Our Trail Time With The Raider Comes To A Head
It is hard for us to believe it has been a year and our Raider has come and gone already, mostly because it went about its job without drawing much attention to itself. Over the course of a year we put 26,282 miles on our Raider, and it never let us down once. Even maintenance was easy with 7,500-mile service intervals. Our Raider saw mostly commuter and family duty, taking our staff members from the trail to the Home Depot.
Since our last report, we put an amazing 13,714 miles on our Raider, going to places such as Moab, Las Vegas, and Anza-Borrego. We appreciated the off-road equipment provided as part of the DuroCross package and the Sirius satellite radio was great for cross-country travel.
Throughout the test, a few common complaints surfaced, such as a V-8 engine that was a bit on the thirsty side, yet seemingly outpowered by competitor V-6s. We also wish the range was higher than the 300 miles we consistently saw per tank. Testers also repeatedly questioned the softness of the front suspension, even leading one staffer to have the "blown" shocks inspected under warranty, only to find they were operating normally. There were also a few complaints in the logbook that centered around interior noise while on the trail.
Complaints aside, the Raider provided a comfortable interior for passengers, with enough space for average-sized adults and a good complement of cubby holes for stashing stuff. Even the controversial styling grew on us during the year, and people never ceased to ask questions at the gas pumps or in parking lots.
While lacking in ground clearance, we did find the Raider was a competent wheeler for finding remote camping spots or running a favorite trail, and overall the Raider impressed us with comfortable road manners, big-truck capability in a midsize package, and good reliability.
If you are looking for a midsize truck with V-8 power and Japanese styling, there is only one truck on the market that fits the bill, and we would be happy to recommend the Raider for your garage.
Report: 4 of 4
Previous report: Nov. '06, Feb. '07, June '07
Base price: $30,845
Price as tested: $33,654
Four-wheel-drive system: Electronic, part-time two-speed
Miles to date: 26,282
Miles since last report: 13,714
Average mpg (this report): 14.86
Test best tank (mpg): 18.10
Test worst tank (mpg): 11.74
18,872 miles-Oil Change,tire rotation
26,240 miles-Oil Change
Problem Areas: ABS Module (recall), Loose bolt on exhaust manifold (warranty), Fender Flare Adhesive (warranty)
What's Hot,What's Not
HOT: Good reliability, perfect size, good cabin space, DuroCross package, comfortable highway manners
NOT: So-so fuel economy, weak power for a V-8, low ground clearance, soft front suspension
* "The Raider exhibits good high-speed stability."
* "A/C is not cold enough for crossing the desert."
* "People love the color of our Raider."
* "Raider exhibits a fair amount of understeer, probably due in part to the large front sway bar."
* "Low fuel light doesn't give you much warning before empty."
* "The Raider is like a faithful appliance."