The year 2017 is all about new beginnings and changes. One of those changes came in the form of an all-new Ford Raptor off-road pickup truck. The first act was amazing, so how did Ford follow that up? We borrowed one for a week to find out!
The 2017 F-150 Raptor is based on the 2015 F-150. That means it has a fully-boxed, high-strength steel frame mated to an aluminum body. When Ford added up all of the weight reductions in the new truck, they determined that the new truck was around 500 pounds lighter than the outgoing model.
Also new for 2017 is a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 turbocharged engine replacing the 6.2L V8. Ford’s reasoning for that change is more power, and it delivers with 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque.
The rest of it is all Raptor, but let’s break that down.
2017 Ford Raptor Exterior
Like the previous-generation Raptor, the new one is wider than a standard F-150. A widebody look is great on this truck, and the DOT-required auxiliary lights make the truck look even more menacing.
Our review truck was the SuperCrew model, though you can also get it in the SuperCab configuration. Sorry folks of the regular cab, the Raptor doesn’t offer that. Also, you’re stuck with the short-bed.
It should be noted that if you do pony up for the SuperCrew, you also get a 36-gallon fuel tank. We think that’s an important consideration that isn’t highlighted much.
Our test truck, along the rear fenders, wore the $1,075 Exterior Graphics Package, which gives you the “Raptor” lettering in the body color. Over the years Ford has offered different styling on the Raptor body graphics, and this one looks good on the black exterior paint.
Fox Racing shocks help the Raptor do its off-road thing, and $1,165 bead lock-capable 17″ wheels help keep the BFGoodrich KO2 tires glued to the ground.
2017 Ford Raptor Interior
Inside you are treated to a premium cabin with many features. Our truck came with the 802A equipment package, so we had leather seats with heating and cooling. We had SYNC 3 with Apple Car Play and Android Auto Support. We had the Raptor Technology Package with adaptive cruise control.
Basically, all the features you’d expect from a premium family sedan are here, they just so happen to be attached to a badass off-road monster.
The seats are comfortable on long journeys, but also supportive when you hit the trails. Though the rear seats could probably use some more support for high-speed cornering.
Our truck also had the beautiful panoramic sunroof. We actually think it’s quite affordable at $1,295, but it’s only available on the SuperCrew. SuperCab buyers can only opt for a standard sunroof.
2017 Ford Raptor Performance
This is the best off-road truck we’ve driven. Ever. Ford claims that this truck can do 100 miles-per-hour anywhere, and we believe them. We took the truck to Badlands Off-Road Park — our normal testing facility — and it put some of the other vehicles we’ve had there to shame.
The Fox Shocks just soak up the off-road bumps and undulations. When the suspension unloads, or when the truck leaves Terra Firma, it lands with confidence — without even hitting the bump stops or the skid plate.
The truck just inspires loads of confidence and suddenly you realize it doesn’t matter what situation the truck gets in to, you’ll have no problems getting out of it.
The 802A package includes a 4.10 front differential, and the forward-facing camera — it also does a 360-degree view — and is great for navigating a trail or seeing down a hill. It’s nearly impossible to see over the front hood, so the camera helps tremendously here. Though, it’s always still a good idea to bring along a spotter.
Finally, on the new Raptor all of the settings are adjustable, or you can use some presets that Ford has configured for you. We spent most of the day in either Mud/Sand mode, or in the oft-reported Baja mode. A quick button press on the steering wheel and the truck transforms into exactly what you need it to to tackle any terrain.
The only thing that lets Raptor down from conquering all is the size of the truck. There are simply some trails that a Jeep Wrangler would fit down that the Raptor is too wide to tackle. While not a fault of the truck specifically, it would be fun to attack even more trails at the park.
2017 Ford Raptor Everyday Usability
The Raptor can tow 8,000 pounds and has Pro Trailer Backup Assist as part of 802A. If you need to haul toys or a boat, this truck can handle it. While it’s not as towing-capable as other F-150s, it’s still a lot of towing performance for what most people use their truck for.
The SuperCrew is fantastic if you have a family, since the rear seats have an incredible amount of legroom. We even fit a child seat in fine and there was still lots of space left over for other passengers.
The rear seats fold up, but don’t have the nifty under seat storage like Super Duty, but the flat floor makes it easy to carry things you wouldn’t want exposed to the weather.
The only major drawback is the fuel economy. Yes, it’s better than the old truck and no, we know you don’t buy this truck for fuel economy, but a 15 mpg city / 18 mpg highway / 16 mpg combined really isn’t stellar. During our week with the truck, which included the off-road park but also lots of highway miles, the onboard computer reported 15.4 mpg.
Raptor, being based on the F-150, also has a 5-star overall crash safety rating from NHTSA, and scored high marks in IIHS testing. This is the safest full-size pickup truck you can currently buy.
2017 Ford Raptor Final Verdict
It’s a great truck. In some ways it’s still a toy, but it’s more usable than you might think. It’s also a pricey toy, but it has everyday livability that you don’t necessarily get from the competition. It also just looks badass.
Buy one. You won’t be disappointed.