The Ford Ranger has been thoroughly refreshed last year, but it was only this time that I finally had the opportunity to put these American pick-ups through the rough stuff that I would probably rarely ever encounter in our daily lives. We took the Ford Ranger Raptor, as well as the Ranger Wildtrak on a road trip to the Sacobia River lahar beds, and I realized that the only thing that’s probably limiting the Ford Ranger, especially the Ranger Raptor’s capabilities, is me and my limited off-roading skills.
We first took the Ford Ranger Wildtrak in 4×4 guise, because going through the lahar beds would prove to be too challenging if we took the 4×2 variants. Once there, the Ranger Wildtrak went through with no hiccups whatsoever, though because this had firmer leaf springs at the back, we were more cautious compared to the other bunch who were trying out the Ranger Raptor. Still, it was a solid run through the lahar fields with the Wildtrak. Finally, we arrived at the technical course meant to highlight the numerous benefits of the Ranger Wildtrak.
I entered the course through a very steep incline, which was meant to showcase the Ranger Wildtrak’s ability to climb up steep inclines, and it did it without a hitch. Next was a 90-degree right-hand turn that also had a steep incline, which highlighted the Ranger Wildtrak’s excellent wheel articulation, enabling it to maintain contact with (most of) the ground. If ever a wheel loses contact from the ground, the 4×4 system will simply transfer power to the wheel/s that have the most grip.
The bi-turbo powertrain that’s also found in the Ranger Raptor is well mannered, too. Over the years, I’ve come to love Ford’s diesel engines because of their torque curve. Most of it is in such a low rev range, which means that you don’t need to step on the throttle too much to get this pick-up moving. It also does mean there’s a little less punch from the engine when it comes to overtaking since it does run out a bit of pull when the engine reaches the higher rev range, though it’s still reasonably quick. Nothing new here. These are stuff we can already personally attest to regarding the Ranger Wildtrak’s abilities from the get-go. Suffice to say, the Ranger Wildtrak went through the technical course with no sweat.
One of my favorite aspects with the Ranger is its well-built interior and the signature solid door thud that I’ve come to enjoy when closing the doors of Ford’s pick-ups and SUVs. Being inside the Ranger isolates you from the roughness of the off-road course, one that you’ll appreciate thanks to the Ranger line-up’s comfortable and well-designed interior. Soft-touch materials with stitching details give it a premium vibe, with the Wildtrak rocking some orange details while the Raptor flaunts a mix of blue and red sporty interior details.
It was when we finally had the chance to push the Ranger Raptor to its limits when things started to become more interesting. Pushing it to its limits might be an overstretch because if I have to be honest, I have not even reached half of what the Ranger Raptor is really capable of.
I now head onto the lahar beds once again, this time with the Ranger Raptor. “Let her (the Ranger Raptor) rip!” says the instructor, and so I did. There are no words from Merriam Webster’s vocabulary that are enough to describe how the Ranger Raptor handles the terrain. It is such a beast through the lahar beds, totally unfazed when I let it plow through mud, water streams, and lahar. As I completely became complacent at what speed I was actually doing, I carefully glanced on the speedometer. Lo and behold, I did not realize I was already doing more than 90 kph through the lahar beds.
Because we encountered torrential downpours earlier in the field, the lahar beds were completely soaked with water. Numerous times, the splashes I created would be so intense, it would leave me completely blind for a couple of seconds while I was traveling faster than my crush friend-zoning me the moment I was just about to say my feelings for her. So I backed off… I mean I carefully backed off from the throttle just to bring down the speed and be cautious of anything that I might not be able to see on the lahar beds.
Another thing that I became concerned about while we were blistering through the lahar fields were the hidden large rocks. The fear of catapulting up in the air because of hitting a large object was always at the back of my mind, and so as I realized this, I started to slow down a bit.
Nearing the end of the course, I suddenly realized that I should have given my all with the Ranger Raptor throughout the lahar fields. In this last few remaining kilometers did I just realize that the Raptor will just shrug off whatever the lahar beds threw at it. Having finally realized this made me push this pick-up to how much I can totally give it. These are one of the only few rare opportunities I will ever have a bringing the Ranger Raptor to its absolute limits, so I even let it have some air time as I let the Ranger Raptor jump over a few lahar beds. It simply was now or never, and it was the one thing I did not regret doing with the Ranger Raptor.
And that about sums up the Ranger Raptor through this off-road course. The only thing that’s limiting the Ranger Raptor’s capabilities is you. Granted, I am not the most seasoned off-roader, but if there is one thing that the Ranger Raptor truly is, it is an invincible machine, simply shrugging and shaking off whatever the roads (or lahar beds) throw at it. I guess we can also learn a life lesson or two from the Ford Ranger Raptor.
We’ll soon have our own comprehensive review of the Ford Ranger Raptor and Ranger line-up. In the meantime, July is Ford’s truck month, and there are deals on the Ford Ranger XLT and Wildtrak variants. Ranger XLT variants have a P70,000 cash discount or an all-in low down payment offer of P68,000. This includes free 3-year LTO registration, 1-year comprehensive insurance, and chattel mortgage fees. Promos for the Ford the Ranger Wildtrak include a P60,000 cash discount on all variants, an all-in low down payment offer of P98,000 for the Wildtrak 4×2 AT and MT variants, or an all-in low down payment offer of P128,000 for the Wildtrak 4×4 AT variant.