Few will be crying when the last Mitsubishi Raider pickup rolls of the line sometime in 2010. A half-hearted beast from the very start, slow sales of she snout-nosed, restyled Dodge Dakota "mid-size" pickup first killed its only decent engine, an optional Chrysler V-8, in 2008. Next to go was optional four-wheel drive, struck from the options sheet in 2009.
All that remains is an emasculated, steel-wheeled beast on a full frame motivated lackadaisically by the 3.7-liter V-6 that Mopar truck guys despise for replacing the stalwart 4.0-liter Jeep inline six. Surely Mitsubishi, who once proudly sold rugged Monteros and MightyMaxx pickups to its off-road faithful, can do better for the U.S. market than a weak-kneed re-badge. When Mitsubishi's manufacturing contract with Chrysler expires in mid-2010, the Raider will quietly go away, and likely few will notice.
In 2008, a year that pretty much kicked pickup and SUV sales in the teeth, the Mitsubishi Raider had the unfortunate honor of a nastier sales drop than any other pickup. Just 2,935 Raiders left dealerships in '08 according to Mitsubishi; that number marks a 64.5 percent decline from Raider sales in '07.--Colin Mathews