Cars > Driven

Ford Ranger Raptor 4x4 AT (T6.2): Make way for the alpha

Extroverted and ready for action

It really makes a strong first impression, wouldn't you agree? PHOTO BY ANDY LEUTERIO

I reviewed the “Next-Gen” Ford Ranger Wildtrak back in November 2022, and generally liked most of it. Handsome styling, a lot of thoughtful touches, an excellent drivetrain—a really good, value-for-money truck.

This time around, I got to try out the no-excuses Ranger Raptor. In all honesty, it was love at first drive.

Borderline tacky, but if it gets left-lane hoggers outta there, then it serves its purpose. PHOTOS BY ANDY LEUTERIO

With its wide fender flares, faux hood scoops and brake ducts, and big-ass “FORD” logo on the grille, it’s not shy about being the baddest truck in the hood (that is, unless something bigger also comes along).

I could do without the gaudy plastic bits on, and the “Raptor” logo seems to have been designed by a die-hard Def Leppard fan, but on the whole, it looks big and mean and just a bit cartoonish.

Perfect for a generation of men that sketched and doodled trucks back in high school, and now have the dough for their very own Hot Wheels truck.

Fox: 'This is where the magic happens!' PHOTO BY ANDY LEUTERIO

Now, if you want the most bang for the buck, get the Wildtrak. It has 90% of what makes the Raptor so great, but costs less and in some ways is actually more useful. But if you’re the kind of driver who wants a fully decked-out truck without resorting to aftermarket mods, then the Raptor makes sense.

The biggest upgrade over the Wildtrak is the Fox suspension. The Wildtrak uses regular coil springs up front and rear leaf springs; the Raptor gets 2.5-inch-thick Fox shocks with progressive damping as well as a Watt’s linkage.

Fox has been making excellent shock absorbers for years. I know because my old Chevrolet Suburban rode awesome because of those, and my XC bike also has a Fox fork.

The front seats have aggressive side bolsters, and so does the back seat. PHOTOS BY ANDY LEUTERIO

The upgrade is obvious and immediately enjoyable in the Raptor. Damping is excellent whether at low or at high speeds, with a ride that’s taut but not harsh. You can drive fast over rough roads, and the truck stays planted—not launching you into the headliner. The suspension also lends itself well to sporty handling over good roads.

Coupled with precise steering and strong brakes, it’s easy to drive this truck at a brisk pace over mountain passes and twisting coastal roads. I had a really good time enjoying this truck on a trip to Marinduque. My biggest concern was having to remember that while it handled like a smaller car, it was still a big fella and had to be careful about its width.

A button on the side of the e-shifter activates manual mode. PHOTO BY ANDY LEUTERIO

The powertrain is the same as the Wildtrak’s, but benefits from paddle shifters and deletes the shifter-mounted rocker of the latter since it now uses an e-shifter. This also makes for a big difference in driving fun.

Whereas the Wildtrak’s manual mode feels like a clumsy afterthought, the Raptor’s paddle shifters enhance the driving experience and make the manual effort more engaging. After all, you paid for 10 gears and 207hp; you’ll want to use all of them.

The only annoying part is about a half-second of throttle overrun when changing gears, likely as a compromise to reduce the shift shock. Being a diesel, there’s nothing sexy about the exhaust note, though, as it sounds like an overly enthusiastic industrial generator at full throttle.

The engine bay is crammed with hoses and hot, greasy metal bits. Good luck to your mechanic. PHOTO BY ANDY LEUTERIO

I’m still amazed at how the engineers were able to squeeze this much power and torque out of a 2.0-liter in-line-four, but the seat-of-the-pants experience validates it. Stomp on the accelerator and it surges forward whether you’ve got a full load or not.

It pulls like an old-school V6, but without the thirstiness. I managed around 11km/L in moderate to light traffic, but with an admittedly heavy foot as I was rushing to get on the last RORO to Marinduque before sunset.

If you’re wondering about the longevity of this small-displacement biturbo mill, a friend has the previous-gen Raptor with well over 80,000km on the odometer, and it has been running fine with just regular servicing. The Aussies have also been running this drivetrain pretty hard for years, and it’s a bestseller. So that’s some assurance.

Just to further set you apart from, er, regular Ford people. PHOTOS BY ANDY LEUTERIO

The cockpit also gets specific Raptor details like the color-keyed sport seats, the “Ford Performance” plates on the doorsills, and an even bigger digital instrument panel (12.4 inches versus the Wildtrak’s eight inches).

Cockpit is functional and with good visibility all around, but the infotainment tends to hang. PHOTOS BY ANDY LEUTERIO

It’s still as charming as the Meralco meter outside your house, but the extra space does make all of the information easier to process at a glance. The 12-inch, portrait-style infotainment still tends to hang if you’ve been using Apple CarPlay for several hours, but you can’t beat the screen resolution and the wealth of options when it’s working properly.

The camera system is invaluable for guiding this big rig in tight spots. PHOTO BY ANDY LEUTERIO

A full suite of driver-assistance features is included, such as lane-keeping, blind-spot warning, 360° cameras, and automatic emergency braking. I’m normally a purist who doesn’t care much for these things, but trust me when you’re driving something this big that they all help keep you safe.

The lane-keeping system helps when you’re tired and perhaps looking too long at the screen instead of the road, and the AEB kicked in once when I misjudged the distance to a truck that suddenly braked in stop-and-go traffic.

These 17-inch all-terrain tires deliver a good compromise between grip, comfort, and low noise. PHOTO BY ANDY LEUTERIO

The 4×4 system has no fewer than seven different modes and an electronically locked rear differential. With 283mm of ground clearance and 17-inch BFGoodrich All Terrain tires, it’ll easily go over gnarly terrain that most casual off-roaders would care to try. Anything more hardcore would need some serious modification, of course.

The bed is basic compared to the more kitted-out Wildtrak. PHOTO BY ANDY LEUTERIO

As for utility, the Raptor still has the biggest bed in its category. It has 230V and 12V sockets, but misses the side steps and the rear box steps of the Wildtrak. Getting up and into the bed requires some strength and flexibility on your part.

It also lacks the tailgate lift assist of the Widltrak. Roof rails, sport hoops, and a sport bar are also found on the Wildtrak, but not on the Raptor. I guess the bean counters had to find a way to keep the price from going even higher than the current P2,339,000.

If you don't mind the looks and the price, this is perfect for those who want a performance-oriented truck. PHOTOS BY ANDY LEUTERIO

Over the course of four days, I drove the Raptor more than 500km in city traffic, back roads, and too many twisty coastal roads. I enjoyed every minute of it. As a fun, brash, all-around vehicle, it hits all the right notes and makes a few compromises.

Truck guys looking for an excellent-handling sport truck—and who don’t mind the extroverted looks—should put this at the top of their short list.


Engine2.0-liter twin-turbo diesel
Transmission10-speed automatic
Power207hp @ 3,750rpm
Torque500Nm @ 1,750-2,000rpm
Dimensions5,381mm x 2,028mm x 1,922mm
Drive layout4WD
UpsideTerrific suspension. Abundant power and torque. Lovely driving dynamics for a truck.
DownsideBasic bed compared to the cheaper Wildtrak. Some tacky add-on pieces.

Andy Leuterio

Andy is both an avid cyclist and a car enthusiast who has finally made the shift to motorcycles. You've probably seen him on his bicycle or motorbike overtaking your crawling car. He is our motorcycle editor and the author of the ‘Quickshift’ column.