2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Quick Drive

Ford's resident leviathan bowls into 2013 with minor changes, same stout substance

There are a few vehicles you dream of owning as a child playing in the sandbox. There's that dump truck with the oversized tires, the over-the-top pickup truck with a smoke stack exhaust sticking up through the bed, or even a garbage truck (I have weird friends, I know). Here's where the Ford Raptor comes into play. People constantly ask me; "What's the real point of the Ford Raptor?" To that I respond with; "So you have an excuse to play in the sand, again."

With an oversized truck like the 2013 Ford Raptor, it's hard to go anywhere without garnering attention. That's the point of it though. You could get the less ostentatious Ford F-150, but if you can swing it, why not live out a childhood fantasy every time you go for a drive?

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Model and Price

Dreams are never cheap, and with a base price of $47,235, the 2013 Ford Raptor isn't either. Our tester came saddled with an additional $6,360 in options, raising the final asking price to $53,595 (including a $995 destination fee). Standard features include a 4.2-inch infotainment screen, tow hooks, off-road Fox Racing shocks, off-road mode, hill descent control, and a rear view camera. Optional equipment on our tester include Equipment Group 801A ($4,760), which features heated and cooled front seats, a trailer brake control, High Intensity Discharge headlights, and a navigation system. Other optional equipment includes a box side graphics package that says "Raptor" ($1,075), a 36-gallon fuel tank, massive all-terrain tires, and a front and rear camera system ($525).

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Safety and Key Features

It's long been thought that the bigger the vehicle, the safer you'll be in the event of an accident. While that's not totally true, the 2013 Ford Raptor did fare well in both the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing. The 2013 Ford Raptor earned four out of five stars with the NHTSA and a best possible rating of "Good" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The entire 2013 Ford F-150 lineup, off of which the Raptor is based, was awarded a 2013 Top Safety Pick from the IIHS as well. Standard safety features include traction and stability control, front impact, side canopy, and side impact airbags, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Family Friendliness and Utility

Like the oversized dump truck you envisioned owning as a kid, the 2013 Ford Raptor rides on beefy all-terrain tires and 17-inch forged-aluminum bead-lock capable wheels. However, this tire and wheel combination along with the heightened Fox Racing shocks makes climbing into the Raptor tough for the vertically challenged. Running boards stretch from the back to front tire though making it easy for anyone who needs some help climbing in. It also helps if you need to strap a car seat in so you don't have to stretch as far looking for the LATCH points. Once everyone is loaded in, there is plentiful storage space, including a cavernous center console, and four cupholders in between the front seats alone.

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Comfort and Quality

When you're not busy plowing through an off-road rhythm section, the off-road Fox Racing shocks deliver a soft, pillowy ride on paved road. The Torsen front axle boosts handling no matter if you're drudging through deep sand or taking a paved corner at speed. HID headlights give the Raptor a more luxurious feel and help you see further down the road when compared to a usual bulb. Our 2013 Ford Raptor had power and heated mirrors with the turn indicator mounted on the side, optional heated and cooled seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Both front seats have a mesh accent running vertically down the back with "Raptor" stitched in between at the top. No matter where you sit, the 2013 Ford Raptor has enough space for an NFL offensive line to spread out comfortably.

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How it Drives

A 6.2-liter V-8 engine, rated at 411-horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque, is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and catapults the 4,925 pound Raptor from 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds. That's more than enough power to get you around that one driver who hasn't mastered the art of merging onto the freeway. Of course, fuel economy isn't the 2013 Ford Raptor's forte, with an EPA rating of 11 mpg city, 16 mpg highway, and 13 mpg combined. An electronic locking rear differential, Torsen front axle, and off-road Fox Racing shocks enhance the Raptor's handling on different road surfaces. These features also help the Raptor keep a composed ride while entering and exiting a turn at speeds. As mentioned above, the off-road Fox Racing shocks deliver a comfortable ride whether in the desert of on pavement.

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Summary

What's not to love about a life-size truck that childhood dreams are made of? Yes, fuel economy isn't the best, but you don't buy a specialty truck like the 2013 Ford Raptor for good fuel mileage. Everything about the Raptor is over-the-top, whether it’s the optional "Raptor" graphic on the side of the truck, or the 97-inches of width; nothing about it is low-key. Our 2013 Ford Raptor tester stretched out 145.2-inches, making it nearly impossible to park on a city street. If you want to get the total over-the-top Raptor experience while still trying to fulfill your daily commitments of getting the kids from school, go with the SuperCrew. If you're more focused on running through the desert at high-speeds or will be using the Raptor as a daily driver for just yourself, go with the SuperCab configuration instead.

Spec Box

Price-as-tested: $53,595
Fuel Economy
EPA City: 11 mpg
EPA Highway: 16 mpg
EPA Combined: 13 mpg
Cargo Space: We fit all 25 "grocery bags" in the bed
Child Seat Fitment, Second Row: Good
Estimated Combined Range: 468 miles
Intellichoice Cost of Ownership: Below Average

Notebook Quotes

"It's a Nissan GT-R for dirt lovers. It's highly specialized, single-purposed, compromised beyond belief for its job, and excellent in its element. The rest of the time, like the GT-R, it's a pain in the neck." -Keith Buglewicz, News Director
"Surprisingly, despite its width and gargantuan size, the Raptor is pretty easy to drive. If the road is too narrow to get around traffic, this thing has those lights in the grille and looks scary as all heck; traffic will get out of your way. Those shocks make the ride so comfortable, too." - Jacob Brown, Associate Editor

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