Ford Ranger Raptor

The Ford Ranger Raptor – the perfect choice for South Africa’s bakkie-loving culture. Image: Supplied

Ford Ranger Raptor leads race for bakkie of the year

The Ford Ranger Raptor is competent, unreserved and every bit the nemesis of pick-up trucks.

Ford Ranger Raptor

The Ford Ranger Raptor – the perfect choice for South Africa’s bakkie-loving culture. Image: Supplied

If the words “new” and “bakkie” or “truck” were in your list of Google Alerts, I’d imagine that your mailbox would have been chockers over the past two years or so. This bakkie market has indeed been rife with competition. 

The launch of Mercedes-Benz’s X-Class certainly commanded the headlines of 2018, but even with the introduction of a V6 X-Class, nothing has captured the media attention in 2019 as much as the Ford Ranger Raptor – and I don’t think anything will attract as much hype and conversation for a while to come. 

Raptor revs high as ‘ultimate game changer’

Raptor is the ultimate game changer. In a segment that truly defines the term “healthy competition”, the Raptor has just Usain Bolt-ed all others, completely shifting what customers expect of a double-cab bakkie. How Ford has managed this has been to give more credit to their customers’ abilities, ambitions and lifestyles. 

The Raptor is more bakkie in just about every area. Its higher and wider than a standard Ranger. It looks more hardcore and aggressive with detail exterior elements built specifically for the Raptor that no after-market kit will quite match. The big newsmaker of course, is it’s strengthened and Fox-tuned performance suspension.

Whatever your knowledge and experience of what the term “off-road” refers to, Raptor has way more technological talent than you need. 

Smooth gravel travel

The Ford Ranger Raptor’s Baja mode is the one for fast and dusty rally-type driving. Image: Supplied

Gravel travel is a smooth and comfortable affair and as you comb through the various Terrain Management modes which you’ll learn to exploit as the going gets more rough. Of course its Baja mode is the one for the fast and dusty rally-type driving, if it ever presents itself. Of course it will and the Raptor will rip up the sand and dust, flinging stones in all directions, all the while making you look and feel like a champion driver. 

With 30% more suspension travel, a full suite of 4×4 modes and class-leading departure and approach angles, the Raptor will also conquer the mountains and muddy ruts you’ll want to throw at it. And yes – if you believe, it will truly fly. Again and again and again… 

Argue all you like about the Ford’s lack of power but there was no point in my time with Raptor where I felt let down by this. The car is so competent as an overall package that it should just about match any lifestyle, ambition or ability thrown its way. 

You know that feathers have been ruffled when a mass of wannabe introductions from Toyota, Isuzu, Nissan and even Volkswagen have been made in a bid to level the field. 

Stellar offering from Ford ruffles feathers

The Raptor has certainly spurred on a raft of even better bakkies for you and I to enjoy, and that is exactly what healthy and perhaps surly competition is all about. 

The Ford Ranger Raptor will shift your idea of what a bakkie can and should do – and that’s fantastic for South Africa, with our bakkie-loving nature. It’s the only bakkie in the running for the South African Guild’s SA Car of the Year competition, the first time a bakkie has even made it as a finalist. 

That’s the level of competence and respect that this “truck” has commanded from the industry, a fitting flagship for what was an already stellar offering from Ford. 

Image: Supplied


  • Power: 157kW, 500Nm, 10-Speed Auto
  • Efficiency: 8.3/100km (Combined)
  • Acceleration: 0-100km/h: 10.5 seconds
  • Top Speed: 170km/h
  • Price (when tested): R803 300