2008 Mitsubishi Raider Review

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The Car Connection
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
September 8, 2008

If you're looking for value in a basic truck, you've found it in the 2008 Mitsubishi Raider.

TheCarConnection.com’s editors read the latest reviews on the 2008 Mitsubishi Raider to write this comprehensive review. Truck experts from TheCarConnection.com also drove several different Mitsubishi Raider models since the line was last redesigned in 2006, to offer you a definitive opinion on this pickup. In addition, this review looks at other vehicles in the same class as the 2008 Mitsubishi Raider to give you solid advice you can use.

Sometimes you just want a cup of coffee. A plain cup of coffee. Black. No cream. Mitsubishi seems to have had this feeling while creating its new lineup for the 2008 Raider pickup. You won't find any double-mocha-half-caf-with-extra-whipped-cream-type trucks in the 2008 Mitsubishi Raider catalog. Nope, this is where you look when you want a simple work truck that's backed by the best bumper-to-bumper new-vehicle limited warranty of any pickup: five years/60,000 miles.

The Raider model line is streamlined for 2008, and there is now only one trim level (the LS) available in three configurations: Extended Cab 2WD, Double Cab 2WD, and Double Cab 4WD. Like the Dodge Dakota, all Raider models are built on the same long 131.3-inch wheelbase. The five-passenger Extended Cab model has a 6.4-foot bed, and six-passenger Double Cab models come with a 5.3-foot bed.

The Raider Extended Cab LS 2WD is about as simple a truck as one can get, and it doesn't offer many options. For instance, you won't find side airbags, side curtain airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control on the 2008 Mitsubishi Raider's option list. While editors from TheCarConnection.com point out what we consider a shortcoming, the Raider performs well in government front and side crash tests.

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As far as equipment choices for your 2008 Mitsubishi Raider, the basics (A/C, MP3 compatible audio system) are standard, and a Power and Convenience Package adds keyless entry, a color-keyed front bumper, power side-view mirrors, carpeted floor mats, power front windows, power door locks, and a tilt steering column. If you want anything else, you'll add it yourself.

The only available engine is the Chrysler-sourced 3.7-liter SOHC V-6 engine that produces 210 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of peak torque. This engine is standard in a variety of Chrysler products, including the Dodge Dakota, Dodge Nitro, and Jeep Liberty, and provides adequate but leisurely acceleration. Don't expect Lexus-like refinement. A Getrag six-speed manual transmission is available in the two-wheel-drive Extended Cab Raider, the configuration we'd recommend. It's the lightest, simplest truck in the 2008 Mitsubishi Raider line, and that gearbox shifts particularly well. Plus, the first five gears help maximize the V-6's modest power. Double Cab Mitsubishi Raiders are only available with a four-speed automatic transmission, which, though convenient, dumbs down the driving experience.

Editors at TheCarConnection.com consider the Mitsubishi Raider rather awkward and self-conscious in terms of styling, almost as if it's trying too hard not to look like the Dodge Dakota on which it's based. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you may like the big fenders and the Mitsubishi/Groucho Marx nose.

On the road, the 2008 Mitsubishi Raider is a something of a retro mobile. The ride somewhat wallows, the steering is rather vague, and with only rear-wheel anti-lock-brakes, control in emergency stops isn't what it can be with more modern electronics.

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