RAPTOR REPORT How the Raptor Redefines Driving

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For today’s Raptor Report, I’m going to share with you my first experience in driving the Ford Raptor. It is, to this day, unlike any other vehicle I have driven, and really changes your point of view of what a truck is and what it is capable of doing.

If you haven’t had a chance to drive one yet, find someone who has one and take it for a spin. It’s much more than the sum of its parts.

Raptor

Being an automotive journalist means that sometimes auto makers want me to drive their vehicles. I was taking a trip to Texas back in 2013 and asked the folks at Ford if I could borrow a vehicle for the week.

This way, I wouldn’t have to rent a car, plus it’d be a chance to review a vehicle and provide some unique content to you, the reader. Not sure of what I was going to get, they send over a loan agreement for a 2013 F-150 SVT Raptor.

Raptor

Arriving in Dallas during rush hour, my first hours in the truck were a bit nerve-wracking. Trying to squeeze such a wide truck through the small parking garage at DFW, and then through the busy Texas traffic wasn’t the best way to get used to the truck.

But people get out of the way for a Raptor. People were willing to let me over when I needed to change lanes. Was it the Michigan manufacturer plates on the truck? Maybe. But I’d like to think that it was just because it’s a bad ass truck.

Raptor

After a long day of delayed flights and heavy traffic, I steer the Raptor out of the city and quickly find rural Texas. I turn down a gravel-covered county road, hit the “Off Road” button and lock the rear end.

Then I mashed the go pedal and rocketed down the road. Dust was flying everywhere and the truck just gripped and gripped on the loose rocks. It was so much fun!

Raptor

But perhaps the most enlightening moment was when I was sitting in stop-and-go traffic on the way to Houston on I-45. Why was the traffic stopped? Who knows? But two vehicles ahead of me was a new Raptor on temporary Texas tags.

Not content with waiting, he shifts off the motorway, crosses the ditch, and pulls up onto the access road that runs along the interstate.

Raptor

At that moment, I realized that I could do the same thing. In most of my driving experiences up until this point, I’ve been sort of confined to the road. I didn’t even think that I had an off-road capable vehicle and that anything can become a road. I was a good citizen and didn’t follow suit, but I easily could have.

Driving the Raptor is a transformative experience. It’s a comfortable highway cruiser, with the soft suspension making it one of the best riding F-150s I’ve ever driven.

It’s also extremely capable. Lastly, it has a certain something something when you drive it that makes you just want to drive it more and more. It’s easy to fall in love with this truck, that on paper, makes no real practical sense. Perhaps that’s the reason best of all why I love it.

Join the Raptor fans in the forum.>>

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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