2019 Ford Raptor

PHOENIX — When Ford first introduced the F-150 SVT Raptor in 2010, it set a new standard for off-roading that few ever thought possible. It was not only a high-performance truck on the road, like the SVT Lightning it replaced, it was a completely improbable and delightfully flippant “Baja-ready-from-the-factory” high-performance off-road truck.

Ford started with a standard issue F-150 frame, added a half-foot to its width, and increased its wheel span, making it nearly impossible to roll down the same assembly line as the regular F-150. Add bulging fenders over the meaty nearly three-foot tall BF Goodrich all-terrain tires mounted on industrial-strength looking 17-inch wheels, put just over seven feet between the front fenders, and it’s the widest of any light-duty pickup on the market.

There’s more, including the factory lift kit, Baja-style suspension tech, powerful engines and transmissions and both interior and exterior styling enhancements. Raptor is an astonishing truck in a class of one.

Two years ago, Ford introduced an all-new Raptor and significantly improved its unsurpassed capability. It also came with improved looks and, together, never disappointed during our weeklong testing. In fact we were loath to give it back to Ford. The Raptor is simply awesome.

Now, for 2019, Ford has supplied us with a new bird of prey: the SuperCrew Raptor is completely loaded with all the good stuff at a price of nearly $75,000. It’s also offered in a SuperCab body style that rides on a wheelbase that’s a foot shorter than the SuperCrew and also adds a pair of full-size rear doors.

The unique Raptor suspension includes Fox Shocks, high-performance springs, skid plates, selectable drive modes, heavy-duty differentials, and the Trail Control system, including sport mode that automatically adjusts itself to deliver power and braking as needed to each individual wheel, allowing the driver to fully focus on steering while negotiating an extremely challenging off-road trail.

Ford has also done a suspension upgrade for 2019, with electronically controlled shocks and dampers designed to automatically adapt to gnarly terrain in real time, maximizing handling, comfort and bottom-out resistance. The idea here was to improve both on- and off-road performance, but we suggest it has not. The new Raptor as a daily driver has definitely lost its on road comfort from last year’s model and you feel a lot more paved road imperfections than before.

Inside, all-new Recaro seats deliver more bolstering with comfort to keep the driver firmly planted in rugged off-road driving. Our test Raptor came with black leather seats with blue Alcantara® inserts that looked fantastic and much more upscale.

Our Raptor was also enhanced with the $9,365 optional 802A package that adds items like 360° camera, BLIS with trailer tow monitoring, Pro Trailer Backup Assist, voice-activated navigation, B&O sound system, LED box lighting and side-mirror spotlights, integrated trailer braking, power-sliding rear window, heated steering wheel, and much more.

The Raptor also comes loaded with a seemingly unlimited amount of gauges, intuitive infotainment systems, precise and pleasing to use voice commands, and all the trappings of a luxury sedan.

Driving the Raptor off-road is an experience you’ll get from no other vehicle (sorry, Jeep). The experience you get from the Fox shocks alone is amazing, easily traversing whatever it is you’re running over: boulders, logs, deeply rutted terrain, deep sand, and streams. But also know that the Raptor is extremely wide and in our off-road testing at Butcher Jones State Park in Arizona we avoided and turned away from, on numerous occasions, the very narrow trails we wished we didn’t have to. We would have certainly come away with “Arizona pinstriping” courtesy of rugged brush, cactus and rock outcroppings. We did appreciate the under-nose skid plates and the selectable drive modes including a Baja mode for high-speed sand running and a Rock mode for low-speed boulder crawling.

For 2019, Ford has ditched the previously available 6.2-liter V-8 for a smaller engine. That’s not all bad since a 450-horsepower twin turbo V-6 with 510 lb.-ft of torque connected to a paddle-shifted 10-speed automatic transmission, delivering power to all four corners via a four-mode 4WD transfer case that includes 2-High, 4-High, 4-Low and a set-and-forget all-wheel drive choice called 4Auto. Acceleration comes on instantly with a zero to 60 time in the mid-four-second range. A side note: the V-6 doesn’t deliver the same throaty, burble and sweet mellifluous sound as the previous big V-8 powerplant with dual pipes.

Overall, Ford Raptor remains as king of the off-road trail, but I’m not sure I liked it as much as the 2018 Raptor tested last year. But that might change, since RAM has confirmed that they will put into production the TRX (internally known as the “T-Rex”) to compete directly with the Raptor. While we’re excited about the prospect of the TRX, we have no further details regarding introduction dates, equipment or pricing. But know that Raptor is an amazing and incredibly capable truck and it will take all RAM can do to outperform Ford in this arena.

Vital Stats
Base Price: $57,835
Price as Tested: $73,555
Powertrain: 450-hp twin-turbo V6 connected with a 10-speed automatic transmission
Fuel Economy: 15-mpg city – 18-mpg highway – 16-mpg combined (recommended premium fuel)
Seating: 5

Where Built: Dearborn, Michigan

Crash Test Results: The Ford F-150 Raptor has not been crash tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Competes With:

Fab Features:
Unsurpassed off-road capability
Loaded with user friendly advanced technology
Imposing, great looking truck

— Jim Prueter