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Review of: 2017 Ford F-150 4WD SuperCab 133" Raptor

8.1

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCab: A most luxurious race truck

By G. R. Whale

Mar. 1, 2017

The new Raptor retains the singular mission of the first—the best production factory off-road pickup. And it doesn’t really matter if “off-road” means blitzing snow-covered or dirt washboard or creeping through divots and rock streams. Like other half-tons it can go to the mall or school-yard Grand Prix, but carrying heavy loads or towing big trailers are best left to regular F-150s.

Pros & Cons

  • + Off-road performance
  • + Acceleration
  • + Attention-getting styling
  • - Fuel economy
  • - Price
  • - Practicality
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  • Walkaround

    With LEDs from headlights to tail markers, Raptor’s as easy to notice at night as the bulging bodywork, unique bumpers and big tires are during the day. The squat stance gives a purposeful planted look, even when it’s airing out the suspension jumping sand dunes.

    Save the roof, windows and door panels nothing outside—or the frame—is standard F-150; clearance lights are there because it’s so wide. Everything serves a purpose from forward skid plate and grill you can brand a snowbank with, to hitch with integral tow hooks and tailpipes tucked up next to it. Wallpaper in the form of optional graphics virtually ensures you won’t see yourself coming and going.

    Forged wheels ($1,390) are good for performance, and I think they look better too. See if you can talk the dealer into a matching spare.

    8.1Very good
  • Interior

    Cabin dimensions are identical to lesser F-150s, this SuperCab giving roomy comfort up front and room for three moderate sizes in back; a rear-facing child seat may or may not fit where you want it.

    Materials seem appropriate for a big-money pickup very likely to see dirty, wet feet. It’s fairly quiet given some tire sing, at least til you lean on the power.

    Controls are numerous, with multiple choices in almost everything and 22 activations on the steering wheel not counting horn or shift paddles. Gauges are clear and can tell anything from where you’re going to impending crash and for all the tricks, bells and whistles packed in it works quite well.

    7.8Good
  • Tech

    If you’re lucky there’s no cell service where you take Raptor, lessening import of power points and USB ports. Standard or optional it offers safety systems like collision mitigation braking and blind-spot warning, it can steer your trailer backward or park for you, all-around cameras save getting out to see how steep the cliff face is, and there’s a full infotainment suite.

    Then there’s stuff like the 128 hp/litre twin-turbo engine, nine-stage dampers with pistons the size of big truck axles, 1,600 watts in electric cooling fans and a Torsen front and locking rear differential. All warranted!

    8.6Very good
  • Driving

    The only SuperCab short-bed F-150, and the only one with a 450-hp 3.5 turbo and 4.10:1 gears, Raptor is faster than most pickups. With 1,000 kg more mass and much heavier wheels and tires it won’t go like a 435-hp Mustang, but you will need all wheels driven for full-throttle launches. For the most part, pavement or otherwise, Raptor feels it can fully exploit all its power.

    Suspension travels 330 mm in front, 350 in back, damped by multistage Fox Racing shocks, covering rough terrain at a pace no production truck (and most quads or side-by-sides) can’t match. Girth is likely the first issue crawling along rocky or rutted trails, and the five powertrain settings give you one less thing to think about. What with ventilated seats and capable steering assist it isn’t hard work but Raptor can challenge your ability.

    On the road that suspension tuning sloughs off speed bumps, driveway entries and many potholes. The nose lifts under throttle and sinks during braking, and there’s body roll and a gentle ride like an old French car or semi-displacement yacht, all perfectly acceptable in light of the design brief.

    Built Raptor tough does have a couple of drawbacks. Consumption is in the teens, though I managed 12.3 l/100km highway and averaged 15.8; you could do 30 l/100km blasting around in sand or mud. And don’t plan on carrying much, this 2,725-kg SuperCab being good for just 336 kg of cargo, passengers and tongue weight—bring light campfire wood, and tow rating is 2,721 kg under ideal conditions. Re-aim the headlights or you’ll blind the province.

    9.5Excellent
  • Value

    From the high $60,000s and $82,000 for this loaded SuperCab, Raptor is about $18,000 ahead of the closest Lariat 4×4 or a Ram Rebel, $16,000 more than a Power Wagon, and $32,000 above smaller, less lux Tacoma TRD Pro and Colorado ZR2. However, there is no way you’d be able to build your own or modify another F-150 to this level for the money.

    6.6Okay
  • Conclusion

    As a wheeler or frequent flyer, the Raptor excels. As a second car it’s a bit wide, unwieldy and quite thirsty. As a working pickup a mid-size half the price is better.

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