The love affair continues. I was excited to take delivery of my third Ford Raptor SVT. Actually, I was beside myself with anticipation of the reunion with this former flame. Anyone who reads my reviews knows how much I like mid-size trucks. I realize this has no impact with the manufactures that, was made obvious by the discontinuation of models like the Dodge Dakota. However, there has always been one full- size exception. That would be the Ford Raptor.
The Ford Raptor F-150 SVT was first tested in 2007. Ford entered it in the Baja 1000 that year. The truck ran in the production class and was extremely impressive in its debut. This Raptor will be my third in just over two years. What I found with the new Raptor is a new and improved former flame. With a larger power-plant capable of even more torque, the Raptor is a breeze to drive. The auto-transmission is as smooth as anything in Ford’s line up until you ask it to grunt. And shifting the six speed transmission is made incredible easy with the rocker switch located on the shifter. The new transmission now allows full control in the manual setting allowing you to down-shift 2-1, 3-1, or, even 4-1.
What never ceases to amaze me is how small the Raptor feels on the road. No doubt you have heard me complain in these reviews on the pain in the butt problem of parking FULL size trucks. The Raptor, even with its extra width seems much easier to maneuver. I’m sure it’s because of the tighter turning radius. It really doesn’t matter why. It’s just easier to park period.
I do realize that you can’t review the Raptor on ease of parking without being laughed out of the watering hole so; I would like to point out that where the Raptor shine most is in full motion. Four hundred eleven horsepower allows the Raptor to handle its weight with ease.
Ok, now for the fun stuff. You can jump this truck. All four wheels can leave the ground and the driver stays more stoic than a convention of Evangelicals. No matter the terrain, the Raptor keeps the cockpit smooth and easy. This truck was made to run in the dessert, and with little sand available in East Texas I feel I can never truly let her hair down. The best I could do was Barnwell Mountain Recreation and Off-Road Park. And even there the speed limits prohibited even coming close to using the truck for its intended purpose.
Alright, the 2011 Raptor does have a sticker price tougher than the truck itself; $42,290 will get you in a Raptor Super Cab. The mileage, forget what they post. I’ll tell you I averaged more than 16mpg city under relatively hard driving. I found this to be more than impressive.
So, what can I say, I am still in love with the Raptor. I know I should be more critical, I just can’t be. Someday I will own a Raptor. I promise you that. It may be a used one but, I will own one and when I do I’m throwing my son in the passenger seat and heading straight for New Mexico or, Arizona. I just can’t think of a better summer vacation experience than blasting through the dessert at speeds over eighty miles per hour.
I’m Lonnie Johnson and this is this week’s review sponsored by Stewart’s Donnybrook Automotive. Stop by and see Gary today. I’m very proud to have them sponsor these reviews and hope you will give them a chance to earn your business. At the corner of Donnybrook and Troup Stewart’s Donnybrook Automotive offers what I think is the last full service station on the planet. You won’t find a more enhanced, enjoyable atmosphere anywhere in Tyler.