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2019 Ford F-150 Raptor Supercab Review by John Heilig

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

By John Heilig
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED MODEL: 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor Supercab
ENGINE: 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6
TRANSMISSION: 10-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 450 hp @ 5,000 rpm/510- lb.-ft. @ 3,500 rpm
WHEELBASE: 134.2 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 220.0 x 96.8 x 78.5 in.
TIRES: 315/70R17 All-Terrain
CARGO CAPACITY: 52.8 cubic feet.
ECONOMY: 16.3 mpg test
CURB WEIGHT: 5,552 lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Silverado, Ram, Toyota Tundra
STICKER: $52,855 base

BOTTOM LINE: The “Monster Truck” in the Ford F-150 lineup, The Raptor offers performance on and off the road.

Several years ago I had the almost opportunity to drive the Grave Digger monster truck. That drive never came to fruition because of several factors, but I still wonder what it might have been like.

Well, the Ford F-150 Raptor is a semi-civilized version of what that Monster Truck ride might have been. The Raptor is big and rides high off the pavement or dirt surface. It’s noisy. And it’s fun to drive. It’s also fairly civilized on the highway, so except for its garish paint job and monster tires, it could be a “normal” F-150.

The Raptor is definitely a truck, from its high aspect ratio to the shifter that takes a big hand to grasp. There’s no fooling around with this puppy. Instead of a (veloci)Raptor, it’s more like a T-Rex.  Raptor rides like a truck (duh!). However, it cruises quietly. But when you unleash the 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6, the 4-inch diameter dual exhaust pipes let you know there aren’t hamsters in a wheel under the hood.

Handling is what you’d expect from a big truck, although it isn’t unwieldy. You know you’re in a product of Ford Performance by the red centering stripe at 12:00 on the steering wheel. It’s a busy wheel, with cruise control switches, information panel scroll throughs and audio. There are also paddle shifters behind the wheel as well as +/- on the shifter for manual shifts. Four-wheel drive controls are a knob on the dash, along with trailering backup controls. The Raptor can tow 7,500 lbs., and the trailer receptor and wiring plug are included at the rear. Yes, this truck is capable. Also on the dash are 12-volt DC and 110V/40W AC outlets.

In reverse, you get a “Normal” reverse camera view plus a 360-degree “overhead” view. This is very practical for parking the large vehicle as well as aiming the trailer hitch. I must comment on the tires holding this vehicle on the road. They are 315/70 R17 All-Terrain tires. And while the wheel/tire combination is big, it’s almost all tires because they are on 17-inch rims. 

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Inside, the rest of the center stack includes an infotainment screen with audio controls below. I like the simple two-knob radio controls for volume and tuning. 

Since our tester was a crew cab model, there aren’t real rear doors, just access doors that can’t be opened without opening the front doors first. 

Front seats are comfortable, if firm. They are well-defined with Raptor logos. Rear seats have tight legroom, and while the front seats have assist handles on the A-pillars to aid entry, rear passengers are on their own. Running boards with a rough surface similar to the bed’s spray-on lining aid in entry. The rear seats flip up for additional internal carrying capacity. At the rear of the center console there are two cupholders plus DC and AC outlets. 

Raptor has a shorter bed, but it’s a good size. The spray-on liner doesn’t hurt. In addition, there’s an extension to the tailgate when it’s lowered that permits carrying even longer objects, so there should be no concerns with the shorter bed. 

We tried the Raptor on one of my hillclimb routes, and it was the one with narrower roads. I must confess that in this scenario the Raptor isn’t a fun vehicle to drive. I had to be constantly aware of what might be coming at me in the other lane. Handling was livable, but it took a lot of effort to keep it between the lines.

Raptor is a one-of-a-kind vehicle that won’t appeal to everyone. But it will appeal to those wanting a rugged truck.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate