Pickup trucks used to target those who are not afraid to get their hands dirty and whose routines used to include hauling large stuff, sometimes off the beaten path. With their popularity having risen considerably, though, some of today’s workhorses have been softened up, and look good inside and out.
One head-turning pickup is the new Ford Ranger Raptor, which is actually UK’s only performance oriented truck. It will set you back almost £40,000 ($51,360/€46,250), excluding tax, has lower payload and towing capacities compared to the regular Ranger and is not as quick as it looks.
Unlike America’s larger F-150 Raptor, which is a true beast in every sense of the word, the Ranger packs a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder diesel equipped with a couple of turbochargers and paired to a 10-speed auto. On paper, it sounds good, but it only kicks out 210 hp (213 PS / 157 kW) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque. It takes a while to accelerate to 62 mph (100 km/h) – 10.5 seconds, to be exact – and, if the road allows it, it will eventually max out at 106 mph (170 km/h).
So, is there anything to it besides the sporty styling, wider track and chunky rubber? Actually, yes, because Ford has upgraded the chassis and added bigger brakes. The result is a great balance between comfort and responsiveness, so you may not be able to beat a regular compact hatchback in a straight line duel, but you will be encouraged to attack corners at higher speeds, be it on- or off-road, as the Ranger Raptor functions very good on arduous terrains, too. But can you actually use it for the usual daily chores and, more importantly, as a family car?