These are the top 10 good and bad things about the 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor, in our opinion. Let’s get stuck straight into it, starting with the good.
The Good things about the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor:
10. It looks tough
Obviously design is a subjective thing, but we think everyone will agree this looks very tough and muscular, which seems to be very important for the ute segment; you can’t have a fancy ute or an elegant ute. It has to be tough and macho, and this certainly is.
It’s got pumped wheel arches, sturdy corners, and an imposing front end with FORD written prominently across the grille. Big BFGoodrich tyres, black or darkened highlights, and bash plates underneath complete the go-anywhere look.
9. The engine
This features a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine, bespoke to any other Ford sold in Australia. It’s actually one of the only petrol options in this class, too, excluding the big American pickup trucks. But they don’t fairly stack up against these smaller utes that we know in Australia.
At 292kW, it is the most powerful ute in this specific class. But the maximum torque of 583Nm isn’t all that impressive compared with the power – even the standard Ranger with the V6 diesel produces 600Nm. It doesn’t matter though because finally, the Ranger Raptor gets the power it deserves.
8. Accessories and attention to customer feedback
Ford has really focussed on what buyers want in this segment with the new Ranger, and not just with the Raptor. You can option up for all sorts of accessories from ARB and they’re part of the official Ford range and covered by the official Ford warranty.
It is built with pre-drilled holes so it’s easy to fit a bull bar, and some pre-wired systems are in place so you can easily chuck on an LED light bar. Ford has clearly done a lot of research and taken in a lot of customer feedback with this one.
7. Cabin comfort and refinement
Yes, despite its racy red highlights inside, including for the seats and the steering wheel and around the climate vents, this is actually a pretty refined and comfortable place to be. These seats were apparently inspired by the seats in a jet fighter, but they’re actually very comfortable.
The cushioning is soft and the side bolsters hold you in, but they’re not too aggressive that it makes it uncomfortable. It is surprisingly good for a big family road trip, including in the back. There’s also climate vents in the back and charging ports to keep everyone happy.
6. Drive modes
Basically this features a part-time four-wheel drive system like most 4×4 utes, which means it is rear-wheel drive most of the time. It’s not until you fiddle with the settings to change that around. You’ve got 2H, 4H, 4L, and a 4A mode, which allows you to drive on tarmac surfaces and it won’t wind up the diff or the axles, but still gives you the safety and security of four-wheel drive.
And then you’ve got the main driving modes, from Normal, Sport, Slippery, Mud and Ruts, Baja mode, and a Rock Crawl mode which is basically low range. In other words, you’ve got every mode that you need to conquer every corner of Australia.
5. On-road performance
We’ve timed 0-100km/h in the high-5-seconds range on the old channel, making it the quickest-accelerating ute in this specific class. Keeping in mind we’re excluding the big American pickup trucks, such as the monster RAM 1500 TRX. This is properly quick and not just for a ute.
4. Off-Road performance
Yes, on-road performance is very good. But off-road performance is even better. You can take these off road in very serious conditions and it just goes anywhere. It’ll do whatever you want it to do. It can rock crawl or it can go through boggy sand, boggy mud, or just straight up go for a rally and do some jumps and so on. It’ll do everything that you want it to do, and more. It’s also lots of fun in such environments.
3. Ride comfort
Utes are not designed for ride comfort. They’re designed for carrying and towing things. That’s why there’s a big tub at the back. So, sometimes, comfort and ride is sacrificed for the sake of load carrying. This is a bit different. Underneath you’ll find hardcore Fox Racing suspension with live-valve technology. It basically means it offers proactive damping control rather than just reactive. And it can monitor inputs at up to 500 times per second.
That all sounds very exciting and racy and technical, but what it means for you is that it is quite comfortable. In fact, it is the most comfortable ute in this specific class in our opinion. It also handles really well, remaining flat and stable around corners even when pushed hard.
2. The price
It starts from $87,890 in Australia (excluding on-roads), which is pretty steep compared with all of the other dual-cab utes in this specific class. But, we think it’s a pretty good value considering it comes with completely different suspension than any other Ranger. It’s also got a completely different engine than any other Ranger, different brakes, different interior, and different drive modes.
For the extra 15-20 grand more than the otherwise flagship Ranger Wildtrak or Platinum, it’s decent value in our books. Ford could have easily presented this for about $120k and people would still buy it. So it’s great that Ford hasn’t been silly in that way.
1. A proper driving enthusiast
You can actually lock the rear differential in this without being in four-wheel drive. It is such a troublemaker, because it means you can do burnouts and go drifting and all that sort of thing whenever you please (preferably off public roads).
It’s also got a barking exhaust, and there’s even that Baja driving mode with front and rear diff locks, which makes it perfect for rallying. No other ute on the market at the moment offers this level of character and attitude, except for that TRX. But that’s double the price.
The Bad things about the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor
10. No corner step
With a normal Ranger you’ve got a handy step that’s embedded into the rear bumper bar. But because of the customer exhaust system on the Raptor, that step isn’t possible. Instead, you have to use either the tow hooks or the rear wheel to heave yourself over the tailgate.
9. Exhaust sound
On first impressions, yes, it sounds loud and full of attitude. It’s got a good exhaust note compared with the other vehicles in this specific class, that’s for sure. But if you have a good listen to it, it doesn’t sound that appealing. There are better-sounding six-cylinder engines out there. Inline-sixes can sound a bit better in our opinion, but there are some sweet V6s, such as the Alfa Romeo Guilia QV and McLaren Artura.
There are a number of exhaust modes you can go through on the Raptor, including Quiet, Normal, Sport, and Baja. But the differences are subtle until you really open up the throttle.
It would be difficult to take your grandmother to church in this with a straight face. Or take someone to a funeral, especially in this bright orange colour. You’re going to stand out like a sore thumb. We’d imagine it wouldn’t be a good look turning up to some job interviews in this, either. Simply because it’s a bit animated and lacks sophistication. At least in the eyes of some people.
7. Fuel economy
Obviously, this isn’t designed for outright fuel efficiency. But it is important to note you will be spending a fair bit of time at the petrol station with one of these bad boys. We took this example on a family trip up the coast, with mainly highway driving. And the trip computer returned an average of 12.7L/100km. That’s pretty high. In the city and suburbs expect 14-15L.
The official average consumption is 11.5L and it has an 80L fuel tank, which means the theoretical average range is about 700km.
6. Braking performance
This will stop from 100km/h in a Vbox-verified 46-47 metres. That’s a fair bit more than a regular Ranger, which takes around 42-43 metres on the same piece of tarmac. A normal hatchback or SUV takes about 37, 38 or maybe 39 metres if it doesn’t have the best tires. Some European vehicles require only 35 or 36 metres.
So for this to require 10 extra metres, it’s just something to consider. Especially if you’re planning on using this only to run the kids to school. If you are going to utilise those big chunky tyres off road, regularly, then the sacrifice could be worth it. It’s not just the Raptor, though. Almost all all-terrain tyres cause longer stopping distances.
5. Towing and load ratings
The Ranger Raptor has a braked towing capacity of 2500kg, which is 1000kg less than a normal Ranger. That’s a decent chunk. The payload in the back is also quite a bit less. A Ranger Wildtrak is rated at about 950kg, whereas this is only rated to 700kg.
You will have to keep that in mind if you’re planning to use this as a daily workhorse compared with a regular Ranger, or most other dual-cab diesel 4×4 utes on the market for that matter.
4. Engine presentation
Check out the engine. For a performance model, one that you’re probably going to show off to your mates and pop the bonnet to have a look, this is not a nice engine bay presentation. Even if Ford put a partial plate over the engine with ‘twin-turbo performance’ or something written on it, just to conceal some of the tangled pipes and whatnot, it would look nicer.
3. Choppier ride than before
The latest model features a 2.5 version of Fox Racing’s suspension. It does feel a bit choppier on the road compared with the previous, first-generation Ranger Raptor in our opinion. Mainly across corrugations and little bumps, you can feel the imperfections in the road more so than the previous generation.
We have no doubt the suspension technology is a lot more advanced than before, and it is likely to handle hard off-road abuse with greater skill. However, we think it is something to note during your test drive to see if it suits your needs.
2. Touch-screen layout
It is a nice big 12-inch touch-screen, so it definitely has that on its side. But some of the menu layouts and the functions are just a bit scattered in our opinion. You’ve got lots of pull-up and drop-down menus everywhere with no central hub.
There is a home button for the MY24 update, but even it is just a drop-down menu screen. It’d be nice if Ford offered a proper home page we think.
There is definitely a lot of enjoyment available from this beast, especially if you have a farm or something to thrash around on. But as a day-to-day vehicle, it can be a bit of a bad influence on you. The exhaust is loud and you find yourself giving it some more often than you might in other utes. You can also lock the rear diff without being in four-wheel drive, which is awesome for drifting and burnouts, but again, it might encourage bad (or fun, depending on your stance) behaviour with some individuals.
Obviously you don’t have to take it off jumps or go rallying, but with all of these functions available, it might feel like you’re missing out if you don’t do these things. Basically, we’re just saying it’s not going to appeal to everybody. However, we are so glad that Ford at least offers something like this as it is always great to see enthusiasm and a passion for driving in the new-car market.
So there we have it, the top 10 good and bad things about the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor. What do you think? Have we missing something? Let us know in the comments below or on the YouTube channel.
We’ll have our full written review coming soon – along with our usual 0-100km/h and engine sound video – for more insight.