2010 Ford F-150 Long Term Road Test - Wrap-Up

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Long Term Road Test

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2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor: Wrap-Up

October 10, 2011

The 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is one of the most unique production pickups to come along in years. It represented an all-new direction for the SVT group at Ford. More than just a powerful truck, it was designed to go fast over rough terrain in a way that would destroy most pickups.

From the first day we drove it, we wanted one — and that doesn't happen often. Subsequent test-drives only made us more enthusiastic and it wasn't long before we began plotting our purchase. The first batch of Raptors only offered a 5.4-liter V8, but when a larger 6.2-liter version was announced later we decided to wait for it.

The big 6.2 was rated at 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque, while the mogul-absorbing suspension setup was something previously unseen in a production truck. On top of all this, the Raptor is the meanest-looking rig on four wheels. It was the easiest purchase we'd made in years.

The First 7,500 Miles
A couple features of our new truck instantly stood out. Inside Line Editor Ed Hellwig proclaimed, "I hereby nominate the Raptor's front seats as some of the best in the business. Yes, a good ol' Ford pick'em-up has done what no Corvette of the last two decades has been able to muster."

Seat comfort wasn't all the Ford had going for it, however, as the ride quality was generally good as well. Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds wrote, "Any time you emphasize something extreme, like high-speed off-road prowess...you're going to lose some day-to-day 'normal' performance. The Raptor's ride is generally soft on smooth pavement. It deals gracefully with swells, dips and other low-frequency stuff. But hit a high-frequency crack or bump and there's a shudder, usually from the back. Sometimes the rear hops to one side a little as one of the big tires bounces off the pavement. This behavior isn't foreign to pickups, but it's more obvious here."

We put the Raptor to work in its first few months. Instrumented testing was first. Here the 6,000-pound truck accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds (with rollout) and completed the quarter-mile in 15.3 seconds at 91.4 mph. After the track it was over to the chassis dyno, which measured peak torque of 372 pound-feet at 4,700 rpm and max power of 361 hp at 5,750 rpm.

Some road trips were next. We meandered through the Sierras and continued up to Oregon. Upon its return home we tucked two motorcycles in the bed and trekked to Buttonwillow Raceway Park, breaking the 7,500-mile landmark en route. It was an uneventful few months for the Raptor, though, as it required nothing more than standard maintenance to keep going.

7,500-15,000 Miles
Just over 8,000 miles the service light illuminated and the Raptor was due for its first scheduled service. With no issues of note, the visit was quick and simple. Ford of Santa Monica replaced the synthetic oil, rotated the tires and performed the usual assortment of safety inspections for $87. Then we were back on the streets.

Suburbia taught us new lessons about the Raptor. Parking structures can be problematic. Features Editor Mike Magrath sighed, "The lower garage has a height limit of 6 feet, 6 inches. The Raptor is listed at 6 feet, 6 inches. Whatever, the upper garage has a clearance of 8 feet, 2 inches so that'll work. Except that it has a 5,000-pound weight rating. The Raptor weighs 6,080 pounds without passengers. D'oh!"

Photographer Scott Jacobs took the Raptor on an extended trip to Lake Tahoe and came back with nothing but praise for the truck, not to mention admiration from bystanders.

"I don't know how many conversations I had at gas pumps over the past 10 days. It ranged from dudes with cell phone cameras, to a guy in Truckee asking if this was the one with the 6.2 (he looked at it like a starry-eyed kid when I said yes) to a creepy voice from the back of an Accord wagon in Lost Hills. 'Is that the Raptor? Leave now before I take it from you, bro.'"

15,000-22,500 Miles
Engineering Editor Jason Kavanagh noticed the first hint of Raptor mortality during a drive to Central California. Kavanagh wrote, "The Raptor's transmission gets a bit grumpy when it's stone cold. When stepping off from a standstill or shifting from 2nd to 3rd, the revs wind up and the gear engages with an abrupt blam! The 1-2 upshift isn't nearly as violent in this circumstance. Once it warms up, it behaves as normal." We scheduled a dealer appointment for the 15,000-mile-old Raptor to give it a look.

Ford of Santa Monica had our truck for 17 days to repair the transmission. Originally the dealer said it would need to remove the pan to diagnose the problem. This work was not done. Instead, it determined a transmission software update was needed. Computer issues delayed the reflash a week, at which point Ford technical support instructed them to also replace the transmission main control valve body. Installation fell under warranty, as did fresh lube, gaskets and the reflash. While it was at the dealer, we also had them perform the next scheduled service for $87.

Just 4,000 miles later the satellite radio antenna failed. So we took the Raptor back to the dealer. We waited a day for the part to arrive. It was installed while we waited and covered under warranty.

22,500-30,000 Miles
Things were quiet once the transmission and radio issues were fixed. We braved the $100 fuel fill-up. We towed some stuff. We hauled some stuff. Routine maintenance at 23,000 miles rounded things out. Somewhere between the last service and test end the driver's seatbelt release began to stick and a clip on the plastic bed extender busted. But we did not address either prior to its sale.

Total Body Repair Costs: None
Total Routine Maintenance Costs: $397.54 (over 13 months)
Additional Maintenance Costs: None
Warranty Repairs: Replaced transmission main control valve body, lubed driveshaft slip yolk splines, replaced radio antenna
Non-Warranty Repairs: None
Scheduled Dealer Visits: 4
Unscheduled Dealer Visits: 1 for satellite radio antenna failure
Days Out of Service: 17 for diagnosis and repair of transmission hard-shift issue
Breakdowns Stranding Driver: None
Best Fuel Economy: 15.7 mpg
Worst Fuel Economy: 10.1 mpg
Average Fuel Economy: 12.7 mpg
Average Fuel Economy: 11.7 mpg (towing)
True Market Value at service end: $37,411 (private party)
What it sold for: $37,000
Depreciation: $2,992 (dollars)
Depreciation: 8% (% of original paid price)
Final Odometer Reading: 29,573 miles

Summing Up
Versatility was what set the Raptor apart from the rest of the pack. On the dirt, no other vehicle came close. The heavily modified suspension under the Raptor handled whoops, washboards and off-road obstacles with ease. Equally impressive was the way it handled pavement with the same suspension. The truck eats up miles on the highway with little of the vagueness we expected from a truck with 35-inch tires.

In our world this was a truck first and a Raptor second. We hauled and towed when we weren't kicking out dirt clods. Although it has a limited payload capacity of just 930 pounds, we never found a situation that proved too much for it. The Raptor was quite suitable for lightweight towing duty, and it hauled our cars and carried our motorcycles on a regular basis.

Our total cost to own the Raptor was far less than expected. We won't deny that premium fuel gets expensive for a truck averaging less than 13 mpg. But the overall cost for routine maintenance was about $31 per month for the first year of ownership. That wasn't too bad considering we paid dealership prices and used synthetic oil. Ford warranties paid to restore the transmission to normal operating condition and replace the radio antenna. And when it was time to sell we got $37,000. This equaled depreciation from our paid price of 8 percent, or just $2,992.

Numbers aside, this was a vehicle that many editors said they would consider buying for themselves. It's really that good. It has incredible power, off-the-charts off-road ability and still works as an everyday truck. The fact that it looks and sounds meaner than anything on the road is just an added bonus. If you can afford it, buy it. You won't be disappointed.

Edmunds purchased this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

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