The Ford Raider, manufactured from 1991 to 1997, is a part-time 4WD 4x4 vehicle. The Raider was originally based on the Mazda Proceed Marvie Wagon, from Mazda’s B-Series. Due to Mazda’s partnership with Ford, the Wagon was manufactured as the Ford Raider in Australia. The vehicles are known for their endurance, comfort, ride, spaciousness, and interior and exterior styling. The Raiders were fairly popular but may be difficult to find on the pre-owned car market. In 1997, Ford phased the Raider out of production, as more advanced 4X4s with better off-roading capabilities took over the market share. However, the Raider remains an early example of Ford’s superior quality and luxury when it came to 4X4s.
The Raider is technically considered a wagon. This is because the unusual four-door vehicle featured a large rear boot with windows of its own, but no doors. The longer wheelbase gave the Raider a roomy interior, but it also limited performance on off-road tracks and in rough conditions. The large rear space could also hold two seats, turning the normally 5-seat vehicle into a 7-seater. Alternatively, the back could be used as a large boot, allowing drivers to store equipment or luggage for long journeys. Despite being based on the Mazda B-Series, the Ford Raider was always a Ford through and through, featuring superior build, great kit, and a powerful engine.
Over the years of its production, the Ford Raider stayed pretty much consistent with regards to styling and design. A small facelift did little to change the Raider, which was phased out by Ford in 1997, after failing to keep up with more modern designs. That being said, options and safety features were made standard as the 1990s progressed, so a Raider manufactured in 1997 will most likely be better equipped than one manufactured in 1991, though it will also likely be more expensive. Raiders can be found today for relatively low costs on the pre-owned car market. However, these cars are rare, as owners of Raiders don’t like to put them up for sale that often. Ford owners’ loyalty to their Raiders is a testament to the car’s enduring quality and comfort.
There was only ever one engine under the bonnet of the Raider. That was a 2.6L V4 machine with an output of 92kW at 4600rpm and 206Nm at 3500rpm. The Raider’s engine was petrol, and aspirated. The Raider came with a choice of either manual or automatic transmission, depending on the driver’s inclination. One unusual feature of the engine is that it was a 3-valve per cylinder unit. Each cylinder featured two inlet valves and one outlet valve. The overhead cam engine performs well in nearly every scenario. However, due to the large size of the car, the engine has been known to have issues when off-roading.
Two additional seats to make the car a 7-seater were an option for the Ford Raider. In addition, air-conditioning, power steering, and a special push button-activated 4WD system usually came standard on new Raiders. Central locking and a 4-speaker stereo with a radio cassette system were also standard features. A tilt and reach steering column and sunroof rounded out the Raider’s impressive kit. The transmission on the Raider was available as either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic, and the fuel tank can hold up to 56L of petrol. In addition, the Raider offered safety features such as a torsion bar and a front-towing bar.
What’s more, since the Raiders were phased out of production, many owners have added retro-fitted modifications to improve performance. These mods, such as CD players, larger wheels, and more powerful engines can turn these 4X4s into modern and high-performing off-road vehicles.
There was much competition in the 4X4 segment during the Raider’s time on offer. One significant rivalry came from the Daihatsu Rocky, which was available from 1984 all the way up through 2002. Around the same time as the Raider was available, the Rocky offered the option of either a 2.2L V4 with 67kW of power or a 2.8L turbo diesel engine with 75kW of power and 245Nm of torque. Concurrently, the ever-popular Toyota Land Cruiser featured a more powerful 4.5L V6 engine with an output of 158kW of power and 373Nm of torque. Despite this fact, the Raider proved a popular car during its heyday, and it continues to attract fans on the used car market.