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Filming a tractor at 100mph? All in a day’s work for this pick-up - 1st January 2019
Following an initial flurry of off-road activity, the Ford Ranger Raptor has been pressed back into more mundane service during the past couple of weeks. Which will not be uncommon for owners. The Raptor might be a rough-trail sports car but, like on-road sports cars, it’ll spend most of its time doing the daily grind, with sporadic moments of showing off. Customers will expect it to be adept at both.
And it is good at the boring stuff, which is unsurprising and why double-cab pick-ups became so popular in the first place, I suppose. Owing to being bigger, the Raptor isn’t quite as easy to rub along with as the Toyota Land Cruiser I was running previously because it’s harder to park. I’m always seeking out a bay at the end of a row so I can squeeze as far out of other people’s way as possible, and one shop local to me with a poor car park hasn’t seen me for a while, but otherwise it’s fine.
There’s plenty of room in the cabin, both front and rear, with big cubbies for drinks and oddments. I haven’t carried more than two people in the back so I’m not sure how tight three would find the cabin over distance, but this is a broad car. I like the supportive front seats, too, and the uprated interior trim with fancy contrast stitching and what looks like leather if you squint a bit, as Ford has tried to make the Raptor not just behave like it’s worth fifty grand, but feel like it, too. It has succeeded well enough for me. It’s winter and the Ranger has a quick-clear windscreen, after all – those feel worth fifty grand on their own on the right morning.
Where a pick-up – and not just this one – doesn’t always translate to being a good passenger car is where the boot, such as it is, is massive, hard-lined and more exposed to the elements. The Raptor’s load bay is covered and stays dry, but unless I have a really big bag to carry – or two videographers to perch in it while trying to chase down the world’s fastest tractor at 100mph – I tend to just sling bags or shopping in the rear footwell instead, where things are less likely to slide from edge to edge and spray groceries all over the place.
If you want to carry four people and your weekly shop, then, it’s worth bearing in mind the advantage of a normal SUV’s boot instead. The load bed feels slightly less secure than a conventional boot too, although that’s probably unfair. Things are out of sight, and if some oik wants to steal your things, they’ll find a way to do it regardless.
There has been one problem. The capless fuel filler opening has been a bit sticky and awkward to push a filler nozzle into, which I put down to it being high mounted; but as I write, yesterday a colleague pulled a filler hose out and the assembly came with it. No fuel’s leaking and, pushed back together, it should hold until the 12,000-mile service, where I’ll have it checked thoroughly.