world’s most brutal environments, the Ranger Raptor is their top-of-the-line, factory-ready high-speed off-road performance truck. Its revolutionary 2.0L bi-turbo diesel engine and 10-speed automatic transmission have been calibrated to deliver next-level off-road capability. And there’s no doubt that the Ford Ranger Raptor is capable of fulfilling your off-road needs. But, we also wonder: just how capable can this handle day-to-day driving in an urban environment? Will drive-thru’s from your favorite fast-food chain or the tight streets of the city get in the way of this truck? And perhaps more importantly, what should you expect from driving this on an everyday basis? Let’s go and find out.

The Engine

To break things down faster, if you’re looking for speed, this truck might not be the one for you. But you probably already knew that because trucks were never built to do that kind sort of thing anyway. It might have been a stretch to expect at least a lightweight EcoBoost V6 onboard, but taking into account our smaller roads and congested streets of the Metro, Ford decided to place a new 2.0-liter bi-turbo diesel four-cylinder engine is definitely for a good reason.

Of course, being a diesel engine, there’s going to be some rattle when off to a cold start, but it’s much quieter than the standard 3.2-liter engines we’re used to seeing on other Rangers, making this already a potentially good daily-driver. Coupled with that 10-speed transmission, it makes for 213 hp and 500Nm of torque @ 1750 rpm, which is very respectable, to say the least. When it comes to power delivery, we still wish we had a V6 variant to broaden the spectrum.

A maximum speed of 175 km/hr is the most you’re going to get on the highway, assuming that’s even acceptable to do. And with more than 10 seconds to reach the 100 kph mark, it’s certainly not the fastest. Despite our short time with it, the Ranger Raptor series has always been known to be an outstandingly reliable vehicle, and we’re going to bet this one doesn’t stray far from that either.

The Looks

The front sports a huge grille that immediately screams “AMERICAN TRUCK” because of its signature FORD logo. LED Headlamps on both sides are present with DRLs, Fog lamps below, and skid plates to protect this vehicle’s underside when you do some off-roading. The bumper is directly mounted to the chassis for a more studier body, and of course, we’ve got tow-hooks as well with a 3500kg towing capacity.

Checking out its sides, there’s nothing much going on here apart from your standard door handles (obviously), side mirrors with repeaters, and of course, you can’t miss out on those sporty-looking 17-inch alloy wheels.

A ground clearance of 283mm is going to make getting over a lot of uneven areas a breeze, while a wading depth of 800mm should be more than enough to cross through deep waters without a single hitch. And while you probably think that’s something meant for outdoor adventures and crossing riverbanks, we think flash floods in the city are a more common use-case for this vehicle (and it will probably excel at it too).

We’ve got a FOX suspension system coupled with a 3,220mm long wheelbase, making speed bumps and road imperfections feel like almost nothing. And to top it off, a metal step-board is also present to further complement its premium yet highly-robust look.

The Ranger Raptor’s rear-end continues to emanate the ‘macho’ aesthetic but is less intimidating than its front. A dedicated rear-view camera sits right below the Raptor and Ford badging for seamless reversing. As for the actual “pick-up” part, we always appreciate Ford’s consideration for cup-holders and a 12v socket on the Bedliner for those impromptu outdoor sessions. One small detail we also like is the Tailgate lift assist and Tailgate Lock, which gives pickup truck owners peace of mind that their tailgate will not be walking away any time soon.

What’s it like inside?

If you are used to Ford’s layout, everything here looks almost similar to other Ford Pickup trucks– at least their more recent ones.

Checking out the driver’s side, it’s downright comfortable, and as expected, has a more spacious cabin than your standard Ranger. We have some proper leg-room, the seats give just enough support below the thigh, and its 3-point adjustment controls ensure a nearly perfect seating configuration. The lack of a telescoping steering wheel is something to note, but we didn’t have trouble living with that.


 

The interior has a combination of well-made plastic and leather trims. Push to start/stop button, media and mode controls on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a sporty red stripe in the middle, which complements the outside’s sporty design.

Sandwiched between the RPM and Speedometer is a display to change your driving modes and a compact trip computer between the gauges for things like fuel and mileage. Earlier, I mentioned that speed isn’t going to be this vehicle’s strong suit, but there’s no denying that the metal paddle shifters are a solid touch. Oftentimes I would catch myself feeling like I was maneuvering a sports-car, only to be reminded by the rest of the tinier vehicle’s around me that I was driving a 4×4 pick-up truck.

One of the things we enjoy about reviewing Ford cars lies in their perseverance to continuously incorporate next-gen tech into their vehicles. One of those tech pieces is their eye-catching, 8-inch TFT Touch Screen infotainment unit in the middle powered by SYNC 3. We get hands-free phone calls and music control, Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and conveniently onboard navigation. Climate controls can also be found here, and yes, they can be voice-activated as well.

While it is certainly ahead in the game compared to many other competitors, it can be a little finicky at times–like the delay in touch response and problems updating over Wi-Fi. But other than that, it’s pretty entertaining! We still get physical knobs for media and climate controls, which is a nice touch for those who don’t want to get the screen oily. And surprisingly, an Optical disc drive still exists on such a modern pick-up! More 12V plugs and a USB port can be found below the console, and as for storage, we’re getting a massive central bin under the armrest, plus an open space below the dashboard.

Checking out the back, we have an equally spacious area with the ceiling height being slightly higher. In the middle sits an armrest with two cup holders and another 12V socket paired with a 230V home standard plug, which theoretically will help keep you connected even when away from home–nice!

For Safety and tech, the Ranger Raptor comes equipped with: 6 Airbags which we have yet to test out (kidding), ABS with EBD, ISOFIX tethers, Cruise Control, Hill Start & Descent Assist, Pre Collision Assist, Lane Keep Assist, and Parking Sensors with Rear View Camera.

Fuel Consumption and Daily Driving

An 80L fuel tank resides in the Ranger Raptor, which is touted to attain a fuel economy of about 12.35 km/L. Putting it to the test, we could get a much better fuel consumption average of around 16.7 km/L and about 14.2 km/L in the city. Not bad at all!

It’s quite commendable for such a large vehicle to be as fuel-efficient as other SUVs and Sedans with similar or even higher displacement engines. We’re thanking that 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo for giving a good balance between performance and efficiency.

Obviously, this can handle rough terrains, but how did it fare on bumper-to-bumper traffic? It’s not that bad, far from what we imagined. Going back to what I said about it feeling like a sports-car, the only times I would realize that I wasn’t just driving a tall sedan is when it came to Parking and entering Drive-Thrus.

That’s not to say we’re all perfect parkers and drivers here, but I found out that one of the most challenging areas is when it comes to parallel parking and sometimes even mall parking. If you’ve owned a pickup before, I’m sure you can resonate to some degree. The dedicated rearview camera accompanied by parking sensors makes it much easier, though.

To add to that, not all Drive-Thrus and car entryways are built the same. We didn’t run into any major challenges testing these out in our local fast-food chains. Still, we can already imagine some drive-thrus to have sharper corners and narrower entry-ways, which isn’t always going to sit well with the Ranger Raptors length.

Conclusion

The 2020 Ford Ranger Raptor reminds us that anybody can be a pickup-truck owner (yes, even you!), but that’s not to say it’s for everyone. If there’s anything we learned from driving this, it’s that you don’t necessarily need to be always off-roading or hauling things to appreciate this 4×4 vehicle.

If that doesn’t convince you, I’m sure the growing number of Rangers you can see on the road will. And despite the little hiccups, the pros generally still outweigh the cons by a long shot, especially if you’re looking for an outstanding pick-up truck with a whole lotta premium.

The 2020 Ford Ranger Raptor has an SRP of PHP 1,998,000 and is available in 5 colors: Arctic White, Absolute Black, Conquer Gray, Performance Blue, and not False, but TRUE Red. The price might be a little stiff to some consumers, but I tell you, it is worth every penny. From your adventurous needs to it being your Sunday’s best, the Ford Ranger Raptor is the definition of an all-around vehicle.



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