With its Baja-style wide-track suspension, massive tires, pumped-up body and incredible off-road prowess, the Ford Ranger Raptor has set a new benchmark for how premium dual-cab 4x4s are expected to look and perform. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Ford should be blushing given how the competition tried to respond.
The design and appearance of the latest Rogue is a good example, because while it doesn’t claim the Raptor’s extreme off-road performance, it mimics Ford’s wide stance and chassis refinements.
This centers around a 20mm increase in ground clearance for improved on/off/off-road approach angles and a significant 140mm increase in front and rear track. At the front, this is achieved by lengthened wishbones, a wider anti-roll bar and revised shock absorber angles, while the rear features a wider axle with shocks further outboard. The rear axle also features an anti-roll bar – a first for the HiLux – along with ventilated disc brakes that replace the usual drum brakes.
The wider track and anti-roll bars reduce weight transfer during cornering, resulting in less body roll, improved steering feel and more stability and composure on the road. The updated Rogue is easily recognizable by the wider fenders and wheel arch extensions that hide the increased track.
The well appointed interior meets a high standard of finish, from the leather trim with contrast stitching on the dashboard, door trims, seats and steering wheel to the metallic look of the dashboard and door inserts.
Entry assist handles are mounted on the A and B pillars, and there’s plenty of room for tall drivers and front passengers. However, tall occupants in the outermost rear seat positions will experience limited headroom and knee room, while those seated in the center rear position will also compete for shoulder room. Three adults in the back seat of the HiLux was always cramped, and the wider suspension doesn’t change that.