The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor is another of the new segment of factory ‘custom’ pickups. The Raptor is a beast, engineered to handle punishing off-roading normally reserved for highly customized vehicles that are hard to live with every day. A Raptor can be driven from the trail to the driveway, then hosed off and used to pickup the kids at school.
Here’s a short list of some of the factory goodies my 2017 Ford Raptor SuperCab tester came with: a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6; 10-speed automatic transmission; 34-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires; Fox dampers; skid plates; 4:10 front axle w/Torsen diff; 4:10 rear axle and Hill Descent/off-road mode.
The exterior of the Raptor SuperCab has a bold design with Raptor-specific grille, meaty bumper, unique hood, wide fender flares, special wheels and two graphic packages totaling almost $2,000 dollars. The body has even been ‘aero-smoothed’ and there are automatic grille shutters. The shutters and skid plates combine to manage air flow better and help aid mileage numbers.
The 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 is an engineering triumph. Ford calls it an EcoBoost V-6 – but I would hate to see what the EPA numbers would be without the “eco” parts. The 10-speed automatic has three overdrive gears to wring out every inch of road surface per gallon. That said, the horsepower is impressive and needed to briskly move this big truck. Impressive is the quarter-mile at 96 mph and 0- 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds.
I would have liked more refinement from the transmission as shifts were not as brisk as expected. You have to play with the steering column paddles to switch into the Sport mode, which speeds things up a bit but adds some abrupt changes. The beefy drivetrain will permit carrying 1,200 pounds in the bed or towing an 8000-pound trailer.
The genuine off-roading hardware comes with this truck and it’s extremely capable out of the box. Ford lists front and rear ground clearance at just under 10 inches. The shocks, suspension, even the frame, have been bolstered over a standard F-150 pickup. The Raptor can blast through some hairy off-road situations and claw its way out of some deep mud holes.
The surprising part is that the Raptor is a good daily driver. I was impressed by the ride even with the big off-road tires. The steering had good road feel, the braking was tight and even with the raised ride height, going into a corner a little hot did not cause any concern.
As tough and composed as the Raptor is, the interior is a pretty comfortable and polished place to be for five passengers. The short-extended cab doors and short bottom seats make getting in/out a challenge, and rear seat leg room is also not great.
All the expected power items are there and the optional power slider is nice. Leather seats, a great audio system, FordSync Connect, power ports, a Raptor-unique center stack and many additional items combine to make this rig more than just an off-road pony.