Car (South Africa)


Driver: Peet Mocke Petridish_mooks


18 673 km 11,75 L/100 km

I would never admit to being a rugged bakkie fan, but having had the pleasure of driving the 2,0 Bi-turbo Double Cab 4x4 Raptor over the festive season, it’s easy to see why this high-performanc­e version of the Ford Ranger ranks among the most popular pick-up trucks on our market. As one of the largest, most aggressive­ly styled bakkies currently plying South African roads, it’s quite the head-turning unit, but there is more to that Raptor than just its jacked-up bodywork and off-road bragging rights.

I love to venture out of Cape Town with my family during the busy holiday season. Bredasdorp is a family favourite. This area is pure bakkie country, and for good reason, too. There is just so much you can do if you have a tough vehicle. For a 2,0 litre bakkie of

its size, I was blown away by the power and handling on the open road. It offers a smooth, quiet ride and all the power when you need it, thanks to the wellconsid­ered gearing and smooth shift action of the 10-speed automatic transmissi­on.

Our two furry companions are prone to carsicknes­s, but the Raptor’s composed road manners meant they enjoyed an uninterrup­ted two-hour nap en route to the Overberg town.

The interior of the Special Edition is well appointed and sporty accents adorn the cabin trim and well-sculpted sports seats at the front. Ford’s Sync infotainme­nt system does a great job of toggling between smartphone-enabled navigation and flipping through your roadtrip playlists on Spotify.

An added advantage is that the Ranger’s cabin is one of the largest on offer in this segment, providing plenty of space for kids, pets and road-trip-related chattels.

Our first stop was the Agulhas Mountain Bike Race. Even with all our holiday parapherna­lia and luggage, three mountain bikes comfortabl­y fit into the amply proportion­ed load bed. Next, we ventured on to the dunes of Brandfonte­in, where I took my dad for his first 4x4 experience. Admittedly, I am no off-road expert, but the Raptor’s driving modes made me feel like a pro on some serious dunes.

It boasts a dedicated sand mode and 4 Low – not to mention the chunky footwear and Fox shock absorbers – which made it an absolute breeze. Given the speeds the set-up enables on rougher terrain, I’m not sure my dad will ever join me for off-roading again, but he had a pretty broad smile when we were cresting the dunes.

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