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Long-Term Report 1: 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCab

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

Sep 21, 2017
Photographers: Sean P. Holman
Ford completely redesigned the F-150 Raptor for ’17 with a new frame, larger Fox internal bypass shocks, a lighter aluminum body, and more power. In fact, in a daring move, Ford replaced the raucous 6.2L V-8 with a massaged 3.5L EcoBoost V-6 and 10-speed automatic transmission.
Ford’s Raptor has proved exceedingly popular, with the ’17 and ’18 allocations sold out at most dealerships. We’ve seen Raptors marked up by 30 grand over sticker by some retailers, bringing them to well over $100,000. So if you’ve ever thought the price of a Raptor was out of reach and wondered what you get with a base model, you are in luck, because we got our hands on a rare, low-spec “unicorn” for our long-term fleet.
Photo 2/4   |   The Fox internal bypass shocks now have a 3-inch body, nine zones, and integrated bumpstops. Travel is 13 inches front and 13.6 inches rear.
Wanting to jump right in to the cloth seats, we decided to fly to Michigan to pick up our truck from Ford and drive across the country to our Southern California headquarters. With the first 2,000 miles rolled across the odometer in just a couple of days, we were immediately able to make some observations about the truck.
Our truck skips touchscreens and leather, giving us a good look at what makes a Raptor tick. If you want a truck with seat memory, push-button start, or keyless entry, this is not the truck you are looking for. Our test Raptor even lacks fairly commonplace features, such as a damped tailgate or HomeLink. However, it does have satellite radio (a necessity for cross-country travel), tinted windows, and as sinister-looking a maw as we’ve ever seen on a pickup. In Border Patrol—er, Oxford—White, this thing just looks mean. Countless people have commented on our “stormtrooper” Raptor, and despite being the same color as your plumber’s truck, it turns heads as much as anything else this side of a Crown Vic on Hell’s Revenge (no, really, look it up).
Photo 3/4   |   A thicker front aluminum skidplate protects the vitals and does a better job at resisting deforming from impacts.
Thanks to a dearth of options, this has to be one of the lightest Raptor configurations you can get, and with 450 hp, this truck just plain rips. The 10-speed transmission has so far proven to be unflappable, with quick shifts and accurate gear selection. The Raptor is also pretty comfortable on the highway with a smooth and relatively quiet ride. As you might imagine, off-highway and in the right terrain, the Raptor is an absolute beast.
So far our biggest complaints are the inability to hear the music from the twin-turbo and direct-injected 3.5L DOHC V-6 under load, thanks to fake engine noises pumping loud and proud through the stereo and a less-than-inspiring exhaust note that leaves one wondering why Ford replaced the V-8, on visceral grounds alone. However, our logical side sees the advantages of the V-6, such as lighter weight and a better-balanced chassis.
Our Raptor has been a fun companion both on and off the trail, and we’re looking forward to getting some more miles under our tires over the next year.
Photo 4/4   |   A functional hood vent helps to expel heat from the high-output twin-turbo EcoBoost.

Report: 1 of 4

Previous Report(s): N/A
Base Price: $48,325
Price as Tested: $50, 910
Long-Term Numbers
Miles to date: 4,550
Miles since last report: N/A
Average mpg (this report): 14.3
Test best tank (mpg): 17.1
Test worst tank (mpg): 13.2
Test Maintenance
This period: None
Test Problem Areas
None
Logbook Quotes
“While we miss the V-8 and loathe the fake engine sounds being pumped into the Raptor’s cabin, a lot can be forgiven when there is 450 hp and 510 lb-ft under foot.”
“There is now a refinement to the Raptor that we almost take offense to.”
“Cloth seats grip you and hold you in place.”
“You know Auto Start-Stop isn’t going to be a crowd pleaser when your wife prioritizes turning it off from the passenger seat before she even buckles up.”

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