Size Matters: Is the New Raptor Too Big to Be a Great Off-Road Machine?

By -

2017 Ford Raptor

One enthusiast insists that the new Raptor is too big to perform well off-road, even with the same dimensions as the previous model. We disagree!

The Ford F-150 Raptor is, without question, the most capable factory-built off-road truck in the U.S. market and this has been true since the SVT-badged pickup hit the market back in late 2009. However, a few writers from Jalopnik insist that the newest Raptor isn’t as off-road-capable as the Motor Company insists due to the fact that it is “too big” – even though it has the same basic dimensions as the first generation machine.

How the Raptor is ‘Too Big’

This unique view on the newest Ford F-150 Raptor comes to us from an article written by a writer from Jalopnik who lives in New York City and drives an old Volkswagen Beetle. In his piece, he starts off by explaining that he is only 5’9” and, evidently, only taller men can comfortably drive the Raptor. Of course, the off-road-ready pickup is comparably sized to the rest of the half-ton trucks in the segment, so by his estimation, full-size trucks are only comfortable for very tall men.

He also claims that the Raptor is only affordable for the “owner/operator of a construction company.” So, are we to believe that only people who own construction companies can afford a truck that starts in the low-$50,000 range?

Raptor on the Move

When a piece starts out with two ridiculous points like that, it becomes clear that the writer is just looking to get some attention by bashing a product — but it actually gets worse as it goes on.

 

Are we to believe that only people who own construction companies can afford a truck that starts in the low-$50,000 range?

 

Based on the article, it seems as though the writer may not have driven the new Raptor, as all of his key points on how the Raptor isn’t very good at off-roading come from the drive notes from another writer. If he did drive it, he never mentions that, instead relying on the input of someone who has actually spent some time off-roading with one.

He goes so far as to close with this gem: “I will, however, point out that the original Raptor was smaller in its heart. I can’t explain how I know this other than that Raptors speak to me. Moreover, the Raptor is still too big.”

Time for Facts

In complaining about how the Raptor wasn’t a good off-roader (after not spending any time off-road in the truck), the writer insists that it’s too big, even though it is the same size as the previous SVT pickup. He also talks about how it is too heavy, because another writer got the truck stuck in his own backyard. However, it weighs considerably less than the previous generation. Ford lists the previous model at 6,000 to 6,200 pounds while the current generation weighs 5,500 to roughly 5,700 pounds.

So, if the new Raptor is too big and too heavy to be a great off-road machine, then the previous generation was even worse, as it was the same size, it was heavier and it had less power. In fact, with the modern F-150 being one of the lighter trucks on the market, if the Raptor is too heavy to be a great off-road truck, then every full-size truck on the market is too big to be a great off-roader.

Raptor in Dirt

Considering how many owners we have on the site who routinely off-road their Raptors – and how many people around the country take half-ton trucks off-road – that entire claim that any of the F-150s are too heavy or too big to shine off-road is nothing short of ridiculous.

Finally, we should point out that while the writer believes that the previous generation Raptor was “smaller in its heart,” the new Raptor also has a smaller heart – deriving its power from a twin turbo V6 rather than the V8s that motivated the previous generation.

In the end, this opinion piece was written to bash the new Ford F-150 Raptor, but the lack of first-hand experience and the missing or incomplete factual information on the truck shows that this piece should be taken with a grain of salt.

Join the Ford Truck Enthusiasts forums now!

Patrick Rall is a regular contributor to LS1Tech and JK Forum, among other auto sites.

Comments ()