2023 Ford Bronco Raptor Review: Addicting Power and Refinement
2023 Ford Bronco Raptor Review
- 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor – $76,580
- North American Utility of the Year
- Pros: Surprisingly well-behaved on pavement, unmatched off-roading capabilities, intuitive tech
- Cons: Loud interior at highway speeds, tight backseat, tall lift over height
- MotorBiscuit Score: 8.4 out of 10
If you want to kick things up a notch, then the 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor is a serious option to consider. It builds upon regular Bronco models with more power and suspension upgrades to dominate any environment.
It has plenty of off-roading modes to adjust to various terrains and tons of protective skid plates for high-speed adventures and climbing. Plus, The Bronco Raptor is surprisingly refined and easy for daily driving despite being quite loud at highway speeds.
The backseat is a little tight for families, and the tall entry point makes loading up a little inconvenient. The fuel economy isn’t great either. But the ability to adventure and connect with the wild makes up for the shortcomings.
2023 Bronco Raptor: What’s new?
The 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor is primarily a carryover model, but a new Azure Gray Metallic Tri-Coat exterior color option is now available. Plus, there are revised stereo options for folks who don’t care for the 10-speaker premium Bose audio system.
Only one trim level is available, and it’s well-equipped to go straight from the pavement to the wild. You get the wild EcoBoost V6 powertrain with a 10-speed automatic transmission, paddle shifters, a wider track for stability, and standard 37-inch tires.
You get everything in one solid package, including fender flares galore. There are no power or performance upgrades, so you get the best-equipped Bronco out of the gate. Plus, the customization options to make this beast your own are endless.
How does the 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor drive?
The 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor is equipped with the 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine that cranks out 418 hp and 440 hp to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.6 seconds. Depending on your driving mode, the acceleration may have a delay.
With Normal mode, you get off the line a little faster, but in Sport mode, there is a slight hesitation, like turbo lag, before the Bronco Raptor takes off. You can use the launch control system with the Baja mode, but that’s only with 4×4 engaged.
Aside from slight hesitation initially, the Bronco Raptor provides smooth transmission shifts with strong and confident brakes. The downshifts may be aggressive around turns, though.
The steering is responsive, and the Bronco corners well. It doesn’t feel as wide as it actually is and is surprisingly agile.
It’s easy to park and maneuver around tight obstacles with an impressive turning radius. The Trail Turn Assist feature brakes the inside rear tire for an ultra-sharp turning radius too. It feels like the Ford Branco Raptor can go anywhere.
Does the 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor have a good fuel economy?
The 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor is a thirsty beast. It gets an EPA-estimated 15 mpg in the city and up to 16 mpg on the highway. While off-roading, running errands in the city and taking road trips, we hovered around 14 to 16 mpg. We filled up twice during our week but spent at least eight hours road-tripping.
Can the Ford Bronco Raptor go off-roading?
Yes, the 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor is ready to dominate or race across the terrain. Its track is 8.6 inches wider than the regular Bronco for enhanced stability. This is noticeable while axle hopping or taking sharp curves because the Bronco Raptor is well-planted.
You get 13.1 inches of ground clearance, remote reservoir adaptive Fox suspension dampers, a 4.7 axle ratio, heavy-duty full steel bash plates, Ford Performance heavy-duty bumpers with tow hooks, and a two-speed transfer case.
The HOSS 4.0 High-Performance Off-Road Stability suspension system is paired with a low-mass independent front suspension. There is a Dana 44 axle independent suspension in the front and a Dana 50 heavy-duty solid axle in the rear with an electronic locker.
Ford added extra bracing to the frame to improve rigidity by 50 percent, and the 37-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain K02 tires have tons of grip.
There are 13 inches of suspension travel in the front and 14 in the rear. The Raptor Bronco has a 47.2-degree approach angle, a 30.8-degree break-over angle, and a 40.5-degree departure angle. Plus, you can ford water up to 37 inches deep.
While off-roading in the mountains, the Bronco Raptor felt totally in control and resistant to slip. It bolsters confidence to take things at higher speeds and isn’t short on power when climbing over rocks.
It’s like the traction system automatically predicts potential slips and slides to prevent them from happening. There are driving modes for Rock Crawl, Baja, Off-Road, Slippery, Tow/Haul, Sport, and Normal.
Off-Road and Slippery seemed to fit the muddy and damp conditions best in North Carolina. Trail control and Trail One Pedal Drive take some of the guesswork out by providing the optimal settings for enhanced traction.
You can access trail cameras and off-roading menus to see your pitch/row, temperature levels, how much power is being sent to each wheel, trailer settings, and drive mode.
Is the 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor comfortable?
Yes, the Ford Bronco is comfortable. The bucket seats in the front are massive, with vinyl inserts and tons of side bolstering to hold you in place. The rear seats are well-padded with a relaxed backrest angle, but it’s a little tight.
While the leather seats in the Bronco Wildtrack Sasquatch are a little plusher, the vinyl seats are ergonomic and energizing for long rides.
The wider track provides confidence and eliminates body roll. There is no sensation of feeling like you’re about to flip around tight bends. Also, the suspension absorbs impacts with ease for an impressively smooth performance.
One drawback to consider involves the noise. At speeds above 50 mpg, the interior gets pretty loud, even with the hardtop with sound-dampening materials. Your ears can get fatigued during road trips on the interstate.
Also, the climate control system is loud. The AC blows with a lot of force. It’s louder than the wind noise. You can hear the engine roar at times, but it’s welcomed. The deep-throaty exhaust notes are satisfying.
But you don’t have to always be loud. You can use the quiet mode to keep things at bay in the neighborhood. The loudest settings are in Baja mode.
Does the Ford Bronco Raptor have a nice interior?
The 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor interior includes a blend of luxurious, upscale materials and durable protective features. The plush fabric and soft-touch-covered items have a premium quality.
Textured plastics and pops of silver attract the eye. Plus, the red and white accent stitching breaks up large sections of black to stand out. The thick, rubberized all-weather flooring is very protective and easy to clean.
Visibility out of the front is pretty good, but the broad hood and thick C-pillars may get in the way. There is no rear visibility because the massive spare tire takes up tons of space. But the large side mirrors and camera views make things simple.
It is straightforward to remove the roof panels and doors in a matter of seconds, and the Raptor Bronco has a standard storage bag for them.
The interior has a convenient layout, with everything you need placed within reach. The entry-level height is pretty tall, but the standard running boards help. If the doors don’t open wide enough, they can be removed.
Does the Ford Bronco Raptor have good tech?
Yes, the 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor is advanced and easy to use. The 12.0-inch infotainment system and 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster are powered by Ford Sync 4 software. The system works incredibly fast with attractive graphics.
The menus are simple, so adjusting your settings and profiles is convenient. There are controls on the steering wheel that allow you to adjust off-roading modes, the exhaust level, and information for the driver.
But you can also access setting on the touchscreen and physical controls near the center console. The physical controls aren’t cluttered, and each button is clearly labeled.
However, you can’t see which drive mode the gear selector is on. That information is in the digital gauge cluster and gets blocked by the steering wheel at times.
The built-in navigation system has a strong connection, even in areas without cell phone service. Also, phones are easy to connect, and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are standard.
Plus, the wireless phone charging pad is in a secure place to prevent your phone from falling. There are USB ports in the front, rear, and on the dash near pre-wired auxiliary switches for your custom gear.
The camera views are advanced with a crisp resolution and backup grid lines. The Raptor Bronco has one of the more impressive 360-degree displays with enhanced visibility.
Ford Bronco Raptor towing/cargo space
The 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor can tow up to 4,500 lbs and can carry a payload of up to 1,100 lbs. Features like trailer sway control and blind-spot warning make the job easier, and the electronically assisted brakes bolster confidence.
You can access up to 52.27 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and up to 82.97 cubes in total. The rear cargo hold is massive, with a tall roofline. But you can’t reach the back seats to fold them flat from the back bumper.
Also, you have to slide the front seats forward to get the back seats to fold down all the way. The liftover height is pretty tall, which could make loading heavy or award items more of a chore.
Cargo space for personal items is limited. The center console is narrow, and the glove box is tight. The sides of the doors only have a small net, and there’s a shocking lack of cupholders. People in the back will have to hold their drinks.
The seatbacks have a Molle-style design for hanging equipment. So, you can attach your own bags and hang things up. Storage under the seats for toolboxes could be preferred.
Is the Ford Bronco Raptor safe?
While the 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor feels safe, in control, and resistant to flip, it hasn’t been officially tested. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) haven’t released results.
Standard safety features include:
- Hill start assist
- Hill descent control
- Trail turning assist
- Trailer sway dampening
- Forward collision warning
- Automatic emergency braking
- Lane Departure warning
- Lane-keeping assist
The safety features are intelligent and effective without being intrusive or overly sensitive. The reminders have a gentle beep and slight vibration. You can quickly turn them off if you find them to be annoying.
How reliable is the 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor?
The 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor is expected to be as reliable as the average new car. It doesn’t have any official reliability rankings, and the prediction is based on other models in the lineup. The regular Ford Bronco has an average reliable ranking and is expected to last 200,000 miles.
The Raptor Bronco is still pretty new, and it needs to be put through paces. But it will most likely retain the highest resale value because it’s the most potent and capable model you can buy.
MotorBiscuit awards the 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor with a score of 8.4 out of 10
The experts at MotorBiscuit have provided the 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor with a score of 8.4 out of 10. While the Raptor Bronco is an unmatched beast and highly capable of dominating or racing across any terrain, it has a pretty high price tag.
It’s wider than regular models, and this helps it feel more confident and stable. Plus, it’s surprisingly agile and easy for daily driving. But the road noise at highway speeds can cause fatigue, the backseat is tight, and storage is limited.
The Bronco has an impressive amount of cargo space for larger items and a stout towing capacity, but the high liftover height may present challenges.
Also, the tech is impressive and easy to use. It makes maneuvering and finding your preferred settings hassle-free. It’s hard to resist the 418 hp on tap, but you can use the quiet mode for a more relaxing experience.
We’ve been in the Ford Bronco Wildtrak Sasquatch and the Ford Bronco Raptor. Now we need a week with the Ford Bronco Everglades under our belts.