The inaugural running of the Chasing Cars Off-Roader of the Year award (OFFROTY) has seen the Ford Ranger Raptor handed the crown of Australia’s best new 4WD of 2023.
Chasing Cars is one of Australia’s largest automotive content platforms, known for its in-depth program of annual vehicle megatests. Chasing Cars is powered by Budget Direct.
Handing down the OFFROTY award this week represents the beginning of Car of the Year (COTY) season for Chasing Cars. Next to be awarded will be the overall winner, ahead of the Gold Star list rounding up the best new vehicles of 2023.
Eligible for consideration in the Chasing Cars OFFROTY and COTY awards were vehicles launched between March 2022 and April 2023.
Utilising its Australian-developed T6.2 platform to brilliant effect, the Ford Ranger Raptor performed well against six OFFROTY criteria: fitness for purpose, engineering, technology, packaging, efficiency and value, and holistic advancement of the off-roading segment.
The petrol V6-powered Ranger Raptor saw off close competition from an internal rival in the Ford Everest Sport, as well as the Volkswagen Amarok Panamericana, the Range Rover Sport, and the flagship Range Rover model.
It was the Ranger Raptor’s combination of high performance, superb off-roading prowess, overall refinement, intuitive integration of technology and fun factor – all at a sub-$100,000 price point – that won the Chasing Cars judges over.
Strong performances were put in by each of the contenders, but the Ranger Raptor emerged as the sweet spot scoring consistently across the criteria.
Testing was conducted on challenging trails in the Australian Capital Territory in winter 2023, in conditions that included driving rain and clear but bitterly cold, sub-zero degree days.
The Ford Ranger Raptor will enjoy its Chasing Cars Off-Roader of the Year award into 2024, and the second running of the award will be conducted next year.
Chasing Cars will announce its overall Car of the Year next week.
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