Used 2006 Mitsubishi Raider Extended Cab
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2006 Mitsubishi Raider is a capable truck thanks to its surefooted handling, two powerful engine choices, comfortable seats and impressive towing capacity. However, you'd be wise to check out the competition before making a decision.
The Raider is Mitsubishi's first V8-powered pickup. A corporate twin of the Dodge Dakota, the truck reflects Mitsubishi's effort to maximize a business relationship in order to fill a product gap in its lineup. The Raider and Dakota are built side-by-side at DaimlerChrysler's truck plant in Warren, Michigan. Although the Raider's underpinnings are Dodge-derived, its skin is pure Mitsubishi. Flared fenders and bedsides are aggressive, and a thin upper grille and thick lower bumper give the Raider an industrial snarl. Mitsubishi is also trying to distinguish its truck from the preceding version by offering a best-in-class 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty; the Dakota offers a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty.
The Mitsubishi Raider rides on a fully boxed steel frame with a coil-over independent front suspension and rack and pinion steering that gives the pickup a nimble, carlike feel. The standard engine is a 210-hp, 3.7-liter V6, while a 4.7-liter V8 is optional on all Raiders and standard in the top-of-the-line XLS model. With 230 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque on tap, the V8 provides solid acceleration and towing capability. Missing from the lineup is the Dakota's 250-hp high-output version of the 4.7-liter. That's a tad unfortunate for Mitsubishi, since we've found that in real-world usage the 230-horse V8 is actually outclassed by the big V6s offered in the Tacoma and Frontier.
Inside, the Mitsubishi truck has spacious dimensions, and its rear seats flip up to reveal built-in storage trays for added convenience. The interior was designed for comfort, and options like heated cloth or leather seats, steering wheel audio controls, satellite radio and Bluetooth wireless connectivity make riding in the Raider a thoroughly civilized experience. Among the Raider's few disadvantages are its low-grade interior plastics, the lack of a long-bed option for buyers with greater hauling needs, and its shorter options list compared to its cousin. Additionally, it's not as refined as the Tacoma, nor does it have as many utility features as the Frontier. But overall, the 2006 Mitsubishi Raider is a solid midsize 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.
Trim levels & features
The midsize Mitsubishi Raider comes in two body styles. The extended cab has rear-opening access doors and a 6-foot-6 bed, while the more spacious crew cab (called Double Cab) has four full-size doors and a 5-foot-4 bed. There are three trim levels: LS, DuroCross and XLS. LS extended cabs come with the basics, including a front bench seat, air conditioning, a CD player and tinted glass; LS Double Cabs add power windows and locks, keyless entry and cruise control (optional on the extended cab). Midlevel DuroCross models get 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, heavy-duty cooling, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power everything, heated mirrors and bucket seats; 4WD versions get all-terrain tires, a raised ride height, firmer shocks, skid plates and a limited-slip differential. Add a V8 to your DuroCross and you'll also get a power driver seat and Bluetooth. Available as Double Cabs only, top-end XLS models provide 17-inch chrome wheels, an Alpine sound system, satellite radio, leather upholstery and seat heaters.
Performance & mpg
Two engines are available on the Mitsubishi Raider: a 3.7-liter V6 that makes 210 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque and a 4.7-liter V8 that produces 230 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. The V6 takes 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 XLS can be equipped with 2WD or a full-time 4WD system. Towing capacity is 6,500 pounds.
Rear-wheel ABS is standard on the Mitsubishi Raider; four-wheel ABS is optional on the XLS only. Front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are also available, but again only on the XLS. In NHTSA frontal-impact crash tests, the extended-cab version of the Raider's twin earned a perfect five stars for driver protection and four stars for front-passenger protection; the crew-cab earned five stars for both. In side-impact testing, the extended cab also earned five stars, and both the extended- and crew-cab versions earned a four-star rollover rating. The Dakota scored an "Acceptable" rating (second best) in IIHS frontal-offset crash testing.
The 2006 Mitsubishi Raider is quiet inside at any speed, with ample insulation from wind and road noise. The exhaust emits a hint of a grumble, which turns into a throaty roar when you stomp on the go-pedal in V8-equipped Raiders. 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.
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 in the Mitsubishi truck is unimpressive next to the refined Tacoma. Cabins are spacious, but the Double Cab is a must if you're carrying four adults.
Features & Specs
More About This Model
There's a fine line between quoting and plagiarism. Quoting means you're borrowing the best parts of a story and giving credit to the author. Plagiarism is bold-faced copying. One is good, the other gets you fired. With that in mind, let's talk about the 2006 Mitsubishi Raider pickup.
While the Raider is Mitsubishi's first V8-powered pickup, it's based on the same platform as the new-for-2005 Dodge Dakota. In fact, the two trucks are built side-by-side at DaimlerChrysler's Truck Plant in Warren, Michigan.
The Raider isn't plagiarizing the Dakota; Mitsubishi is simply utilizing a business relationship to offer its own spin on a popular new product. We're going to quote — not plagiarize — our recent road test of the Dakota in an effort to highlight similarities and differences between the two trucks.
Like the Dakota, the Raider rides on a fully boxed steel frame with hydroformed rail tips that provide added protection in front-impact collisions. Coil-over independent front suspension is standard on two- and four-wheel-drive models, and rack and pinion steering gives the pickup a nimble, carlike feel.
The Raider is offered in three trim levels: LS, DuroCross and XLS. Standard brakes on the LS and Durocross are 12.3-inch front discs gripped by dual-piston calipers, and rear ABS-equipped drums. The XLS also gets the disc/drum setup but four-wheel ABS is optional on that model.
Powertrains have also been borrowed from the DaimlerChrysler line. The standard engine is the same 3.7-liter V6 found in the Dakota. The motor runs on regular-grade gasoline and is rated at 210 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque. Available transmissions include a standard Getrag close-ratio six-speed manual and an optional four-speed automatic.
Of more interest is the available 4.7-liter V8, which is optional on all Raiders and standard in the top-of-the-line XLS model. With 230 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque on tap, it does a much better job motivating the Raider. All V8-powered pickups get a five-speed automatic.
Missing from the lineup is the Dakota's optional 250-hp 4.7 HO. That's unfortunate for Mitsubishi, since the V6 in the Nissan Frontier makes 265 hp and the Toyota Tacoma V6 is rated at 245 hp. Both Japanese competitors bested the Dakota in a recent midsize truck comparison test, so it stands to reason the same would hold true for the Raider.
The 230-horse V8-powered Dakota in that test ran zero to 60 mph in 9.6 seconds and covered the quarter-mile in 17.4 seconds at 78.8 mph. It also came to a stop from 60 mph in 125.6 feet, which is an impressive performance only the Toyota could beat. Since the Dodge and the Mitsu are mechanically twins and both weigh about 4,200 pounds (in quad-cab 4x4 trim), we expect similar performance from the Raider.
Although the Raider's underpinnings are Dodge-derived, its skin is pure Mitsubishi.Flared fenders and bedsides are aggressive, and a thin upper grille and thick lower bumper give the Raider an aggressive, industrial snarl.
Our only styling gripe focuses on front-end overhang, which makes the truck look like it needs some help from the Nip/Tuck guys. That big schnoz might also be a hindrance off-road, where short overhang and increased ramp angles are vital.
Two body styles are available, an extended cab with a 6-foot-4-inch bed, and a double cab with a 5-foot-3-inch bed. Both offer four doors, but the extended cab doors open rearward and the rear seat only offers 32.1 inches of legroom, while the double cab boasts 36.4 inches to stretch out.
The Raider also boasts a best-in-class 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, yet the Dakota only offers a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty. So if coverage is important to you, Raider is the way to go.
In the Cab
The Raider's interior is identical to the Dakota's. The same firm-yet-comfortable bucket seats, the same chronograph-style gauges, the same easy-to-use radio and climate controls, and unfortunately the same vast expanses of rock-hard plastic.
LS models are pretty basic, equipped with V6 power, a split bench seat, air conditioning and tinted glass. Options include power windows and locks, keyless entry, cruise control and a tilt steering column.
Midlevel DuroCross models get 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, heavy-duty cooling, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power everything and bucket seats. Options include a premium sound system.
Top-end XLS models come loaded with everything above plus all-wheel drive, auto-dimming rearview mirror, a high-output sound system, leather seating surfaces (the front buckets are heated), and power-folding mirrors. Side curtain airbags are optional.
On the Road
We spent time in a sparsely equipped LS and found the V6-powered base model to be a pleasant drive, with tight steering and a comfortable ride. The 3.7 V6 is smooth and adequate on power, but if we were ordering a Raider for work duty we'd opt for the bottom-end torque and passing power of the V8. It's too bad you can't get the V8 with the fantastic Getrag six-speed manual transmission. The shifter feels tight and precise, and according to Mitsubishi engineers the transmission is as rugged as they come.
We also spent an afternoon romping around Northern Oregon in a fully loaded DuroCross V8 4x4 with the off-road package, which includes 285-series BFG off-road tires. This model sits up higher and looks more aggressive than a comparably equipped Dakota and is easily the coolest-looking model in the Raider line.
It's also the most off-road ready. Although most Raider buyers will spend their time on paved highways, which is where the truck really shines, we were equally impressed by its off-road ability. Its shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system offered plenty of traction on rough terrain, and its boxed frame and stout front suspension provided excellent handling both on- and off-road.
Double-cab models boast plenty of leg- and hiproom, and standard equipment step bars make climbing into the cabin a breeze. Once inside, climate controls are easy to use and the factory stereo sounds fantastic.
There's no accounting for personal taste. Some of our compatriots prefer the Raider's swoopy shape over the blocky Dodge, while others favor the Dakota's tauter lines and crosshair grille. Although you can get a more powerful engine in the Dodge, it's the 2006 Mitsubishi Raider that offers the superior warranty.
With more than a little help from Dodge, Mitsubishi has found a way to offer an attractive blend of American muscle and Japanese style, and you can quote us on that.
Used 2006 Mitsubishi Raider Extended Cab Overview
The Used 2006 Mitsubishi Raider Extended Cab is offered in the following styles: LS 4dr Extended Cab SB (3.7L 6cyl 6M), LS 4dr Extended Cab SB (3.7L 6cyl 4A), Duro Cross V8 4dr Extended Cab SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A), Duro Cross V8 4dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A), and Duro Cross V6 4dr Extended Cab SB (3.7L 6cyl 4A).
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Should I lease or buy a 2006 Mitsubishi Raider?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.