Driving Impressions: 2019 Ford F150 Raptor 4X4 SuperCrewBy: Mark Moskowitz MD
You can have it all.
A search through lyrics.com reveals 296510 lyrics, 119 artists, and 100 albums matching 'You can have it all.' I reviewed them all and didn't find a mention of Ford or Raptor as the subject or the artist. It ought to be there. They've struck gold with this one.
But I digress. In the spirit of complete disclosure, I'm a Ford pickup fan. My F350 has been a trusty tool for two decades, on occasion hauling a fourty foot trailer, two race cars, and all manner of jacks, wrenches, tires, generators etc. - a feat that few pickups with a numeric suffix beginning with '1' can accomplish. And heavy weight towing is about the only ability the new Raptor lacks.
The Raptor has presence especially in Ruby Red. No need for big chrome here. Its blackened trim is its only subtlety. But my first glance draws me to a pair of massive tubes behind the rear wheels part of the delivery system for one of the more sophisticated rides on the road. Electronically modulated Fox racing shocks, new this year, render the urban blight of potholes and speed bumps nearly imperceptible. Carve the esses: maybe; but very few 6 ½ foot tall vehicles go through the curves with this truck's predictability. Push it to the very edge and you get the squirreliness you expect. But it recovers easily.
And off road it about drives itself - set it for any speed up to twenty mph, steer the truck and Ford's trail control adjusts for almost every aspect of the terrain. I am not the first to call it off road cruise control. Worthy of mention are the BF Goodrich 17-inch All-terrain tires - whose tall sidewalls probably add resilience to the suspension system. Ford has done an amazing job shielding occupants and those handling the steering wheel from the harshness of off-road capable tread.
Back on the pavement, I exercised the smooth ten-speed automatic and the twin turbo 450 hp V6; surprising as it is, even the 216 MPH Ford GT has a V6. The iPad timer consistently recorded sub 6 second 0-60 times. Car and Driver achieved the measure in 5.1 seconds - wow. It should be noted that the Raptor has front and rear 4.10 differential gears often the tool of drag racers; the numerically high and for some reason called 'low' gear ratios enable towing, off road functionality and the Raptor's noteworthy acceleration. The trade off is a decrease in gas mileage and overall top speed.
Raptors are available as Super Cabs or Crew Cabs. I found the latter combined with its relatively short 5.5 foot pick up bed eye catching. The proportions forced a pleased second look. The bed was illuminated from within and easily accessed with the optional tailgate step. And I found more room inside; rear seat bottoms fold upward and out the way leaving a cavernous space for more storage.
The interior was attractive and functional. I am usually not a fan of carbon fiber accents but it's an engaging treatment for a large shift handle.
The test Raptor was outfitted with any number of special features including paddle shifts, adaptive cruise control, a well-placed 8-inch touch screen, surround view (important in a big truck) and Ford's Pro Trailer Backup Assist. Place a locating sticker on the trailer, take your hands off the wheel and use a dash mounted knob to steer it; the trailer moves in the direction of the knob.
Lots of modes for on and off road and if you don't like the heavier steering of Sport but want the better throttle response, features of each can be separated in Custom mode. Rock crawl, Mud Sand, Wet Weather and Baja are a few of the other modes. And with the various modes the infotainment informs with a graphic or data about everything from distribution of power to the wheels to the angle of lean or ascent.
If you're are looking to tow more than four tons, this is not your truck. The Raptor fears nothing else. Country club scrutiny, rocky terrain, comfortable travel, high speed runs on the pavement and on the sand, and the urban jungle are all handled with aplomb – you can
have it all.