(Editor’s Note: Welcome to NAPA Knows New Cars with the 2018 Ford Raptor 4×4 SuperCrew. This is not your normal new car review. This series focuses more on the nuts & bolts of the vehicle that are not usually covered by other outlets. The intention is to inform, not endorse. Ultimately the decision to buy a vehicle should be based on an individual’s needs and situation.)
Modifying a truck is almost ubiquitous to truck ownership itself. Many owners buy a stock truck and change it to suit their needs. For off road needs, things like bigger tires, better suspension, and more power are pretty much the go-to upgrades. Having all those items already in place right from the showroom floor with a factory warranty is a bonus. Ford delivers such a package in the 2018 Ford Raptor. And while the Raptor may not be the truck everyone needs, for a certain group of buyers it will suit their needs.
The Raptor drives more like a classic muscle car than a pickup truck. While some may lament the loss of the 6.2L V8 a few years ago, the EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 delivery plenty of power along with a satisfying growl. There are six different drive modes available to handle a variety of terrain, with the most aggressive being the “Raptor” driving mode. When “Raptor” mode is engaged, shifts are held longer, throttle response is faster, and power delivery is explosive. The ten-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and does a good job finding the right gear without lugging the engine.
The off-road abilities of the Raptor will be found useful for certain buyers looking for a capable machine with the assurance of a warranty and the confidence of a well thought out modification package. While many buyers still prefer to build their own off-road machines, having a factory option does have an appeal (with some Raptors even finding their way into fleet use). Ground clearance is 11.5″ and with the ability to ford up to 32″ of water.
The dual front bucket seats and rear bench seat give plenty of room for up to five adults. The front bucket seats have added bolsters unique to the Raptor. The large back easily fits three adults, or even multiple child seats. Both front and rear leg room is plentiful. The center console is large with plenty of storage, as well as two cup holders. There is also a convenient well with two USB ports located in front of the shifter that is perfect for holding a cell phone. Of particular note for upfitters are the six auxiliary switches located in the overhead console. These switches are already wired with fuses and relays to make adding such things as a winch or a LED light bar a simple affair.
The supplied test vehicle was equipped with Ford’s new Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature. Using the tailgate mounted backup camera and a special target sticker affixed to the trailer tongue, the system is able to take over the steering wheel when backing a trailer. The driver must still work the gas and brakes, but the truck will handle the turns. Trailers must first be set up and calibrated to the system before it can be used, and up to 10 trailers can be saved in memory. Each trailer must have a special black & white sticker and a few simple measurements entered into the system. A dynamic calibration must then be completed by driving the truck & trailer forward for a short distance. We recommend setting up the system in a large empty parking lot.
With everything entered the Pro Trailer Backup Assist can now be used. The driver only needs to put the truck in reverse, remove their hands from the steering wheel, and use the dash mounted knob to control the trailer direction. The system handles the calculations needed to translate the control knob input into the right steering wheel rotations.
Due to the height of the vehicle a 6” drop ball mount may be necessary to help maintain a level trailer. Built-in 4-pin and 7-pin trailer wiring connectors are located beside the license plate on the rear bumper.
The engine bay is busy but not cramped. The added height of the Raptor package does make reaching some components a challenge, so a step stool may be helpful. The battery and air filter are easily accessible at the outside edges of the engine compartment. An engine cover hides most of the engine, but can be removed via several washer-headed bolts.
Access to the serpentine belt and belt tensioner is possible from the underside of the engine with the front skid plate removed. The complex intake piping located in front of the engine would otherwise need to be removed to access the engine’s front accessory drive.
Accessing the oil filter is a bit more complicated than usual. First an access plate in the front skid plate must be removed using a T-40 Torx driver. The oil filter can now be reached, but it is a one-hand operation due to the skid plate access hole size. The metal oil pan and oil drain plug can only be accessed by removing a small skid plate underneath the truck. Two bolts retain the skid plate. The oil filler cap and dipstick are located on the driver side of the engine, both accented with yellow for easy identification. The engine calls for six quarts of 5W-30 weight synthetic blend motor oil.
The 10-speed automatic transmission calls for fluid replacement every 150,000 miles. The transmission uses 13.1 quarts of MERCON® ULV Automatic Transmission Fluid XT-12-QULV or equivalent. The lack of a transmission dipstick means fluid levels cannot be easily checked. The front and rear differential call for fluid replacement every 150,000 miles with SAE 75W-85 Hypoid Gear Lube XY-75W85-QL or equivalent. The transfer case uses 1.5 quarts of MERCON® LV Automatic Transmission Fluid XT-10-QLVC or equivalent and should be changed every 150,000 miles.
2018 Ford Ford Raptor 4×4 SuperCrew Specifications:
- Engine Type: EcoBoost twin-turbo V6
- Engine Displacement: 3.5 liters
- Engine Horsepower: 450 hp
- Engine Torque: 510 lb-ft
- Transmission: Ten-speed automatic transmission 10R80
- Rear Axle Ratio:: 4.10:1
- 15 city / 18 hwy / 16 combined mpg
- Length: 231.9″
- Width: 96.8”
- Height: 78.5″
- Weight: 5,697 lbs.
- Standard Package: 8,000 lbs.
- 17” cast aluminum
- 17” forged aluminum
- LT315/70R17 All-Terrain
- Front: Disc
- Rear: Disc
- Head room: 40.8″ front / 40.4″ rear
- Leg room (max.) : 43.9″ front / 43.6″ rear
- Hip room: 62.5″ front / 64.7″ rear
- Shoulder room: 66.7″ front / 65.9″ rear
- Seating Capacity: 5
- 2018 Ford Raptor SuperCab 4×4 – $50,675
- 2018 Ford Raptor SuperCrew 4×4 – $53,100
Check out all the maintenance parts available on NAPA online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on owning a 2018 Ford Raptor 4×4 SuperCrew, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
With an automotive writing career spanning over two decades, Brian has a passion for sharing the automotive lifestyle. An avid DIYer he can usually be found working on one of his many project cars. His current collection includes a 1969 Olds Delta 88 convertible and a slant-6 powered 1975 Plymouth Duster.