Driven

Just Plain Fun: 2019 Ford Raptor

We’ve driven second generation Ford Raptor before, and there isn’t a whole lot to tell you that we haven’t already. But Ford has added some new suspension components, which was enough of an excuse to get some more wheel time with this prehistoric predator. And with a very wet Spring, we knew just the kind of trouble we were going to get up to.

The biggest news for this year is the addition of all-new Fox Live Valve shocks. These are continuously variable dampers that change depending on your driving situation in real-time. According to Fox, these dampers can instantaneously adapt to inertial, steering, braking, and acceleration inputs to actively maximize handling, comfort, and bottom-out resistance.¬†We, of course, needed to test this claim by heading out to one of our favorite remote locations. Out in the country lies our favorite seasonal road complex that, with the large amounts of rain we’ve had, was washed out, muddy, and covered in standing water. Here we had a chance to briefly test a new Raptor feature, Trail Control. This system is essentially an off-road cruise control which can monitor the trucks systems up to 20 miles per hour. Our road wasn’t that challenging, so we dialed the Ford’s off-road mode to Mud/Sand which, in combination with the all-new shocks, allowed us to effortlessly cope with all the terrain that we saw that day.

One difference that we noticed with these new shocks was that the on-road performance did not seem to improve, but instead seemed to hamper the Raptors original ride quality. In our previous test, we drove the Raptor many miles on-road and noted how supple and agreeable the ride quality was. This time, our SuperCrew seemed a little more upset by expansion joints and mid-corner bumps. That being said, the ride quality is still more than agreeable, but we were surprised that the new shocks did not seem to benefit it in more of a positive manner.

2019 Ford Raptor 24

The rest of the Raptor’s hardware is unchanged for 2019. The 3.5L EcoBoost still churns out 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque, and the 10 speed automatic is still smooth in all forms of usage. Inside there are new optional Recaro seats, which out tester didn’t have, and the same SYNC3 system that we like. The interior is starting to look dated, however, especially with the new Ram and its 12″ UConnect system on the market. But until someone else starts selling a factory truck with off road suspension, bespoke widebody, and enough tech to complete the Baja 1000, then we’re just going to keep loving this Raptor.

If you’re in the market for a fun truck, the Raptor is still the top of the heap. Now we just want Ford to throw a V8 in this thing and see what it’s really capable of.

-Scott Villeneuve

2019 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew
$55,840
Equipment Group 802A $9,365
Raptor Technology Package $1,695
Ruby Red $395
Destination Charges $1,595
As Tested MSRP $68,890

Related: Sequel: 2017 Ford Raptor

 

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