Ford Ranger Raptor long-term test: report 2

In theory it's a lean, mean working machine, but we're living with the ultimate version of Ford's Ranger pick-up truck to see if it lives up to the hype...

Ford Ranger Raptor parked

The car Ford Ranger Raptor 2.0 EcoBlue 210 4WD auto | Run by Max Edleston, senior photographer

Why it’s here To provide grin-inducing entertainment and practicality in equal measure

Needs to be Unstoppable on-road or off-it, reasonably sensible to run, and practical enough to be used as a working vehicle

Mileage 3930 List price £57,064 Target Price £46,470 Price as tested £59,824 Test economy 25.0mpg Official economy 26.6mpg

15 April 2024 – Park life

My driving life is more varied than most. On the one hand, my Ford Ranger Raptor regularly takes me on long motorway drives and along sweeping country roads to and from What Car? photoshoots, where its bulk isn’t a problem. On the other hand, when I come back home, it’s into a city with tight streets and uncompromisingly high kerbs. And in those instances, you’re aware that this is a very big car – especially when it comes to parking.

Fortunately, every double-cab Ranger comes with rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera, so you can see what’s behind you, while my car upgrades that suite with a 360-degree camera and even a self-parking system.

I’ve been wary of such systems in the past, because in previous cars I’ve tried they struggle to both identify parking spaces and navigate into them smoothly. Indeed, while the system in a Ford Kuga I ran previously did eventually park me into a chosen space without my interfering, it only did so slowly and jerkily. And there wasn’t anything it could hit, because I’d chosen an empty car park.

I tried activating the self-parking function in my Ranger recently, but it quickly missed a beat in identifying a space directly behind another car – therefore, in order to park, it would be going through someone else’s car, and that’s not a situation I wanted to explain to my insurer.

Still, it’s not as though parking the Ranger myself is a chore, because the cameras give me a good view of what’s going on around me, and, despite its bulk, the Raptor is an easy car to manoeuvre. 

Ford Ranger Raptor self-parking system

Key to that is the steering, which is light enough around town to make darting around city streets easy. It’s always accurate, meaning I can place this hefty pick-up exactly where I want it – even if that happens to be a few inches either side of other cars, as is often the case when I’m parking on the street. On faster roads, the steering weights up nicely, and while it doesn’t offer the kind of feel you’d expect from a sports car, it gives me a good sense of what the front wheels are up to.

Even though this pick-up is used to providing fast thrills, then, it delivers at the smallest speeds. And that makes it easy to live with.

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