The What Van? Road Test: Ford Ranger Raptor

Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Greta Thunberg would probably hate it, but we don’t care. We absolutely love it, and we’re delighted to have been let loose in it.

We’re talking about Ford’s rip-snorting all-conquering top-of-the-range Ranger Raptor double-cab 4x4 pick-up powered by a V6 petrol engine with almost 300hp on tap.

Perhaps we ought to repeat that. A near-on-300hp V6 petrol lump – not a diesel, and a world away from woke and worthy zero-emission battery-electric or hydrogen fuel cell technology. 

That makes it something of a paradox given that the Big Blue Oval constantly harps on about the environmental virtues of its electric Transit and the other electric vans it is progressively rolling out.

So, is Ford trying to have it both ways? Well, what do you think?

It clearly recognises that there is a demand among fleet operators in particular for electric vans because it wants to cut its CO2 footprint and show its customers that it is environmentally responsible. It is also conscious that government-invoked penalties will clobber manufacturers that fail to increase the percentage of zero-emission light commercials they sell to 100% between now and 2035.

At the same time Ford is well aware that there is a healthy demand for well-specified head-turning 4x4 pick-ups among a coterie of buyers who are more interested in out-and-out performance on- and off-road than what does or does not come out of the exhaust pipe.

The Raptor goes a long way towards meeting that demand.

If the V6 petrol power pack is just too much for you, then bear in mind that the four-door five-seater Raptor is also up for grabs with a 210hp 2.0-litre diesel. It too offers a decent level of performance but burns less juice.

Fitted with Fox adaptive shock absorbers, the petrol V6 we tested comes with a variety of different selectable off-road driving modes; Sand, Rock Crawl, Mud/Ruts and Baja. The on-road modes are Normal, Sport and Slippery.

Buttons on the steering wheel allow you to alter the stiffness of the suspension, the amount of steering assistance you get, and even the sound of the exhaust.

If the petrol truck has a drawback (aside from the price and its fuel consumption) then it’s the meagre gross payload capacity it offers, at just 676kg. If you are a business then you will be unable to reclaim the VAT because the figure falls below the all-important 1.0-tonne gross payload threshold, although we suspect that this is unlikely to deter many Raptor-enthused business buyers.

Unusually therefore all the prices we are quoting for the petrol Raptor include VAT. 

The diesel however, offers a gross payload capacity of 1,037kg, which makes it VAT-efficient. It can also tow 3.5 tonnes whereas the V6 is limited to 2.5 tonnes.


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