By on February 3, 2020

2019 Ford Raptor front quarter

2019 Ford F-150 Raptor

3.5-liter turbocharged V6 (450 hp @ 5000 rpm, 510 lb/ft. @ 3500 rpm)

Ten-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive

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

16.4 (observed mileage, MPG)

15.3 city / 13.1 highway / 14.3 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

Base Price: $54,450 US / $75,749 CAD

As Tested: $70,445 US/ $89,249 CAD

Prices include $1595 destination charge in the United States and $2000 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Camera in hand, I left the truck idling as I descended the running board onto the dirt path. I’d planned to get a couple of quick snaps in a beautiful natural setting, considering the vehicle’s considerable off-road prowess.

The report of what could only be a 12-gauge shotgun fired a couple hundred yards away made me reconsider my artful ambitions.

Have I ever mentioned how much I appreciate good, clear rear-view cameras? I’m not the greatest at parking large vehicles, so the tech is useful in many situations — but this feature was especially helpful as the 2019 Ford Raptor and I quickly escaped a bad situation in reverse.

2019 Ford Raptor profile

To be fair, the lands where I took the Raptor to properly test the four-wheel drive and long-travel suspension are listed by the state as a wildlife area — but I thought that meant they were wildlife safe zones, NOT hunting zones. I’m a city boy, not a hunter. I don’t know these things.

2019 Ford Raptor front

And before you comment: I’m not making a statement about guns or hunting. I’ve no specific problem with either. I’m just not down with the lingo.

It’s difficult to find good trails in Central Ohio, yet I see lifted four-wheel drive trucks and SUVs everywhere, often caked in mud — so people are getting out there and enjoying the rough stuff somewhere. Some of those rigs are so compromised toward off-road performance that they have to be absolutely miserable to drive on the tarmac.

2019 Ford Raptor interior

Not so the Raptor. Certainly compromises over a more typical full-size pickup are made — the tall tires do give less steering feedback, for example, as well as producing more road noise due to the knobby tread — but the truck is otherwise quite easy to live with every day.

2019 Ford Raptor front seats

On road, it’s genuinely fun to drive — especially on the twisty roads I navigated to get to what turned out to an active hunting ground. When hustling around corners, the body roll is massive, but the Raptor just sticks to the ground once it’s leaning. The unloaded inside front tire feels as if it can float over imperfections like a trophy truck, and the 510 lb-ft of torque makes powering out of corners a breeze.

2019 Ford Raptor rear seat

I could do without the showy bits on the Raptor. That big FORD grille and the optional ($1,075!) Raptor sticker package for the sides of the bed are a bit too much for me. That said, I’m in love with the $1,895 optional dark forged wheels. They look right.

2019 Ford Raptor dashboard

Considering how many Raptors I see rolling around suburbia, I was surprised when this SuperCab example appeared. I’d forgotten the shorter cab option was even available, as every Raptor I recall has been the longer SuperCrew. While I appreciate the longer doors and better rear legroom of the crew cab, I prefer the look of this shorter cab. The proportions are just a bit better to my eye.

The interior, for better or worse, is pretty much standard F-150 save the special embroidery on the seats and the silly stripe at the twelve o’clock position on the steering wheel. It’s comfortable, functional, and works exactly as you’d expect. Again, I’d prefer the longer SuperCrew cab for a bit more rear legroom —the kids just won’t stop growing! — but that’s a minor matter of preference.

2019 Ford Raptor center stack

Some might notice that last week I reviewed a completely different version of the F-150 with a sticker price also right around seventy thousand dollars. It’s a fair question — which one would I buy, since the sticker is roughly equal? For me, the standard truck is all I need. While the capabilities of the Raptor are impressive, and the driving experience is plenty of fun, the tradeoffs in efficiency are simply not worth it to me.

But if I lived in an area where I could put the Raptor’s off-road chops to use more often? You bet this absurdly fun F-150 Raptor would be atop my list.

I’d be sure to buy a few blaze orange vests for safety, as well.

2019 Ford Raptor rear quarter

[Images: © 2020 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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34 Comments on “2019 Ford Raptor Review – Truckin’ Absurd...”


  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    $70,000 and it includes an interior that has as much hard, grey, hollow plastic as a GM entry-level work truck. I recently sat in one of these at a nearby auto show and was shocked at how flimsy it felt for so much money…it’s obvious that little of it went to where we actually sit.
    Yes, it looks like a suburban urban warrior’s urban nightmare zombie apocalypse vehicle, but for what 99.9% of the buyers are going to use them for, try harder Ford. There are better and far nicer vehicles for $70,000.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Don’t fondle the plastics. Raptor buyers aren’t looking for the Mercedes of interiors. There is a Mercedes pickup and you don’t want that one either.

      The interior still has to be durable, but consumers critical of its interior plastics aren’t likely to buy a Raptor anyway. Or any pickup on the planet.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    “last week I reviewed a completely different version of the F-150 with a sticker price also right around seventy thousand dollars. It’s a fair question — which one would I buy..?”

    It is truly impressive that the Blue Oval has developed such a wide range of personalities for its F-Series. While most of the basic engineering, and MANY parts are shared amongst them, end products range from a small contractor’s Home Depot hack, to Raptor, to the glitzy Platinum cowboy Cadillac…to the county Public Works beast of burden. Truly, F-Series IS the Ford franchise!

  • avatar
    jack4x

    So nothing about its off-road abilities or behavior made it into the review? Nothing about the new shocks or Trail Control or any other changes added for 2019? No attempt to use it as a truck? I’m curious how these tow close to the limit, especially in the Supercab version that’s rated so low.

    Make no mistake, I appreciate having reviews of this type of vehicle here, because many places don’t bother to review them at all. But I think this really shows the limits of a journalist simply getting this Raptor in their weekly rotation instead of a purposeful review of a specialty performance vehicle for its intended task. Akin to if a supercar was reviewed only at speeds below 40 mph. For all this review told me, this truck may as well have been a 2wd base model, those handle themselves alright on road as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      oldworntruck

      If you want actual towing reviews check out TFL truck.
      They run the trucks up a 7% grade to 11000 feet at or near max towing.
      I’ll say this generation of raptor did quite well

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        There’s plenty of sites doing thorough pickups comparos, off road and whatnot, but the bigger fail is not listing “as tested” options.

        There’s $16K (US) of options over the base Raptor but only $3K for graphics and wheels are mentioned.

        The Metris “review” last week only mentioned optional wheels while $9K in total mystery options (on a stripper truck).

      • 0 avatar
        Jon

        I find TFL’s Ike Gauntlet Test rather informative. I am not asking for similar testing from TTAG. .

        As stated on the comments of previous articles, I am asking for real world truck testing. Tow something 50% of the rated capacity. How does it behave? Load it with 75% of the payload capacity. How does it behave? Since this one is a Raptor, take it in the snow/mud/rocks. Is it as much fun as Ford’s marketing department wants you to believe it is? Is that much fun worth the price (in the authors opinion)? Tell me something I can’t learn from a dealer visit and test drive.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Sure but if they’re not familiar with towing and offroading, what do they have to reference or compare to?

          Plus it can be dangerous for newbies, and or damaged vehicles. Some things are better left to experts or very experienced. Otherwise their opinion on such things mean very little.

          Jumping/drifting and 100 MPH on dirt and river bed ability, which is really what sets the Raptor apart from other “Pro” 4X4s are a no-go for normal journos.

    • 0 avatar
      cprescott

      I have to agree with you – there is a very tepid youtube automotive reviewer who only evaluates trucks off road using a manufacturer approved course (set up or chosen roads); this reviewer doesn’t even instrument tests products and will stop in the middle of a public road and then floor it and coo and giggle in the process. It is a lame attempt at being professional, but it is all a joke. And the high point of his tests are always to see if the glovebox is lined with felt.

      I say this because I would not think that a place that is named “truth about cars” would be a place to have a serious truck test that shows the highlights of what makes a Raptor different from a 4×4 Ford pickup. This is why when professional grade Chevrolet introduced its AT4 series, that I had to laugh. Yeah you made a 4×4, but you didn’t even come close to being able to do what a Raptor does at 50 mphs off roading. Jeeps would be hard-pressed to chase a Raptor without breaking.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Really cool truck, even to this non truck guy.

    I do have to say however, with 2 people in my neighborhood driving these…the Ecoboost V6 is totally wrong sounding for the car. Its droning and wheezy during acceleration. A real let down. Great engine, but they need to find a way to make it sound better.

    Or go back to the V8. Or the new 7.3L :D

  • avatar
    0Gravity

    I live in central PA where every guy apparently feels it is necessary to drive a truck (it’s the Man Sedan) and I’m amazed at how many Raptors there are everywhere. It’s a cool truck. But there’s very little legal off-roading around here. So these owners pay a huge price for vehicle capabilities that are never put to the test beyond potholes on the way to the office park. I’ll bet this is the vehicle with probably the highest rate of owners who are underwater on the loan and default risks.

    • 0 avatar
      18726543

      I’ve done a decent amount of legal off-roading in central PA (at both AOAA and Rausch Creek), and a third-party company that holds guided trail rides through both parks actually discourages the use of these trucks due to their size (both width and length). In truth, your typical offroad park isn’t what these are designed for. They’re made more for high-speed offroad racing, which precludes an even higher number of their owners from using them for their intended purpose.

      I’m definitely with you on betting the highest percentage of Raptor owners to be under water on their loans. I see tons of these things around central Maryland and I often wonder how these individuals carry the $800/mo or whatever car note, plus the insurance which I have to assume is outrageous.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The Raptor adds six and a half inches to the width of a normal F-150. I don’t understand anyone who wants to drive an 86.3″ wide vehicle in a normal urban or suburban setting.

    • 0 avatar

      Former H1 customers!

    • 0 avatar
      Garrett

      You need to try to adopt the mindset of someone that drives like a jerk.

      At least, that’s what I assume because I’ve never seen one of these that wasn’t being driven in a manner that was less reckless than a Mustang driver leaving a Cars and Coffee event.

      Seriously, it’s like someone took the stereotype of a Toyota Camry driver, and multiplied everything by -1. It’s the same magnitude of bad, just in the opposite direction.

  • avatar
    redapple

    PIG UP Trucks are everywhere.
    $2 / gallon gas PROMOTES WASTE.

    Hike the gas tax NOW.

    Even the crappy Ranger is LONGER THAN A TAHOE.!!!!!!

    What does it mean when the average F250 driver is smaller than a F150 driver. DO YOUR OWN POLL !!!

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      High gas prices will just mean heavier and larger electric trucks to the marketplace even sooner.

      Much tighter credit markets is probably the only thing that will slow down truck-mania but that would not be a fun time.

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      Three points:

      1) I paid $3.67 in CA for fuel recently. Plenty of large vehicle drivers do the same.

      2) I live in CA. The State extracts plenty of tax already, believe me.

      3) Our personal opinions about what vehicles are appropriate for other people is entirely irrelevant. You may not approve of my vehicle choice, and I may not approve of what you drive either. So what? Living as a community requires tolerance of other people and their choices. Accepting that others have different vehicular tastes/needs is a good start.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        $3.67 is quite cheap by global standards. The US imposes less tax on road fuel than any other developed country that doesn’t have an oil-dominated economy.

        A price that would reflect the externalities imposed by cars (40k dead people/year, pollution, and public health damage resulting from everyone spending so much time sitting) is at least twice what anyone in the US pays. The difference between that price and actual US prices is a subsidy of cars and drivers.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Keep in mind while comparing prices that the usual 20% off discount priced in to the sticker on every other trim doesn’t apply here. The MAP markups are gone by now but 70K still means well past 65. So in the real world these pretty well start where a Platinum leaves off and it’s only upwards from there.

    I never liked these much, off road pretense on pavement is just stupid and not having a V8 for that much money is even stupider, but I see these all over the place. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that that success gives Ford the sense to put their new 7.3 V8 in a Lightning style trim next generation. TAKE MY MONEY!

    • 0 avatar
      FrankAtlanta

      Dan – very much agree. When I was shopping, the MAP was fading away, but there wasn’t any dealing. Towards the end of my interest period, dealers were starting to be flexible on trucks that had been on their lot for a while…but I couldn’t get movement if I wanted to order a truck.

  • avatar
    FrankAtlanta

    I nearly pulled the trigger on a Raptor. A few observations:

    1. Putting aside the preceding debate about mileage, personal views, etc., the Raptor is pretty amazing and has a good range of versatility. Comfortable/lots of space – check. Decent-to-good handling and drivability onroad for a vehicle this size – check. Utility – check. On & off road capability – check (albeit, the width / size may make the Raptor challenging for narrow trails). Would I be happy taking the Raptor on a road trip – yes. Offroad in the right conditions – yes. Hauling stuff – yes.

    2. It’s not an inexpensive truck, though (but most trucks are expensive these days…). And, you can call me a doubter, I’m still curious as to the Ecoboost’s longevity (esp. as it regards water pump placement) and Ford’s early handling of their DCT issues didn’t impress. Of course, there’s always talk about a NA V8; however, I bet this will carry an even heftier price tag!

    I think the Raptors are truly interesting trucks – not for everybody, but they are unique.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “I’m still curious as to the Ecoboost’s longevity”

      I’m surprised an out of warranty water pump (or even turbo) replacement is that big of a deal when considering a $60K, 16MPG hypertruck. Is it just the principal of the thing?

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        To me it is the principle of it when Ford had (and has) V8 options that better fit the nature of the truck and have fewer question marks.

        I think the Ecoboost is *probably* fine over the long term, but the high output version isn’t too old yet and it’s unarguably more complex and expensive than the 6.2 or 7.3L. For $70K I shouldn’t have to compromise much on a vehicle that shares its bones with a $25K landscaper special.

        • 0 avatar
          FrankAtlanta

          What jack4x said.

          Any vehicle is a mix of compromises, but just because it’s an expensive truck doesn’t mean it has to be designed badly… I know there will be telltales if/when the water pump goes bad, but…there are other ways to do this!

        • 0 avatar
          FrankAtlanta

          What jack4x said.

          Any vehicle is a mix of compromises, but just because it’s an expensive truck doesn’t mean it has to be designed badly… I know there will be telltales if/when the water pump goes bad, but…there are other ways to do this!

        • 0 avatar
          FrankAtlanta

          What jack4x said.

          Any vehicle is a mix of compromises, but just because it’s an expensive truck doesn’t mean it has to be designed badly… I know there will be telltales if/when the water pump goes bad, but…there are other ways to do this!

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          In its defense I expect the 3.5HO creates a quicker truck than either the 6.2L or 7.3L (at least without throwing some tweaks at the V8s, which would likely hurt longevity compared to their HD application). Granted I’m not sure how much .4 in acceleration times matter to Raptor intenders.

          I don’t have any major bias against a turbo-6, but I do find the EB V6 engine to be a particularly large letdown in the sound department. Even with an aftermarket exhaust they don’t do much for me.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    $70k extended cab V6, there’s a sucker born every minute.

    And yes this badly needs the 7.3L, get rid of the eco engine ASAP.

  • avatar
    MrFixit1599

    In Ohio, anything labeled as a wildlife area is also public hunting grounds unless otherwise posted. I grew up in southeast Ohio, and half of Washington County is Wayne National Forest. I typically spent a lot of time in the woods except during deer hunting season. During that time it was a giant party by people that didn’t live there and only came in to hunt deer and party, typically both at the same time. It was a wonder there weren’t more people shot every year than there were. Da Yoopers deer camp song fits Ohio better than it does Wisconsin or the U.P. from my experience, and I now live in Wisconsin.

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