Find me a red dirt road and I’ll show you a truck that can take it.
Finally getting to drive the Ford Raptor pickup truck was a literal dream come true for me. I happened to be one of the lucky ones, years ago, at Ford’s big media day in Detroit the day this truck was unveiled. I have to admit, I’ve wanted one ever since. I’ve ridden in Ford Raptors while the Ford engineers drove them, driven one for a few minutes on an off-road course, and I’ve seen plenty of them on the road, but this week-long loan for the purpose of this review was my first experience driving the Ford Raptor for myself, on my own time.
I love a big beefy truck that can take me anywhere. And I’m always drawn to the sportier trimmed, slightly lifted, extra noisy trucks. So, the 2019 Ford Raptor, which is basically the F-150 with a third more power, double the torque and more off-road muscle, was a highly anticipated drive. And it did not disappoint.
Who This Truck is For
- Drivers who like to go off-pavement and see the world up close.
- People who like to off-road in mud, sand, hills, and creeks.
- Drivers who need a truck for work, but want something with a little extra attitude.
- Drivers who want more power and slightly higher ground clearance than the standard Ford F-150
- Small families, couples, and singles who just love trucks like I do!
What This Truck Costs
- Starting price of the 2019 Ford Raptor Supercab (shorter rear cab with half-door): $52,855
- Upgrade to the Supercrew (full four-doors) for an extra $2,985, bringing the truck to $57,435
- The Supercrew nicely outfitted with 10-way heated leather seats, adjustable pedals, a sliding rear window, tinted windows, LED mirror lights, spray-in bedliner, premium paint (Ruby Red Metallic on the model we drove), a safety feature package that includes blind spot detection and cross traffic alert, and all the Raptor graphics and decals (how can you NOT?): $64,010.
When I looked at the Ford site and added all the features I would like on my own personal truck, the total came to $72,360. Good gracious, have I got a problem!
There is Room for Everyone, and Everything, in the 2019 Ford Raptor
And we mean everyone… you and all your friends. And your family. And your kids. And your dogs. The Supercrew cab is massive. It easily seats 5 adults. You can even make the guys ride in the backseat and you won’t hear a single complaint. My 6′ 2″ brothers were blown away by the amount of space they had, and how comfortable this truck was. My kid’s booster seat looked tiny in the back seat. And, with the back seats flipped up, we had lots of cargo space to haul everything from gym bags to groceries and plants for the garden.
The front seats are spacious, too. And the center console is big enough to hold a large handbag, a laptop, and some library books. But what is a 5-passenger truck without space for everyone’s drinks and charging ports for a whole family of devices? The Raptor has all that covered and even boasts a 110v outlet for charging things like laptops.
This Off-Road Beast Is Not Shy On Technology and Safety Features
The 8″ touch screen infotainment system in this truck is equipped with the Fordpass Connect system which means you can install the app on your phone, scan your truck’s VIN and instantly view your service records, fuel level, tire air pressure, and owner’s manual.
But my favorite feature was being able to start the truck, and lock/unlock the doors from my iPhone. (If you have an Apple Watch you can do this from your watch too!) Seriously, you can even schedule start times so your truck will be started, and warmed up when you’re ready to go. My husband laughed at me and said I was having way too much fun with the app, but it was so cool!
This truck also comes with a keyless keypad on the driver’s door, tire pressure monitoring system, pre-collision assist with anti-lock brakes, reverse sensing and a 360-degree surround view camera so you can see things before you run over them.
A couple of extras on the truck we drove included little spotlights in the side view mirrors called puddle lights. These turn on when you open the truck doors, or you can turn them on with a button inside, and they shine down at the ground so you can see if you’re about to step out into a puddle. I loved these! And the 360-degree view camera system also allowed me to see if I was parked straight. We all know that big trucks misaligned in small parking spots can leave even the best driver looking like a fool.
The Raptor Graphics Package is a Must
Because the Ford Raptor is just a fancy, extra-capable package available on the F-150, Ford has done a few things to make the Raptor really stand out. It’s these things that make it a real head-turner. For one, the big FORD emblems across the grille and tailgate are sure signs you’re looking at a Raptor. That’s like seeing a good lookin’ guy in Wranglers and cowboy boots. But, you can also deck your truck out with a graphics package which adds the equivalent of the 10-gallon hat, tooled leather belt, and dusty spurs. These charcoal colored emblems and stripes complete the look and really help to show off the truck’s lines and shapes.
View this post on Instagram
I am not OK with this truck leaving today. The weather is FINALLY getting nice and I am in the mood for finding all the mud… #offroad #offroadlife #offroading #4x4offroad #4×4 #4x4life #4x4nation #adventure #outdoors #fordtx #fordnation #drivetexas #2019raptor #fordraptor
Drive it Once and You’ll Never Want to Give It Back
I don’t really have a good off-road course nearby to take the truck on, but we do have some pretty bare-bones county roads that lead up to the Red River. Just after a rain, these roads become slick strips of red mud, and they call my name. (If you think Big Red looks good clean, you should see him with a little mud on that metallic paint job!) Thanks to its terrain management system and shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel drive, the Raptor handled my mud addiction with ease and brought me safely home after every joyride.
The Ford Performance engineers did such a good job with this truck. They left just enough play in the suspension for you to get the feeling you’re driving a powerful beast of a machine but tuned it well enough to make it comfortable for the road. This can be a hard thing to get just right. The Raptor is so much more than an off road truck… it’s perfectly suited for every day driving too! Add in that grin-inducing rumble and I do believe the 2019 Ford Raptor is a truck to fall in love over and over again.
I didn’t want to give this baby back. Especially when my next test drive was a crossover. Um, hello? But, I didn’t have any say in the matter, so I had to wave goodbye to my Ruby Red Metallic stallion. #notfair
What We Love About the 2019 Ford Raptor Pickup Truck
It’s gloriously noisy. This is where I let y’all in on a little known fact about me… I’m a sucker for a truck that rumbles. I’m not talking about the obnoxiously loud bad-boy trucks young jerks drive through your neighborhood just to rattle your windows. No, I fall for the refined and mature rumble that’s more like just the right cowboy drawl in just the right jeans. And that, my friends, is the 2019 Ford Raptor with its dual exhaust system.
Yes, the previous model was a little louder. Yes, there are guys who are actually complaining that the 2019 with its new V6 EcoBoost engine is too quiet. But I didn’t think so. It was just right, and it made me smile every time I accelerated. I also loved:
- Ample space for 5 full-sized people
- Center console big enough for a handbag, laptop or other gear
- Flip up rear seats for even more cargo room, such as gym bags or groceries
- Lots of charge ports including a 110v household outlet
- FordPass, which connects your phone to the truck for remote start, lock/unlock and more
- Puddle lights!
- Shift on the fly 4 wheel drive
What You Need to Know
- This truck is noisy, but not as noisy as some
- Fuel economy estimated at 15MPG city/18MPG highway
- V6 high output Ecoboost engine with 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque, which is a third more horsepower and double the torque of the base F-150
- Slightly higher ground clearance than the standard F-150: the Raptor has 9.8″ ground clearance while the F-150 stands at 9.3″
- Tow capacity: 8,000 lbs
- With a 36 gallon gas tank drivers can get 500+ miles to a tank
- Uses regular gas
Like most large trucks capable of off-road shenanigans, the Ford Raptor isn’t the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the market. But, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t worse. In my week with the Raptor, it averaged 16-17 miles per gallon, which is more than I can say for the SUV in my garage. So overall, I’d call that a win.
Disclosure: The 2019 Ford Raptor was provided to me by Ford for this review. All opinions are my own.