The fact that the Raider is essentially a reskinned Dodge Dakota should be considered a good thing. Especially when you consider that two-wheel drive versions of both vehicles have class leading fuel economy in the standard size pickup truck segment. While (love it or hate it) the outer styling is certainly all Mitsubishi, by partnering up with Dodge to produce its pickup, the rarely-seen Raider has many advantages over the competition.
Rebadging an existing model under a different name for a parallel division (or partnerships like with Chrysler) is a common procedure and something that Mitsubishi has done with the Raider since 2006. One advantage for Mitsubishi by teaming up with Dodge is that almost everyone would agree that the Detroit automaker knows how to build trucks. The Raider is available in two body styles: a 4 door crew cab or as an extended cab that has the now-obligatory “suicide” style reverse-opening rear doors and extend cargo bed. All Raiders use a 3.7 liter V6 engine that produces 210 horsepower and either a six-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic. In addition to the efficient rear-driven 2WD version, the Raider is also available with four-wheel drive. While inside the Raider is spacious though perhaps bland, it does suffer by comparison to the leading Japanese truck makers in terms of fit and finish. This is disappointing since that fact doesn’t seem to be the case with any of the cars from Mitsubishi. The other downside is that the Raider does not come available with 4 wheel ABS or side curtain airbags (available in previous years). In road tests however, the Raider and especially the shift-on-the-fly 4WD system works smoothly and is stable during handling, though the V6 engine is a bit underwhelming in terms of power. Still, for those that find its unique styling appealing and only need a pickup for occassional light duty, the Raider is capable option. Besides the advantages to be had with regards to fuel efficiency, because the Raider tends to sell (for whatever reason) poorly, potential buyers who like the Dodge Dakota can find many dealers more than willing to practically give away the mostly-same Raider at a great price.