Ford Bronco Raptor Enables You to Get Over Anything

Ford Bronco Raptor Featured Image. Photo: Rich Lacey
Ford Bronco Raptor Featured Image. Photo: Rich Lacey

The Ford Bronco Raptor is a true, actual SUV.

It’s still up to you to use it that way, though. There is no denying the popularity of the 2022 Ford Bronco in all its iterations. But with trim levels with varying degrees of capability starting with “very capable,” how necessary is the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor? Not at all, is the answer. And yet, it’s hard to not covet one. With it’s incredible off-roading chops including multiple drive modes dubbed the G.O.A.T. (acronym for Goes Over All Terrain) the Raptor is designed to help you get over just about anything. Well, in the in the physical sense at least.

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Ford Bronco Raptor'S Orange Lights Are A Necessity, But They'Re Also So Cool Looking! Photo: Sara Lacey

Ford Bronco Raptor’s orange lights are a necessity, but they’re also so cool looking! Photo: Sara Lacey

The Ford Bronco Raptor is Designed for all Kinds of Off-Roading

Owners will have an off-road specific suspension, multiple drive modes (including multiple off-road modes), Visually, you will notice huge wheels and tires, and wild fenders. Additionally, the Bronco Raptor is almost 6.5 inches wider and 2.5 inches taller than the Bronco Wildtrak. As a result, the Raptor has organge lights in the grille that are mandated for vehicles that wide. They look so cool. The Raptor has full vehicle steel bash plates, a performance front bumper and the grille says “Ford” instead of “Bronco.” There are a ton of burly upgrades all over, inside and out.

Related: The 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor Makes a Newbie Wheel Like a Pro

What’s it Gonna Cost Me?

The base price for a Bronco Raptor is $76,580. My tester had the lux package that added adaptive cruise control, Bang and Olufsen sound system, an upgraded and connected navigation system, evasive steering assist, heated steering wheel, wireless charging pad, garage door opener, and smart charging ports. This package costs $2,300. Heads up: there is major scarcity of Bronco Raptors, and you can’t order one online through Ford. You’ll have to go through a dealership that has one on their lot, or find a used one. That said, markups can be through the roof.

Ford Bronco Raptor Front Seat. Photo: Sara Lacey

Ford Bronco Raptor Front Seat. Photo: Sara Lacey

And as far as roofs go, the Ford Bronco Raptor comes with a hard top option only. The panels were easy to remove with a lever and a locking release. The only issue I really had with them is that I’m 5’5” tall and had to remove them in several stages. A taller person can likely lift the panels off while standing outside the Raptor.

Related: The 2021 Ford Bronco Black Diamond Off-Road SUV: Five Standout Features

Ford Bronco Raptor Roof Panel. Photo: Sara Lacey

Ford Bronco Raptor roof panel latches. Photo: Sara Lacey

The Ford Bronco Raptor is its own Wall of Sound

The first thing I noticed is that the Bronco Raptor is really loud. There is wind noise and road noise despite the dampening features Ford’s employed to manage it all. Anyone who’s driven a vehicle like the Raptor won’t be surprised at this news, but for people new to it may be a bit surprised at the noise. My conversations were a bit louder in the Raptor. There are different exhaust sounds you can engage with a button on the steering wheel, and the sound changes when using four different drive modes when you’re in them.

If you tire of car/wind/road noise, aforementioned Bang & Olufsen stereo system is great and covers it up a bit.

The Raptor Is So Tall. Note I'M On A Slope And Still That Fender Is Above My Hip. Photo: Rich Lacey

The Raptor is so tall. Note I’m on a slope and still that fender is above my hip. Photo: Rich Lacey

Ground Clearance to Get Over All your Hurdles

Another thing to get used to is the height. This puppy is tall, the ground clearance is massive (13″), so be aware that you are literally climbing in and out of it. There are also more open fenders and those giant plastic flares that also enable people to make unsolicited comments about them. Those exist because the track on the Raptor is 8.5 inches wider than the regular Bronco.

Ford Bronco Raptor Profile. Photo: Sara Lacey

Ford Bronco Raptor Profile. Photo: Sara Lacey

All this points to a potentially cumbersome daily driver. But the price of the Raptor means it may also be your only driver, forcing you to embrace its on-road flaws and drive it to and from work or the coffee shop, or wherever you go on a day-to-day basis. And the fun of it all might negate it, that’s for you to determine on your own. The front seats were so very comfortable. They were bolstered and supportive, yet soft enough to cushion any bouncing you’d encounter on a grated dirt road so your teeth didn’t rattle. I was not fatigued after a day in the Raptor, and that says a lot.

The Back Seats Of The Ford Bronco Raptor. Photo: Sara Lacey

The Back seats of the Ford Bronco Raptor. Photo: Sara Lacey

Ford Bronco Raptor Seating Situation

The back seats were comfortable too. If you’re looking to put kids back there, the lower anchors for car seats are a bit difficult to access behind a fabric panel, but there are two sets of them. There are three top tethers. I imagine a difficult part of child seats in the Raptor is simply how high you’ll have to reach to buckle the kids up. Again, this is something you’ll want to investigate for yourself if you’re looking at the Raptor as a vehicle you’ll carry your family around in.

Ford Bronco Raptor Rear Window Buttons. Photo: Sara Lacey

Ford Bronco Raptor rear window buttons. Photo: Sara Lacey

I should note that all the doors on the Raptor are removable, and so the second row window switches are located in the back of the center console. Like the other Bronco trims, the rearview mirror is mounted on the hood and A-Pillar, so you can take the doors off.

Ford Bronco Raptor Cargo Area And Roof Panel Sleeve. Photo: Sara Lacey

Ford Bronco Raptor cargo area and roof panel sleeve. Photo: Sara Lacey

The cargo area is ample, and the second row seats fold for more space. The rear roof and side come off, and the cargo space is accessed by a side-swinging gate. The rear window is attached to the roof.

Ford Bronco Raptor Baja Mode. Photo: Sara Lacey

Ford Bronco Raptor Baja Mode. Photo: Sara Lacey

This SUV is a true, actual SUV. It’s a body-on-frame setup. It’s got a 3.0 l twin turbocharged V6 that is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. It boasts 418 horsepower, friends. It has multiple drive modes: Normal, Eco, Off-Road, Baja, Rock Crawl, Tow/Haul, and Slippery. The drive modes are all truly very different, with changes in the tuning and steering.

Ford Bronco Raptor Aux Buttons For Aftermarket Accessories. Photo: Sara Lacey

Ford Bronco Raptor aux buttons for aftermarket accessories. Photo: Sara Lacey

And if you mainly do street driving, here is the crazy thing. The Ford Bronco Raptor will perform there, too. It’s not going to let that turbocharged 6-cylinder go unutilized. The Raptor was super fast, and stable at higher speeds on pavement. Let me be clear when I say that it’s not going to perform like a sports car, there is no denying the height and mass of the Bronco Raptor. But at high speeds with the engine roaring in Sport mode, the Raptor feels really stable and fun on a twisty road returning to town from the mountains. The body roll was minimal and I didn’t feel terrified or even that the Bronco was unwieldy. I wished I had some dunes nearby in which to try out Baja mode!

Ford Bronco Raptor Center Stack And Multimedia System. Photo: Sara Lacey

Ford Bronco Raptor center stack and multimedia system. Also, the knob to get you into one of its G.O.A.T. modes. Photo: Sara Lacey

Anyway, to help you know which drive mode you’re in, there is a 12.3” digital instrument cluster in front of the steering wheel. It’s sparkling and crisp, with an animation of the Bronco popping up whenever you switch modes. It’s highly entertaining and a nice cue that you’ve entered a different type of driving setup. You can play with the display and customize what you want to see there. The Bronco Raptor also has a multimedia system in which to customize settings, access music, and engage the navigation system. It was pretty intuitive. When in different drive modes, it would also show camera views, and technical information like the status of the vehicle and its suspension.

Ford Bronco Raptor Dash And Steering Wheel. Photo: Sara Lacey

Ford Bronco Raptor dash and steering wheel. Photo: Sara Lacey

The Raptor has a 1-Pedal Driving Mode and Paddle Shifters!

And you can use the steering wheel controls to put the Raptor to engage it. In the Raptor, this function is essentially a low-speed cruise control that will enable you to accelerate at low speeds, and brake by lifting your foot off the accelerator. This feature is helpful in situations like rock crawling or navigating tricky trails, as you don’t have to move your foot from pedal to pedal, losing precious time and distance between stopping and starting.

I enjoyed the paddle shifters, which you may think a bit odd in an off-roader. But they’re just as helpful when you’re off-roading and working your way through a sticky situation and don’t want to take your hands off the wheel. Or in Baja mode when you’re making your way through some sand! I made it off-pavement into some loose dirt, mud, and water. Different drive modes are fun here too, lengthening the rpms between shifts or shortening it, depending on your mode and tolerances. The control the shifters provided in addition to the traction and confidence of the Raptor was so much fun I confess I left the mountains reluctantly, hoping to figure out how to get back before I had to return the Raptor. And also wondering how I could manage to find some rock-crawling trails ASAP.

Ford Bronco Raptor Rock Crawl Mode Shown In The Instrument Cluster. Photo: Sara Lacey

Ford Bronco Raptor Rock Crawl mode shown in the instrument cluster. Photo: Sara Lacey

If I did, the Raptor is set up for success there, too. In Rock Crawl mode, four-wheel drive is engaged and the front camera turns on so you can gauge where the rocks or trail are when your front end is pointed up. It’s got a suspension designed to articulate over uneven surfaces. There is even an “R” button on the steering wheel that will engage a personalized drive mode, so the Raptor will do what you need it to for the type of driving experience you want to have.

Ford Bronco Raptor In The Driveway. Photo: Rich Lacey

Ford Bronco Raptor in the driveway. Photo: Rich Lacey

And this is the goal of Bronco Raptor Ownership

It’s about being excited to get behind the wheel. Whether you’re heading out to the desert or mountains, knowing that you’re in the most capable hands is exhilarating. And if, in the meantime you’re only blazing a trail through your favorite drive-thru, you’ll feel like a boss there, too.

Disclosure: Ford provided the Bronco Raptor for me to test. All experiences and opinions are my own.

Sara has written about cars since 2005. She used to beat them up with her kids and write about... More about Sara Lacey