Goodwood Test: 2021 Ford Ranger Raptor Review

Is the Ford Ranger Raptor a baby F150..?
20th May 2021
Ben Miles



The Ford F150 Raptor is well established in the US, it’s pretty much the ultimate go everywhere production car. While there are cars that are probably able to do more, they are either not able to do as many things as a Raptor can, or are one-off builds rather than in mass production. This class of sort-of “ultimate pick-ups” has never really made its way to Europe, with the pick-up still having a relatively low market share on a continent that is quite happy with vans. Until now. Introduce the Ranger Raptor.

Ford has taken the Raptor DNA and transferred it into its Euro-pick-up, via development in Australia, to create a car that is capable of going everywhere over here. That means it should be able to do as much as the F150, but can also make it through a small English village without demolishing everything nearby.

We like

  • A car that can, almost literally, go anywhere
  • Incredible suspension setup
  • Brilliantly usable off-road

We don't like

  • Lacklustre engine choice
  • Rubbish gearbox
  • Expensive



The Raptor gets some serious beefing-up over the standard car. That means it is higher, wider and chunkier than a Ford Ranger XLT. The Raptor has a 30 per cent increase in ride height, is 150mm wider than a standard Ranger and its FOX shock absorbers mean extra travel in that ride height. The front bumper has also been tweaked, removing most of the lower portion, or at least painting the rest black, adding a big bash plate that runs from the grille under the front, and grafting in the FORD lettering you’ll find on the F150.

The arches are wider and they look even wider than they are, the footplate is now a big rugged metal attachment and the Raptor looks, if anything, more cohesive than the standard car. Little has changed at the back, other than some big Ranger decals, but the Raptor gets chunky BF Goodrich off-road tyres on some rather fetching black alloy wheels. The tow-bar has also been lifted, to allow the Raptor over the biggest rocks. There’s no denying that the Raptor looks like it means business, which is hopefully reflected in what’s under the bonnet.

Performance and Handling


Er, sadly not. There’s no big 5.0-litre V6 from the GT here. While the F150 gets some real power, the rest of the world makes do with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, and not even a particularly punchy one – this has 213PS (157kW). It does at least have 500NM (370lb ft) of torque, but altogether it’s still only enough to propel the Raptor to 62mph in a lamentable 10.5 seconds. For comparison, the regular XLT will do it in 11.8.

But, don’t let that rather lacklustre motor choice put you off, or for that matter the equally poor ten-speed automatic gearbox. No, it’s the other changes that make the Ranger Raptor a proper car. With FOX shocks all round and new rear suspension – bye-bye leaf springs, hello coils and watts linkage – the Raptor has the chassis now to handle pretty much anything thrown at it. Keep the engine in the right rev range and power the big nose at all obstacles and it shall overcome.

There are six different settings to the chassis, ranging from road, to snow and most intriguingly Baja. In Baja mode the traction control is slackened off, letting the Ranger slip its wheels a bit more, allowing for more steering on the throttle. Speaking of steering, that’s another place where there is change from the standard car, making it 3.5 turns lock-to-lock, which is an armful when parking, but ideal off road, where you can make small adjustments with larger movements, and a big bump doesn’t have you spearing off into the undergrowth. 

The gearbox is sluggish and with ten cogs a pointless exercise in clicking in manual mode, so you find yourself prodding the throttle to try and keep the revs in the right range to avoid a change that bogs the Raptor down. But when you get it all hooked up together it becomes an exhilarating experience. The Raptor can fly over the harshest of terrains without fuss, and will easily take off and land, with such aplomb you ask the obviously in tow camera crew if you actually got any air at all.

The clever FOX dampers are also position sensitive, which means that if one wheel bogs into mud it won’t leave the others also useless – handy on any sandy green lanes you might come across. On the road, because you will have to do be there from time to time, the Ranger feels massive, and the giant off-road tyres bring some rumble through the steering. It also loves to understeer on tarmac, so approach corners with care. But for the Raptor the road is really just the connection between the fun, so it can be forgiven.



The Ford Ranger Raptor’s interior is better than its American F150 cousin, a bit less utilitarian in its look and feel. But it’s still as rugged as you need, you won’t worry about kicking anything when you get in or out. Fitted with a simple-to-use Ford SYNC touchscreen system the layout is unfussy, with controls for the 4x4, hill descent, and diff locks in the centre with the gearstick.

The controls for the modes have been put on the wheel, rather than just by adding another dial to the centre. That means you have to click through the options with your thumb as you go, which feels a bit too clunky in an interior that is otherwise just straightforward. The seats are part leather and there’s plenty of room and cubby holes for whatever you need.

Technology and Features


The Raptor is packed, which is good as it costs over £50,000 and, due to various changes, is not tax deductible as a commercial vehicle. As standard are those incredible FOX shocks and all the other exterior mods, plus SYNC 3 with the eight-inch screen, a roller shutter for the loadbay, terrain management system, heated mirrors, rain sensing wipers, keyless entry and go, lane keep assist, heated seats, climate control and sat-nav. Those natty Raptor decals are a £900 option, so you don’t have to have them if you don’t want.



The Ranger Raptor is way more than its stats suggest. It really could have done with a better engine and gearbox combination but, when you get the Raptor on some tough terrain, it is capable of just powering through until it’s the driver who says no. Its party piece is doing 60mph down a rutted road with the driver in total comfort, something easier to do in Morocco or Australia than Sussex, but find some green lanes and nothing fazes the Raptor. The only real issue is the price, at over £50k and with no commercial vehicle tax break, you do wonder if you might be better off buying a Ranger XLT and making your own mods. But, if you aren’t into self-builds, nothing on the road in Europe can do what the Ranger Raptor can.


Engine 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel
Power 213PS (157kW) @ 3,750rpm
Torque 500Nm (370lb ft) @ 1,750-2,000rpm
Transmission Ten-speed automatic, four- or two-wheel drive with low-range
Kerb weight 2,510kg
0-62mph 10.5 seconds
Top speed 112mph
Fuel economy 36mpg
CO2 emissions 201-204g/km
Price £50,289 (£51,909 as tested)

Our score

4 / 5

This score is an average based on aggregated reviews from trusted and verified sources.

  • Evo
    3.5 out of 5
  • Ford
    4 out of 5
  • Car Magazine
    4 out of 5