By on October 27, 2017

2017 Ford Raptor

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

3.5-liter turbocharged V6 (450 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm; 510 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm)

10-speed automatic, four-wheel drive

15 city / 18 highway / 16 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

15.6 city, 13.2 highway, 14.5 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

Base Price: $49,520 (U.S) / $68,899 (Canada)

As Tested: $57,448 (U.S.) / $75,764 (Canada)

Prices include $1,195 destination charge in the United States and $1,800 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

I groaned when I saw the Ford Raptor on my press car schedule.

That’s because trucks and the part of Chicago I live in don’t mix well, necessarily. Parking is a hassle, streets are crowded, and miles-per-gallon figures are comically abysmal in city traffic.

In the Raptor’s case, I worried I wouldn’t be able to use it the way Ford intended: Off-road.

That said, I do get the appeal of trucks. Whether it’s the image of toughness or the utility on offer, I understand why so many people snap up pickups from dealer lots, especially when gas prices drop, even if most truck owners never use them for their intended purpose.

And after I put it through its paces (and then some), I get the appeal of the Raptor.

It probably helps that my Raptor test truck came in SuperCab guise. A five-and-a-half foot bed and half-doors on the rear obviously shorten the truck, making it easier to maneuver in urban environs – I squeezed it into a tight parking spot while running errands, and did so without much in the way of any Austin Powers-like efforts.

Ford offers one engine in the Raptor – a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that makes 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. Big numbers, to be sure, but some of the acceleration promised by such numbers is hampered by the vehicle’s 5,525-pound curb weight. The 10-speed automatic does its job quietly, while the engine snarls like a V8 when the throttle is pressed.

On-road, the truck rides and handles like, well, a truck, but despite all the off-road goodies, it doesn’t ride or handle any worse than other full-size pickups with four-wheel drive. A long freeway jaunt showed the Raptor to be stiff at times but mostly pleasant.

2017 Ford Raptor

Those off-road goodies include off-road shocks, off-road tires, increased suspension travel and ride height, and a model-exclusive high-strength steel box frame. The shock canisters are 3 inches in diameter, up from 2.5 inches before, and wheel travel is up 0.8 inches up front and 1.9 inches in the rear (taking it to 13 inches up front and 13.9 inches out back). There are, of course, skid plates.

You can read about my backwoods misadventures here, but a quick recap: I got stuck in muck but good, and it happened multiple times. Despite that, I came away impressed with the truck’s off-road capabilities. Once I figured out what I was doing, it made for a good companion on the trails, and I drove it home none the worse for wear – it took a bit of a beating and shrugged it off. Still, I can’t help but think this truck is best suited to blasting over sand dunes and catching air. Sand dunes, however, are in short supply in my part of these United States.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

The inside is appointed well enough and plenty roomy. Big is the theme – there are big knobs for the radio, for the climate controls, for the four-wheel drive selector, for the towing adjuster. There’s also plentiful storage space thanks to a deep console and a large storage area in front of the shifter. There’s no shortage of cupholders, either.

The gauges are big, too, and easy to read. An info screen located in between them is useful. Moving over to the infotainment screen, you’ve got Ford’s Sync system, which many of us love to hate but has been much improved over the years, and Apple CarPlay is available.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

If you like to festoon your truck with accessories such as light bars, there are six auxiliary switches mounted on the headliner. They didn’t appear to be wired to anything, but flicking them made me feel like a cop preparing to pounce on a speeder.

To the surprise of no one, the Raptor’s exterior styling is aggressive, with an in-your-face grille. The raised ride height does nothing to curb the aggression. You aren’t going anywhere in subtlety here.

As with most trucks, the biggest flaw here is fuel economy. Ford lists the Raptor at 16 mpg combined (15 city/18 highway), and while I didn’t measure it, I don’t think I ever saw more than 14.5 mpg on the gauge cluster display. That came after a long, gentle freeway drive. To be fair, after dropping the vehicle off with a full tank, it still showed a range of nearly 400 miles – so, even with the low mpgs, you get a decent cruising range from the 23-gallon gas tank.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

I admit it – I was prepared to be annoyed by the Raptor. Not hate it, exactly, but just to spend a week using it only for grocery getting, which would mean I’d be disappointed to not use it for what it’s built for. But not only did it impress me off-road, which I more or less expected, it also proved exceptionally easy to daily-drive on-road, assuming you can live with the relatively high degree of gas guzzling.

Even the price doesn’t make me blanch. This test vehicle had a base price of $48,325, and with options and fees came to $57,448. Those options include Sync, Sync Connect, a power-sliding rear window, trailer assist, navigation, spray-in bedliner, tailgate step (extremely useful and worth the $375), auto start/stop, and a 4.10 front axle with Torsen differential. I’d probably skip the two graphics options this tester came with, which would save almost $2,000 and allow the truck to better blend into traffic.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

Other standard or available features included satellite radio, power-adjustable pedals, and USB.

My test vehicle didn’t have the high-zoot options package, which includes blind-spot monitoring, keyless starting, and inflatable seatbelts. So, checking all the boxes could put you over the $60,000 mark.

Yes, nearly $60K (or over, as the case may be) for a truck sounds like a lot, but when you realize you can get a Raptor for about the same money that a luxury-loaded “cowboy Cadillac” F-150 or Sierra Denali would set you back, it becomes much more appealing.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

Maybe it’s the result of a weird man/machine bond that forms after even the smallest of adventures, and maybe I wouldn’t feel so warmly about the Raptor had I only driven it on pavement, but I won’t groan the next time I see one on my vehicle list.

Joe Diffie makes perfect sense now.

[Images © 2017 Tim Healey/The Truth About Cars]

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55 Comments on “2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Review – There’s Something About a Pickup, Man...”


  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    “Still, I can’t help but think this truck is best suited to blasting over sand dunes and catching air.”

    That seems to be the aim, but be sure to not catch TOO much air:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w-HOiQo5OA

    Even SuperTruck has its kryptonite.

  • avatar
    srh

    “It probably helps that Raptor only comes in SuperCab guise.”

    Not true. It comes in both supercab and crewcab.

    “On-road, the truck rides and handles like, well, a truck, but despite all the off-road goodies, it doesn’t ride or handle any worse than other full-size pickups with four-wheel drive. A long freeway jaunt showed the Raptor to be stiff at times but mostly pleasant.”

    I’m surprised to read that. Having owned a Raptor, I found the ride to be not-at-all stiff. I’d call it downright plush.

  • avatar
    EX35

    For that amount of money, I feel it would be better spent on a f250 6.7 powerstroke. Seems like you would get way more utility. But my truck knowledge is admittedly low.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      The mileage isn’t terrible, but you’ve get better mileage out of the Power Stroke. A friend gets 17-18 around town (F-250 Platinum Crew Cab 4×4 w/FX4 option).

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        My 2010 F150 is rated for 14/18 and I’ve gotten 20.4 mpg (US) on 2 separate 500 mile trips. This truck is lifted and running 35’s with 450 hp so the 15/18 mpg number is good relative to its modifications.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      If you don’t need the extra capabilities going for the super duty is a poor choice. Worse fuel economy in everyday use and will make any F150’s ride feel like a luxury car in comparison.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        This. HDs are designed to ride well under working conditions, not necessarily unloaded. With a 1500 you’re getting peak ride quality unloaded as well as with a reasonable load.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I agree if you are not in need of the capability of the 250 and the diesel you would be better off with the 150. I’ve got both, a 06 250 crew cab long bed and a 02 150 Supercab short bed. Driving the 150 is like driving a Sports car in compared to the 250 and the 150 can still haul a very good load. I hate to admit it but I’ve had more weight in the bed of my 150. I needed a ton of gravel and my choice was use the 150 or take the canopy off the 250 and use it. It was not on the stops with 2200lbs and still handled pretty well.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I’ve overloaded my F150 a few times. The first time was with the stock 4 ply tires. It was unnerving. The second time was with 10 ply Grabber AT2’s. It felt very stable.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    You suddenly become the best friend of anybody moving to a new home.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    It’s already got a set of bubba pipes, from the factory? It really needs baloney-cut tips that stick out a few inches, and one needs to hang down low, and move up and down when you hit bumps. Ambience, dude, ambience.

    • 0 avatar
      FuzzyPlushroom

      From a practical standpoint (TT 3.5 V6), these little tips should be plenty!

      http://www.dep-o.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/XJ220.Rear_.jpg

      The fat pipes do go nicely with the four-foot-wide ‘FORD’ lettering on the grille, in a cartoonish way. I’m surprised they restrained themselves from slapping a big ol’ FORD on the tailgate, too, RAM-style.

    • 0 avatar

      Bonus points for using several different diameters of crush bent aluminized pipes stuck together with popcorn welds. Optional is a 55 gallon drum exhaust tip protruding through the floor of the bed.

  • avatar
    JMII

    “If you like to festoon your truck with accessories such as light bars, there are six auxiliary switches mounted on the headliner. They didn’t appear to be wired to anything”

    This is downright brilliant by Ford. Pretty much the opposite of the blank switch plates you get when your order the stripper version of most vehicles. Ford knows you want to add stuff to the truck… so they give you some nice factory switches to wire up.

    • 0 avatar
      krohde

      And they’re pre-wired to a spot under the hood so you just need to connect the wires, if memory serves. Very handy.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Ford has been offering them for years in their trucks and vans. In most trims it is a not cheap option known as the upfitter switches. They power underhood relays and have blunt cut wires, covered in adhesive lined heat shrink. The often also have 4-6 bulkhead wires with blunt cuts under the hood and dash.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “while the engine snarls like a V8 when the throttle is pressed.”

    youtu.be/FzzcSQyfTa4?t=48s

    Guess which one is the Ecoboost and which one is the 6.2L.

  • avatar
    Dan

    “… but when you realize you can get a Raptor for about the same money that a luxury-loaded “cowboy Cadillac” F-150 …”

    Keep in mind that that actual purchase prices on the normal trims are at least $8-10,000 off MSRP while the Raptors don’t go much below sticker. Quite a few scumbag dealers are going for MAP besides.

    “… so, even with the low mpgs, you get a decent cruising range from the 23-gallon gas tank.”

    The 23 gallon tank only exists at all to justify the $445 upcharge to the 36 gallon tank, the rear extension is a bit shorter to fit the short wheelbase but internal void space is the only reason it won’t take at least 30 gallons as is.

    http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/2/2015_Ford_F-150_23-gallon_and_36-gallon_tanks.jpg

    I’m not surprised that Ford didn’t bother with coming up with a new tank for the tiny handful of 133″ WB Raptors that they sell, almost everyone buys the four door, but 250 miles between pit stops is a pain in the ass.

  • avatar
    EX35

    In the 1/2 ton class, it seems like the Tundra is an easy decision. Reliability, build quality, stout v8, high resale value. What am I missing?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The Tundra has so-so reliability compared to the others, and poor for a Toyota. And it’s a gas hog. Its list of options is weak for a working-class truck, axle ratios, tow/payload packages, etc.

      Other than that, yeah it’s a great truck for a lot of folks, including my mom. Yes you get lots more “resale value”, but you pay proportionally more up front, stingy rebates and whatnot.

      She paid slightly more for her base regular-cab, V6 Tundra, than my basic XL Super cab, V8 F-150 with the STX package, same year.

      • 0 avatar
        EX35

        I haven’t kept up with truck reliability lately I guess. Has the f150 and Silverado really eclipsed the tundra in reliability? Say it ain’t so!

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          No, they haven’t, unless Mike has some data source we don’t.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            If Silverados and F-150s were unreliable, we’d all know it, with over a million new ones put on the road annually. Industry depends on them, day in, day out. Tundras, not so much.

            Anyway, I’m not seeing his “data”, just an assumption, and common misconception, that probably sells a lot of Tundras…

            “Ford, GM, Ram, *bad*, Toyota *good*”, based on what’s known about midsize to subcompact cars from each.

            In this case, you can trust the anecdotal, not to mention Ford and GM have way more experience to get it right or wrong.

            Ford has way more ways to fail, pushing the technology envelope, but comparing a V8 Ford or GM vs a Tundra, its no contest.

            Not that the Tundra is a horrible truck, but to say it’s more reliable? Pardon me if I laugh, alright?

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            That was one of the most incoherent things I’ve ever read. What on earth were you actually trying to say?

            All you did was place your own unfounded assumptions ahead of his. Except he was correct. Available data doesn’t support your assertion that the Tundra has “so-so reliability compared to the others”. It shows the opposite, though not by a large margin.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “It shows the opposite…”

            OK, where’s the “data”??

            You’re just as bad as him, making gross assumptions based on absolutely nothing, except wive’s tales.

            I never said the differences were big. But I did have to laugh when I read your comment. You know exactly what I’m sayin’, it’s just tough for you to accept.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            The only thing I was aware of was the rusting, breaking frames.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            “You’re just as bad as him, making gross assumptions… ”

            That is literally all you have done here. You began with opinion/anecdote passed off as a verified fact, then doubled down on it. Reminds me of a commenter in the Audi thread a few days ago who claimed his positive Audi ownership experiences were “statistics” proving the brand’s long term reliability. Don’t be that guy. Don’t claim quantitative victory from your anecdotes.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            How does his anecdotal trump mine? He started this by stating the Tundra has the best reliability of all 1/2 tons.

            You 2nd’d it.

            Based on what exactly??

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            His doesn’t.

            However, CR survey data happens to support his. Yeah, I know, boo-hoo it has limitations and doesn’t tell you what you want to hear so it must be biased. And yes, it does have limitations but it is the only data we have and if you go back through the individual problem areas over the years instead of the nearly useless all-encompassing prediction they put in their press releases, the Tundra tends to score a bit better than the domestics in non-trivial areas. It’s not a big difference and wouldn’t be enough to sway me away from an F150 or Silvy, but it is the opposite of what you claim.

            The data we have access to contradicts your claim. You have no alternative data with which to refute, and take the route of alternative facts instead.

            Don’t believe it if you don’t want to, you can anecdote yourself up the wazoo in Timbuktu for all I care. I’m being pedantic rather than partisan here: it doesn’t really bruise my ego if the big T doesn’t smash all comers in full-size truck reliability. I don’t really care. But people blithely laying out opinion or impression as fact really irritates me and I see a LOT of that in important non-automotive fandom areas and my intolerance is bleeding over into here.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            What data? Where is it?? Why is that so difficult???

            Does it lump all Fords or GM vehicles into one total? Does consumer’s bad experiences with infotainment systems render a vehicle “unreliable”?

            As I said Toyota is the last OEM to push technological advancements, especially on Tundras which are the most outdated, and past their “sellby” trucks on the market.

            You gotta use your own judgement and common sense at some point. A million plus a year (Big 3 1/2 tons) sold vs a few hundred thousand should tell you something. But figure Ford especially, has several more chances to get it wrong (or get it right) for every “classic” 2018 Tundra, Toyota sells.

            But let’s compare a regular old V8 F-150 or Silverado vs the Tundra V8 (6-speed).

            So show the data, I’ll wait here..

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Now I’m the one who is laughing. You should calm down.

            Data’s behind a paywall. I just went car shopping so I paid. I’m not going to the trouble to save screen shots and post them here for you. It’s like $7 for a single month, and if you want to show that Ford and Chevy aren’t far behind Toyota you’ll like it. If you want to show that Toyota is behind them, you probably won’t. Seven bucks is a good deal to avoid the aneurysm you seem headed for.

            LOL at the common sense argument. I’ve seen what passes for common sense from you before.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Now that’s comical! When it comes to reliability, it’s Ford/GM vs Toyota, as OEMs??

            Not fullsize pickups vs fullsize pickups??? god knows Ford/GM build sh!tty cars, and they’re not even trying hard to radically improve. No point in it.

            Except Ford/GM builds more than enough fullsize pickups, and throws more than enough cash at them to get ’em right. And they do! Toyota, obviously not. Their main concern is cars and CUVs and it shows. They got those right and extremely reliable.

            The Tundra is reliable enough for most, but let’s get real. No way is it more reliable that the F-150 or Silverado. You haven’t shown anything to that effect, ’cause you can’t! At ANY price!!!

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Is it really that tough for you to manually put in a link/URL with your phone? I’m on my phone, watch this:

            http://www.getaclue.com

            Or just listing key words does the same. That’s if the “data” (wive’s tails) you claim is “real” existed outside your head.

            how
            use
            phone
            dummies

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            What part of “behind paywall” don’t you understand? Want to know what happens when you post a URL of a page that requires a login? Here, send me the url of your TTAC account while you’re logged in. If it actually works on my end, I’ll post a comment as DenverMike and for once in this particular comment thread you won’t be the biggest idiot west of the 100th.

            OMFG, there’s stupid then there’s stoopid, then there’s DenverMike.

            And no, I was referencing Tundra vs. F150 vs. Silverado, not OEM.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You’re dancing all over the place instead of just providing your case. Real data shouldn’t be locked away on some mysterious secret site that requires a credit card etc. you lose.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            CR is a secret site?

            Real data doesn’t collect, analyze, and publish itself and it usually isn’t free. The free-of-charge garbage your head produces is priced appropriately.

            The realest data on this matter is likely held by the automakers, and that isn’t accessible even by credit card. But you can bet it’s real.

            So, stupid comment. Should have taken me up on my offer to post one for you. You’re still the biggest idiot west of the 100th.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            At least you’re good for a laugh!

            Well if it’s “data” we can’t “access”, it’s no good to us here and might as well not exist, for this thread, article and web site.

            Just admit you pulled the fake info out of your A$$ like you always do, you and partner BAFO.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Yep, me and BAFO go way back. We both apparently don’t like you so the only possible conclusion is collusion.

            I finally figured out how to post a URL to “data” that even you can “access”

            http://tinyurl.com/y8kyh5yr

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Yep both of you come up with outlandish claims then dance around when it comes time to prove it. If I call ya’ll out on the BS, yeah I guess you don’t like it or me for doing so.

            I’m fine with that! Somebody’s gotta do it!!

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        “Its list of options is weak for a working-class truck, axle ratios, tow/payload packages, etc.”

        They don’t have those options because they’re already included. Every 5.7 Tundra has the tow package and a proper axle ratio. Paying $1500 extra to get those on a Ford, or not paying the $1500 and then discovering years later that your truck can’t tow benefits the buyer how?

        Yeah I got $12,000 off sticker on my Ford just like everyone else does but with everything from the gas tank to the radio screen to the backup beepers, much less the mechanical bits, an additional line item markup that sticker started off in the stratosphere.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          “Working-class” doesn’t always mean “towing”. Fuel economy is the trade off there. So it’s important to have “choice”, not just a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

          Toyota and Nissan want to sell you a pickups like you’re buying a Camry or Altima. It theory, they could take over the pickup market, like they probably planned, but it’s not so simple. And it would start with catering to fleets.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    TTAC: “There’s Something About a Pickup, Man”

    No, there’s not “something” about a pickup. There’s everything about a pickup.
    All else does not exist… (^_^)…

    =================

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      It’s a reference to a Joe Diffie song.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I got my first truck when I was 3
        drove 100,000 miles on my knees
        I hauled marbles and rocks and thought twice before
        I hauled a Barbie doll bed for the girl next door
        She tried to pay me with a kiss and I began to understand
        That there’s somethin’ women like about a Pickup Man.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    A buddy of mine just traded his full boat APR’d Mk7 Golf R for a GMC Sierra Duramax. We took it to the Kansas NASCAR race. I was expecting a horrible highway ride but it rode fairly well. The interior was nice, but not 65k MSRP nice.He wants to buy a bigger RV, hence the switch. He gets 18mpg combined. Considering I was getting 19 on my 08 ML350 when I had it I can’t argue with the progress they’ve made with these things.
    I remember working as a lot boy at a Chevy store as a teenager in 88-92.Power windows and full carpet were luxuries at the time in C/Ks

    • 0 avatar
      EX35

      It’s insane that a decently equipped 3/4 ton diesel costs $65k+. My boss has a new 2017 f250 6.7 King Ranch. It is such a sweet ride. Too bad I can’t afford one.

  • avatar
    riggodeezil

    Wow. A Sixty Thousand $ pickup with enough hp to power a small town. How cool is it that one can even get something like this in our crazy mixed up world. It sure beats the snot out of Grandpappy’s 1974 F100 which barely made a hundred horses and got <10 mpg. He'd hardly believe that such a thing as this "Raptor" could even exist.

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