This is my first exposure to the Raptor, and I have to say that even to the casual pickup truck observer, this thing is pretty cool. Appearance-wise, I was especially struck by the front end. As the regular F-series, and even more so the Super Duty, present ever taller and more preposterous blocky chrome faces to the world, the Raptor's far lower and sleeker black grille with integrated "FORD" letters looks way more badass.
Towering 4x4 pickups aren't really my thing, but the fact that this one was built to such a specific purpose (off-road racing) imbues it with real authenticity. I love the neat details like the colored stripe at the top of the steering-wheel rim.
All that said, the Raptor is pretty huge to wield around town. The backup camera is essential, but expect to do a lot of extra maneuvering. And the fact that this truck is too tall for our public parking garage is a drag, and the climb up to get inside the cabin would eventually get tiresome. The big, soft tires float over pavement imperfections, but larger bumps cause plenty of shuddering.
This is a purpose-built vehicle that shouldn't really be used to make a fashion statement, even if it does ooze machismo.
- Joe Lorio, Senior Editor