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Ford Ranger 2022 review: Raptor X GVM load test


Daily driver score

4.2/5

Tradies score

3.4/5

You probably aren’t buying a Ford Ranger Raptor X for hard work. In fact, if you can afford this pick-up truck, you’re likely to be the person who shows up at the worksite to tell employees what to do, rather than schlepping and sweating yourself.

That would make sense, as the foreperson of the site, you’d be expected to show up in something the other works aspire to own. And there are plenty of people - tradies or not - who wish they could own a Ranger Raptor X.

The question we’re setting out to answer in this review, though, is whether the Raptor X is actually cut out for hard work. We loaded it up to its payload limits to find out.

Read more about the Ford Ranger

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Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

What was I saying about it being aspirational? With a list price of $79,390 (MSRP - plus on-road costs), the Raptor X is the most expensive Ranger ute ever. It’s also almost five grand more than the first Raptor version that arrived in 2017.

You get a number of items for your hard-earned tax-write-off cash, though, with the bespoke widebody kit, Fox Shocks dampers front and rear with coil spring suspension at both ends, those sweet looking 17-inch alloy wheels with chunky 33-inch BF Goodrich KO2 all-terrain rubber (265/70/17), off road side steps, a model-specific exterior look including the F-O-R-D grille, red-edged ‘over the top’ stripes that are inspired by the Mustang muscle car that are applied to the bonnet, roof, tailgate and sides, plus there’s a black extended sports bar and red recovery hooks.

With a list price of $79,390 (MSRP - plus on-road costs), the Raptor X is the most expensive Ranger ute ever. (Image: Matt Campbell) With a list price of $79,390 (MSRP - plus on-road costs), the Raptor X is the most expensive Ranger ute ever. (Image: Matt Campbell)

The red-edge theme runs inside the cabin with red stitching on the dashboard and steering wheel, and there are new interior trim finishes too, plug there are sports seats with a leather and suede finish and electric adjustment up front, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with satnav and smartphone mirroring (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, digital radio, keyless entry and push-button start.

There are some omissions when it comes to the safety spec list, though - see the details in that section below.

There's an 8.0-inch touchscreen with satnav and smartphone mirroring (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto). (Image: Matt Campbell) There's an 8.0-inch touchscreen with satnav and smartphone mirroring (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto). (Image: Matt Campbell)

Considering which Ford Ranger Raptor X colours look best? Arctic White is the only no-cost paint, and you have three optional finishes ($650):  Conquer Grey, Shadow Black or the hue you see here, Ford Performance Blue. 

Is there anything interesting about its design?

If you’ve clicked this review you know what’s up when it comes to Raptor design. It’s bold. It’s bonkers. It’s brand-heavy. It’s also broadly mimicked by those who have, ahem, lesser versions of the Ranger yet try to make their own utes appear wide and muscled like this one.

The Raptor design is bold and brand-heavy. (Image: Matt Campbell) The Raptor design is bold and brand-heavy. (Image: Matt Campbell)

I can see the appeal, because it is commanding in terms of its presence, and the Raptor X’s added X-factor elements do help it stand out even more.

The lane-hogging hulkish frame of the Ranger Raptor X comes courtesy of it being considerably wider than the standard model (2028mm vs 1977mm), but it’s also a bit shorter nose to tail (5398mm vs 5446mm), and taller too (1873mm unladen vs 1848mm), while of course riding on a 3220mm wheelbase.

You might find those extended bars in the tub can get in the way if you’re using it for hard work, but thankfully there’s a spray-in tub liner that makes sure you won’t damage the paint when you’re throwing stuff in the tub - just take note that some items may mark that finish, as I found when I hauled some tree branches to the tip. The tub dimensions are as follows: 1549mm long at the floor of the box; 1560mm wide and 1139mm between the wheel arches (too small for an Aussie pallet); 1330mm wide at the tray opening; 561mm deep.

If you plan to go off road, here are the measurements you need to know: approach angle - 32.5 deg; breakover/rampover - 24 deg; departure - 24 deg (standard tow bar!); wading depth - 800mm; running / ground clearance - 283mm. Other things to consider are the side-steps, which are large and can get in the way of easy ingress and egress, and may be the most replaced items of all if you plan to head off pavement.

The tub dimension is too small for an Aussie pallet. (Image: Matt Campbell) The tub dimension is too small for an Aussie pallet. (Image: Matt Campbell)

But if you’re more likely to be throwing stuff in the tub than throwing the ute in the mud, you should note the load-in height for the tub is 964mm - some 124mm higher off the ground than a Wildtrak. 

We did load some weight into the back, and the resulting sag at the back axle was dramatic. With approximately 600kg of sand and rock in bags in the tub, the suspension dipped by some 15cm at the rear - about 50 per cent worse than the FX4 Max we had on test recently, which dipped by 9.5cm at the rear axle, and that’s an interesting finding considering both have those Fox Shocks, but only the Raptor X gets the multi-link rear-end and coil-spring suspension.

The payload capacity for the Raptor X is 714kg. So with me, about 600kg of landscape supplies, and a few odds and ends, we were bang on the limit of the capabilities for this ute. And you can see it in the images - the thing was doing the Praying Mantis pose. 

In case you’re wondering, the gross vehicle mass (GVM) or gross vehicle weight (GVW) is 3090kg and the kerb weight is 2376kg. And if you’re considering towing, read my review, but also keep in mind the gross combination mass (GCM) is 5350kg and the towing capacity is 750kg unbraked and 2500kg braked (1000kg less than the rest of the Ranger line-up).

How practical is the space inside?

There are cup holders between the seats and bottle holders in the doors - that goes for the front and rear. But you don’t get dash-board pop-out cup holders like in the Toyota HiLux and Isuzu D-Max, and nor is there any dash-top storage like in an Amarok.

There are sports seats with a leather and suede finish and electric adjustment up front (Image: Matt Campbell) There are sports seats with a leather and suede finish and electric adjustment up front (Image: Matt Campbell)

The centre dashboard area comprises an 8.0-inch touchscreen media system running the Sync3 interface with USB-connect smartphone mirroring (Apple CarPlay/Android Auto) and there’s DAB digital radio as well.

I’ve long found the split between physical and digital controls a little annoying, with the fan / HVAC being a bit of a mix. You get used to it, but it could be simpler.

You will be able to fit five adults on board (just mind that payload!!) and if kids are part of your regular load, there are dual ISOFIX and two top-tether restraint points in the back row. The rear seat base folds up for extra dry storage as well.

The rear seat base can fold up for extra dry storage if needed. (Image: Matt Campbell) The rear seat base can fold up for extra dry storage if needed. (Image: Matt Campbell)

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

Looking for something other than the 2.0-litre four-cylinder Bi-turbo diesel engine and 10-speed automatic transmission? Too bad, champ - that’s the only option in the Raptor X.

That’s no bad thing, though, because despite not having paddleshifters, there is a control knob for selectable four-wheel drive (2H, 4H and 4L low range).

Oh, and the engine has 157kW of power (at 3750rpm) and 500Nm of torque (from 1750-2000rpm) - beefy outputs for a small capacity four-cylinder engine. 

There is a control knob for selectable four-wheel drive. (Image: Matt Campbell) There is a control knob for selectable four-wheel drive. (Image: Matt Campbell)

There’s an electronic locking rear diff standard, too.

How much fuel does it consume?

If you’re looking at the fuel consumption sticker on the windscreen of a Raptor X wondering what that all means, it’s the official combined cycle fuel consumption figure - 8.2 litres per 100 kilometres.

In our testing we saw a real-world at the pump return of 12.2L/100km, and that included a mix of driving with and without a load.

Emissions meet Euro 5 standards - 212g/km CO2 - and there’s a diesel particulate filter (DPF) fitted. You don’t need Adblue after treatment in Aussie-spec Raptor X models.

Fuel tank capacity is 80 litres and fuel saving start-stop technology is standard, but there is no long range fuel tank available. Scratch that “Simpson Desert in one tank” idea, then.

What's it like as a daily driver?

The Ford Ranger has long been considered the best ute in its segment when it comes to driving, and it remains a standout even to this day, almost a decade after the PX series Ranger launched.

The steering is a highlight, offering fingertip lightness and a level of surety that most utes can’t match. (Image: Matt Campbell) The steering is a highlight, offering fingertip lightness and a level of surety that most utes can’t match. (Image: Matt Campbell)

The Raptor X offers an interesting drive, too, with its chunky, grippy BFG tyres and squishy Fox Shocks suspension and coil springs at both axles making it a vastly different day-to-day proposition to, say, a Wildtrak.

It is more comfortable, riding with a softness to it that is more inline with the light steering than the usual empty-tray Ranger experience. That steering, as usual, is a highlight, offering fingertip lightness and a level of surety that most utes can’t match, but just mind the turning circle, as its large at 12.9m.

That hero powertrain is mostly really good too, with easy power and progress in almost all situations, and 10 gears to play with to ensure you’re getting it done without fuss.

The Raptor X offers an interesting drive, too, with its chunky, grippy BFG tyres. (Image: Matt Campbell) The Raptor X offers an interesting drive, too, with its chunky, grippy BFG tyres. (Image: Matt Campbell)

But there are some considerations - the auto can hunt a lot for gears, which you get used to but you mightn’t like, and the shift between drive and reverse when parking can make for some rolling moments and even see you chirp the tyres, as there is some turbo lag and sluggishness at standstill and slow pace.

If you want to find this truck’s natural habitat, venture off road - that’s where the whole combination of the chassis and powertrain show up for a really, really impressive experience. 

But this test was about driving it like a work ute, with and without weight. So what’s it like pushed almost to its payload limits?

What’s it like for tradie use?

We once again made our way to Lower Mountains Landscape Supplies to make use of their facilities and sandbag collection to load up the tub. In this Ranger Raptor X though, we didn’t need to heave as many bags in as most utes we’ve tested. Instead, we stuck to about 600kg of sandbags (and a couple of bags of rock, too).

The load-in height was an issue for the first, er, four or five bags, but it was amazing how much the rear suspension sagged and how quickly it did so. With all the bags in, it felt like I was almost throwing them at my knee height, with about 15cm of sag at the rear axle - compared to the FX4 Max with Fox Shocks and leaf springs rather than coils at the rear, which dropped 9.2cm with 800kg in the back.

We loaded about 600kg of sandbags into the tub. (Image: Matt Campbell) We loaded about 600kg of sandbags into the tub. (Image: Matt Campbell)

It was evident that the praying mantis-style stance is not how you’d want to be running your ute at all times, and indeed it was surprising to note the tail of the ute had slumped so low that the towbar touched down on the driveway as we exited the landscaping place. So much for that departure angle!

Amazingly though, the suspension coped with the mass admirably. The rear end barely felt speedhumps and potholes in the road surface, and it felt confident and controlled at higher speeds - it was just at lower speeds that the weight was noticeable, especially in driveways and such.

The nose of the ute was pointing up more than you might think it should, though there was not much of that ‘light at the nose’ feel you used to get in loaded-up utes of decades past. It was still easy to steer and light in its action.

The engine and transmission? You guessed it - still really good. Plenty of grunt, and thankfully without too much to think about when it came to getting away from a standstill - when unladen it was more noticeably laggy, whereas with weight it was a bit more measured in its progress from a standstill - no doubt also because of more measured throttle application. 

With all the bags in there was about 15cm of sag at the rear axle. (Image: Matt Campbell) With all the bags in there was about 15cm of sag at the rear axle. (Image: Matt Campbell)

Again, the thing with the 10-speed auto is that you have so many gears, but that has the advantage of never feeling like the engine is out of puff. The gearbox finds the cog it needs and holds it as long as it needs to.

Braking performance was good with the weight on board, with the Raptor X’s four-wheel disc brakes allowing a more engaging feel and better response than the Rangers with drum rear brakes we’ve tested loaded.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

The Ford Ranger’s maximum five-star ANCAP crash test safety rating dates back to 2015, but it remains current for the outgoing ute.

It has auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assistance, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, roll-over mitigation, load adaptive stability and traction control with trailer sway control, tyre pressure monitoring, traffic sign recognition, driver fatigue monitoring and six airbags (dual front, front side and full-length curtain). 

There’s no adaptive cruise control, no front parking sensors, no auto high beam lights, no blind-spot monitoring, no rear cross-traffic alert, no surround view camera. That’s a lot of things to be missing from an $80K ute.

The Ford Ranger has a reversing camera. (Image: Matt Campbell) The Ford Ranger has a reversing camera. (Image: Matt Campbell)

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

Ford’s five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty plan applies here, which is short of what you get from Isuzu (six years/150,000km) and Mitsubishi (up to 10 years/200,000km). 

You can get up to seven years roadside assist if you service with Ford. Lifetime capped price servicing applies to all Ford Ranger models, and the first four services are just $299 per visit. Maintenance intervals sit every 12 months/15,000km.

Read our Ford Ranger problems page for more info on concerns, issues, recalls, problems or common complaints.

If you’re after a hard-working Ford Ranger, the Raptor X really isn’t your best bet. It has the lowest payload capacity of any Ranger in this generation, and the back end sags more than a cool dude’s pants did in the 1990s.

Ute buyers after a work-ready Ranger have so many other, frankly better, options to choose from - XL, XLS, XLT, Wildtrak, FX4 Max… none of them look as good as the Raptor X, sure, but all of them are better at being a proper work ute than it. That might be a non issue for you, though - you might be the sort of customer who tells people to do the hard work but keeps their hands clean themselves, and in that instance, this would look good with your business’s stickers all over it as well as those OTT stripes.

Thanks again to our good mates at Lower Mountains Landscape Supplies for helping out with this test.

$79,390

Based on new car retail price

Daily driver score

4.2/5

Tradies score

3.4/5
Price Guide

$79,390

Based on new car retail price

This price is subject to change closer to release data
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.