Full 2007 Mitsubishi Raider Review
What's New for 2007
The Mitsubishi Raider lineup is revised for 2007, resulting in four Double Cab (crew cab) versions and one extended-cab model. The XLS trim has been dropped and will be replaced by the new SE later in the model year. Initially, only V6 power will be available, as last year's 4.7-liter V8 will only be offered in the upcoming SE trim level.
A fraternal twin of the Dodge Dakota, the 2007 Mitsubishi Raider shares that midsize truck's platform but gets its own personality by way of its unique styling that's all Mitsu. Aggressively flared fenders give the Raider a family tie-in to the Endeavor SUV, while a few cabin details (such as round versus squarish air vents on the dash) give some minor distinction inside. One more practical difference between the two trucks is that the Mitsubishi has a considerably longer warranty: a five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty versus the Dakota's three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty.
A fully boxed steel frame contributes to the Raider's impressive towing capacity (up to 6,500 pounds with the V8) while a coil-over suspension and rack-and-pinion steering give this pickup truck a more carlike demeanor in terms of ride and handling. Initially, all 2007 Raiders will be powered by a 3.7-liter, 210-horsepower V6. The 4.7-liter, 235-hp V8 that was offered last year returns only when the new SE Double Cab debuts later in the model year. Although that 4.7 provides solid performance and towing capacity, it's still outclassed by the V6s offered in the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier that offer similar performance in a more refined manner. The high-output version of the 4.7 that's available in the Dakota is not available in the Raider, which is unfortunate, as that engine might've given the Mitsu a leg up on its rivals.
Other downsides to the Raider include the use of low-grade plastic cabin trim (a flaw that other trucks, such as the Frontier and Chevy Colorado, exhibit), the lack of a long-bed option and a rather sparse options list when compared to its Dodge twin. Additionally, the Raider is not as refined as class leaders like the Frontier or Tacoma. But overall, the 2007 Mitsubishi Raider is a solid midsize pickup truck that's easy to drive on a daily basis. If you like the Dakota's package but want a longer warranty, the Raider is worth considering.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Mitsubishi Raider midsize pickup truck comes in two body styles (extended cab and "Double Cab" crew cab) and three trim levels (LS, Durocross and SE). The extended cab has a pair of reverse-opening rear doors and a 6-foot-6-inch bed, while the Double Cab has four full-size doors and a 5-foot-4-inch bed. LS extended cabs come with a front bench seat, air-conditioning, a CD player, 16-inch tires and tinted glass. LS Double Cabs add foglights, power accessories, a tilt steering wheel, keyless entry, cruise control and satellite radio. The DuroCross 2WD models add 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, heavy-duty cooling, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power rear windows, heated mirrors and bucket seats. The DuroCross 4WD versions get all-terrain tires, a raised ride height, firmer shocks, skid plates and a limited-slip differential. The range-topping SE (which debuts later in the model year) adds the V8 engine, 17-inch chrome wheels, an upgraded sound system, leather upholstery, a power driver seat and seat heaters.
Options are mostly grouped into packages. The LS Appearance Package provides a sliding rear window and alloy wheels, while the "Xtra" Value Package adds a bed liner, side rails and mud guards. A convenience package for the extended-cab LS essentially adds the LS Double Cab features to that truck.
Powertrains and Performance
Standard on all Raider models is a 3.7-liter V6 that makes 210 hp and 235 lb-ft of torque. Later in the model year, the 4.7-liter V8 (235 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque) returns as standard on the new SE trim and optional on the LS. The V6 is paired with either a six-speed manual or a four-speed automatic, while the V8 is available with the manual or a five-speed automatic. The LS and DuroCross offer the usual 2WD and part-time 4WD configurations, while the SE can be equipped with 2WD or a full-time 4WD system. With the V8, maximum towing capacity is 6,500 pounds.
Rear-wheel ABS is standard; four-wheel ABS is available on the SE only. Full-length side curtain airbags are also available, but again only on the SE. In NHTSA frontal-impact crash tests, the extended-cab version of the Raider's twin, the Dakota, earned a perfect five stars for driver protection and four stars for front-passenger protection; the crew-cab Dakota earned five stars for both. In side-impact testing, the extended cab also earned five stars for front occupant protection. The Dakota also scored an "Acceptable" rating (second best) in IIHS frontal-offset crash testing.
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside, the driving position feels more carlike than you'd expect, with simple, easy-to-reach controls. Aluminum trim and white-faced gauges give the cabin some style, but materials quality is unimpressive next to the refined Toyota Tacoma. Cabins are spacious, but the Double Cab is a must if you're carrying four adults, and it's a versatile cargo carrier as well, as its rear seats flip up to reveal built-in storage trays.
The 2007 Mitsubishi Raider is quiet inside at any speed, with impressive isolation from wind and road noise. The V8 provides brisk response and allows a 6,500-pound towing capacity. The chassis feels very stable, and while the ride is taut, it soaks up ruts and bumps with ease. Handling is excellent on- or off-road, and the truck's shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system offers plenty of traction on rough terrain.