Boyhood Dream Come True: The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor
The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor.
When I was a kid in the 1960s, the coolest thing on God's green earth to me was a late 40s-early 50s Dodge Power Wagon.  It was the ultimate expression of a pickup truck.  Go anywhere, do anything.  And growing up in the Eastern High Sierra from 1965 on, there were actually a few of them doing just that for this young man to admire.

Dodge has tried to recapture that magic on occasion (but not very hard) by applying the Power Wagon name to its trucks.  But the folks at Ford, they get it...and when it comes to a modern-day Power Wagon, they've got it.

Tailgate of 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor
2017 Ford F-150 Raptor tailgate.
I got to play with a Raptor on a dirt track when they first came out, around 2009 or so...and it was fun, but I had a hard time imagining living with one on a daily basis.

Well, thankfully Ford has given me a week in the new 2017 F-150 Raptor so that I know that, at least in the current generation, this big beast can actually be a daily driver that's very easy to live with.

Even on the west side of the Sierra, where I now live, trucks are a thing...and badass trucks are even more of a thing.  The Raptor is the baddest you can buy stock from a dealer.  And offroad, it will keep pace with the rigs that guys have spent thousands modding with aftermarket goods.

Off-road display for 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor
2017 Ford F-150 Raptor off-road display.
$48,325 gets you in a 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor 4X4 SuperCab with a 3.5-liter V6 Ecoboost.

About that engine---it is far more smooth, usable and efficient than the big block that was under the hood of the first Raptor.  You'll swear you're driving a V8.  And you can thank it for the fuel efficiency you have, which admittedly isn't anything to write home about until you remember what class of vehicle you're in.  The EPA estimates 15 city/18 highway.  And to keep you on or off the road longer between fill-ups, the Raptor comes standard with a 28-gallon fuel tank.

Also standard...dual exhaust, dynamic hitch assist, automatic LED headlamps, running boards, a trailer tow package with trailer sway control, a 110-volt AC outlet, air conditioning, compass, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, outside temperature display, power locks and windows, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, curve control, electronic shift-on-the-fly four-wheel rive, a fail-safe cooling system, hill descent and off-road mode, hill start assist, off-road shocks, a reverse sensing system, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, skid plates, a perimiter alarm, illuminated entry and tire pressure monitoring.

At $48,325, that's a pretty complete truck.  But, of course, there are options, and our tester had 'em.

The biggest was Equiment Group 802A, which brought a power-sliding rear window, the vastly improved SYNC 3 infotainment system, a 4.10 front axle with Torsen differential, a 360-degree camera, blind spot information system with trailer tow monitoring, an upgraded dual-zone climate control system, LED box lighting and side-mirror spotlights, pro trailer backup assist, a remote start system, a single-disc Sony CD player with HD Radio and voice-activated navigation.  $9,345.

We were also treated to the Raptor Technology Package with adaptive cruise control for $1,950, 17-inch forged aluminum wheels for $1,165, a spray-in bedliner for $495 and a tailgate step (trust me, unless you have a 60-inch inseam, you'll need it) for $375.

Bottom line, with $1,195 destination and delivery charge, $62,850.  Cheap?  No.  Worth it?  Yes.  Especially if your life includes off-roading but you haven't got the space or funds for a dedicated off-roader.  The Raptor is as livable day in and day out as any F-150.  It just happens to be the baddest one on the block.