Three quarters of the way through its service with us, the Raider has once again found itself pulling family duty. And it is no wonder, with its midsize dimensions, room for five, and a bed out back, the Raider has been useful in everything from campouts with Dad to hauling things on the home front, and it has proven itself to be a reliable implement, if not a bit of a boring one to use.
Despite the exterior styling that still draws attention and questions from people at gas stations and parking lots, the Raider's dirty little secret is that once you get to know it, it reveals a bit of a bland personality. The Raider just goes about doing its job without much fanfare. For those who want a truck to do just what you have asked of it, the Raider is just the truck to do it. However, if you are looking for a truck to call your name in the middle of the night to go for a clandestine ride, you may want to look elsewhere.
The interior of the Raider, despite some dashboard noise over the rough stuff, is a comfortable place, and the crew cab, which may not look all that expansive, has proven comfortable for those who have occupied the rear bench.
The only warranty issues we have had so far are a set of fender flares that started oozing adhesive goo from the edges at 12,000 miles. This issue was warrantied by our dealer during our oil change and tire rotation, and we were soon on our way. And speaking of services, we love the 7,500-mile service interval of this truck, giving us more time to enjoy it and less time sitting in dealership customer service areas.
We still have those complaints about power, especially after one of our testers drove a Dodge Ram with the same drivetrain and thought the bigger truck felt quicker. Maybe we just have a lower-output engine, but it isn't helped by the fact that it is backed by a transmission that is slow to kick down. Another quibble that has shown up in the logbook is a lack of range, with our staff noting that it is difficult to go more than 300 miles on a tank of fuel.
As we head in to the last quarter of Raider service, we'll be anxious to see how the Raider finishes off its year of service with us and we'll be sure to let you know our complete take of living with a Raider for a year.
REPORT: 3 of 4
Previous report: Nov '06, Feb '07
Base price: $30,845
Price as tested: $33,654
Four-wheel-drive system:Electronic, part-time two-speed
Miles to date: 12,633
Miles since last report: 5,472
Average mpg (this report): 14.53
Test best tank (mpg): 18.10
Test worst tank (mpg): 11.74
15,000-mile service: Oil change, tire rotation
Problem areas: Fender flares; repaired under warranty
WHAT'S HOT, WHAT'S NOT
HOT: Looks still draw interest and questions, crew cab is big enough for average family, 7,500-mile service intervals
NOT: V-8 is missing some power, interior panels do not like wheeling, needs more fuel capacity
* "People think this truck looks cool."
* "Lazy tranny."
* "Has some interior rattles as the chassis quivers off-pavement."
* "Back-seat occupants tell me it is comfortable."
* "This truck needs more fuel capacity-I rarely make it over 300 miles."