Interior:Black Cloth Bucket Seats
The Raptor is in a class of one; there’s nothing else like it out there. So by default, it offers the lowest starting price in its class. But what about the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, the Ram Rebel, and the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison, you ask? Those are all low-speed off-roaders, which, by the way, the Raptor can do too. But none of those three can follow the Raptor off-road at thrillingly fast speeds. Thus, the Raptor stands alone, and its $52,855 starting price is an entirely reasonable admission charge for the experience.
Surprisingly, the F-150 Raptor is an incredibly comfortable vehicle. It’s a little awkward to get in and out of because of its high ground clearance (running boards make a big difference), but once everyone’s in their seats, they’re as pampered as they would be in any well-optioned F-150.
This particular Raptor doesn’t have the new Recaros, which means the front seats are more forgiving with smaller bolstering. Rear-seat passengers, meanwhile, get the same bench seat found in other F-150s. Passenger space is incredibly generous, with more than enough room in every dimension for five adults.
The Raptor’s ride is very forgiving. Credit the new adaptive Fox suspension for tailoring the damping of each shock absorber to what the truck is doing at that moment and the ground it’s riding (or landing) on. Those big tires and the truck’s long suspension travel also make everything short of a felled tree barely noticeable from behind the wheel.
The F-150 features Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system, which is average amongst its competitive set. Its graphics are monotone but clearly laid out, its response times are acceptable, and it offers a fair number of connectivity options. Missing are extras such as wireless phone charging, but you do get plenty of 12-volt outlets and one 110-volt paired with a 400-watt inverter. This particular Raptor doesn’t come with navigation, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility come to the rescue when directions are needed.
Nonetheless, the performance potential of the Raptor is readily apparent even without an off-road course to test it. For one, the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6 engine produces 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque, which is destined for all four wheels. Ford says that’s good for running to 60 miles per hour in six seconds flat, but it feels so much faster. All that torque is available early in the rev range thanks to those turbos, so dipping into the throttle means a quick and earnest kick in the pants. The truck’s 10-speed automatic transmission is a marvel of multiple ratios, and for the most part works invisibly, the exception being during hard braking when it’s indecisive about what gear you’ll wind up with.
The Raptor comes standard with LED headlights and familiar F-150 safety systems such as AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, Curve Control, and a rear-view camera with Dynamic Hitch Assist. Also standard are more advanced driver assist systems such as automatic emergency braking with pre-collision assist. This Raptor comes with an optional blind spot monitoring system and surround-view camera, two features for which I am very thankful given this truck’s generous proportions.