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2006 Mitsubishi Raider DuroCross - Review and Test Drive

Our Mitsu gives us another quarter of solid service

Sean P. HolmanPhotographer, WriterSteve VonSeggernPhotographer

Here in Southern California it is hard to find a vehicle that actually turns heads or causes people to ask questions, but that is exactly our situation with our long-term Mitsubishi Raider. While we are starting to see a few others on the road, we still haven't seen one quite like our DuroCross and we have had several people ask us about the truck at the gas pump.

What sets our Raider apart from the Dodge Dakota it shares a platform with is the Mitsu-infused styling. The bold fenders and very unpickup nose help to give a distinctive form to the Raider. If there is a complaint about styling, we would argue that the wheelwells and wheel-and-tire package look too small for the bold stance.

While the Raider is well suited for the highway with a comfortable interior and plush ride, we have logged several complaints about the softness of the front suspension that causes the truck to pogo over certain road surfaces, something that would be easily fixed by installing a quality set of dampers, helping to make the Raider feel as sporty as the rest of the Mitsubishi lineup.

Testers have also noted a lack of power from the 230hp 4.7L SOHC V-8, which doesn't feel as potent as some V-6s from the competition (the High Output version from the Dakota is not offered). While it does give the Raider a 6,500-pound tow rating, it is also fairly thirsty, returning less than 14 mpg during this report.

So far, the Raider, with its crew-cab configuration, has handled family duty, commuter duty, and hauling duty, performing it all to our expectations. We haven't had any problems to report and since we haven't quite gotten enough mileage for the first 7,500-mile service, we haven't visited the dealership yet. We'll let you know how our dealership experience is at our next report and let you know how our Raider is holding up.

REPORT: 2 of 4
Previous report: Nov '06
Base price: $30,845
Price as tested: $33,654
Four-wheel-drive system: Electronic, part-time two-speed

Miles to date: 7,222
Miles since last report: 3,785
Average mpg (this report): 13.73
Test best tank (mpg): 18.10
Test worst tank (mpg): 11.74

No maintenance this period
Problem areas: None

HOT: Styling that grabs attention, comfortable highway cruiser, Sirius satellite radio
NOT: Front suspension too soft, low ground clearance, engine could be stronger

* "Cabin has lots of storage nooks."
* "Big mirrors help to give the Raider good visibility."
* "Are there any front shocks on this truck."
* "Engine power is lackluster compared to some competing V-6s."
* "Crew cab is a nice size for my young family of four."