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Bob Lincoln said:
Dakota was not a small, light truck. Ranger is much smaller. My 1992 Dakota with aluminum cap tips the scales at the landfill at 4420 lbs, and the newer Dakotas were about 1,000 lbs more than that. The 92 Dakota was capable of 20-23 mpg depending on drivetrain. It wasn't poor gas mileage that did it in. But bloating up over the years might have adversely affected sales by taking it out of its niche.
FWIW my '05 V8 4x4 Club Cab weighs about 4800 lbs including bedliner & tonneau cover.
 
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OK, that would still be about 500 lbs heavier than my '92.
 

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Dakota lost its direction. By the end, it was another Ram. Fuel economy, capability (for the 1500 Rams), and price were little different from the full sized trucks. So, why would people want to spend the exact same amount of money for a smaller framed truck? As I drive around the back roads here, yes I see full sized trucks and heavy duty trucks on farms, but what do I see in non-farm households? I see Rangers, S-10s, Colorados, Tacomas, etc. Aside from the people who actually use full sized trucks for hauling and work, they've become a status symbol. There is a market out there for smaller trucks with less capability and better fuel economy. I wish the big wigs would see this. While the new diesel in the Ram 1500 is a good start, focus on bringing back a true small pickup.
 

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Stratuscaster said:
In some cases, buying the Dakota because it was smaller was a valid option. Maybe a Ram 1500 didn't fit in the garage. Just because something is bigger doesn't automatically make it the better buy.
That's why I like the Dakota. It was easier to deal with on a day to day basis, and it fit in our garage, and worked with our unusual driveway.
 

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Chrysler needs a pickup to compete against Nissans NP300 we will have it, Latin America is buying them very well, so Chrysler might soon give us a smaller pickup than the Dakota to compete in Central and South America, remember. Chrysler needs to make business and not everything in the world is USA. If that pickup comes out from the pipeline, it will also have a presence in Europe, and middle East, its not that easy, they are working on it.
 

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Mr.Source said:
Chrysler needs a pickup to compete against Nissans NP300 we will have it, Latin America is buying them very well, so Chrysler might soon give us a smaller pickup than the Dakota to compete in Central and South America, remember. Chrysler needs to make business and not everything in the world is USA. If that pickup comes out from the pipeline, it will also have a presence in Europe, and middle East, its not that easy, they are working on it.
Nissan & Toyota compact pickups are hot in India, Australia and the Middle East.. GM & Ford figured that out already..
 

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So, the world is snatching up small/mid sized trucks like nothing else, and they're concerned that there is no market in the U.S.? Like I said before, the majority of the full sized trucks out there are status symbols now and only used on occasion to haul or tow. Most family work trucks again I see are compact/mid sized trucks. Why the Big 3 are hesitant I'll never know. The Big 3 faithful have no other choice but to buy full sized trucks (aside from the Colorado, and even then they're priced the same as the full sized trucks). That's why they're selling so well. Build a less capable smaller truck with better fuel economy and at a cheaper price point and watch them fly off the lots.
 

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Mr.Source said:
Chrysler needs a pickup to compete against Nissans NP300 we will have it, Latin America is buying them very well, so Chrysler might soon give us a smaller pickup than the Dakota to compete in Central and South America, remember. Chrysler needs to make business and not everything in the world is USA. If that pickup comes out from the pipeline, it will also have a presence in Europe, and middle East, its not that easy, they are working on it.
Here in Brazil, midsize pickups sells like hot cakes!
They are priced from US$ 35,000 to 70,000... belive me. It's a market around 150,000 units a year. It's a cash cow.
Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Ford and GM all have their own model.
Dodge made the 1st gen Dakota here with relative sucess.
Rumors here is that Ram is developing a midsize truck for FIAT, to be produced in the new factory of Goiana. I hope so.
 

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I think one of the main problems with the Dakota was the fuel mileage wasn't that different than the Ram 1500 with the same motor.
I still wonder what a Dakota 1997-2004 fuel mileage would be with the new 8sp transmission & 2.4L & 3.6L.
The 2006 on newer fat fender edgy look just destroyed a cool truck.

I still wonder what if they rounded the fenders even more on the 2004 to share the PT cruiser headlights and some of the grill at the time. PT pickup. Plus small enough to have the 2.4L but big enough to offer the 4.7L.
It would have been cool too if they offered the VM 2.5L for the 2wd & 2.8L for the 4dr & 4x4. If the 2.5L crd wasn't clean enough for diesel use, what about CNG use?
But that never happened so it's their loss that they killed it.
Would have been nice chassis cab small truck. Replacing Toyota Dolphin motor homes. 1 ton Dakota with VM2.8Lcrd chassis cab.
 

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66coronet said:
I think one of the main problems with the Dakota was the fuel mileage wasn't that different than the Ram 1500 with the same motor.
I still wonder what a Dakota 1997-2004 fuel mileage would be with the new 8sp transmission & 2.4L & 3.6L.
The 2006 on newer fat fender edgy look just destroyed a cool truck.

I still wonder what if they rounded the fenders even more on the 2004 to share the PT cruiser headlights and some of the grill at the time. PT pickup. Plus small enough to have the 2.4L but big enough to offer the 4.7L.
It would have been cool too if they offered the VM 2.5L for the 2wd & 2.8L for the 4dr & 4x4. If the 2.5L crd wasn't clean enough for diesel use, what about CNG use?
But that never happened so it's their loss that they killed it.
Would have been nice chassis cab small truck. Replacing Toyota Dolphin motor homes. 1 ton Dakota with VM2.8Lcrd chassis cab.
I don't know why they just don't stick a bed on the new durango and call it a dakota offer reg cab ..3.6 /8 speed!
 

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srtviperam said:
I don't know why they just don't stick a bed on the new durango and call it a dakota offer reg cab ..3.6 /8 speed!
Because the independent rear suspension is a non-starter for many truck buyers.
 
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MoparNorm said:
Because the independent rear suspension is a non-starter for many truck buyers.
Wouldn't that be true for 2500 and bigger?
I say give it a try for something like the Dakota which is kind of like a Ram 1000 or Ram 50 or maybe a Ram 75 since it's a little bigger than the Ram 50 Mitsubishi.
What's going to happen with the Chassis cab promaster FWD? Fiat Ducato shows it sells ok in Europe. How is the american public going to take a Sprinter sized vans and chassis cab being FWD?
The way Sprinter is going with the 1.8L supercharged gas motor & 2.1L crd with option 3.0L diesel, it's going to corner the market for fleet use (that do not need to tow anything). Fleets can buy a chassis cab 2.1L crd 7sp auto Sprinter and have someone make a custom bed for it and now you have a pickup that gets 37+mpg.
The only advantage I see with FWD promaster/Ducato is the opportunity to have a lower cargo floor between the tires than the RWD Sprinter. If it's the same height, so far what I've seen, the sprinter has the advantage. If they start making standard pickup boxes on the Sprinter, you'll start seeing more fleets buying them instead of GM, Ford , Ram.
 

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66coronet said:
What's going to happen with the Chassis cab promaster FWD?
There has never been a sucessful FWD truck in the US, we are about to find out if the idea will work, or if commercial buyers take a wait and see attitude.
Look at the Caravan cargo van, less than 800 sales per month, but an argument could be made against it for several reasons, not just the FWD.
It's taken a long time for traditional Dodge SUV buyers to warm to Durango, possibky because of the suspension and lack of a rear straight axle, it remains to be seen if buyers would warm to a pickup based upon the same architecture.
 

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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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AutoTechnician said:
What defines a "traditional" SUV buyer?
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.
 

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I had a 2000 Quad Cab 4.7L that was perfect for me. Fit the girlfriend and the dogs inside, bed was just right for camping equipment or CostCo/Home Depot purchases. Married the girl, traded in the truck so she could get a Tacoma. Got divorced. Really should have kept that truck.
 

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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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Stomper said:
I had a 2000 Quad Cab 4.7L that was perfect for me. Fit the girlfriend and the dogs inside, bed was just right for camping equipment or CostCo/Home Depot purchases. Married the girl, traded in the truck so she could get a Tacoma. Got divorced. Really should have kept that truck.
Yeah, that generation of Dakota was perfect.
 
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