March 28, 2009

2008 Mitsubishi Raider

Among the 2008 Mitsubishi Raider’s few real positives are its handsome mug and pleasant interior, both more attractive than the Dodge Dakota upon which it is based.
“One of the better rebadging jobs we've seen in a while,” begins Motor Trend. Their writers are pleased that the truck’s California-based stylists “made a hard break from the Dakota's blocky, creased, squared-off exterior looks.” says “a thin upper grille and thick lower bumper up front help produce a look that's reminiscent of the company's other models,” most notably the Endeavor. Kelley Blue Book claims “its dynamic, carved physique is defined by muscular curves, flared wheel arches and step-side style fenders and high-tech head lamps and tail lamps.” explains that only the “roof panel, windshield, rear side glass and rear doors” are shared with the mechanically identical Dodge Dakota. Regular- and Double Cab versions are offered.
Inside, the story is much the same, where those California stylists nipped, tucked, and shaved away Dakota elements that don’t suitMitsubishi’s unique design ethos. “The interior has less mass and distraction than its cousin,” explains Motor Trend of the design team who “shaved lots plastic out of the Dakota dash and simplified the air-conditioning controls and vents.” Edmunds feels the “faux metallic trim and white-faced gauges give the dash a hint of panache,” and Kelley Blue Book appreciates the “simple, three-gauge cluster” that “has highly readable dials with white backgrounds,” though they don't care for the “unappealing headliner cloth.” In what could be seen as damning with faint praise, Car and Driver cites the interior as the Raider’s most significant distinction from the Dakota and calls it “an interior designed to make the buyer feel he's driving something more fashionable than a refrigerator.”


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