2018 Ford F-150 Raptor

The Raptor’s combination of style, utility, and rewarding driving continue to persuade us that a $65,000 three-ton truck—there, we said it—might just be the answer to the one-vehicle-to-do-it-all dilemma. Buyer’s Guide senior editor Rich Ceppos’s notes perhaps say it best: “Brilliant combination of ride, handling, steering, powertrain muscle/refinement, off-road chops, and comfort. Remarkable!” And he didn’t mention cargo hauling, five-adult seating, and, well, flying, which our Raptor is known to do on occasion.

Also, speed bumps: We’ve discovered why Oxford Companies property management installed them at C/D World Headquarters. It’s likely the Raptor is the first long-term vehicle to surpass the former 55-mph national speed limit through the parking lot.

And although we’ve talked plenty about potholes in this space, it seems some editors are seeking them out under the pretense that in a Raptor/pothole encounter it’s the pothole that comes away worse for wear. So, yes, we continue to run things over with impunity, splash through puddles gracelessly, and perform juvenile acts without consequence. Then we take the kids to school.

Ice isn’t the Raptor’s friend, either. Despite being reasonably competent in most varieties of snow, the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires do this truck no favors on ice. And there are no real winter-tire options in this LT315/70R-17 size. More than one of us also noticed that with half-worn rear rubber the Raptor becomes a lot more interesting to drive in the rain, sometimes trying to lead with its rear fenders rather than its front bumper—even at modest throttle openings. Thus far the stability control has prevailed, but as behind-the-wheel surprises go, a crossed-up Raptor ranks among the most eye-opening.

WHAT WENT WRONG: With Michigan’s liquid-winter hell in full force the Raptor developed a short in its trailer wiring, which triggered alternating “Trailer Attached” and “Trailer Disconnected” notifications accompanied by an audible bong. The short happened only in the wettest conditions, but when it did it was an unstoppable death spiral of noise and on-dash warnings. The dealer was no help, noting that this was a “known issue” among F-150s. Their solution? Clean out the trailer-wiring plug and ignore the warnings until the next time it’s cleaned. We haven’t had a problem since warm, dry weather arrived. In June.

The same dealer investigated our truck’s proximity-entry problem, in which the driver’s door refuses to open on the first try. Though irregular, it was persistent. But no problem could be identified.

We’re likely to need another two tires before the Raptor hits 40,000 miles, but despite being a relatively heavy consumer of black, round rubber objects and fuel, the truck has been dead reliable.

WHERE WE WENT: The Raptor made regular trips to northern Michigan for ice fishing over the winter, during which it also performed all manner of sideways antics. But it continues, most frequently, to be the vehicle of choice for commuting in and around Ann Arbor.

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