2022 Ford Bronco Raptor
Class: Compact Crossover/SUV
Miles driven: 266
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||B|
|Power and Performance||B|
|Fit and Finish||B-|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. “Big” rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, “Tall” rating based on 6’6″-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||418-horsepower 3.0L|
|Engine Type||Turbo V6|
Real-world fuel economy: 16.3 mpg
Driving mix: 75% city, 25% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 15/16/15 (mpg city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Regular gas
Base price: $68,500 (not including $1595 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Raptor Graphics($1075), keyless entry keypad ($110), 17-inch back alloy wheels ($1995), leather trim with suede seats ($2495)
Price as tested: $75,550
The great: Promise of go-anywhere fun, draws lots of attention
The good: Easier then expected to drive, plenty of power
The not so good: Pricey compared to lesser Bronco trim levels, high step-in height, width complicates parking, draws lots of attention
By most accounts, the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor is a very capable off-road vehicle. By my account, it is also a reasonably practical and relatively comfortable daily driver. But there’s something the Bronco absolutely excels at–at least in Eruption Green–and that’s attracting a crowd.
More than any other vehicle I’ve evaluated over the last two decades, except possibly the Hummer H2, the Bronco Raptor invites unsolicited attention, and plenty of time-consuming conversation. No fewer than a dozen people commented on my test Raptor—including my dry cleaner and two different 7-11 clerks—all of whom noted how lucky I was to be driving such a cool ride. It’s also telling that none one of these twelve folks asked me anything about the truck’s off-road prowess.
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It’s hard to tell if the Raptor’s rock-crawling and desert-running talents are simply a given, of if looking the part is good enough for the average consumer, but no one cared if the truck could traverse a speed bump, much less conquer the Rubicon Trail. The good news is that the Raptor doesn’t ask too much of daily drivers in the name of off-road ability, but there are a few compromises worth noting. More on these in a moment.
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Let’s talk about the truck itself. For stability at speed, the Raptor’s track has been widened considerably; it’s 10 full inches wider at the front axle, and 9 in the back. To accommodate the enhanced road gear, the Raptor itself is fully 10 inches wider overall. And, to accommodate greater suspension travel, and the cool-looking 37-inch wheels shod with BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrain tires, the truck’s ground clearance has been increased to 13 inches, almost 2 inches more than a standard Bronco with the optional Sasquatch Package. Fox-brand performance shock absorbers round out the suspension upgrades. Note that the Raptor is offered only as a 4-door.
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On the road, the Raptor feels more or less like a lesser Bronco, albeit with a lot more power. Instead of the turbocharged 2.3- or 2.7-liter engines found on other Broncs, the Raptor boasts a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 rated at 418 horsepower. Paired with a capable and refined 10-speed automatic, the Raptor squirts easily through traffic and powers up merging lanes with casual ease.
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Impressively, the Raptor exhibits little of the cornering roll and plow generally associated with vehicles shod tires with large sidewall. Though the Raptor is no sports car, it handles well enough. Strong and responsive brakes add to the truck’s ability to hustle.
With all the power, and those big, energy scrubbing tires, you might expect fuel economy to suffer, and it does, though not all that much. Over 266 miles of mostly city driving, our test Bronco Raptor averaged 16.3 mpg. That’s slightly better than the EPA estimates for this truck, and–good news–the Raptor does fine on regular-grade gas.
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Maybe I’m just old and out of shape, but I found getting into and out of the Raptor a chore. That said, once inside the truck I was plenty comfortable. I didn’t do any hard-core off-roading, but it I did find some meaningfully large mud and clay chunks to crush, and the Raptor dispatched said obstacles with dismissible ease. Was I buying a Bronco, and I wouldn’t mind doing so, I would likely opt for a lesser trim level. While the Raptor impresses for a number of reasons, I’d prefer to see better gas mileage, and I rarely drift too far off the paved roads that comprise my commute. Also, at around $75,000, the Raptor represents a large additional invest over the price of the other Broncs. Plus, and this is important, I don’t have the time or inclination to host a Bronco Raptor clinic every time I stop for a Big Gulp.
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