The Fabulous Factory-Modified Daily-Driver
It’s the one ½-ton truck that everyone loves, even our own mothers. That is until they pull up to the gas pump. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on staff who has been behind the wheel of the 6.2L V-8-powered Ford F-150 SVT Raptor has complained or at least made a comment in the logbook about the dismal fuel economy. But let’s put it in perspective. This is a 411hp ½-ton pickup with Baja-bred and -proven long-travel suspension that rolls on 35-inch tires. It features a rear selectable locker that works in any transfer case selection and it has 4.11 axle gears. This is the truck we would try to build, only we wouldn’t be able to put the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Ford has into the design and testing of such a truck. Dollar-for-dollar you can’t beat the Raptor with a similar truck modified with aftermarket parts. And the truth is, any truck outfitted similarly would likely get the same fuel economy if not worse than our Raptor. So we consider the Raptor an ideal bargain if these are the kind of modifications you planned to make on your own anyway.
Despite lackluster fuel economy our 2010½ Ford F-150 SVT Raptor typically sees well over 300 miles per filling of the 26-gallon fuel tank. The larger 36-gallon fuel tank in the ’11 model is a welcome improvement behind the thirsty 6.2L V-8.
We like the glow of the optional Molten Orange paint of our tester but could do without the costly ($1,075) digital mud graphics that most people just don’t seem to understand. We’re often asked what the graphics are supposed to be (lizard scales, mud, scratches, tears, and so on). The rocker-guard side steps are very sturdy and they certainly protect the body of the truck. Interestingly, they also make ingress and egress awkward for most people who are tall enough to simply hop in and out of the front seats. Shorter more-munchkin-like individuals can comfortably use the steps. Overall the F-150 Raptor is a great looking truck that is appreciated by almost everyone, even if it’s not used for its intended purpose of high-speed desert driving. And on the other hand, anyone that regularly travels down dirt or gravel roads will especially enjoy the off-road features, capability, ride, and handling of the Ford Raptor.
The standard leather-trimmed Raptor seating along with the amenities of the optional luxury package ($1,950) really takes interior comfort to the next level inside our long-termer. However, the orange-accented interior bits are somewhat over-the-top and a little too “fabulous” for some staffers. We love the heated seats on those cold mornings and think the Raptor is the perfect candidate for vented seats (ours doesn’t have them, but the ’12 models will as an option), as is any vehicle that sees aggressive off-road driving. You need some way to keep your backside cool.
If connecting an iPod to the USB port, the interface is a little clunky at first and takes some getting used to. It’s not as easy or convenient as making music selections on the iPod itself.
Keep an eye out for the next update where we’ll hitch up our car hauler, fill the bed, and hit the road for a tow and haul assessment of our long-term Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2. FW
REPORT: 2 OF 4
Previous reports: Dec. ’11
Base price: $38,020
Price as tested: $49,020
Four-wheel-drive system: Two-speed, part-time, shift-on-the-fly
Miles to date: 7,944
Miles since last report: 4,326
Average mpg (this report): 13.23
Test best tank (mpg): 15.83
Test worst tank (mpg): 10.70
This period: Oil service and tire rotation, $79.95
Problem areas: None
What’s Hot, What’s Not
Hot: Very comfortable daily-driver
Not: Fuel economy
Our Take: Dollar-for-dollar, you can’t build a more capable truck using aftermarket parts.
- “It handles better than an ’08 F-150 FX2 Sport.”
- “I could drive this truck everyday (if money was no object).”
- “I love that Easy Fuel gas cap.”
- “Kids in Mercedes love this truck.”
- “The running boards make getting out of the truck very difficult.”
- “This truck still attracts positive comments from random admirers.”