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Sunday, November 12, 2023

Review: 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor 2.0 Bi-Turbo 4x4

From a practical standpoint, the Ford Ranger Raptor shouldn’t make sense. Who, in their right frame of mind, would want to drive a pickup truck that’s wider, less practical, and designed for high-speed dirt driving—the sort of terrain the Philippines doesn’t get? A lot of you, apparently. So much so that the Philippines is home to the second most number of Ranger Raptors sold globally, the world leader being Australia. With such a pedigree attached to it, can Ford manage to repeat the first-gen’s success with this all-new next-generation Ranger Raptor? Mostly.

Honestly, the biggest irk you can throw the next-generation Ranger Raptor’s way is its price. With an SRP of P 2,399,000, it’s about P 300,000 more than the outgoing Raptor. Yet, on paper you essentially get a carryover product: the same bi-turbo 2.0-liter engine, the same 10-speed automatic, the same basic frame, the same 2.5-inch Fox shock absorbers. Sure, it’s been reskinned and redone, but is added price enough? In real life, that price premium went a long way to give it additional polish. If you think the old Ranger Raptor was good? This is even better.

Starting with the interior, the Ranger Raptor has finally stepped up in terms of fit and finish. The old Ranger wasn’t that bad, but there were tons of cheap bits that constantly remind you that it’s nothing more than a tarted-up workhorse; this one doesn’t. Taking the already-great Ranger cabin, the Raptor still tacks on the racy bits (red accents and all that), but this time, it uplifts the general feel too. For example, the dashboard and door cards have this soft-padded area that’s covered in a neoprene-like material. Lovely. The seats too, have been modified, with this nice leather-and-suede number. Mind you, the front seats are supposed to be sport buckets for enhanced support and all that, but they’re far too wide; perhaps they’re meant to take on more horizontally-gifted folk? There’s also ambient lighting too, but for the overly critical, the reddish glow clashes with the ice blue control lighting scheme.

When it comes to general ergonomics, the experience is mixed. Ingress and egress are challenging, and it requires the passengers to use the widened cast-aluminum side steps and pillar-mounted grips. Once aboard though, everything is laid out clearly and intuitively. The driver is greeted by a thick-rimmed steering wheel (great) and the Everest’s e-shifter (not-so great). In principle, Ford says it was engineered to allow drivers to shift between D and R when parking without needing to look at the gear indicator. Unfortunately, it’s guaranteed to make you miss your desired gear position. At front, there’s a crisp-looking 12.4-inch all-digital gauge cluster with nice, but laggy animations. Thankfully, the 12-inch portrait-style screen at the center does better with quicker, snappier response; and that’s important because it serves as the central nervous system of the entire truck.

Every single configuration, setting, and control is in there so accessing it quickly is paramount. To that end, it’s just as mixed. For the most part, it’s a set-it-and-forget-it type of thing. Once you setup how you want door locks or even safety systems behave, there’s no need to dive into the menus any longer. On the other hand, there’s no credible reason as to why Ford would bury controls like the auto hold, rear lockers, and parking sensors in a two to three-layer sub-menu. It doesn’t help that it’s not that reliable. On one occasion, the parking sensors actually crapped out while being stuck on an EDSA crawl. It required a system reboot to get it back online. Thankfully, Ford hasn’t gone all touchscreen. There are still actual knobs and buttons for the climate control, volume, terrain management, and drive mode selector.

The Ranger Raptor’s ability to haul ass over any sort of terrain is well-documented, so this review will barely touch on that. Instead, the focus here is on its everyday usability, of how it tackles the sort of situations its owners will come up against, perhaps daily.

Driving around a 2-meter wide, 1.922-meter tall truck meant to take on sand dunes in the city sounds like a challenge, but it’s actually one of the easiest pickups to drive. With the exception of having to look for parking that it’ll actually fit it and dealing with an overly pessimistic front collision system, everything else works in its favor. The Ranger Raptor’s squared-off front fenders and hood, almost letter-sized side mirrors, and various sensors (for as long as they’re working) and cameras make for excellent visibility. Ride quality, brakes, and NVH are also simply top-of-the-class. Indeed, it’s a plush-riding adventure machine. Know that battered truck lane on C5? It can simply sail through that like nothing. If anything, the heavy, almost hydraulic steering heavy, calibration of the electric power steering system could be raised as its only issue.

If there’s one area that the Ranger Raptor could have used more differentiation, it’s with the engine. Right now, it shares the same bi-turbo 2.0-liter 4-cylinder diesel in the Ranger Wildtrak. On paper, its quite alright: 210 horsepower and 500 Nm, but because it’s saddled with an additional 82 kilograms of mass (curb weight of 2,423 kilograms), it feels barely adequate. This would have been alright in a regular pickup truck (it’s actually quiet and refined), but because this is marketed as a performance vehicle, it could use more shove. This is where plopping in the bi-turbo V6 gasoline engine could have made the difference.

With peak torque occurring at a relatively narrow 250 rpm band (1,750 to 2,000 rpm), the Ranger Raptor relies on the wide ratio of its 10-speed automatic to keep itself moving at a brisk space. Compared to the previous Ranger Raptor, Ford engineers have managed to smoothen out the shift quality. The shifts are now imperceptible. As it moves away from the city, it comes alive. The engine loafs along in 10th gear at 1,600 rpm at 100 km/h improving its high-sped refinement. Overall fuel efficiency stands at 7.51 km/L—putting at par with the Ranger Wildtrak’s 8.54 km/L figure.

The next-generation Ranger Raptor has had a comprehensive makeover, but despite that it hasn’t lost the edge that made it popular in the first place. The mechanicals may be carried over from the previous Ranger Raptor, but don’t judge it solely on that. Overall, it’s still plenty capable and is mighty impressive. Off-road the darn thing and you’re still bound to traverse any destination imaginable thanks to a suite of electronic helpers. For this next-generation update, however, Ford seems to have concentrated on rounding off its rough edges. As a result, it’s job done; it’s a much better truck than ever.

2023 Ford Ranger Raptor 2.0 Bi-Turbo 4x4

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Bottom Line
Pros Mechanically well-polished; impressive NVH; easy to drive.
Cons Reliance on touchscreens; could use more grunt; hard to park.
TL;DR It's a much better truck than ever.
Year Introduced 2023
Warranty 5 years / 150,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type Pickup Truck
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/AWD, Low, Locking
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.0
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery Common Rail
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
Maximum Output (PS @ rpm) 210 @ 3,750
Maximum Torque (Nm @ rpm) 500 @ 1,750-2,000
Fuel / Min. Octane Diesel
Transmission 10 AT
Cruise Control Yes, Adaptive
Fuel Economy (km/L) @ Ave. Speed (km/h) 7.51 km/L @ 16 km/h
(fueled with Petron Turbo Diesel)
Fuel Tank Size (L) 80
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 5,381
Width (mm) 2,028
Height (mm) 1,922
Wheelbase (mm) 3,270
Curb Weight (kg) 2,423
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, Double Wishbone; Fox Shocks
Rear Suspension Coil Springs w/ Watts Linkage; Fox Shocks
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Vented Disc
Parking Brake Electric, w/ Auto Hold
Tires BF Goodrich T/A K02 LT 285/70 R 17 S (f & r)
Recommended Tire Pressure (PSI) 36, all (partial load),
36, front / 42, rear (full load)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 7
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front & Rear
Parking Camera Yes, 360-degree
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR w/ pre-tensioners x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Start Assist
Hill Descent Control
Forward Collision Warning
Autonomous Emergency Braking
Evasive Steer Assist
Lane Keep Assist w/ Lane Centering
Blind Spot Indicators
Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Rear Automatic Braking
Active Park Assist
Exterior Features
Headlights LED, Adaptive
Fog Lamps Front (LED)
Light Operation Automatic
Wiper Operation Rain-Sensing
Tailgate Manual
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic, Manual
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) Electric, 10-way
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Electric, 10-way
Seating Surface Leather/Suede
2nd Row Folding, w/ Arm Rest
3rd Row None
Sunroof None
Multi-Information Display / Size Yes, 12.4-inch
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Rear View Mirror Auto-dimming
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Dual Zone, w/ Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
USB Type A
USB Type C
Smartphone Connectivity Apple CarPlay (Wireless)
Android Auto
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes


  1. The Raptor name deserves a V6 engine underneath.

  2. I was looking forward to getting a Ranger Raptor when rumors circulated that it was going to be offered locally with the gasoline V6 engine. Unless they eventually release it, I think I'll just wait for the new generation Hilux to come out.

    1. It's rumored to come with a mild-hybrid diesel engine.

    2. I would have preferred the V6 gas over the mild hybrid version if the rumors were true

  3. Why not mention this is a WWCOTY winner?????????

    1. Because it was the Ranger not the Ranger Raptor got got the nod?

  4. Why would the power steering be labeled as an issue? Some might like the light steering some don't. It is subjective. Same with the touchscreens.

    1. Steering is subjective, you're right. It's good to have some heft to the steering, but it's something Ford hasn't gotten right. In the Wildtrak, it's too light. Here, it's too heavy. It makes the low-speed feel of the Ranger Raptor cumbersome.

      As for the touchscreens, re-read the story again.

  5. Love the introduction! Made my day! Lol! Thanks sir uly!


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