Read Caroline’s Ford Ranger Raptor review for everything you need to know about buying Ford’s high-performance pick-up in Ireland.

The Ford Ranger is Ireland’s bestselling pick-up and a new model has just gone on sale.

But if you want the pinnacle of the range, you’ll be wanting the new Ford Ranger Raptor!

Ford is famous for hot hatchbacks but what about fast pick-ups? Well, the Raptor is a true Ford Performance model and now gets an engine it truly deserves.

The second generation of the high-performance Ranger pick-up is likely to build on the success of the first here in Ireland and Europe. The cabin is more upmarket for a start, the styling even beefier than before … and there’s a new V6 petrol engine with even more performance upgrades.

The new Ford Ranger Raptor is now on sale in Ireland
The new Ford Ranger Raptor is now on sale in Ireland


The new Ranger Raptor commands attention wherever it goes. It’s higher and wider than a standard Ranger with big presence, especially finished in signature ‘Code Orange’ paint with optional decals!

Ford has somehow managed to make this new version even beefier than before. It’s very Americana – not just because of its size – but the restyled front end means business too with F-O-R-D spelt larger than life in the front grille, framed by chunky ‘C-clamp’ headlights.

There’s lots of cladding and underbody protection to enhance the muscular look, as well as extra flared wheel arches filled with special 17-inch grey painted alloy wheels on chunky BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres.

The styling is a marked improvement over the previous version and is guaranteed to turn heads. There’s no other pick-up on sale quite as lairy as this one.


The new interior feels much more upmarket and well-appointed than before. This Ranger Raptor has matured very nicely with a simple dashboard layout centred around a new portrait-style touchscreen. It uses Ford’s Sync 4 operating system and is actually very easy to use. There’s the usual accompaniments like voice control, over-the-air updates, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.

Other tech features include a full digital driver display with Raptor-specific graphics. The ventilation can be controlled from some separate dials and switches, and there is some more switchgear on the centre console to manage the four wheel drive settings and drive modes.

The cabin of the Ranger Raptor
The cabin of the Ranger Raptor

It feels sporty inside too with more ‘Code Orange’ highlights in the dash, gorgeous leather/suede seats with Raptor branding, and a sports steering wheel with red centre marker and magnesium paddle shifters.

Equipment levels are high including a heated steering wheel, heated front seats with 10-way power adjustment, B&O stereo and a 360-degree camera.


For a pick-up, the Raptor has quite a roomy cabin. The back feels generous for headroom and legroom. There are also vents, USBs and an armrest for back seat passengers.

The fancy suspension engineering means that the Raptor is a little compromised when it comes to its load lugging capability compared to other models in the range. Payload is down from 1 tonne to 652kg, while the towing capacity is down from 3.5 tonnes to 2.5 tonnes.

The Raptor's sophisticated suspension means its load lugging abilities are a little compromised
The Raptor’s sophisticated suspension means its load lugging abilities are a little compromised


There’s a choice of two engines on sale. The Ranger Raptor is available as before with a 2.0-litre twin turbo diesel (205hp/500Nm). But for more epic performance thrills, there’s a new 3.0-litre twin turbo V6 (292hp/491Nm) that dials the excitement up considerably – complete with its very own charismatic soundtrack. It’s fast but not really rapid, with 0-100 in 7.9 seconds. But great fun getting there.


There’s not many pick-ups on sale in this part of the world that can truly match the Raptor for power and performance. The Ranger chassis has been significantly modified for the Raptor with a new performance suspension and Fox dampers that truly lift the Raptor into another dimension. The ride quality is exceptionally good and the Raptor’s athleticism and sophistication, no matter the road surface, is truly astounding.

Designed to master both on- and off-road driving, the Raptor slips effortlessly between two worlds and dials up a different character in an instant from a total of seven drive modes available. The outlandish Baja mode brings more music from the V6’s active exhaust and comes with an anti-lag feature for maximum attack in high-speed off-road driving. The suspension firmness and steering assistance can also be adjusted simply. But the Raptor is by far the most comfortable pick-up I’ve ever driven with exceptionally good road manners.

Rear legroom in the Ranger Raptor
Rear legroom in the Ranger Raptor

There are a few downsides to the Raptor, like the wind whistle from around the big wing mirrors and persistent road noise from the all-terrain tyres. The V6 is also thirsty. I couldn’t do any better than about 12.4 litres per 100 kilometres. It’s expensive to tax as a private vehicle. It feels very big in car parks and town driving, but that’s less of an issue out on the open road.

When it comes to four wheel drive toys, there’s two wheel drive and four wheel drive modes including low speed four wheel drive for very tough terrain. Front and rear electronic differentials will get you out of trouble quickly. There’s also trail control, which is like cruise control for off-roading. The ground clearance is 265mm, while the wading depth is up to 850mm. The approach and departure angles are 32° and 24°.


The Ranger Raptor is available from €74,138 for the 2.0-litre diesel, and from €77,355 for the V6 petrol.


The Ford Ranger Raptor is a bit of a marvel really, combining excellent on- and off-road driving ability. It’s a pick-up that makes a huge statement – quite literally. The sophistication of the suspension engineering makes it truly thrilling to drive, matched to incredible comfort from a vehicle of this type. It may be compromised in lugging abilities somewhat as a result, but there is a strong market for Raptor. It’s very, very desirable and this new version seems well-finished as an overall pick-up that’s good to drive and spend time in. It’s expensive and not without its weaknesses. But is it king of the pick-ups? Most definitely.

The Raptor is astoundingly good to drive on- and off-road
The Ford Ranger Raptor is astoundingly good to drive on- and off-road


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year