Strap your butt into a 6.2-powered truck, and the difference is immediately noticeable. The suspension is much more refined. And while the ride is still firm, it has lost much of the harshness. Just like the 5.4 Raptor we tested last year, the 6.2 truck still has noticeable understeer that discourages the truck from being pushed too hard on the twistiest roads, but the wide track is good for directional stability.
As it turns out, directional stability is good for a vehicle packing 434 lb-ft of torque. The Raptor is big and heavy, but the 6.2L makes the truck feel about 1,000 pounds lighter. Regardless of a transmission that was sometimes hesitant to downshift, the Raptor offers surprising acceleration from any speed, and even with the electronic nannies on break, it abstains from wagging its tail too enthusiastically when provoked. However, refraining from assaulting the skinny pedal is often futile, as evidenced by our observed fuel economy. How could we not dip into that thick powerband for a dose of adrenaline and mechanical mayhem? But be warned-that sort of behavior will not make you any more socially acceptable to those pleading for you to get your carbon footprint under control. Behave yourself, and the Raptor delivers acceptable fuel economy.
But behaving is not what the Raptor is all about. It is rowdy, fun, and irreverent. Passengers enjoy an exhaust note that would make the Hemi crowd jealous, while the exhaust noise may have motor cops questioning the origins of the muffler.
This year, our Raptor wore a classy black interior, without the gaudy orange inserts of last year's truck. This tester was much more understated and to our liking. The rest of the interior is typical of Ford, but in ours, being a 2010 model, we missed the DIC and SelectShift options. Some felt the seats were overstuffed, others thought they were perfect. Can you tell it was difficult looking for things we didn't like about the Raptor?