Ford Ranger Raptor review

The cherry on top of the double cab world. That’s one way of looking at it. VW supporters will argue the V6 Amarok is quicker in a straight drag, and it is. You could argue the MB 190kW X-Class V6 is pretty hot with its 190kW and a peak torque of 550Nm. And you would be quite right.

But. And its a big but.

Ford Ranger Raptor

The Raptor has something special about it.

It is special.

It is a double cab bakkie yes, but it is also a full blooded performance car. And how it performs on gravel and jeep tracks is most gratifying.

The secret is really the long-travel suspension. The rear is taken from the Everest giving it a car like ride but that is just the beginning. Ford and suspension hot shop Fox developed special high performance struts and widened the wheelbase by 150mm.

The cabin has also been finely tuned to reflect its sport bent. Special seats with technical suede, sporty steering wheel paired with lightweight magnesium paddle shifters, blue stitching trim and a top class electronic traction and handling package all contribute to a feeling that you are in a very special vehicle. I love it.

The Ranger Raptor’s Terrain Management System (TMS) includes a Baja mode, inspired by Mexico’s famous Baja Desert Rally, which enables ultra-responsive, high-speed off-road performance. In this mode, vehicle systems like Traction Control are pared back to allow spirited off-road driving without intervention from the vehicle’s on-board systems. Gear selection is optimised for maximum performance, and the mapping will hold gears longer and downshift more aggressively.

The Raptor is wide and has an almost mean stance.

The Raptor is equipped with 7 airbags, ABS with EBD, Electronic Stability Control with traction control, hill start assist, hill descent control, adaptive load control, trailer sway control and rollover mitigation.

Raptor comes in a range of colours of which the grey is my favourite.

A newly developed 2.0-litre bi-turbodiesel engine producing 157 kW and 500 Nm coupled to a ten-speed autobox gives this bakkie loads of performance and fairly good fuel consumption, dependent on the weight of your foot. It is fun to drive. In town, on the highway and most definitely on a gravel track.

Ford Raptor dash

Equipment levels are top class with literally everything you could want as standard.

Is it worth the extra cash? The Raptor has everything included in the sticker price. The Amarok Canyon is R799 000 plus R20k for the satnav infotainment pack. The Mercedes X350 is R904 188 without satnav or park assist etc. so its around a million.

So, if its the right car for you it is almost a bargain at R786 400.

Next year (2020) a new Isuzu bakkie will be launched to take on the Ranger, Amarok, X-class, Navara, Triton and the new bigger Steed, but for now I think the Raptor is the one with that little bit extra – the Mustang of bakkies.

Raptor has a  4-year /120 000 km comprehensive warranty, 5-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty, 3 years of roadside assistance, 6-year/90 000 km service plan with intervals every 15 000 km.



VW Amarok petrol for double cab

Amarok Double Cab gets petrol engine

The Amarok Double Cab is now available with a TSI petrol engine. The introduction of a 2.0 TSI 118kW engine completes the Double Cab model line-up that includes 2.0 TDI 90kW and 2.0 BiTDI 120kW derivatives.

All the engines are mated with a 6-speed manual transmission. An automatic transmission is planned for introduction in the third quarter of 2012.

To date, Amarok Double Cab has sold over 4 500 units and has a market share of 15.5%, which makes it the second best-selling Double Cab bakkie in South Africa in 2011.

2.0 TSI 118kW engine

The four-cylinder 2.0 TSI engine uses a turbo-charged induction system and 16-valve cylinder head. Its maximum power of 118kW is delivered between 3800 rpm and 5500rpm.

It is in torque delivery, however that this engine really excels with 300 Nm delivered from just 1600 rpm right through to 3750 rpm. The direct injection fuel system has an operating pressure of 190 bar (2760 psi) for optimised fuel atomisation and complete combustion for high efficiency and low emissions.

It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in under 10 seconds and has a top speed of 180 km/h. This level of performance is matched by exceptional fuel consumption of 9,6 l/100km and CO2 emissions of 228 g/km.

Prices (Vat Included)

Amarok Double Cab 2.0 TSI 118kW 4×2                   R301 400
Amarok Double Cab 2.0 TDI 90kW 4×2                    R328 400
Amarok Double Cab 2.0 TDI 90kW 4Motion             R377 300

Amarok Double Cab 2.0 BiTDI 120kW 4×2               R354 800
Amarok Double Cab 2.0 BiTDI 120kW 4Motion        R403 700

Service and warranty

Amarok Double Cab model range comes standard with a 3 year/100 000 km manufacturer warranty and 5 year/90 000 km Service Plan.

All models have a 6 year anti-corrosion warranty and 15 000 km service intervals.

VW Amarok 2.0 BiTDI 4Motion 120kW Trendline single cab review

VW AMAROK single cab 2.0 BiTDI 4Motion 120kW Trendline

VW’s first foray into the one ton bakkie market is the Amarok. First up was the double cab followed now by the single cab and petrol engine. The bakkie is available with either a 90kW or a 120kw version of their 2 litre turbo diesel engine. It is a big vehicle, capable of carrying in single cab format 1.25 tons, two euro pallets (1 200 x 800mm) and rated to tow a 2.8 ton trailer, with the more powerful engine option. A 2.0 TSI petrol version is also available. There are two trim levels, basic and trendline.

Driving impressions

The Amarok is a pleasure to drive. The cabin is spacious, well laid out and everything works well, even the normally sticky VW 2nd gear is smooth. The steering wheel is height and reach adjustable. Flooring is rubber, but the noise levels are low. Unladen and with a light load the road manners and dynamics of the Amarok are car like and much better than the market leading Toyota Hilux. In spite of its size, its easy to drive with one proviso. The clutch takes immediately. This means that you will probably stall a few times before you get used to it, and tricky situations can become a bit more tricky. Passing takes a bit of planning and work with the gear lever.

Good points

Fuel consumption, space in both the cabin and the loadbay, the extra carrying capacity and the class leading cabin are all strong points. The top models have traction control and a rear diff lock. There is a rear facing light for the loadbay, which we unfortunately could not get to work.

Bad points

Possible negatives include the actual size (she is wide and long), the narrow torque band and the uncertainty about the possible long term serviceability issues such a small block working very hard may cause. The Amarok will not fit into all garages and parking spaces. The only attachment points are on the floor and the loadbay does not come with a tough lining, it’s an optional extra, like the radio, ESP (stability programme) and electric interface. The clutch is a bit of an issue as it takes some getting used to.

Two euro pallets in the loadbay.


If you plan on towing anything but the smallest Venter trailer we recommend you get the 120kW version as the 90kW engine will struggle and your fuel consumption will be high. You can in any case expect higher fuel consumption with the smaller engine in real world conditions although VW claims otherwise.

Amarok’s come with a 5 year/ 90 000km service plan and 3 year/100 000km warranty.


2.0 BiTDI (120kW) R335 000, 2.0 TDI (90kw) R313 700

Competitors are the Nissan NP300 R251 000 and Toyota Hilux R323 600. The Isuzu KB250 Fleetside 4×4 lwb is R217 000.

Drivetrain: 1 968cc, 6 speed manual producing 120kW@4 000 rpm and 400Nm@1 500 – 2 000 rpm.

Performance: 0 – 100km/h in 10.8sec, top speed 180km/h, combined fuel consumption 7.9litres/100km, fuel tank 80 litres.

As Tested: Price R338 500, includes metallic paint, radio and running step.

The petrol engine is now available.