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Road tests

New Ford Ranger Raptor diesel 2023 review

Is the hot Ranger still as much fun with diesel power?

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

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Verdict

The diesel Ranger Raptor isn’t as responsive as the V6 petrol, so unless you can make use of its off-road ability, all it really offers over the standard Ranger is a visual upgrade that compromises its commercial-vehicle credentials. We’d happily pay the extra £3,000 for the petrol Raptor experience.

We’re big fans of the latest Ford Ranger, and the flagship Raptor has already impressed us with its punchy twin-turbo
V6 and clever driving modes – but what’s it like when it’s fitted with a diesel?

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The original Ranger Raptor had a 2.0-litre twin-turbodiesel, and Ford has now introduced an oil-burner to the current version. Rather than use the new 3.0-litre V6 that’s available in the latest Ranger, it’s another 2.0 litre, and as with the standard truck, it comes with 207bhp when equipped with Ford’s 10-speed automatic gearbox

That’s a significant drop in power when compared with the 288bhp offered by the petrol model, although there is a small boost in torque, rounded up from 491Nm to a full 500Nm. The diesel Raptor also does without some of the petrol truck’s other clever tech, including its Fox Live Valve dampers. 

These replace the standard Ranger’s leaf rear suspension, and mean the petrol Raptor offers impressive off-road performance, including the ability to better smooth out bumps the faster you go. But for the diesel Raptor they’ve been replaced by Fox Position Sensitive dampers, which are the same as those found on the previous generation.

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They still work pretty well, but there isn’t as much finesse to the truck’s ability, with a more fidgety and unsettled ride than in the petrol version. And this is noticeable whether you’re driving on or off road

The V6 model’s anti-lag system, launch control and front locking diff are also dropped, and so is the active exhaust –
a diesel isn’t the most pleasing engine to listen to, so making it louder is probably a wise choice. The lack of chrome exhaust tips at the rear is the only external clue to this version’s diesel power.

In terms of looks, the Raptor’s widened wheelarches remain unchanged, so this is still a purposeful-looking truck, while the interior retains the same orange highlights and user-friendly portrait touchscreen.

A 0-62mph time of 10.5 seconds is the same as that for the standard Ranger – and is 2.5 seconds slower than the petrol Raptor’s – but official fuel economy of 26.6mpg is poorer, and edges it close to the V6 model’s 20.5mpg average.

Model:Ford Ranger Raptor 2.0 EcoBlue 210PS
Price:£57,064
Powertrain:2.0-litre 4cyl twin-turbo
Power/torque:207bhp/500Nm
Transmission:

10-speed auto, four-wheel drive w/low range

0-62mph:10.5 seconds
Top speed:112mph
Economy/CO2:26.6mpg/278g/km
Size (L/W/H):5,360/2,028/1,926mm
On sale:Now
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Senior test editor

Dean has been part of the Auto Express team for more than 20 years, and has worked across nearly all departments, starting on magazine production, then moving to road tests and reviews. He's our resident van expert, but covers everything from scooters and motorbikes to supercars and consumer products.

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