There’s no denying that Australians love a powerful off-road ute. However, the 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor seems to have captured car enthusiasts’ attention more than the average new release. Despite the price tag nearly reaching $75,000, this dual-cab ute has already sold an initial 1,000 units on pre-orders alone.

Why the excitement?

It’s because this 2.4-tonne 4-wheel drive monster truck is like nothing you’ve seen before. To give you more of an idea, here is our review of the new 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor.

Engine and Transmission

This came as bit of a surprise to everyone. Instead of a V6 gasoline engine, the new Ranger Raptor is equipped with a Twin turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. It has a maximum power of 157kW @ 3,750rpm, a maximum torque of 500Nm @ 1750-2000rpm, 80L fuel tank capacity and goes from 0 to 100km/h in about 10.5 seconds.

These are pretty impressive specs compared to most utes currently in the market. The engine is also calibrated with a 10-speed transmission, the latest transmission technology from Ford, all for better acceleration and faster gear changes. Also, the engine is quieter on the road than you would expect, which is quite amazing for a vehicle of this size.


The Ranger Raptor’s suspension system is designed for the best off-road performance. The new rear suspension layout uses a coiled steel spring from Watts Link instead of leaf springs to the live axle to chassis. The front suspension sports the Macpherson strut, which uses the telescopic damper’s top as the upper steering pivot. This set-up is used on other high-performance vehicles.

As for the shock absorbers, Ford enlisted Fox® Racing to help make you stay comfortable even through the worst off-road conditions. Both the front-end and rear suspensions are equipped with Fox® 2.5” Internal Bypass shocks with Position Sensitive Damping. This robust off-road shock absorber technology has variable damping proportions which make the shocks adjust themselves depending on the terrain condition.

Exterior and Tyres

The 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor looks tough and aggressive with its considerable size, and rightfully so. It’s body frame delivers super strength to outlast any off-road environment. Ford also developed a unique chassis that gives the pick-up wider front and rear tracks. All of these, combined with its sporty appearance and the signature Raptor grille makes this ute a must-have even by looking at it.

To complement its large build, Ford gave the Ranger Raptor 33” all-terrain tyres that will give you longer tread life, plus 283mm of ground clearance and 850mm of water wading. The perfect combination for a great off-road ride whether you are driving in dunes, riverbeds, gravel or rocky terrains.


Inside the vehicle, things are designed to make your ride more comfortable. The heavily bolstered sports seats are body-contoured to hug your body, while the bolsters, headrests, and suede will give better grip when driving on rough roads. To help the drivers stay in control, the Ranger Raptor sports leather-wrapped high-quality magnesium shifter paddles and hand-brake, leather-wrapped performance steering wheel and an 8-inch flat screen display that shows performance information and navigation.

Although some of these are pretty standard with Ford vehicles, it’s nice to know that you can relax while traveling in an off-road ute.

Drive Modes

Ford’s Terrain Management System that’s in F-150 Raptor is also in the 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor. It has six pre-set driving modes: Normal, Sport, Weather, Mud/Sand, Rock Crawl, and the new Baja Mode, which is inspired by the Baja 1000 Desert Race. The Weather Mode is specially designed for grass, gravel, and snow, while the Baja mode is made for high-speed desert running.

For off-roaders who frequently explore Australia’s vast terrains, these drive modes are awesome additions to Ranger Raptor. Just dial in the drive mode and let the truck adjust.

Safety and Driver Assist Technologies

In terms of safety, it’s good to know that the 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor is equipped with four-wheel disc brakes instead of old-school rear-drums to take on the heavyweight. There are 2 Child Seat Upper Anchorage Points for small children, and standard airbags are included.

Aside from these, the Range Raptor also sports the latest in safety and driver-assist technology like keyless entry, adjustable speed limiter, Cruise Control, Dynamic Stability Control, Emergency Brake Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and Traction Control System. These safety features are very helpful, especially in a country like Australia where vehicular accidents are still a problem.

The Verdict

There’s no doubt that the 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor is packed with everything that a ute lover would ask for, and more. It’s a great companion for intense off-road rides. The only downsides that we see are the speed, payload capacity, and towing capabilities.

For its current price tag, its speed is a little slower compared to trucks in the same price range like VW Amarok TDV6 and Holden Colorado. It only tows 2,500kg while others can tow up to 3,500kg. Also, its maximum payload capacity just stands at 758kg, which is 25% smaller compared to utes with 1,000kg payload.

However, these shortages are well-compensated by the Ranger Raptor’s muscular design, rugged appearance, outstanding suspension system, and different driver modes, which are all made specifically for a great off-road experience. It’s definitely a must-buy for all outdoor adventurers. Find out more about the 2018 Ranger Raptor here (note - 10/10/2022 vehicle superseded since article, link goes to latest Raptor). If you want to get your hands on one of these trucks contact Aussie Car Loans for fixed rate Ford car finance.

Image courtesy Ford website