Juliet Reviews…The Ford Ranger Raptor SE

The Ford Ranger Raptor made a name for itself when it first launched in 2019. It was the ultimate bakkie. Capable off-road, on-road and with a bit of a performance edge to boot. Now, Ford South Africa has added the Raptor SE to its line-up, making it even a bit more edgy.

WHAT IS THE SE?

This Special Edition model, which will be available in limited numbers, now comes in an array of cool, bold colours such as Conquer Grey, Frozen White, Performance Blue and Agate Black. It adds twin matte black racing stripes – edged with red contrast lines – to the bonnet, roof, lower body sides, rear wings, and tailgate. The front tow hooks are finished in red while the flared wheel arches, front and rear bumpers, door handles and signature Ford-embossed grille feature a matte black finish. Also new to this exclusive model is the integrated black sports hoop derived from the Ranger Wildtrak.

There is now a standard lockable Mountain Top black roller shutter, which is probably one of my favourite features as seen on the Ranger Thunder. It means that you don’t have to worry about storing your goods in the load bay, they shall remain safe from prying eyes.

The interior sees minor tweaks such as red stitching for the steering wheel, seats and door cards which replaces the blue stitching used on the normal Ranger Raptor. The instrument panel is now in Special Edition-only Raceway Grey and the seats are trimmed in Technical Suede.

UNDER IT ALL

There is no mechanical difference to the SE, so it has the familiar 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo diesel engine that produces 157kW and 500Nm. It is mated exclusively to a 10-speed automatic transmission. It is refined and power delivery is relatively smooth, but it might not be as punchy for some – especially when overtaking on the open road.

But put the Raptor in its natural habitat, off-road, and you will see what it is capable of. We took it up a mountain, like literally up a mountain. Sharp rocks, narrow paths, harrowing cliff faces. The Raptor took it all in its stride. Locked in to low range and Rock Crawl mode, all that was required was steering really. We then took it on the longest dirt road in South Africa, en route to the Tankwa Karoo. We were pushing it quite hard on this quiet road and you could feel that the Raptor was in its element. It is composed and comfortable, even when the going got a bit rough.

PRICING

This is the ultimate bakkie. But please, don’t keep it in the suburbs. Be sure to get it dirty, that is what it is intended for. The Ranger Raptor Special Edition is priced at R965 300, while the standard Raptor Ranger is R920 300.

All new Ford Rangers come standard with Ford Protect, comprising of a four-year or 120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year or unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year or unlimited km corrosion warranty. A six-year or 90 000km service plan is also included.

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