F-150 Raptor 2017 Super Crew: Oakville Drives

A Professional Driver's Perspective

F-150 Raptor 2017 Super Crew: Oakville Drives
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About the Author

R. G. Beltzner

R. G. Beltzner

A long time automobile enthusiast, and competitive race driver, Rainer Beltzner provides performance driving and racing instruction for Porsche, BMW, and Ferrari owners and clubs. He's been doing this for over 25 years. Often, Rainer is found driving/teaching on one of the Canadian Tire Motorsport, Shannonville or Watkins Glen tracks. During the “off-season”, Rainer spends his spare time driving and evaluating a broad range of vehicles. Follow Rainer on Twitter @redy2rol.

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The F-150 Raptor is back – and with some serious improvements over the original, first introduced in 2010.

To start with, gone are the loud roar and the weight of the 6.2-liter V8 that generated an impressive (for the time) 400+ hp and similar torque. The new Raptor comes equipped with a smooth sounding current generation 3.5-liter V6 twin turbocharged engine that churns out 450 hp and over 500 lb-ft of torque. Include some weight loss from the truck’s aluminum body and new age hood and fenders, and you end up with a serious weight/horsepower combination. Ford combined this engine with their 10-speed automatic transmission and 4.10 front axle with TORSEN® differential.

To beef up the longer travel suspension, Ford added huge front-end control arms (aluminum of course), special tuned springs (coil over for the front end and leaf, two-stage variable rate in the rear). Not escaping attention are the good looking 3.0-inch Fox Racing shocks. Of course you expect to drive this truck over rough terrain as often as possible. To help the truck survive that, Ford has put this thing on a fully boxed steel frame and added a terrain management system with six driver selectable drive modes, including the Baja (good for high speed desert runs) and Rock (low speed rock crawl) modes.

F-150 Raptor Super Crew 2017

F-150 Raptor Super Crew 2017; Photo Credit: R.G. Beltzner

F-150 Raptor Comfort and Styling

For most of my reviews, I like to start with the driving and handling characteristics. However, the awesome exterior and interior looks of this truck deserve first mention. My test Raptor came in the larger Super-Crew version rather than the regular Super-Cab. Body paint was the $450 optional Ruby Red metallic covered in part by the $1,350 exterior and $1,150 hood graphics packages. Rounding out the exterior are the optional $1,390 forged aluminum wheels with 315/70/R17 all terrain rubber accented by the flared front fenders and wheel tip moldings, spray in bed liner ($550) and integrated tailgate step ($400). The Raptor’s exterior lights include quad beam LED headlights and LED taillights, side mirrors with LED security approach lights and a high mounted cargo light.

Open the driver’s door and you are greeted by the large interior of the Super-Crew model. Black leather 10-way heated and cooled driver/front passenger seating with heated rear seats. The optional $7,900 802A equipment package adds these in addition to a 360 degree split view camera, blind spot system, electronic auto temperature control, heated steering wheel, inflatable rear safety belts, integrated brake controller, trailer back up assist, voice activated navigation and finally, the Sony CD/Sirius and Sync connect. This Super-Crew included the optional ($1,750) twin panel moon-roof that combined with the optional ($1,250) carbon fiber package really finishes the interior very nicely.

F-150 Raptor Super Crew 2017

F-150 Raptor Super Crew 2017; Photo Credit: R.G. Beltzner

F-150 Raptor Driving and Handling characteristics

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If you’re going to have a truck that you use on a daily basis or for longer runs, you might as well get something that is functional, looks great and gives you a comfortable drive.  The Raptor’ seat and adjustable steering wheel positioning leaves nothing to be desired as far as driver comfort is concerned.

On city roads, the Raptor’s suspension is smooth – with very little of that truck feeling. My only complaint was with the 10-speed transmission in regular drive mode – the shifts were too slow at times and seemingly took forever to find the right gear. Using sport mode, this hesitation disappeared completely and both steering and gear shifts became properly responsive. I would forget about ever using the normal drive mode in this truck.

No matter how hard I tried to get this truck just a little loose, it stuck to the road like glue.

Once on the highway, the power of this truck really comes through. Plenty of acceleration! Higher speed off ramps produced only minimal lean and no slip. For those familiar with the “rougher roads” around Rattlesnake, you will appreciate this truck’s excellent throttle and steering responsiveness as well as the phenomenal shocks. Hill climbs on twisty roads are just a lot of fun.

No matter how hard I tried to get this truck just a little loose, it stuck to the road like glue. Next came the gravel and sandy road trials. Moving through the various drive modes, to accommodate the changing surfaces, the ride continued to be under full control and lots of fun. Hill climbs, steep descents, all handled with ease. I admit to seeking out a few deep mud puddles to get this Raptor some side dirt. With a tank that holds 136 liters, there is no need to stop for a long, long time.

Things to consider

If I was looking to buy F-150 Raptor fully loaded, and not for commercial use, this Raptor’s $15,000 premium for a stronger truck is well worth it and is also likely to better hold its value. Its base price is $69,899 and as tested is $90,389. Besides, it’s a real badass truck that draws all of the right attention and is loads of fun. I did not want to bring this one back.

For more automotive reviews and insights, follow me on Twitter @redy2rol.

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