WATCH | Now this is a bakkie! Living with the Ford Ranger SE and unearthing its quirks

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• The Ford Ranger Raptor Special Edition joined the Wheels24 long-term garage.

• The bakkie has been driven on a variety of road conditions, including gravel.

• An aspect we are finding troublesome is opening the manual roller shutter.

For more motoring stories, visit Wheels24

Recently, the Wheels24 test garage has been expanded with the new Ford Ranger Raptor Special Edition (SE). Short on the heels of its local launch, the bakkie joined our 'garage', and it quickly became apparent that this would not be just another experience with just another test vehicle.

As we know, the Ranger Raptor has always been a very special bakkie in the local bakkie scene. It came to market in 2019 as an alternative to standard Ranger and Toyota Hilux bakkies roaming our roads. With its increased ride height, extra big tyres, broad wheel arches and specially designed FOX suspension, the Ranger Raptor impressed from the word go.

Two years later and Ford South Africa launched a second Raptor model in South Africa. The Raptor SE is based on the existing Ranger Raptor, but adds several bits and pieces like racing stripes, red stitching in the cabin, and a roller shutter over the loading bay.

Ford Ranger Raptor
2021 Ford Ranger Raptor Special Edition

The first findings

The Ranger Raptor is a remarkable vehicle. From the moment you step onto the broad sideboards and make yourself comfortable in the driver's seat, you are treated to a special experience. Hit the starter button, and the 2.0-litre bi-turbo engine kicks into life without fail. From behind the steering wheel, everything seems standard Ranger, but you are aware of the massive gear changing paddles behind the steering wheel and the red mark on the steering wheel that indicates the centre point.

READ: OPINION | Ford's Ranger Raptor: the harder you drive it, the more rewarding it feels

Setting off, drivers will soon realise that this bakkie is something else as the suspension soaks up road imperfections. Speedbumps are cleared with minimal cabin disturbances, and rear occupants are treated to the best comfort offered by any bakkie in South Africa. On gravel roads with 4x4 High engaged, drivers can reach speeds some won't dream of venturing towards. The bakkie's drive is that good, and it has become the go-to vehicle among the Wheels24 team.

What's become somewhat frustrating is the use of the roller shutter. To retract it and expose the loading bay, you need to insert and turn a key, followed by a tug of the rope. However, after the key's been turned, it must be pressed - often with the palm of your hand. Ford South Africa does offer an electric roller shutter on the recently launched Ranger Stormtrak, but this item is not available to the Ranger Raptor SE.

Ford Ranger Raptor
2021 Ford Ranger Raptor Special Edition
2022 Ford Ranger Raptor Special Edition

Price: R950 200

Engine: 2.0-litre bi-turbo

Power: 157kW @ 3 750rpm

Torque: 500Nm @ 1 500 - 2 000rpm

Gears: 10-speed automatic

Drive: 4x4

Current consumption: 13.2-litres/100km

Fuel tank: 80L

Km on arrival: 4 357

Km now: 6 504

Distance covered: 2 147km

Tyres: 285/70 R17

Wading depth: 850mm

Ground clearance: 283mm

Weight: 2 338kg

Service Plan: Six-years or 90 000km

Warranty: Four-years or 120 000km

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