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valiant67 said:
12 years ago the Ranger alone outsold the whole compact/midsize volume indicated at the link above. The market is gone.
The Ranger died because Ford abandoned it. A 2009 Ranger had essentially the same interior as a 1994 Ranger - just look at picture of the dashboards. It was saddled with old outdated V6 engines and lame 5-speed automatics. The V6 Rangers towards the end were getting the same or worse economy as the new F-150 V6s - and cost nearly as much. The only reason the Ranger lasted so long was because it remained small, which was its only desirable aspect towards the end, that and 27 MPG from the 2.3L 4 cylinder wasn't terrible.

The Dakota died because the last generation got too big and had bizarre styling. The 3.7L V6 was hilarious slow and got the same fuel economy as the 4.7 V8. On top of that, the 4.7L V8 Dakota got the same fuel economy as a 5.7 V8 Ram. It was just a "why bother with the Dakota?" type of situation. Chrysler killed everything that had made the 3rd Gen Dakota desirable.
 

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What defines a "traditional" SUV buyer? The Ford Explorer and Expedition have been IRS since 2002. Infact, the 2002 IRS Explorer had the highest Explorer sales of all time. The '02 Expedition had a bump of about 30,000 units in sales over the previous year. The only full-size SUVs left with solid rear axles are the Suburban/Yukon, and the Landcruiser/Sequoia/LX570. They are not really selling any better than the Durango.

The majority of SUV buyers do not care one bit what kind of suspension they have under their vehicle. At most the average person can sort of tell the difference between FWD and RWD SUVs, mainly because the "steering feels weird" on some FWD SUVs.
 

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MoparNorm said:
Traditional, as opposed to Soccermons. Traditional owners towed, hauled and camped in their SUV's, just as traditional small pickup owners hauled, carried and camped in theirs. Throwing a couple of dirt bikes into the back, a bail of hay, or whatever, these owners are less likely to embrace a less capable SUV platform converted to a pickup and your Ford SUV buyers are not the targeted buyer.
The Durango can haul, tow and be camped in. It's towing capacity is comparable (if not exceeding that) of many half-ton pick-ups from the late 90s - early 2000s. Up to 7400 Pounds.

Let's look at what "traditional SUV buyer" SUVs could do:
XJ Cherokee: 5000 Pounds
1st Gen Pathfinder: 3500 Pounds
2nd Gen 4Runner: 3500 Pounds
'96 Tahoe: 6500 Pounds
1st Gen Explorer: 5000 Pounds
89' Landcruiser: 3500 Pounds
'95 Suburban: 6000 Pounds
Wagoneer: 5000 Pounds
Scout II: 5000 Pounds

The Durango is more capable towing than ALL of those "traditional SUV buyer" vehicles. The Durango's problem is not its IRS. Its problem is lack of good marketing and a shrinking full-sized SUV market.
 
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