This week the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor was let off the leash in Australia, where it was developed, and the Aussies all seem to be saying the same thing: riotous off-road, a little weak off the line.
The truck is powered by a new 2.0-liter twin-turbocharged four-cylinder diesel, rated to about 211 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. All Ranger Raptors are four-wheel drive with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
It retails for $75,000 Australian, which translates to about $55,500 American right now. If you’re wondering, “what the hell–doesn’t the full sized Raptor list for $50,000?” Yes, it does. The only quick answer I can provide is that everything is super expensive in Australia. I remember paying, like, eight bucks for a bad beer in a dive bar when I lived Down Under in 2011.
But seriously, all cars cost a fortune in that country.
Anyway, interestingly, I just noticed after watching these videos that the truck gets a manual hand brake in addition to those Fox shocks and pieces of armor. Which I think is pretty cool.
As for driving impressions, it looks like Ford recently hosted a launch party for the Ranger Raptor in Australia’s Northern Territory, a largely empty swath of outback where off-road vehicles can live their best life. Reviews from Australian news outlets are popping up all over the internet, but my favorite so far is this CarAdvice.com video hosted by Seth MacFarland-looking Aussie: Paul Maric, who is that site’s Senior Road Tester:
Maric also hosted another video that’s more of a walkaround, if you need a little more Ranger Raptor on your Friday:
If you’d rather read than watch (but you really should watch, at least that top video, if only for the aerial shots of the outback) here are some of the better written reviews of the Raptor to come out recently.
Maric’s writeup at CarAdvice.com.au:
“You will be totally blown away with how the Ranger Raptor rides on unsealed, corrugated and rutted surfaces. This suspension system isn’t just a quick chop and change from a regular Ranger. The Watt’s linkage works in unison with the Fox shock absorbers to deliver a ride unparalleled in this segment.”
“While the interior is nice, it doesn’t really feel like a $75,000 car.”
“The biggest negative is the lack of straight line performance from the 2.0-litre diesel.”
Kyle Cassidy at Autocar.co.nz:
“Just how fast you can attack rough trails is eye opening.”
“It might not have the squirt of a V6 Amarok but it rides better, is more interesting dynamically, and has a genuine 4x4 with low range setting, including a locking rear diff. It’s better on- and off-road too than HSV’s SportsCat.”
Andy Enright at WhichCar.com.au:
“The Ford Ranger Raptor offers a whole heap of fun and capability for $75K, but makes most sense if you have the off-road acreage upon which to unleash it. The 2.0-litre lump can feel a little underdone on bitumen, although the fantastic Fox Racing dampers delivers supreme ride quality whatever the surface. It’s probably more ‘specialist interest’ than its order books might suggest, but it’s nevertheless both endearing and engaging.”
Sounds like most folks who drove the 2019 Ranger Raptor and are writing about it online are saying the same thing–fun off-road, really expensive, the diesel is still kind of slow.
That sounds exactly like what I thought after driving the Chevy Colorado ZR2 for the first time, which would be this vehicle’s direct rival.
I think somebody needs to throw a V8 in both of these trucks.