THERE are some situations in life where size matters and that is certainly the case when it comes to pickup trucks.
So if the already large Ford Ranger 4×4 is not truck enough for you then there is now an alternative… the Ranger Raptor – which we got to try out for a week.
The first thing to say is you won’t get missed in this giant Tonka toy – it stands as tall as a Range Rover and is considerably longer.
But it is the Raptor’s extras that really get you noticed. Big chunky off road tyres, raised ride height, flared wheel arches and brash Raptor decals on the side… subtle this ain’t.
Even the name is evocative… Raptor conjures up visions of those killer dinosaurs in Jurassic Park and tells everyone that you mean business behind the wheel of one of these.
Having said that there was one thing about the Raptor that was not oversized and that was the engine, as our test 2.0L Eco-blue auto had the 2-litre twin-turbocharged diesel. This still copped well with the vast bulk of the Raptor and, while you would not win many traffic light grand-prix, it was capable of getting down the road at a fair lick and cruising on the motorway no problem – 0 to 60 comes up in a reasonable 10.5 seconds and top speed is 106mph.
Also, thanks to that moderately-sized 210bhp engine, the Raptor can return up to 31 mpg, has room for five adults in the double cab and boasts a large load deck – although because of its raised suspension set up and extra weight the carrying capacity and towing limits are lower than the standard truck.
Clearly ground clearance is good for those who want to go off road as is the impressive 850mm wade depth and those chunky all-terrain tyres – which are surprisingly quiet on road.
That 2.0-litre diesel is also surprisingly quiet unless pushed very hard and drives through a 10-speed automatic gearbox. There are settings for on road two-wheel drive then 4×4 high and low ratios.
Step up into the Raptor’s cabin and you will find it feels fitting for a premium price vehicle with full leather upholstery, heated electric front seats, climate control, phone mirroring, touch screen sat nav, heated front and rear screens, privacy glass and reversing camera.
On the outside in addition to those Raptor signature features there are 17” Dyno Grey alloy wheels, a lockable load bed cover with moveable rails for long loads.
So what was this ‘monster’ like to live with? Well surprisingly civilised and very easy to find on the supermarket car park – although slightly less so to park up in the first place.
I also got the chance to try out those off road features on a mildly challenging muddy field and, as a long standing Land Rover fan and owner I have to say it definitely does what it says on the tin.
But it is on road where the most fun is to be had with people noticing your ride wherever you go and no one gets in your way as you loom large in their rear view mirror – as a bold statement vehicle the Raptor is a roaring success.
The only down side, providing you are not a shrinking violet, is the price… at a shade over £51,000 this truck is not cheap, but then it is a stand out motor and compares well with the cost of competitors like VW’s Amarok and the Mercedes X-Class.
By Motoring Editor Steve Howarth