Ford Ranger Raptor Review 2024

Written by Richard Aucock

9/10
heycar ratingLarger-than-life pick-up truck
  • 2022
  • Pick-up
  • Petrol, Diesel

Quick overview

Pros

  • Mighty performance for a pick-up truck
  • Able to tackle rough terrain with ease
  • Generous level of standard equipment

Cons

  • Expensive running costs
  • Does not qualify as a commercial vehicle
  • Lack of Baja-style desert dunes in the UK

Overall verdict on the Ford Ranger Raptor

“Forget any ideas of this just being another trim level for the Ford Ranger. The Raptor is closer to being an off-road race truck, with an incredible amount of ability in the dirt. It has plenty of charm, but comes at a considerable cost.”

Ford Ranger Raptor Review 2024

The Ford Ranger is one of the best pick-up trucks on sale, offering a combination of practicality and on-road manners. However, the Ranger Raptor takes things in a completely different direction, with motorsport-derived technology making it nearly unstoppable off the beaten track.


With the previous-generation Ranger Raptor, Ford only offered a diesel engine in the UK. But things have been ratcheted up a notch for the latest model, following extensive development work by Ford’s Australian engineers.


The result is a new twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine, available alongside the previous 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel. Both are combined with a 10-speed automatic transmission, along with a two-speed transfer case for true four-wheel-drive performance.


The Ranger Raptor’s biggest party trick are its Fox ‘Live Valve’ suspension dampers, only fitted to the petrol model. These adjust constantly to the conditions, and can even detect when the Ranger Raptor is airborne over jumps.


They are just part of the extensive array of off-road technology fitted, along with a high level of standard specification. Sport seats inspired by a fighter jet, a digital instrument panel and a five-star safety rating are all part of the package.


The Ford Ranger Raptor is not cheap to buy, with the diesel-powered model starting from £57,000 and the more powerful petrol version costing upwards of £60,000. Given its relatively limited practicality, this transforms the Ranger Raptor into an expensive plaything, rather than a hard-working utility truck.


Not being classed as a light commercial vehicle by HMRC means VAT cannot be reclaimed by business users. It also results in full-rate Benefit-in-Kind company car tax, so could see those in the 40 percent tax bracket paying more than £720 a month.


Combine this with fuel economy that will be close to 20mpg regardless of the engine chosen, and owning a Ranger Raptor is not for the faint of heart – or the shallow of pocket.


Yet all this somehow just adds to the appeal of the Ranger Raptor. On paper it might not make sense, but its sheer ability and exuberant character result in a larger-than-life experience. If you want an alternative to traditional performance vehicles, with near unrivalled prowess in the mud, the Ford Ranger Raptor could be for you.


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Forget any idea of the Ford Ranger Raptor being merely a faster version of the blue oval’s popular pick-up truck. This is a genuine off-road performance vehicle, with almost every component developed and tuned to allow the Ranger Raptor to be almost unstoppable in the dirt.


Opportunities to use the Ford Ranger Raptor’s ability to the maximum in the UK are likely to be limited, unlike in Australia where it was first born.


Instead, the Raptor is something of an indulgence, even though it still retains plenty of practicality compared to a traditional sports car. 


The Ford Ranger Raptor lineup is a simple one, giving buyers the choice between petrol or diesel power. There is only a slight difference in list price between the two engine options when new, while real-world fuel economy is likely to be closely matched.


As a result, we think the 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 version of the Ranger Raptor is a better option than the diesel. It delivers much more performance, along with a more inspiring exhaust note. For a pick-up truck that is all about maximum entertainment, ‘go big or go home’ with the Ranger Raptor’s engine choices.


The generous level of standard specification is the same with both engines. There are also a host of customisation options to add, such as load bed covers and storage boxes.


If you want to make your Ranger Raptor look even more dramatic, consider combining Code Orange paintwork with the exterior decal package.

The Ford Ranger Raptor finds itself in a class of its own here in the UK. High-performance pick-up trucks are not a common sight on our shores, meaning the Raptor has no natural predators.


There is the Volkswagen Amarok Aventura to consider, which comes with the option of a 240PS 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine. Alternatively, the Toyota Hilux GR Sport is powered by a 204PS 2.8-litre diesel.


Given the level of driving fun on offer, true sports cars like the BMW M2 or Porsche 718 Cayman might be in the running, too.

Comfort and design: Ford Ranger Raptor interior

“Ford has given the Ranger Raptor plenty of fancy trimmings, but this is still a practical pick-up truck underneath it all.”

Ford Ranger Raptor Review 2024

As the performance model in the Ford Ranger lineup, the Raptor is fundamentally the same on the inside as its tamer cousins. Naturally, there has been an attempt to liven things up, including liberal use of the Raptor’s trademark Code Orange hue.


This bold colour is applied to the air vent surrounds, steering wheel and Ford Performance sports seats. It certainly helps elevate the Raptor beyond being just another pick-up truck, adding just enough sporting kudos without becoming too cliched.


Ford says the front sports seats were inspired by those found in a fighter jet, and they are certainly grippy enough should you take flight in the Ranger Raptor. They come with 10-way power adjustment, along with heating and cooling functions, making it very easy to get comfortable.

A utilitarian pick-up truck is not the typical starting point for a performance vehicle. Thankfully, Ford has done just enough to the Ranger Raptor’s interior to justify its premium price tag.


There is liberal use of soft-touch faux leather and suede fabrics, along with gloss carbon fibre-esque trim and the previously mentioned Code Orange highlights to lift the cabin. If you really go hunting around, naturally you will find some harder plastics being used, but this is still a truck that could live a hard life if needed.


At this price point, sportier alternatives like a BMW M2 or Porsche 718 Cayman will naturally offer a more luxurious interior. But neither of those cars can tow a heavy trailer or bash their way across sand dunes (and still be working at the other end).

Ford has opted for a fashionable portrait-orientated infotainment touchscreen for the latest Ranger, sharing this setup with the related Volkswagen Amarok. The blue oval’s system is distinct from the German manufacturer’s setup, though, making use of the latest Ford SYNC4-A operating system.


For the Raptor, this means a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, with large icons that are easy to press and quick to respond. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity are included as standard, along with satellite navigation, DAB radio and five USB connections. There is even a windscreen-mounted USB port to power a dashcam.


Compared to the rest of the Ranger lineup, the Raptor benefits from a larger 12-inch digital instrument panel. There is also wireless smartphone charging included as standard, along with a B&O premium sound system with 10 speakers and 360-degree surround-view parking cameras.


Unlike the Volkswagen Amarok, Ford has fitted the Ranger with physical buttons and dials for its dual-zone climate control. This makes it far easier to use in comparison.

Be under no illusion, the Ford Ranger Raptor is a large vehicle. It might not be as big as its American Ford F-150 Raptor cousin, but the Ranger still feels vast by European standards.


It measures 5,381mm in length, is 2,028mm wide without the door mirrors, and stands 1,922mm tall before any payload is added. Navigating a multi-storey car park, or even just tight urban streets, is not for the faint-hearted.


Being so big does make the Ranger Raptor spacious on the inside, with those in the front benefiting from plenty of room. Adults will have no issues with getting comfortable, aided by those electrically adjustable sports seats.


Offered solely in double-cab layout, the Ford Ranger Raptor is relatively spacious in the back as well. The seat-backs are quite upright, but otherwise it is more than usable for carrying adults.


Where the Ranger Raptor finds itself limited in practicality, certainly compared to regular pick-up trucks, is payload capacity. Its trick suspension may be great for off-roading, but it restricts carrying capacity to 631kg in petrol form, or 704kg for the diesel. This is still ample for domestic users, but does see the Ranger Raptor miss out on that valuable commercial vehicle rating for tax purposes.


A standard Euro pallet can still be carried in the Raptor’s load bed, and there are plenty of lashing points to keep everything secure. There is the potential to tow braked trailers weighing up to 2,500kg, too.

Handling and ride quality: What is the Ford Ranger Raptor like to drive?

“Motorsport-derived suspension means the Ford Ranger Raptor is almost unstoppable off-road, but without being completely compromised when back on the tarmac. It also results in a surprisingly comfortable pick-up truck.”

Ford Ranger Raptor Review 2024

At the heart of the Ford Ranger Raptor’s appeal are its special Fox suspension dampers. These transform the vehicle into a true off-road racer, rather than a humble pick-up truck.

There is a choice of seven driving modes, starting with Normal, and taking in options such as Rock, Mud, Ruts and Baja, all of which help the Ranger Raptor adapt to off-road conditions.

On petrol-powered models, the Fox dampers come with ‘Live Valve’ technology. This sees the suspension react in real time to what is happening, even detecting when the Raptor is airborne. The dampers also adapt to hard acceleration, preventing the truck from squatting down under full power.

The bonus of such clever suspension is a ride quality that feels surprisingly smooth and well-mannered for a pick-up truck. There is a degree of body-roll, as should be expected, but the Ranger Raptor is far more controlled than you might think at first glance.

Being such a large vehicle, it is useful that the Ranger Raptor comes with typically accurate Ford steering, if not huge amounts of feedback through the wheel.

Chunky off-road tyres will help make the Ranger Raptor feel unstoppable in the dirt, but naturally have their limitations when driving on tarmac. Reassuringly, the brakes are more than up to the task of stopping the big Ford as well.

Unlike with the previous-generation Ranger Raptor, Ford has given UK buyers a choice between petrol or diesel power.

The twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 EcoBoost petrol engine is the absolute star of the lineup, though. It features a motorsport-derived anti-lag system, typically seen on rally cars or indeed the Ford GT supercar, which helps improve throttle response.

An output of 292PS, along with 491Nm of torque, is considerable for a pick-up truck. Just try not to be too upset that Australian Raptor buyers get a more substantial 397PS, due to not being hobbled by European exhaust emissions rules. Even this lower 292PS output is sufficient for the Ranger Raptor to accelerate from 0-62mph in a swift 7.9 seconds.

The diesel version uses a 2.0-litre EcoBlue bi-turbo four-cylinder engine, which is carried over from the previous model. It produces 210PS and 505Nm of torque, while the 0-62mph time increases to a more sedate 10.5 seconds.

A 10-speed automatic transmission, with paddle shifters made from magnesium, is standard for both engines. It changes gear rapidly, helping to maximise the Ranger Raptor’s performance and reward drivers who use the paddles.

As a true off-roader, four-wheel drive is standard for the Ranger Raptor, with a selectable two-speed transfer case. A locking rear differential is fitted, while petrol models have a front locking differential as well.

Putting the Raptor in rear-wheel-drive mode, combined with big torque and off-road biased tyres, can result in a truck that feels keen to go sideways...

Refinement in the context of the Ford Ranger Raptor is perhaps best judged on the number of options available for the exhaust system. Petrol models come with an Active Exhaust Valve, with varying degrees of loudness depending on the driving mode selected via a steering wheel-mounted button.

The wildest Baja mode is officially intended only for off-road use, but the temptation of the guttural roar it creates will be hard to resist.

Aside from its exhaust, the Ford Ranger Raptor is surprisingly refined for a performance pick-up truck. It can make for an effective long-distance cruiser on the road, with even its huge tyres not generating too much noise.

For all the talk of performance and crazy off-road ability, the Ford Ranger Raptor should also be a safe pick-up truck. Not least because it is built to take on almost anything you can throw at it.

When tested by the Euro NCAP safety organisation, the Ford Ranger received the maximum five-star rating. This included an impressive 84 percent score for adult occupant protection, plus 90 percent for child occupants.

Standard safety equipment includes a wealth of airbags, including one for the driver’s knees, and Isofix child seat attachments in the rear.

For the Ranger Raptor, there is also intelligent adaptive cruise control, active park assist, blind-spot assist and an intelligent speed limiter. Automatic Matrix LED headlights and rain-sensing windscreen wipers are fitted, along with Ford’s Quickclear heated front windscreen.

MPG and fuel costs: What does a Ford Ranger Raptor cost to run?

“In a world concerned with fuel economy, the Ford Ranger Raptor is on another planet. Choosing the diesel-powered version rather than the petrol only has a minimal effect on tempering its thirst.”

Ford Ranger Raptor Review 2024

A twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine powering a four-wheel-drive pick-up truck weighing almost 2,500kg – it’s not an ideal starting point for good fuel economy. On the official combined WLTP test cycle, the petrol-powered Ranger Raptor returns an average of just 20.6mpg. Using all its performance will see this number fall even further, of course.


Do not think that picking the 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel version of the Ranger Raptor turns it into a fuel miser, though. On paper, the diesel can average 26.6mpg, but the reality is likely to be closer to the petrol Raptor.

The Ford Ranger Raptor may be pushed to its limits, so dependability will be an important factor for owners. Being so new, judging the reliability of the new Ranger is a little hard to do, but so far there have been no major problems reported.


It is worth remembering that Ford has detuned the petrol V6 engine for emissions reasons, which should also help with its longevity.


In the latest Honest John Satisfaction Index survey, Ford placed in the lower half of the table, not far behind Volkswagen. This was based upon older models, however, so hopefully the new Ranger can help improve upon that score.

As a desirable high-performance pick-up truck, it should come as no surprise that the Ford Ranger Raptor will not be cheap to insure.


Picking the diesel-powered Raptor sees a group 43 (out of 50 groups in total) insurance rating. The more powerful V6 petrol is also placed in the same group.


Curiously, this is still lower than the group 45 rating applied to the related Volkswagen Amarok Aventura.

Somewhat confusingly, despite the Ford Ranger Raptor not being viewed as a light commercial vehicle by HMRC, the DVLA treats it as one for VED (road tax) purposes.


This means drivers will be able to register it as a light commercial vehicle and pay an annual charge of £320 – or £176 for six months.


However, the lack of a one-tonne payload capacity means VAT cannot be reclaimed when purchasing a Ranger Raptor. Company car Benefit-in-Kind tax rates will also be higher, costing those in the 40 percent tax bracket more than £700 a month.

How much should you be paying for a used Ford Ranger Raptor?

“The Ford Ranger Raptor is new to the market, and a desirable pick-up truck, meaning used values are still close to list price. However, this does avoid the need to wait for one.”

Ford Ranger Raptor Review 2024

New prices for the Ford Ranger Raptor start at just over £57,000 for the diesel EcoBlue model, while the petrol-powered V6 comes in at more than £60,000.


Examples are slowly filtering through to the used market, meaning there is the chance to avoid waiting to take one home. Nearly-new versions of the petrol V6 can be found from around £55,000, with the diesel closer to £53,000.

Unlike some of the more utilitarian Ford Ranger versions, the Raptor comes with a healthy level of standard equipment.


This starts with a unique front grille for the Ranger Raptor, spelling out the Ford name in huge letters. It comes with fuel-saving active grille shutters, too. Automatic Matrix LED headlights sit either side, while there are also LED front fog lights, LED tail lights and zone lighting.


The Raptor comes with Precision Grey 17-inch alloy wheels shod with chunky all-terrain tyres. Unlike a normal Ford Ranger, on a Raptor these wheels are connected to an adjustable suspension setup, with trick Fox Live Valve internal bypass dampers for the petrol model.


On the inside, Ford Performance sports seats are clad in a combination of Miko suede and leather trim. The driver’s seat benefits from 10-way power adjustment, while both the front pair come with heating included. Dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and a heated steering wheel are also part of the deal.


There is a 12-inch digital instrument panel, along with a 12-inch multimedia touch screen using Ford’s SYNC4-A infotainment system. This offers a DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, satellite navigation and voice control. It all plays through a premium B&O sound system.


Ford also fits intelligent adaptive cruise control, active parking assist and front and rear parking sensors.

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Despite being a huge pick-up truck, the petrol Ford Ranger Raptor can accelerate from 0-62mph in only 7.9 seconds. Opting for the diesel-powered version sees this increase to 10.5 seconds.
With a focus on off-road performance, the Ford Ranger Raptor is less practical than its regular siblings. The 2.0-litre diesel version has a maximum payload of 704kg, with the 3.0-litre V6 petrol able to carry just 631kg.
The limited payload capacity of the Ford Ranger Raptor is less than the one-tonne threshold required to be classed as a commercial vehicle in the eyes of HMRC. This means it cannot be exempted from VAT, and owners are thus charged a higher rate of Benefit-in-Kind company car tax.

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