Living with the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor: the good and the bad

We've already flown across the sand, climbed dunes, and picked our way down steep hills like a mountain goat in the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor. The truck proved to be up the off-road test, but then it should have been. This thing was designed and built to be a desert runner from the get go. Heck, a basically stock version finished the Baja 1000, then drove back home to Phoenix.

But what is the Raptor like to live with every day? I've spent the last week with one and found some good and bad in Ford's bad-ass pickup. The tester I had was a SuperCab with a $49,250 base price. It came with $7,928 in options, including pro trailer backup assist ($395), navigation ($795), an exterior graphics package to announce this truck's Raptorness ($1,195), a hood graphics package for the same purpose ($900), a 4.10 front axle with a Torsen differential ($500), a tailgate step ($375), and a spray-in bedliner ($495).

After 287 miles and a week behind the wheel, this is what I learned about living with the Raptor.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

The Good: For what you get in terms of engine, suspension, tires, and outright capability, and considering the high price of pickups nowadays, the F-150 Raptor isn't all that costly. The $49,250 base price for a SuperCab is downright affordable. Try pricing out a V-8, four-wheel-drive, crew cab or extra cab full-size pickup and see if you can keep it under $40K.

The Bad: A total of $2,095 for a Type A truck to tell everyone that it's Type A seems a little excessive to me. I know Ford wants to make money on this thing, but you could paint the whole truck for that. Ridiculous.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

The Good: The interior has big buttons, knobs, and dials that are easy to use whether you are wearing gloves or not. The red mark at 12 o'clock on the steering wheel is just plain cool, and it makes you feel like an off-road racer even in traffic.

The Bad: Plastic on the dash, plastic on the door panels and even the tops of the doors. For $57K, I expect better, and every other major truck builder, except Toyota, delivers it. Come on, Ford, up your interior materials game. This applies to all F-150s, not just the Raptor.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

The Good: It generally rides well. The Fox shocks can handle any bump, rut, or pothole Chicago has to dish out. In fact, the Raptor may quell the sharpest bumps better than any vehicle on the market. That's what you get with off-road racing shocks, wide sidewall off-road tires, and a whole mess of suspension travel. That suspension also makes you want to drive this thing over anything. Speed bumps, curbs, parking blocks, and even highway medians aren't so much obstacles as minor annoyances to be easily dispatched.

The Bad: Under some circumstances, when the ripple of the pavement on the highway is just so, it creates a sine wave that makes the ride jiggly or bouncy until you slow down to get out of that repetitive motion. It's not a big issue, but it can be annoying.

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