2024 Ford Ranger Raptor - A Big Mid-Size pickup


Oh to be young again! Maybe then I would fully appreciate these big trucks. Yes the Ranger is a big truck even though the auto industry says it is "mid-size." Non-truck people would ask me, what is that huge truck?

It seems to me that very few people will use a Ranger Raptor as a work truck. The bed is just under 5' long (59.6"). I'm not even sure too many buyers will ever truly go off-road. No the Raptor is a statement.

Even a pickup that is a statement needs to do some work now and them. The Ranger Raptor has a payload capacity of 1,375 lbs., and can tow up to 5,510 lbs. 

I admit I'm not a BIG truck person. I just don't understand the reasons for them if they are not being used as a work horse. And it isn't a macho thing; I know a wisp of a woman who feels her 4X4 F150 isn't big enough!

The Raptor definitely looks like it could conquer the path less traveled. It has almost 11" of ground clearance, knobby looking 33", LT 285/70R17 tires, Fox Live Valve shocks, full-time 4WD with an electronically controlled, on demand 2-speed transfer case, and front- and rear-locking differentials. 

Everyone loves to throw around horsepower figures but in off-road crawling and climbing it's torque that gets the job done. The twin-turbo, EcoBoost 3.0-liter V6 in the Raptor makes 430 lb-ft at 3,500 rpm. That should be enough grunt for just about any situation. If horses are your thing, there are 405 available.

US-EPA says the 2024 Ranger Raptor is capable of 16-mpg around town, and 18-mpg on the highway. I saw about those numbers, maybe a little higher on the highway. Not great but really, who buys a performance vehicle for its fuel economy?

The only transmission is a 10-speed automatic. If you want to crawl just select 4L and manually opt for 1st gear. 

I'm beginning to really dislike the start-stop feature that turns off the engine when you come to a stop with your foot on the brake pedal. Not all systems are equal; some have too much of a lag between when you take your foot of the pedal and the engine restarts, some cause a shudder that can be unsettling, and I wonder about the increased use of the starter motor. 

Despite its curb weight of 5,325 lbs. (according to Ford) the Raptor is still plenty quick on pavement, sprinting from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. The brakes seem up to the task of slowing the Raptor although to me the pedal felt a little soft. 

Unfortunately, at least for me, the Raptor had Ford's "hey let's access everything with this huge touchscreen!" Yes there were some switches including a volume knob for the sound system (it was very, very good) but come on why must I scroll through screen after screen to figure how to operate stuff.

The interior was very nice, maybe too nice to muddy up. The front seats were supportive and comfy. What more can you ask for?

The rear seat was nice as well although knee room was somewhat limited. 

Ford also has decided that "we" don't need a hard copy of the owner's manual, it's all accessible through that darn screen. Now if it was as smart as say Google that would be one thing, but it isn't. When I Google something I don't have to spell it correctly, Google figures out what I mean and delivers (sometimes it is eerie). 

There was one thing, one little thing, that I just didn't understand; Why Ford puts plastic wheel covers on the Raptor. Yes plastic. I'm sure plastic has come a long, long way since the days plastic wheel convers melted from hard braking. They just seem a little cheesy to me.

I can't argue with the appeal of a truck like the Ranger Raptor. I am sure Ford will sell a bunch even at its MSRP of $55,470. You can "build your own" at ford.com.

For me I'd rather have a 2WD version. Ford used to build 2WD performance pickups; remember the original SVT Lightening? Just imagine the performance of a Ranger that weighed a half ton less than the Raptor! I guy can dream right?

This gives you some idea of the difference between a 2024 Ranger and a 1997 Ranger (yes it's a Mazda B4000 which is a rebadged Ranger). The '97 is 202.7" long, the 2024 is 210.9." The '97 weighs 3,330 lbs., the 2024 one ton more! Heck the 2024 Ranger is as big or bigger than a 1997 F-150.


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