Ford’s Ranger Raptor is a curious machine and, speaking objectively and dispassionately, a rather flawed one in some ways. For a performance car, its engine is lacklustre and its heavily compromised payload makes it of little use as a pick-up truck. It’s expensive and certainly not the most sensible family vehicle you’ll find at its price point. But regardless of all of this, it is an incredibly difficult car to dislike.

The remarkable lengths to which Ford Performance has gone to re-engineer the Ranger’s chassis and suspension for really punishing off-road use are impressive just to contemplate. The capability the changes then afford it off road and the level of abuse they allow it to deal with, meanwhile, really do beggar belief. That it’s still as comfortable as it is back on the road doesn’t go unnoticed, either.

Underwhelming on the road, brilliantly tough and tenacious off it

Perspective is key to understanding the Ranger Raptor. Viewed through the same lens as a traditional pick-up truck, the Ford doesn’t make a great amount of sense. View it purely as a toy, though, and there really isn’t much out there in which you’ll have more fun off the beaten track.