Meet our resident petrolhead Rebaneilwe Semakane as she takes this beast for a spin.
At first glance, one would be really intimidated by the magnitude and size of this car. It will have you wondering if it takes up two lanes to turn! Luckily, its not that at all. Despite the size, I managed to pilot this car as perfectly as possible.
What is also lovely about this car is that it is built here in South Africa, the engine being made in Port Elizabeth and assembly in Pretoria, so it’s a proudly local product that has so much to offer and has such amazing quality. Under the hood, is the new bi-tubo 2.0 litre turbodiesel engine that has a 10-speed automatic gearbox. The gear changes are smooth and quick, I thought I would struggle with 10 gears, but it delivered quite nicely. There are paddle shifts behind the steering, but I did not use them much.
The Raptor has flared wheel arches and a bit of a higher ride height than the Ranger Wildtrak, making it look menacing and ready to take on any terrain. There are Raptor decals on the back end of the car, the sidestep, steering wheel and seats so you cannot miss it. The tyres are massive all-terrains which are 17-inches and I thought they would be bulky and uncomfortable on tar, but they adapt well, and the drive is surprisingly smooth (and quiet). I loved the sound system, crisp, decent and made driving a whole lot of fun.
The interior of the car is sporty and fun, the gear levers are correctly placed, and what is also lovely about this car is that in the inside, you are most definitely still in a bakkie. Its true to its nature and that is one thing I commend it on.
The engine works perfectly, it has 157kW/500nM and I also tested it in the new Everest, but in the Raptor, it is a little nimbler and more refined. These cars share the same setup but in each one, you get a different experience. Overall verdict of the car is that its amazing but not suited for the city. Its too large to be a daily but if you enjoy bundu-bashing or have a farm, this will work. One can consider the Wildtrak as a daily, its more city-appropriate and a lot less menacing.
Pricing of this car is at R803 300 base price, making it R111 100 more expensive than the regular Wildtrak. Ultimately, it boils down to preference, one should always buy what they are comfortable with and what they enjoy.
Pictures by Nhlanhla Dlamini