My first trip behind the wheel of this hot orange behemoth was to meet my wife to pick up the kids. At Whole Foods. Where I could feel the burning glare of every single set of environmentally-conscious, granola-shopping, organic-obsessed eyeballs in the parking lot.
My wife wanted to sink into the pavement in embarrassment, but my kids-girls, mind you-lit up at the prospect of a ride in "a monster truck." The last time they seemed so excited about a test car? Last year. When I had the black SuperCab Raptor.
Out in Dexter, the Raptor got a somewhat different grocery store parking lot reception from the more rural-and male-demographic. I wouldn't have been surprised to see one of these guys' groceries hitting the pavement as quickly as their jaws seemed to. One admirer was circling the Raptor on foot, peering into the wheel wells, crouching for a look under the front end, and then after mumbling, "Nice truck." stared transfixed until I was out of sight down the road.
Bearing in mind every one of Joe DeMatio's legitimate concerns and criticisms of this somewhat absurd vehicle, to my mind, if you're going to drive a big-ass pickup truck that gets terrible mileage, you might as well go with the most fun and excitement possible. Give me the adolescent thrill of climbing into the Raptor over the barely more sensible 5.0 XLT. Make mine "Molten Orange" minus the slightly over-the-top graphics (and their $1075 premium) and in super-cab form.
Matt Tierney, Art Director