THE Ford Ranger Raptor is motoring’s biggest contradiction.
It is the pick-up truck that looks sensational but sadly fails to do the things you would expect – like carry big loads for starters.
Despite being the size of a house, the Raptor can only hold 620kg in the back, which is nearly half the payload of the standard, much cheaper Ranger.
That means it can’t carry a one-ton pallet, the staple diet of most pick-ups, although it did manage to deliver the Gibson family Christmas tree.
Another minus is the towing capability. It can only manage 2,500kg, compared to 3,500kg for many of its rivals. And then there is the engine. Surely a macho truck like this would have a big V8? Wrong. OK, a V6 then? Wrong again.
Your choice is a 2-litre turbo diesel or a 2-litre turbo diesel. Now, on a normal Ranger that would be fine because it is relatively quiet and returns 31mpg.
But the Raptor deserves an engine that delivers the power and fun the vehicle promises.
The anti-climax of the engine spoilt every trip in the Raptor. The lack of grunt, even in Sport mode, left you feeling cheated.
You do get a ten-speed auto gearbox with manual paddles. But who needs ten gears in a pick-up with no real performance?
There is a rumour M-Sport is working on a lowered Ranger for 2020. If it does, it needs to stick in a performance engine as a priority.
On the plus side, the Raptor delivers the most comfortable ride I have ever had in a pick-up, lots of infotainment and it is a proper weapon off-road, thanks to its trick rally suspension. But that bumps up the price. It is £49,000. I repeat, £49,000.
That is an awful lot of money for a pick-up, especially one that can’t do the normal things a 30-grand truck can do.
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And because the load bed is too small to qualify as a commercial vehicle, business owners can’t claim back the VAT either.
Ford sees the Raptor as a good niche addition to the Ranger line-up, which remains the UK’s best selling pick-up with 17,000 sales a year.
But until it gets the right engine, it will remain a real missed opportunity.
FORD RANGER RAPTOR
Engine: 2-litre turbo diesel
Top speed: 100mph