The impending demise of the Mitsubishi Raider likely saddens no one. This ill-received pickup truck from Mitsubishi is little more than a Dodge Dakota with new badges and a bit of new style. As a compact pickup truck, the Raider competes with vehicles such as the Ford Ranger, the Toyota Tacoma, the Honda Ridgeline and the Nissan Frontier. As Mitsubishi's latest foray into the pickup truck market, the Raider has not received pleasant responses from consumers and, as such, is slated to be discontinued.
The 2009 Mitsubishi Raider is available with a single engine and two transmission options, a 3.7-liter V6 engine producing 210 hp, mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual transmission. The single trim available is the LS trim, though a 4-door, extended cab and a 4-door Double Cab model are available. Double Cab configuration is available only with an automatic transmission, while the 4-door extended cab model is available only with rear-wheel drive, not with 4-wheel drive. Maximum towing capacity for all Raider models is 4150 lbs.
2009 Mitsubishi Raider Performance
Sadly, the Mitsubishi Raider lacks the power required to actually use the Raider as a work truck. The small V6 engine struggles to accelerate during highway passing, is too weak for heavy payloads and the limited towing capacity reduces the usefulness of this truck even further. However, as a daily commute vehicle, the Raider shows potential, though that somewhat defeats the purpose of owning a truck in the first place.
For fuel economy, the Raider comes in decent within its class. It averages about 20 mpg in a mixture of driving types, giving you a bit of fuel savings. One of the most redeeming aspects of the Raider is the ride quality offered by it. You will find that it is firm and smooth over any type of surface, which certainly sets it apart from other options within the class.
Steering is another highlight of the Raider, providing you with plenty of "road feel" and very little sloppiness. The vehicle does experience some body lean during turns, but it is not tremendous. Yet another area in which the Raider comes through is that of interior quietness. While other trucks suffer from road, engine and wind noise, the interior of the Raider is nice and quiet. Wind noise is noticeable only at highway speeds, while engine noise is pleasant. Finally, the brakes are a bit less than desirable. If possible, opt to purchase the 4-wheel ABS system (it's not standard).
2009 Mitsubishi Raider Interior
The interior of the Raider suffers from subpar materials and a poor fit. Cheap, hard plastic dominates the cabin, with few padded surfaces and no feel of "quality." The controls are placed logically and all gauges are easy to read; however, some controls lack the feel of quality, feeling light and ineffective.
The front seats of the Raider offer plenty of legroom and headroom, as well as ample foot space. The seats are supportive enough for long rides, though the bench seat configuration may not be everyone's idea of comfort. The rear seats of the truck should only be used by children; adults will feel more than a bit pinched if forced to sit in the rear. In fact, it may be best to relegate the rear area to cargo only, since three passengers can squeeze into the front of the truck.
Of course, there is plenty of cargo space in the Raider, especially if you take into account the rear of the cabin. The truck's bed is ample for most light loads, while you will also find plenty of storage in the cabin. The center console, door pockets and glove box add convenience and the folding rear seats increase cargo space, as well.
2009 Mitsubishi Raider Safety Features
The 2009 Mitsubishi Raider seems a bit limited in the scope of its standard safety features. You will find a tire pressure monitor, dual front airbags and rear antilock brakes standard. Additional options include 4-wheel antilock brakes, an antitheft system and fog lights.
The Mitsubishi Raider did not receive an enthusiastic reception when it debuted and the truck's lack of benefits has continued to drag down sales. While the truck offers plenty of handling capabilities and an excellent ride, the lack of power makes it less than ideal for anything but a daily driver on a basic commute. If you want a truck for light duty, the Raider is a good choice. However, for those in need of a workhorse, it may be better to look elsewhere.