Mitsubishi Eclipse For more than a decade and a half, the Mitsubishi Eclipse has been one of America's more popular sport coupes. Its success can be attributed to several factors that have remained constant throughout its run, including sleek styling, powerful engines, a decent amount of comfort, and affordability.
Interestingly, these traits also describe the traditional domestic rear-drive sport coupe, and some have described the Mitsubishi Eclipse as the Japanese version of a pony car. They point out that the Eclipse has typically not been as nimble as other imported coupes, and has instead been best at straight-line performance. The Eclipse has also always been designed solely for the U.S. market and is a rarity in other parts of the world.
The original Eclipse was the result of a joint venture in the mid-'80s between Mitsubishi and Chrysler, known as Diamond Star Motors (DSM). For model-year 1990 at a plant in central Illinois, the partners started production of what was known as the Diamond Star triplets: similar versions of the same Mitsubishi-engineered car, including the Eclipse, the Eagle Talon and the Plymouth Laser. The DSM partnership no longer exists as it once did, and only the Eclipse remains in production.
In total, there have been four generations of the Eclipse. Measured in terms of all-around performance and design, the latest one can be considered the best yet. But earlier Eclipses, assuming they have been cared for properly, could become an affordable and enjoyable purchase for the budding sport coupe enthusiast.
The latest Mitsubishi Eclipse has been available since the 2006 model year. It has a hatchback body style and can seat up to four people. Mitsubishi builds it on the same platform used for its Galant sedan and Endeavor SUV. There are two trim levels: GS and GT. The Eclipse GS is reasonably well equipped and comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine good for 162 horsepower. The main draw of the Eclipse GT is its 263-hp, 3.8-liter V6.
Both versions are front-wheel drive. The GS can be equipped with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission with a sequential-shift Sportronic mode. The GT comes with a six-speed manual, with a five-speed Sportronic automatic optional. Popular options include a sunroof and a powerful Rockford Fosgate audio system.
In reviews, the Mitsubishi Eclipse has earned favorable commentary for its powerful V6 engine, comfortable front seating and stylish interior. Noted downsides include a hefty curb weight that dulls handling, sluggish acceleration on four-cylinder models and a large turning radius.
Most consumers shopping for a used Eclipse will encounter the third-generation model, which was sold from 2000-'05. Like the current model, it has a hatchback body style, front-wheel drive and four-cylinder or V6 power. It's smaller than the current model, however, and less refined. The RS and GS trims of this generation were powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder good for 154 hp. The GT had a 205-hp 3.0-liter V6. All could be had with either a five-speed manual transmission or four-speed automatic.
Although this Eclipse was fairly popular with consumers, it attracted little critical acclaim. In tests, editors noted that the Eclipse was not as sporting as previous versions and had a low-quality interior. Nor did the car change much during its run, though in 2003 Mitsubishi added a GTS trim that had a slightly more powerful V6 (210 hp) and more standard equipment.
When new, the first- and second-generation Eclipses were considered some of the best affordable sport coupes available. The original debuted in 1990. This Eclipse was also a hatchback, and these early models can be identified by their pop-up style of headlights. There were four different trim levels, each offering its own mix of powertrains. The top-of-the line model was the Eclipse GSX, which boasted a 195-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. In 1992, minor updates were made, including the addition of fixed headlights.
Compared to the foreshortened, almost stubby first Mitsubishi Eclipse, the second version (1995-'99) seemed long, sleek and gorgeous. It was a bit bigger than the earlier car and in many ways very similar mechanically. Normally aspirated or turbocharged engines were again offered, as was front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
With any of these early models, poor resale values have sunk purchase prices to very attractive levels. But reliability has never been a strong point for the Eclipse, and finding a well-maintained one (especially a turbocharged model) will be key for the smart shopper.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is a convertible version of the Eclipse coupe. In most regards, the Spyder provides a similar driving and ownership experience to the coupe, which means sleek styling, four-passenger seating, powerful engines and a reasonable amount of comfort.
In the affordable convertible segment, Mitsubishi has taken a balanced approach with the Spyder. With nimble and sporty two-seat roadsters on one end of the spectrum and four-seat family sedan-based convertibles on the other, the Eclipse sits comfortably in the middle. For most of its run, the Spyder's closest competitors have been convertible pony cars such as the Ford Mustang.
The Spyder has been available for all Eclipse generations except the first and has occasionally blipped out of existence as new generations of the Eclipse have debuted. Whether new or used, the Spyder should satisfy a shopper desiring a sporty two-door that provides plenty of wind-in-the-hair fun.
The latest Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder is a new arrival for 2007. Like the coupe, it's built on the same platform used for Mitsubishi's Galant sedan and Endeavor SUV. There are two trim levels: GS and GT. The Eclipse Spyder GS is reasonably well equipped and comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine good for 162 horsepower. The main draw of the Eclipse Spyder GT is its 260-hp, 3.8-liter V6. Both models have a power-operated convertible soft top.
The GS can be equipped with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission with a sequential-shift Sportronic mode. The GT comes with a six-speed manual, with a five-speed Sportronic automatic optional. All Eclipse Spyders are front-wheel drive.
In past reviews, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder has earned favorable commentary for its powerful V6 engine, comfortable front seating and well-suited nature for top-down cruising. Noted downsides include a hefty curb weight that dulls handling, sluggish acceleration on four-cylinder models, poor top-up outward visibility and a large turning radius.
There are two previous versions of the Eclipse Spyder. A Spyder was available for 2001-'05 model years of the third-generation Eclipse. Like the current model, it had underpinnings similar to the concurrent Galant and a power-operated top. This Eclipse is somewhat smaller than the current model, however, and less refined.
This generation's Spyder GS was powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder good for 147 hp. The GT had a 200-hp 3.0-liter V6. Both could be had with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Though this Eclipse was fairly popular with consumers, it attracted little critical acclaim. In tests, editors found that the car was not particularly fun to drive and had a noticeably low-quality interior.
The original Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder was available from 1996-'99 and corresponded to the second-generation coupe. The GS model had a 141-hp four-cylinder engine, and the turbocharged GS-T was capable of 205 hp. A five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic were offered. The Spyder's top was a particularly nice one, with excellent insulation, one-touch power operation and a heated glass rear window. Rearward vision was compromised severely when the top was up, but the rear seat was retained and the car's structural integrity was impressive.

Mitsubishi Endeavor The Endeavor is a midsize crossover SUV from Mitsubishi that combines smart styling with lots of room for five people and their gear. As is the case with other crossovers, the Mitsubishi Endeavor combines the elevated seating position and hauling ability of a traditional SUV with a smoother, more carlike ride and better fuel economy. But as with most crossovers, it lacks the serious off-road and heavy-duty towing abilities of a truck-based SUV.
When first introduced, the Mitsubishi Endeavor earned a surprise win in an Edmunds comparison test. It won with a combination of good looks, torque-filled engine performance, smart handling and excellent (for a crossover) off-road performance. Complaints were limited to some questionable styling elements and material choices in the cabin.
Mitsubishi has made further improvements since then, though the Endeavor still lacks a third-row seat, a feature that has lately become a must-have for this type of vehicle. It's also starting to be a bit outclassed in terms of feature availability, engine power and transmission gearing. Even so, we still think pretty highly of this vehicle. Despite the Endeavor's lack of sales success, we certainly think shoppers in this segment (who don't need a third-row seat) should take a close look.
Current Mitsubishi Endeavor
The Mitsubishi Endeavor is based on vehicle architecture that's shared with Mitsubishi's Galant sedan. Currently, there are two trim levels: LS and SE. Both trims are powered by a 3.8-liter V6 that produces 225 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission with a trendy manual shift mode is standard. While this is less power than most competitors offer, the Endeavor has a wide and flat torque curve that gives it performance that belies its horsepower numbers. However, the four-speed automatic seems a bit outdated in a segment where five and even six-speed transmissions, and their subsequent enhancements to fuel economy, are becoming the norm.
The Endeavor is available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. AWD models are equipped with standard stability control, which supplements the traction control that is standard on FWD trims. Stability control is unavailable on FWD models, a notable omission. However, the Endeavor is now equipped with standard rollover-sensing curtain side airbags and a tire-pressure monitoring system. The Endeavor earned high marks for crashworthiness in both government and Insurance Institute testing.
The entry-level LS trim features A/C, full power accessories and a CD player. If you want such niceties as leather, high-end audio with satellite radio, navigation, heated seats or a sunroof, you will have to step up to the SE trim and its several available option packages. Some higher-end features, such as keyless start, a panoramic sunroof, a rear entertainment system and a back-up camera, are unavailable.
Past Mitsubishi Endeavor Models
The Mitsubishi Endeavor was introduced for the 2004 model year. Initially, there were three trims: base LS, midlevel XLS and the top-of-the-line Limited. Shortly after, it was updated as a 2004.5 model. Endeavor's midyear changes included lower pricing, a longer warranty, the addition of daytime running lamps, dual-stage front airbags, a tire-pressure monitoring system and 10 more horsepower. ABS became available on LS 2WD models and was already standard on XLS and Limited FWD models.
This midyear upgrade also included standard front side airbags and a leather steering wheel for the Endeavor XLS. New options included a rear-seat entertainment system and stability control for the all-wheel-drive Limited. Shoppers interested in a used '04 Endeavor should only consider the updated version.
Mitsubishi shuffled the trim levels recently; the XLS was dropped in 2006 and the Limited trim was replaced by an SE trim for 2007. The current SE and various SE option packages maintain the equipment levels of the former trim, and enhance it with newly available features including the navigation system and a Rockford Acoustic Design stereo. However, the rear DVD entertainment center has been eliminated. (Sorry, kids.)

Mitsubishi Galant For decades, the Mitsubishi Galant assumed the role of fringe player in the compact/midsize family sedan segments. While representing a good value for the budget-conscious consumer whether new or used, it was certainly no match for the class leaders in these hotly contested segments due to its small backseat, mediocre powertrains and uninspiring interior design and execution.
Having watched other automakers successfully super-size their sedans with premium features and larger V6s under the hood, Mitsubishi knew not to fight the tide when it was time to redesign the Galant. Consequently, the latest fifth-generation model -- most recently reworked in 2004 -- was engineered exclusively for the North American market. Its dimensions grew and it became available with a 230-horsepower V6 to keep up.
On the road, we find the Mitsubishi Galant to be one of the more fun-to-drive family sedans. The V6 engine delivers plenty of power and torque for passing and merging, and when cornering the Galant remains flat and predictable and feels smaller than it is. The ride is smooth and composed, yet a surprising amount of positive feedback from the road is transmitted through the driver seat, aided by steering that's generally quick and responsive.
Although lacking some desirable features, the Mitsubishi Galant with V6 power remains an appealing, performance-oriented alternative for value-conscious new or used buyers who don't necessarily follow the crowd or demand the latest glitz and glamour from their midsize sedan.
The midsize, four-door Mitsubishi Galant is offered in four trim levels -- DE, ES, GTS and the athletic Ralliart. The entry-level DE comes with four-cylinder power and the basics; the well-equipped ES adds some stylized trim and a few more conveniences plus available premium option groups; the high-fashion GTS is fully loaded with six-cylinder power, larger alloy wheels, leather trim, a moonroof and a host of luxury items. The new high-performance Ralliart is powered by a high-output version of the Galant's V6 engine and comes with a sport suspension, 18-inch wheels and enhanced exterior styling.
Powering the DE and ES is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine good for 160 hp. GTS models come with a 3.8-liter V6 rated at 230 horses. The range-topping Ralliart checks in with 258 hp from the same power plant. A four-speed automatic transmission is specified for all, and V6 models sport a manual-shift mode.
Uniquely styled inside and out, the Galant now features one of the more distinctive cabin designs in its class, with a cascading center console and large climate and audio controls, along with a display screen and bright blue backlighting at night. Materials quality is now generally good, though some surfaces still get by on the cheap. Behind the wheel you'll find the driver seat agreeable and roomy; rear-seat comfort is now also more competitive and amenable to adults than in the tighter, previous-generation Galant. The seatback still doesn't fold down, but there is a ski/cargo pass-through to increase utility.
Its shortcomings may keep it from the ranks of the midsize sedan segment leaders, but the Mitsubishi Galant remains a likable, performance-oriented new or used alternative for budget-minded buyers who don't require all the bells and whistles or maximum refinement in a family sedan.
The Galant was last redesigned in 2004, growing larger and gaining power to keep up with its worthy midsize rivals in the North American market. In a review, we said that it's "worth a look if you're not one to follow the crowd." Of the mostly unchanged 2006 Galant, our editors enjoyed its strong V6, balanced ride and handling and stylish and comfortable cabin. Changes to this generation have been minimal.
The previous-generation Mitsubishi Galant was available from 1999-2003. It was the first Galant to come with a V6 engine. In 2002 its design was again freshened inside and out, with trim and content changes like Infinity sound systems, sunroof and 16-inch wheels sprucing things up through the 2003 model year. For those used shoppers on a budget who can overlook the small backseat, average powertrains and uninspiring materials and refinement, a Galant of this vintage can offer true low-cost value as an entry-level, second or third car.
The only other Galant one will likely encounter with any frequency will be the generation offered in the U.S. from 1994-'98. It soldiered on through those years juggling content and trim levels, but as before was destined to remain a second-tier value player due to its compact-mid dimensions, cramped interior, four-cylinder power and lack of overall refinement.

Mitsubishi Lancer The Mitsubishi Lancer has a tough time standing out in the under-$20,000 compact sedan marketplace. It hardly overwhelms you with engine power or overall performance. But its spacious interior, especially in the rear seating area, and comfortable ride might appeal to those looking for a simple sedan with plenty of standard features. The sport-tuned Lancer Ralliart, with its more powerful engine and tighter suspension, offers higher performance at an affordable price, making it the best choice in the Lancer family.
Still in its first generation (it replaced the Mirage) the Lancer, which is now only available as a four-door sedan, is the smallest car in Mitsubishi's lineup. There are four trim levels. The ES, SE and O-Z Rally trims are powered by a 120-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The top-of-the-line Ralliart trim has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that's good for 162 hp. A five-speed manual transmission is standard across all models. A four-speed automatic is available as an option.
The Mitsubishi Lancer's cabin is notably roomy, and the amount of rear seating area is near the top of its class. Each trim level comes with a nice list of standard features, such as power windows, locks and mirrors; a CD player; and air-conditioning. Upgrading from the ES to SE trim provides a sunroof, six audio speakers, cruise control and remote keyless entry. The O-Z Rally trim offers a sportier look thanks to 15-inch O-Z alloy wheels and special interior trim upgrades. But keep in mind that the O-Z Rally trim is an appearance-only package. Upgraded performance is only found in the Lancer Ralliart.
Ralliart is Mitsubishi's international performance brand, and the Lancer Ralliart reflects Mitsubishi's rally racing heritage with carbon-fiber accents inside the cabin, aluminum pedals, sport bucket seats, a sport exhaust and 16-inch alloy wheels. In addition to the more powerful engine, the Lancer Ralliart is equipped with a stiffer suspension to reduce body roll, larger four-wheel disc brakes and ABS. Like the Lancer O-Z Rally, the Ralliart is decked out with sporty exterior enhancements, such as lower body side skirting and a rear spoiler.
In road tests, our editors found the Mitsubishi Lancer comfortable, though not especially fun to drive. The 162-hp Ralliart trim picks up the slack and is most enjoyable with the five-speed manual. But the 2.0-liter engine in the ES, SE and O-Z Rally is uninspiring, and steering feel in those trims is detached. For the price, the four-door sedan lacks the performance and refinements we've come to expect from its competition.
The Mitsubishi Lancer launched for the 2002 model year as a replacement for the Mirage sedan. It originally came in three trim levels: ES, O-Z Rally and LS. The LS distinguished itself with cruise control, ABS (not offered as an option on the ES or O-Z Rally) and remote keyless entry. All trims came with the 120-hp 2.0-liter engine and a five-speed manual. A four-speed automatic was standard on the LS and available as an option in the other two models.
The Lancer Ralliart trim level (and its 162-hp 2.4-liter engine) was added to the lineup in 2004. That year, Mitsubishi also introduced the Lancer Sportback wagon, available as an LS or Ralliart trim. The 162-hp engine came standard in both wagon trim levels, and the Sportback was only available with a four-speed automatic. The Lancer Sportback Ralliart was also equipped with flashier 16-inch alloy wheels, ABS and a tuned exhaust system. Mitsubishi discontinued the Lancer LS and both Sportback models in 2005. In 2006, the Lancer SE ("Special Edition") was introduced to freshen up the lineup.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution While the process of modifying an otherwise average car for better performance is commonly associated with car owners and aftermarket parts, manufacturers occasionally dabble with their own such projects. One of the more popular cars of this ilk is the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
The Evolution (or "Evo") is based on the Lancer compact sedan. The two cars don't have much in common, however. Whereas the regular Lancer is a perfectly adequate economy car that's easy to lose in a parking lot, the winged Evo is turbocharged, boisterous and ready to put down rubber on a racetrack.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution was originally developed in the early 1990s to compete in the World Rally Championship (WRC) racing series and abide by homologation rules. Packing a powerful turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive, the Lancer Evolution quickly became a successful rally car. Early road-going versions of the Evo were originally just meant for the Japanese home market, but this didn't stop the car from developing a cult-like following around the world. Finally, for the 2003 model year, Mitsubishi started importing official, road-going Lancer Evolutions to the North American market.
The current Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution offers a level of performance typically found in European sports cars and sports sedans that cost considerably more. Only a few cars, in and outside of its class, can provide comparable engine power, precision handling and driving intensity.
But all of this performance comes with a sacrifice -- ride comfort. The Evo is an extreme car with extreme ride characteristics. Its tightly tuned suspension is unforgiving over the bumps and there is little cushion from the seats. The sedan also has a sparse, colorless interior with a center console that's straight from the 1990s.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution comes only as a four-door sedan with three available trim levels: the base Evo "IX", the RS and the MR. All trims are powered by a dynamic 286-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. They also come standard with an impressive all-wheel-drive system that's generally regarded as a technological marvel. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the base and RS trims, while the MR gets a sportier six-speed manual. There is no automatic transmission option.
The Evolution is a pure driver's car and comes with few amenities. The top-of-the-line MR offers performance-driven upgrades, such as lightweight BBS wheels, sport-tuned Bilstein shocks and specially designed Yokohama tires for higher traction. An aluminum roof panel lowers the car's center of gravity and overall weight for improved handling.
A few select buyers will go for the Evolution RS, which is a stripped down, bare-bones, budget-priced trim. Mitsubishi removed the stereo, air-conditioning, power windows and even the Evolution's signature giant rear wing (among other things) from the standard Evo, reducing weight by close to 50 pounds. And with a gearbox that has been revised with tighter ratios for quicker acceleration, the RS clearly targets weekend racers and autocross enthusiasts who care more about lap times than ride comfort.
Through road and comparison tests, our editors found the Evolution to exhibit nearly perfect driving dynamics. With virtually no turbo lag, acceleration is seriously quick with a mid-5-second 0-60 time. Steering is pinpoint precise and predictable. An Active Center Differential, standard across all trims, manages power between the front and rear wheels for maximum traction in every situation. The tires grip extremely well, while the racing seats hold you tight in even the sharpest turns.
The one drawback to such inspiring performance is ride comfort. Even on the highway, the ride is unforgiving. The Evolution isn't your average four-door sedan. It's not built for road trips and you won't find the kind of standard or optional equipment you'd expect from your average family sedan.
There have been many versions of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution but only the latest have been officially imported to the U.S. market. Order is kept track via Roman numerals. Mitsubishi calls the current model Evolution IX, but it is very similar, both visually and mechanically, to the previous Evolution VIII. Mitsubishi has made a few improvements to the car over the years, such as small increases in horsepower and torque, improved aerodynamics and visual refreshes. In 2005, Mitsubishi began equipping all Evolutions with Active Center Differential, so consumers should generally try to look for the latest year possible.

Mitsubishi Outlander Debuting a few years after the start of the new millennium, the Mitsubishi Outlander was a late arrival to the small-SUV segment. Like many of its peers, it had a car-based design that translated into good handling and a comfortable ride on paved roads but limited off-road capability. With so many competitors, Mitsubishi tried to set the Outlander apart with distinctive styling and a sporty demeanor.
Compared to popular models from Honda and Toyota, however, the older Outlander models offered less interior space. That problem was addressed in the larger second-generation Outlander, which gained a third-row seat option.
Even with its extra size and standard V6 engine, the current Mitsubishi Outlander still lives in the shadows of its more successful contemporaries, whose reputations for affordability and reliability are well-known to consumers. In spite of its lower profile, the second-generation Outlander is a solid choice if you're shopping for a small SUV. It has the available all-wheel-drive system, high driving position and versatile cargo space consumers have come to expect from this segment, but sets itself apart with its European-inspired styling, advanced technology and lively handling.
Current Mitsubishi Outlander
The current Mitsubishi Outlander model was introduced for the 2007 model year. A total redesign aimed the SUV further upscale thanks to an increase in size, a host of new features and a complete makeover inside and out. Notably, the Outlander gained 4 inches of length, which made third-row seating possible while adding 13 cubic feet of cargo space. Mitsubishi's small SUV is available in three trims: ES, LS and top-of-the-line XLS.
The entry-level ES includes many must-have features as well as a full array of safety features. Moving up to the midlevel LS adds niceties like alloy wheels, leather-trimmed steering wheel and a roof rack. The high-end Outlander XLS offers Bluetooth, keyless ignition, automatic climate control and a fold-flat, third-row bench seat. With the third-row seat, the Outlander has a seven-passenger capacity, though the rear seat is strictly for small children.
The Outlander can also be outfitted with high-tech options like a navigation system, a special 30-gigabite hard drive that can store MP3 audio files and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. Xenon headlights and a 650-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system are also available, but only on LS and XLS models.
Every Mitsubishi Outlander comes equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 rated at 220 horsepower and 204 pound-feet of torque. The only available transmission is a six-speed automatic with manual shift mode. The ES trim is only available with front-wheel drive, but the LS and XLS come with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The Outlander's advanced all-wheel drive system has three settings including a fuel-saving 2WD mode, an all-weather 4WD Auto mode and a 4WD Lock mode, which locks the front and rear axles together for maximum traction in extreme conditions.
In reviews on, the Mitsubishi Outlander has received praise for its engine's likable balance of power and economy, as well as its family-friendly design and sporty handling. Sharing its underpinnings with Mitsubishi's much-touted Lancer has clearly helped the Outlander add some excitement to the small SUV category. Potential negatives include ride quality that may be too stiff for some and interior controls that still lack the solidity of the switchgear in Honda and Toyota offerings. Overall, though, buyers seeking value, style and fun-to-drive characteristics in a package that doesn't sacrifice daily usability will find the Mitsubishi Outlander a solid contender.
Past Mitsubishi Outlander Models
The first-generation Outlander was sold from 2003-'06. Dropped into the highly competitive small SUV category, the Outlander had bold styling, a carlike ride and comfortable seating for four, but offered few advantages over its more established competition.
In its first year of production, the Mitsubishi Outlander was powered by a 140-hp 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine coupled with a four-speed automatic transmission. Around-town power was adequate with this setup, but Mitsubishi's compact sport-utility proved quite sluggish in highway passing situations. A jump in horsepower, to 160, for the 2004 model year helped in this regard, but the Outlander's engine still wasn't a match for the smooth and potent four-cylinders in the small SUVs from Honda and Toyota, much less the V6s in the sport-utes from Ford and GM. Throughout the first-generation Outlander's run, both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions were offered.
In addition to the LS and the XLS trims, Mitsubishi added a high-line Outlander Limited trim in 2005 with unique interior and exterior trim enhancements as well as leather seating. Also significant for '05 was the addition of a five-speed manual as the standard transmission on the LS. Highly observant customers may also notice the slightly revised rear styling introduced during this model year.
In 2006, the midlevel XLS was replaced by the SE trim level, while base LS and high-end Limited trims remained. 2006 also saw antilock brakes and side airbags find their way to the list of standard equipment for all trims. Models prior to 2006 reserved those safety features for premium models, making older LS-trim Outlanders less desirable for used car buyers.

Mitsubishi Raider
Though known mostly for its sporty cars and SUVs, Mitsubishi has been dabbling with small pickups for almost three decades in the U.S. market. In fact, one of its first U.S.-bound products was a compact pickup truck rebadged as a Dodge.
Today, there's the Mitsubishi Raider. The brand's only pickup offering, its aggressive styling allows it to slot in well with other fearlessly styled products in the Mitsubishi line. However, there's some role reversal going on, as underneath the Raider's bulging fenders is essentially the midsize Dodge Dakota pickup.
This lineage does give the Raider a few advantages. It has plenty of towing capacity and it handles better than most competing pickup trucks. But there are plenty of drawbacks as well.
Neither the V6 nor the V8 provide anywhere close to class-leading power. The Mitsubishi Raider also lacks a longer bed option and the refinement of its competitors. As such, most compact or midsize pickup shoppers will be better served by competing trucks such as the Nissan Frontier or Toyota Tacoma.
Current Mitsubishi Raider
The Mitsubishi Raider comes in two body styles: a "Double Cab" crew cab, which has four full-size doors, or an extended cab, which has two reverse-opening rear doors and a longer cargo bed. The extended cab is available in only one trim, the LS. It is equipped with a 3.7-liter V6 engine capable of 210 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a four-speed automatic is optional. Rear-wheel drive is the only drive choice in this case.
Selecting a Double Cab is a bit more involved. There are three trims: LS, SE and Duro Cross. The Double Cab LS comes with either the 3.7-liter V6 or a 235-hp 4.7-liter V8, while the SE comes with the V8. The V6 is available with a four-speed automatic and the V8 gets a five-speed automatic. Four-wheel drive is available only on the Double Cab LS. The Duro Cross offers the increased ground clearance, beefy suspension, skid plates and aggressive tires of a 4WD truck but in actuality is a 2WD vehicle.
The Raider's cabin is spacious. The Double Cab has a respectable amount of room for four adults. The rear seats flip up and reveal built-in storage trays. The extended cab doesn't have as much interior space, and its rear seats are quite cramped. Style-wise, the Raider has a long way to go. The fit and finish isn't up to the standards of several competing models and there isn't much to distinguish the pickup's cabin other than a bit of aluminum trim and a few white-faced gauges.
In road tests, we found the Mitsubishi Raider to be a rather nimble drive. The Raider feels stable and steady on all manner of roads. The suspension is tuned to provide carlike handling while keeping the ride comfortable, even in bumpy situations. Handling is excellent on- or off-road, and the pickup's shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system provides especially good traction on rough terrain. The major downside is under the hood. Buyers should look past the V6 and go directly for the V8, which isn't particularly impressive either. It's just the better of the two choices.
Past Mitsubishi Raiders
The Mitsubishi Raider debuted for the 2006 model year. Only minor changes have occurred since. Used-truck shoppers might encounter a couple different trim levels. Previously, Mitsubishi offered an XLS trim (similar to the current SE) as well as a 4WD version of the Duro Cross.

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