The 2021 Ford Ranger Raptor X remains pretty much the same as it has for the last few years, aside from a decal pack and a few minor tweaks. But that’s neither here nor there. It’s the commanding, “get out of my way” presence, that matters.
It’s bulk might also give the impression that it is difficult to drive, but on the contrary, the Raptor is surprisingly easy to manoeuvre around town. The ride is excellent, and it turns speed bumps into ripples. It corners pretty well too, given its sheer mass.
The Fox shocks and coils springs certainly form part of its comfortable demeanour, and outstanding handling, on and off road, but they do detract from its towing and payload capacities. It’s a small sacrifice when you still have 2,500kg to play with.
That said, we reckon the ride and handling would be comprised if you pushed the load close to the limit. If towing is your focus, rather than angry Tonka truck, you could consider the Ranger FX4 Max or XL models, which all have up to 3,500kg.
Under the hood, Ford’s latest generation Ranger Raptor X is driven exclusively by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder bi-turbo diesel engine that delivers 157kW of power and 500Nm of torque. It’s paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and part-time four-wheel drive.
There are paddle shifters too, which adds a level of boy racer to the big Raptor, and you can clearly see where Ford were going with this, given it sits in the Ford Performance model range.
The numbers are class leading and the beefy Ranger works for everyday use, but leaves us pondering what the Raptor could be given that the chassis is capable of so much more than the powertrain currently delivers. Close your eyes and imagine it with a V8 in it.
In terms of fuel consumption, Ford claims 8.2-litres/100km, although the best we could manage was 12.5-litres/100km. On the outside, there’s a bespoke wide body kit, those great looking 17-inch alloy wheels, and chunky 33-inch BF Goodrich KO2 all-terrain rubber.
The tyres are super quiet and provide tons of grip. The off-road side steps are the right size and comfortable to use as well. The bold grille stands out, while red edged stripes that are inspired by early model muscle cars are applied to the bonnet, roof, tailgate and sides.
The Raptor interior feels premium too, with leather and suede finish sports seats that are electrically adjustable up front, and provide great levels of comfort. The thick soft leather steering wheel feels awesome in your hands.
In line with the red edge theme of the exterior, a similar concept can be found inside, and is obvious on the seats, dash and throughout the cabin. It comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with satellite navigation and smartphone mirroring.
This includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (both wired), Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a high resolution reversing camera that’s crystal clear, rear parking sensors, DAB+ digital radio, keyless entry and push-button start.
Additionally, you get FordPass Connect, which allows you to do all sorts of funky things with the Raptor X – like start it up remotely with your compatible smartphone, lock and unlock, manage air conditioning, and a bunch of other stuff.
You will be able to fit five adults on board, and if kids are part of your regular load, there are dual ISOFIX and two top-tether restraint points in the back row. The rear seat base folds up for extra dry storage as well.
The rear tub offers generous dimensions too, measuring 1549mm long, 1560mm wide, 1130mm between the wheel arches, and 511mm high. It comes standard with four tie-down points and a spray-in bedliner with tailgate protection.
A power assisted tailgate and a pair of LED lights under the sports bar complete the package, with a switch in the cabin for the latter. The tailgate is lockable, but not connected to the central locking, so you’ll have to use the key.
On the safety side, the big Ford has autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assistance, roll-over mitigation, load adaptive stability and traction control with trailer sway control, tyre pressure monitoring and traffic sign recognition.
It features selectable four-wheel drive (2H, 4H and 4L), and there’s an electronic locking rear diff standard too. If you’re in a the market for a beast of an off roader, that looks the goods on the tarmac too, the 2021 Ford Ranger Raptor X is definitely worth consideration.
It’s a great daily drive that doubles down as a moderate work horse. It does just about everything right, and although it isn’t cheap, given it starts from $79,390 plus on-roads, it’s plenty capable.
There are four colour options, including Arctic White, Ford Performance Blue, Conquer Grey and Shadow Black. The 2021 Ford Ranger Raptor X is covered by a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and 4-years capped price servicing.
You can find out more about the Raptor X on the Ford Australia website.
Our test vehicle was provided by Ford Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Ford Ranger Raptor X, contact your local Ford dealer.