As I pulled into the grocery store parking lot, a lady drove toward me in a dark green Ford Bronco. As I drove closer to him, I saw that his eyes were as wide as the headlights of a Bronco; he had a big smile on his face as he excitedly waved at me like I was a long lost friend.
I smiled, gave him a thumbs up and waved back to show my support for our like mindedness. But little did he know, I was driving a 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor. A high-performance version of his car that exudes the same road-going civility but with the addition of raw performance.
What is the difference between the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor and the other trims?
The 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor is specially designed to handle the roughest and toughest roads. Whether you’re navigating the sandy terrain of Baja or hitting the snowy roads to your local grocery store, the Bronco Raptor will get you there. It does this thanks to an 8.6-inch wider track than other Bronco trims and 4.6 inches more ground clearance (13.1 inches total).
Let’s not forget the chunky, tall 37-inch tires stuck under the protruding fenders attached to the body. Underneath the sheet metal, the Bronco Raptor’s frame is stiffer than most and can handle more roads with its seven different GOAT (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) modes.
The main difference is under the hood. The 2022 Bronco Raptor is powered by a 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine that produces 418 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque, which is about 90 hp more than the standard 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine. This engine is mated exclusively to a 10-speed automatic transmission, and when all-wheel drive is selected, power is sent to all four wheels.
Finally, the Bronco Raptor is equipped with HOSS 4.0 suspension with Fox live valve 3.1 internal semi-active dampers, heavy duty skid plates and a revised front grille for better cooling.
What is it like to drive the Ford Bronco Raptor?
On the road, the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor feels surprisingly civilized and comfortable. When I first drove the car, I expected Jeep Wrangler-like features, as well as rattling plastic and a super-stiff ride. What amazed me, though, was how comfortable the Bronco Raptor felt in normal driving conditions and on the highway. It’s also fairly well insulated considering it’s a hardtop convertible and the roof panels can be removed.
The Bronco’s steering also feels nicely weighted, but its effort can be changed with the push of a button on the steering wheel. Near this button is one for the exhaust note – this can be turned up louder if you want to impose your off-road prowess on other road users.
I mostly left it in “Baja” mode, which is the loudest setting, because the Raptor made me feel rebellious and patriotic when I drove it. It made me want to tattoo an American flag on my face and drive over a bunch of junk cars for no reason. This is so awesome.
Even more awesome is the fire-breathing V6 engine under the hood. Anyone familiar with the Ford F-150 Raptors of the past will understand the power this thing packs. The raw power comes on gradually but builds quickly all the way to the redline, complemented by a well-raspy exhaust note.
The Fox suspension soaks up road bumps almost as well as any Lexus I’ve driven. But the stiff chassis doesn’t make it a full luxury experience.
Parking in tight situations is easier than you expect, thanks to the tight turning radius, front and rear sensors and a gang of cameras around the car. And when it’s time to get out, you can do it gracefully with side steps.
Admittedly, the whole package is a bit overkill for normal city driving. It’s a big SUV tank, but it feels well thought out and not too trophyy for the streets.
Is the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor worth $80,000?
Not really. Especially if you plan to buy it mainly for driving around town and only see dirt, snow or rough terrain once a year. In that case, a lower trim level like the Bronco Badlands will easily fit your needs and your wallet—considering it costs about $40,000 less.
However, if you live in the distant snowy mountains or spend your summer days playing in the sand dunes, the Bronco Raptor might be for you. Just don’t be surprised if other Bronco drivers wave enthusiastically at you. They don’t know that you lead the worst of them all.
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