Can you own a Ford F-150 Raptor in an urban environment?

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor (Sinclair Broadcast Group / Jill Ciminillo)

When I stepped out my back door and saw the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor in the alley, my first thought was: That thing is not fitting in my garage.

But then again, with a good turning radius and a back up camera, I was willing to give it the old college try. So I discovered without too much trouble, the Raptor does fit in my space. I did have to fold in my right side mirror, and I relied heavily on the backup camera to get me as close to the back wall as possible.

I hit the garage door opener, and I held my breath as the door inched toward the front bumper -- cleared it with an inch to spare.

With the first obstacle crossed, my next thought was: How am I going to drive this in the city for a week?

I imagined all the tight spaces, small lots and parallel parking spaces in my future. However, if you equip the Raptor correctly, it is not only easy to drive in an urban environment but also fun.

Plus, ironically, a lot of the features that make this great in rough-and-tumble, off-road situations, also make it accessible to the urban jungle.

Tight turns

The driveway in front of my garage is more of a patio, hemmed in by a fence and a brick wall. Wide-turning vehicles do not do well here. While I wouldn't quite say it turns on a dime, the Raptor does have the right proportions and a tight enough turning radius that I did not need to do a 20-point turn to back into the garage space.

With a hard right and a hard left, I was good to go.

This is great news if you’re pulling into a difficult parking space or wending your way on a technical off-road trail. But as always, with a long tail end, you have to watch the rear quarter of the vehicle until you clear the turn.

What potholes?

For 2017, the Raptor has extended suspension height and high-performance springs. You’re looking at upgraded FOX shocks with 3-inch diameter shock canisters and nine-stage bypass damping. It has increased ride height and along with redesigned front and rear bumper overhangs, the 2017 Raptor has a 30-degree front approach angle, 22-degree breakover angle and 23-degree departure angle.

What this means in an urban environment is that potholes and speed bumps barely register, and overall ride comfort is very smooth.

Eyes in the back of my head

The Raptor comes standard with a very nice rear backup camera that signals proximity to an obstacle as well as shows the trajectory of the truck as you turn your wheel while backing up. If you have wider open spaces, this base camera is sufficient.

However, if you ever plan to drive in a multi-tiered parking garage or other tight urban spaces, you might want to upgrade to the 360-view camera, which is included in the 802A equipment group ($9,345). This camera system will give you a top-down view of the vehicle with a split window display, which enables you to maneuver the tightest of spaces without an exterior spotter.

While this is a pricey option, it includes a few other safety features that will make your urban travels easier: blind-spot monitoring, passive entry with a push-button start, pro trailer backup assist and voice-activated navigation.

Another option you might consider is the Technology Package ($1,950), which adds lane keep assist, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation.

Mo’ power

The Raptor is equipped with a high-output 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine that delivers 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. Yee-haw! This is an amazing amount of power for the Raptor whether you’re off-the-line at a red light or trying to merge with traffic.

This engine is all-new and offers 39 more horsepower and 76 more pound-feet of torque over the V-8 in the previous generation Raptor.

Fuel economy also increases by 23 percent, and the 2017 Raptor averages 16 mpg in combined driving – versus 13 mpg in the previous generation.

One word of caution for city drivers: Be sure to manually turn off the auto stop/start feature when you hit the city limits – especially if you have a lot of stop signs or stop-and-go traffic in your future. This features shuts off the engine at a complete stop, and there is a considerable delay between when the engine restarts and when you can actually move the vehicle.

Bottom line

All that being said, the 2017 Raptor is a long and large vehicle. Sure, it’s 500 pounds lighter than the previous generation, but it’s 220 inches long and 86.3 inches wide – which means it might not fit in some urban spaces.

Available adjustable foot pedals and heated seats make this a comfortable cruiser for a multitude of drivers, and even though the Raptor has a large profile, it’s remarkably maneuverable.

While it’s easier to drive in a city than you may think, you may have to plan ahead for multi-tiered garages – and be sure to use that 360 camera!

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