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Dodge Dakota Future Models



  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    Two things struck me when I was reading the two posted articles on the 2005 Dakota. First, the max GVWR stays at 6010. So, if the truck is heavier (likely since the truck is larger), the payload will go down. Not an improvement. Second, I can't believe DC reverted back to rear drum brakes. It seems like they could have saved a few pounds somewhere else if that was their justification.
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 487
    One of the stories mentioned a payload of 1,800 lbs. That seems adequate to me for the Dakota, and if you need more, you should be buying a full sized (or heavy duty) truck.

    What may be a bigger issue for Dodge is that the 4.0 V6 in the Frontier will offer more HP and similar torque to the Dakota V8. The Tacoma will likely be right up there also. Realistically, the V8 in the Dakota offers enough power, but I think folks will question why the V8 does not offer a sizeable power advantage over the Nissan and Toyota.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    Considering my 02 QC 4x4 weighs in a just over 5000 lbs with a full tank of gas and driver, that gives me less than a 1000 lb payload before I hit the 6010 GVWR. That's generally not an issue, but I would of liked to have seen the GVWR of the new Dakota in the 6500 lb range.

    As for power improvements, I recently read where the 4.7L in the Toyota Tundra will use variable valve timing for 2005. Power will be something like 285 hp/325 ft-lbs torque. How many years will the Dodge 4.7L (non-HO version) be stuck at 230-235 hp and 290-295 ft-lbs torque? The HO version is nice, but the need for premium fuel isn't. The domestic manufacturers always seem to be behind the imports when it comes to squeezing as much power out of their engines as they can.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    I think rear discs on a pick-up is significantly underutilizing the capability of the design. In this case, and even more so on lighter PUs like the Dakota or Ranger, rear drums make sense. They are a less costly design and less complicated for service. And since disc brakes require more service, in the long term issues of hard spots, rust formation, and warping are significanty reduced by using a rear drum.

    Now on a Dakota R/T I can see the justification.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I think the Dakota is being treated unfairly in this regard.

    Anytime you have an engine making the same horsepower with two less cyninders you will find a higher RPM horsepower and torque band. This type of design is not conducive to a vehicle that's designed to carry various weights.

    Since small trucks are less often used as day-to-day work trucks, Nissan and Toyota can be successful in building these little speed demons. But a good portion of Dakota sales comes from commercial and fleet buyers who still require a average everyday work truck.

    In this respect the very thing that has made the Dakota shine by being a true in-between model, also hurts. The Dakota is too big to be relying on a power plant that makes its real power in the upper RPM ranges. For hauling and towing, low RPM is what it's all about and the Dakota engineering staff, in my opinion at least, are living true to the reason trucks were invented in the first place.

    But since my '03 287 (4.7) motor is worth what the 5.4 is in the Ford and the 6.0 is in the fullsize Chevy, when it comes to speed I'm far from dissatisfied. If a 220 HP Frontier V-6 can beat my Dakota in a race, great. But I'll never be able to get my ATV on the back of one and that's just one of the more practical reasons I bought a Dakota.

    Best regards,
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 487
    Please know that I am reading and posting on this board because I am interested in the new Dakota, and I am not on here to bash the Dakota.

    The point is that Dodge used to have it's own niche with the mid-sized Dakota. However, as the compact truck segment has languished, the 2005 Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma will grow in size and invade the Dakota's turf, bringing new competition to this segment.

    From what I have heard the new Nissan 4.0 V6 will offer 260+/- HP and 280 +/- lb ft of torque. The Toyota 4.0 V6 will offer 240+/- hp and a similar 280 lb ft of torque. While the Dodge V8 will likely have a broader torque curve, the new Toyota and Nissan will be worthy competitors.

    So, in order to keep a competitive advantage, Dodge needs to figure a way to get more power out of the 4.7 V8. And to me, it makes no sense that the hemi is being offered in the 300C, Magnum, Durango and new Grand Cherokee, but they did not design the Dakota to use this motor. IMHO, this is a big mistake. With the cylinder deactivation, the Hemi actually offers similar (or better) fuel economy than the 4.7 V8 in vehicles that offer both. Unfortunately, this technology is actually much more difficult in an OHC design (the 4.7) as compared to a push rod (the Hemi).

    With the Hemi and the cylinder deactivation, my choice for a new pickup would very likely have been the Dakota. Now I am weighing my options between three what appear to be very good choices from Dodge, Nissan and Toyota.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Well, first, the Dakota platform will not except the 5.7 Hemi engine. The engine is too big to fit under the hood. Chrysler did play with the idea of building the Dakota around the Hemi, but then the Dakota would've been only slightly less in size than the RAM, which doesn't make any sense.

    I don't know a thing about the new Nissan and Toyota offerings. Assuming that those new platforms are exactly the same in size and capacity to the next generation Dakota, rated horsepower does not always tell the story. And if they're V6s it is doubtful that the low end torque will compare to the current 4.7.

    The 4.7 is a very smooth and balanced power plant. It seems equally responsive across a wide RPM range. It has plenty of low-end torque and seems more gutsy than the 360 wedge V8 that was used previously.

    Performance of the Nissan and Toyota are at this juncture still speculation. I think you need to take a wait-and-see. Nissan and Toyota usually...I say usually... do their homework well, so maybe they'll both be Dakota beaters. Who knows. There's usually a price to pay for increased horsepower somewhere. In the final analysis it all depends on what your criteria for judgement is. There are people (like me) that don't consider rated horsepower to be the singlemost important thing.

    Best regards,
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 487
    You are missing my point. I know that the Hemi will not fit. However, it fits in two existing passenger cars (the 300C and the Magnum) and will probably be added to other passenger cars. It fits in the new Grand Cherokee. But it was not designed to fit a 217" long 2 plus ton truck. It makes no sense. A truck the size of the Dakota should be able to accept that size engine, if smaller cars and SUVs can. The Dakota used to offer a 5.9 litre engine, which has greater displacement than the current Hemi. My point is that Dodge screwed up by not designing the Dakota to fit the Hemi.

    Especially when you consider that a Hemi with cylinder deactivation will offer similar or maybe even better fuel economy to the 4.7, which probably cannot be engineered for a similar system.

    Also, while I agree with you that typically a DOHC V6 will offer inferior torque to a V8, the new V6s in the Tacoma and Frontier offer similar amounts of torque and more horsepower, and with variable valve timing may even offer similarly broad power bands.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I understand the point you're making. But in order to make the next generation Dakota big enough to fit around the 5.7 Hemi would've made the Dakota too close in size to the RAM. As we see with the Tundra a slightly lesser version of a full size pick-up does not generate sales. I think in this respect the Dodge truck development staff did a good thing.

    If your point is horsepower then I give you that. It would be nice to market some more. I'm sure that the next-gen Dakota platform team had some idea what the competition was doing in the development area, and like everyone else they've done their market research. We should not assume, however, that just because the Hemi won't be available that something else won't be.

    We do not know exactly what the new offerings from Nissan and Toyota will be like in their final form. The GM Canyon, for example, has been criticized for being still smaller than the existing Dakota while being only marginally larger than the current S10 platform, and GM lovers cannot understand why GM didn't introduce a "Dakota beater" when they had a chance with a fresh sheet of paper.

    Cylinder deactivation would be easily adaptable to the 4.7, but I think that with a motor that size the cost-benefit ratio is not as favorable as it is with the larger, more thirsty Hemi.

    As to the comment about more horsepower in the Nissan and Toyotas, I think you missed my point. In a 4.0 liter V6 the power band will never be optimum for pick-up truck usage compared to the likes of the 4.7 Chrysler V8. In order to produce that kind of power in a normally aspirated engine, on 87 octane fuel no less, the power band will have to move upwards with a corresponding loss of low-end torque...variable timing or not. In order to be truly competitive the platform will have to make up for this in other areas in order to match the performance of the current 4.7 Dakota. The most logical approach would be reducing weight.

    It's easy to second guess manufacturers if one is asking a narrow question. In reality Dakota platform developers are trying to appeal to a wider range of buyer. If the Dakota is to be criticized for not having the new Hemi, then why wouldn't we be asking why Nissan and Toyota are dickering with a current V6 and isn't plunking one of their V8s into their next gen trucks? I suspect they have a reason, too.

    Best regards,
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    I suspect that as competition heats up for the existing crude oil output. It will cause an ever increasing spiral in prices at the pump.

    At some point our illustrious politicians will see fit to include our gas guzzling trucks in the automobile CAFE requirements to stem the flow of our dollars into the Middle East.

    Then you will start hearing people asking why are the manufacturers not putting more efficient motors into the trucks.

    I suspect the Asian manufacturers are a little better at seeing future trends than maybe we give them credit for.

    I have read that the sales of SUVs have already softened with the modest increase in gas prices we have already seen.

    I don't think diesel motors are going to help much because as the demand for diesel increases the price will skyrocket.

    We will be competing for the fuel with our trucking industry, our Farmers and the people who heat their homes with heating oil as well as the Europeans.

    One of the reasons our gas prices have been low in recent years is the surplus of gasoline from European refineries as they refine and sell larger percentages of diesel. I have read that about half the cars purchases in Europe are powered by diesel motors.

    But then again demand will drop for gas and we should see a reduction in the price of gas. Do you suppose Dodge could put that new 6.1 Hemi in the Dakota. <grin>
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    >>>At some point our illustrious politicians will see fit to include our gas guzzling trucks in the automobile CAFE requirements to stem the flow of our dollars into the Middle East. Then you will start hearing people asking why are the manufacturers not putting more efficient motors into the trucks. <<<

    Iowa, if this is true then maybe Dodge is ahead on this one by not (at the moment) fueling the horsepower race.

    There are already a population of politicians who treat horsepower as a dirty word and wanting to crush horsepower with taxes and penalties. SUVs have taken some heat away from LD pick-ups by steering the over emotional SUV-haters away...for the moment. But some are looking at why most LD trucks are owned by civilians without a business case. Watch California's Barbra Boxer or Diane Feinstein.

    By the way, I'm finding a number of guys are now complaining about the fuel consumption on the new F150 with the 5.4 engines. I've heard several say that their older 5.4s gave them 15-16 consistently, but the new ones are 12-13 MPG. The brother of my son-in-law bought a new F150 regular cab and, according to my son-in-law he can beat it with his 2002 F150 Quad 4x4!

  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 487
    Regarding the F-150, my guess is that part of the reason fuel economy is lower than the previous generation is that the new one is just so darn heavy.

    I agree that we need to increase fuel efficiency in this country, and burning less fuel is another reason I am steering away from a full sized truck. However, technology in the form of mild hybrids, cylinder deactivation and direct fuel injection promises to provide substantial fuel economy increases, even for V8 powered trucks over the next several years. I also think that as the fuel is cleaned up, diesels will become more common. Regarding the Tacoma, my guess is that a V8 is not initially available because Toyota does not want the new larger Tacoma to steal sales from the Tundra. When the Tundra gets bigger (in 2006?), my guess is that we will see a direct injection V8 with VVT in the Tacoma that will get better fuel economy than the V6 in the current version.

    I'll quit my yappin about the lack of a hemi in the Dakota if I hear that Daimler Chrysler decides to put one of their excellent diesels in that truck. In my mind, that would trump the competition.
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 487
    FYI - There is a brief "preview" article on the new Dakota in the new Car & Driver. Just some basic info and discussion of why no hemi (I'm staying away from that topic) and only a brief analysis.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    For 2005 the Dakota will have the option of a high output 4.7 motor, which is being advertised as faster that the 5.9 Dakota R/T.

    Saw a 2005 dakota for the first time today at Marina Dodge in Webster, New York. Can't say I take to the appearance of the front end, but the rest of it looks pretty good. It appears that the oil pressure and voltmeter are no longer part of the instrumentation. That's too bad. I will say that the fit and finish was as good as any car or truck I've ever seen.

  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    to me, omission of gauges consitutes a serious design gaffe. Perhaps its space or cost, regardless, Chrysler was noted for YEARS in having full instrumentation on their cars and trucks. I know I certainly appreciated a full gauge set on my Dak.
    Alas, no oil pressure and voltmeter means Dodge is trying a bit to hard to make the Dakota into more of a loser cruiser (ie minivan) or something other than what it really is.......a pickup truck.

    Shame on you DOdge!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Mopar, Yep. I agree. Dumping the gauges is especially sinful on a truck. It looks as if there's not even an option package for increased instrumentation.

    They probably saved $50.00 in component cost. But to me many truck buyers will notice the absence of those gauges.

  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    Toyota did the same thing when the Tacoma replaced the 2nd generation pick-up. The oil pressure and voltage gauges went away. So, DC isn't the only one being cheap.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Sunburn, I know. But isn't Dodge supposed to be "different?"

    I stopped and took my first close look at the new Dakota. One thing I noticed right away is the increase in the frame dimensions. Good Lord, the frame rail between the upper A-frames and the firewall has got to be almost double the height as my 2003! The new Dakota frame appears to rival that of some full-size PUs.

    And I think the current (now older) generation Dakota frames were very stiff -- much better than adequate.

    The rear doors on the Club Cab are nice, although the rear seating looked no better than my '03. I think I like the rear seats better in mine, though.

    Although I like the white face gauges, much about the new interior was far from spell-binding. The interior designers tried to take some of the starkness away from it (this one was a beige interior) by making the door panel insert a contrasting color. But I think my '03 has more pizzazz, and mine's dark charcoal inside.

    Fit and finish was flawless inside and out. The rear doors are extremely solid and close like the Panama Canal locks -- very securely.

    I don't know what last year's 3.9 engine sports for fuel consumption, but this automatic V6 was rated 15-22 EPA. I think that's a slight increase if I remember correctly.

    Still don't like the front end, but the rest of it was done quite nicely. The rear tailights are sharp.

  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,666
    a road car for me (2004 Crown Vic), the next vehicle is a pickup truck for the wife...the lease on our Intrepid is up in Jan 2005, so we are strating to seriously truck-hunt now...considering new 2005 F150, maybe a 2003 F150 King Ranch (take advantage of 2 yr depreciation and pre-2004 is actually a smaller F150, weighing 500 lbs less than the new F150, according to Edmunds) and also considering a 2005 Frontier and 2005 Dakota (yes, I am in the right topic)...I have been pleased with my Intrepid, so Chrysler quality seems OK to me...reading the advance reports, I am somewhat disappointed that last year's 4WD Dakota had 4-wheel disc brakes, but they de-contented 2005 and returned to rear drum brakes...having had 4 wheel disc brakes on numerous vehicles, I find they stop better than disc/drum, and the 2000 Sable I just traded only served to confirm my opinions...if disc/drum is worth considering, I will examine the new Dakota, but I do have my usual requirements, and maybe you can answer...does the new Dakota, in its most top-of-the-line form, have adjustable lumbar supports for passenger and driver??? (I know the F150 does, but I do not know about Frontier)... also, in the 4 door crew cab, does it have the option of power seats for driver???...for passenger???...anyone know the various bed lengths for the new Dakota???...thanks
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 487
    I do not have answers for Marsha 7 but I have some more questions.

    1. I understand that AWD is an option. Does this system give you a choice of 2wd, AWD, 4 HI and 4 LO? I have part time 4wd on my Mazda, and while it is a good system for off road, I often find myself slipping around in the rain in 2wd. At the same time, a full time AWD system burns fuel and tires. A full compliment of choices would be great.

    2. I'm getting over the fact that there is no HEMI. Sigh... Does anyone know what fuel is recommended for the 4.7 High Output?
This discussion has been closed.