The 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor is available in SuperCab and SuperCrew versions, both with a 4x4 drivetrain. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor is available in SuperCab and SuperCrew versions, both with a 4x4 drivetrain. (Manufacturer photo)

Drive the 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor and want for (almost) nothing

The perennial best-seller’s off-road model can rock crawl and highway cruise with equal finesse.

The famously best-selling Ford F-150 pickup has a few changes for 2019, including the Limited trim getting the 450-horsepower twin-turbo V6 previously available only on the Raptor model. Limited also gets a new dual exhaust system and an interior redesign. The Navy Pier interior color scheme changes to Camel Back two-tone, FordPass Connect becomes standard on the XLT trim, and the CD player is discontinued. XLT’s Sport Appearance Package gets new 5-inch angular step bars.

The over-the-top Raptor receives significant upgrades for 2019, and that’s the F-150 model featured in this review.

Raptor’s reason for living, above and beyond what already comes with other F-150 models, is to provide the mechanicals necessary for rugged off-road driving. For 2019, it gets a suspension upgrade in the form of all-new electronically controlled Live Valve technology developed alongside Fox Racing, the offroad-suspension manufacturer. Using sensors in the suspension and body, the system varies compression rates to maximize handling and bottom-out resistance as well as comfort.

To improve off-road performance during low-speed maneuvers, Raptor has a new feature called Trail Control, which automatically adjusts power and braking to all four wheels individually in order to tackle rugged terrain by itself. The driver just has to steer.

The 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor interior is replete with comfort, convenience and infotainment features. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor interior is replete with comfort, convenience and infotainment features. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor is available in SuperCab and SuperCrew versions, with 4×4 configuration only. I drove the SuperCrew, whose base price of $57,435 (including destination charge) was raised by $15,345 in optional items that would leave a Raptor owner wanting for nothing. The bold “Raptor” decal on the side of the bed was a bit too garish for me, but owners might consider it pride-worthy. In any case, the exterior graphics are a standalone option.

The tester’s Velocity Blue exterior is a new color for 2019, and there are two others: Ford Performance Blue and Agate Black. (Raptor is unchanged for 2020, but will have three more new colors: Iconic Silver, Lead Foot, and Rapid Red.)

Raptor’s high output twin-turbo V6 engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and the two of them deliver stunningly fast and smooth performance, especially for such a massive truck.

Fuel economy ratings are 15 mpg city, 18 mpg highway, and 16 mpg combined. Fuel tank capacity is 36 gallons.

The SuperCrew cab is as roomy as a portable tiny house, as comfortable as a luxury limo. It seems incongruous for a vehicle designed specifically for extreme off-road use, even off-road racing, to be so lavish, but it does emphasize Raptor’s ability to also provide excellent service as a highway cruiser.

The 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor is powered by a 450-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor is powered by a 450-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. (Manufacturer photo)

2019 FORD F-150 RAPTOR SUPERCREW

Base price, including destination charge: $57,435

Price as driven: $72,780

Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.

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