Dodge Dakota 2004 Redesign

SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
edited March 2014 in Dodge
Dakota fans will have to wait until the Winter of 2004 to see what Dodge has planned.

Dodge is keeping a tight lid on what the new Dakota will have, any bets?


  • white6white6 Member Posts: 588
    I'm justing hoping for the new hemi (345 hp) as an option! I love my 97 5.2 CC, but it needs MORE POWER! Better brakes would be welcome, too.
  • lorindanlorindan Member Posts: 2
    I Believe that the first change should be the MILAGE- I have a 5.9L in my '00 quad and 10-12mpg just sags after a tank a week. It seems that after about 10 years Dodge would notice the milage factor vs. grin factor.
  • redbaron8redbaron8 Member Posts: 1
    Sources indicate the next Dakota will be slightly smaller, leaving the Chevy Colorado as the only true Mid-Size pickup. Being smaller there is no guarantee of a V-8. Also don't expect it to share much externally with the Durango any more. The Durango moves up in size and styling favors a Ram. There have been rumors the of next Dakota taking Power Wagon or Maxx Cab styling cues but don't believe it. They said the same thing on the Ram and next Durango and were totally wrong.
  • gmpacegmpace Member Posts: 1
    Dodge, get off your butt and stuff a 5.7 hemi in the R/T NOW. I'm sick of hearing about "Lightnings". I currently own a Black 2000 Dakota R/T Club Cab, and love it, but give us R/T owners some muscle.
  • traumagastraumagas Member Posts: 64
    I love my Dakota Quad! First I love the size Its JUST rite, I would love to see an Loaded out lux mid size truck, Good bucket seats (Heated)that
    remind me of my old baseball glove.
    Power roll down back window
    5.7 v8 up from 4.7
    New headlights like BMW
    Power SUNROOF Option
    Tell Us what you would like to see in your next dakota. Who knows whos reading this board
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    Jon, Amen! to the power rear window. The slider was difficult enough in my club cab, with my bride hanging over the seat endeavoring to close same in sudden rainstorms. The Quad Cab makes it even more tedious unless someone is sitting in the rear seat. The 5.7 V8 sounds tempting, but I really haven't utilized all of the potential power in the 4.7 V8. I remain undecided on the BMW type lighting having no experience from whence to judge, but a power sun/moon roof sounds capital. Add that to the "wish list."

  • anjdevil2anjdevil2 Member Posts: 1
    I've been waiting for a V8 powered rear wheel vehicle from Dodge for years now. A HEMI? DON'T WAIT FOR THE REDESIGN!! I WANT A HEMI DAKOTA NOW!! My Jeep is a goner when it comes out! Lightning? A HEMI-Dakota would be faster and that's what I'm after. I curretnly own a road runner convertible, a Dodge Demon 360 and a Aspen Wagon Pro Street project. MOPARS RULE SEND IN THE HEMI DAKOTA!! I WANT IT!
  • tbcreativetbcreative Member Posts: 357
    Do you guys check out They have all of the latest DC/Dodge/Jeep insider info, and the current plans for the next gen Dakota. The 2004 Dakota is supposed to actually shrink in size a bit, but I think there's still talk of a Hemi. Check it out, if you haven't already.


  • mtrialsmmtrialsm Member Posts: 159
    From the looks of the Durango, we're seeing at
    the new car shows, I'll bet we're looking at the
    front view of the new Dakota. Looks like it won't
    be downsized after all? Looks like a smaller
    version of the 1500 Ram. Bigger grill.
    I vote for a diesel engine.
  • caneaucaneau Member Posts: 14
    I have mixed feelings about the new Dodge mid size platform/design. The Hemi is great, don't get me wrong there. That engine has enough potentially to produce with natural aspiration what the Ford 5.4 Triton's or Chevy 5.3 Vortec's are doing with superchargers. The actual design of the truck I'm not so sure about. The Dakota looks great right now as does the Durango. They in a way bridge the gap between a mid size SUV such as Jeep Grand Cherokees and trucks like any of the smaller pickups and full size SUV's such as the Tahoe with their half-ton counterparts. The new Durango, although it has the Hemi looks like a mommy's car. Something in the design seems to remind me of the Volvo SUV. Also the "big-rig" styling looks good on the Ram but something in the Durango version seems to almost try too hard to look aggressive and comes off looking awkward. Kind of like putting a brush guard and oversized tires on a CRV - it just doesn't fit.
    What I would like to see Dodge to is freshen the styling. Give it a few newer accents from the Ram, maybe new HID headlights, etc. Under the skin, give it a hydro-formed chassis and the 4.7 HO as the standard plant and the Hemi as an option. Also, update the interior, loose the column shifter (sorry tree folks, but just look at the new F-150 and the Nissan full size, floor is the new trend), and put in a nav system. Do the same to the Dakota much like the Suburban is simply a full size Chevy with seats rather than a bed.

    Dodge needs to realize that it's the cars that are in the middle ground of the middle ground of the middle ground that attract the most attention (with the exception of extreme sports cars). By this I mean that the cars that are the blend of two or more genres of automobiles are the ones that are getting the attention. There always have been trucks, sedans, and sports cars. The SUV is a sedan plus truck. The sports sedan is sports car plus sedan, etc. Any blending of these three characteristics in various amounts produces new cars. Dodge has a very good blend going for it with the Dakota/Durango platform. The cars are sporty (a truck with a 0-60 of 8 seconds is very quick by most body-on-frame standards), can haul people, and at a perfect size where it's not too big to be a burden around town or too small to attempt anything serious with the vehicle. I only hope they do not loose that balance with the new models.
  • mtrialsmmtrialsm Member Posts: 159
    I own a 2001 Quad. Perfect size truck for us!
    The power rear window sounds good, add a diesel
    option. Better front seats. Fix the front end
    pops! Stiffer chassis. In-dash 6-CD changer.
    Flat floor under rear seats or make a storage
    box area under the seats. How about a "build-in"
    retractable Hard bed cover.
  • darwin47darwin47 Member Posts: 1
    Dodge Dakota with
    crew cab (or 3 door/forward facing door, comfortable Ext. cab)
    4.7 V8 Manual
    6'3" box
      I like the power of the 4.7, the room of the quad, and the turning radius of the Dakota but I just can't convince myself that the 5'3" bed will be as useful as a full 6'3" bed. I am hoping that with this new 10" longer chassis that it might share with the Durango, depending on what you read for either 2004 or 2005, they will finally make what I actually want.
  • deminindeminin Member Posts: 214
    A DIESEL ENGINE!!!! If Dodge really wants to set the truck world on its ear, put out an option for the 5.9L diesel! Can you imagine a perfect sized truck that would pull a horse trailer, yet get great fuel mileage when running with a light load? Sure it would be expensive, but think of the possibilities. The engine would fit, and would really make the Dakota a unique vehicle.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    The Dodge Dakota had a perfectly good and useful size. Why downsize?
  • ern1824ern1824 Member Posts: 1
    I am anxious to learn more about the 2004 Dakota and wanted to know if anyone watching this vehicle board knows when we might see some official literature?

    I have been looking at the Dakota as my "next" vehicle for 5 months now...but there are a few changes I would like to see before I purchase.

    First, as a Jeep Grand Cherokee owner, I think the interior needs a drastic update. The dashboard area looks dated and lacks a look of quality that is now found in the Jeep.

    Second, as someone who drives an average of 42,000 miles a year, I'd like to see a redesign of the seats with added comfort controls.

    Third, I'd like to see an increase in ground clearance by at least an 2 inches.

    And if the rumors of a Diesel are true...I think Dodge will have created the trucks that the other manufacturers will be coping for years to come!
  • dakotasxt02dakotasxt02 Member Posts: 2
    i love my 2002, dodge Dakota SXT, especially since I have the first model. The power seems ok for a v6, but more would be good. Also the brakes are a little better than those of the 97's. I cant wait to see the new Dakota, I actually hope it is larger, but unfortunately I too have heard they are gonna be shrinking it a little. The hemi would be awesome, and would be competition with even the lightning, but i cant wait for the RAM SRT-10. I agree with the bmw lights.
  • banderson5banderson5 Member Posts: 2
    in my opinion why make the Dakota smaller. if any thing make it have the same length of the Toyota Tundra your almost there to begin with. Ether increase the cab size or add to the box length. As for the Hemi drop it in. More power the better!
  • chutney88chutney88 Member Posts: 1
    Does anybody know where there are any good pictures of the 2004 Dakotas I saw some durango pics so I have an Idea But Dakota pic would be a big help for me. Thankx
  • brianbmbrianbm Member Posts: 55
    The Dakota crew cab 4x4 would be one of two vehicles on my personal short list if I had to buy tomorrow .. but this truck is obsolete. A truck this size that gets the same MPG as a Ram or F 150 is ridiculous. I'd like more ground clearance, but captain's chairs - heck, don't care if mine is heated - and an updated engine/drivetrain, definitely yes. Interior is politely described as OLD, but function ought to be first. A diesel is fine and if one is appearing in the Jeep Liberty then it'll come here, too, in a year or three. Those of you who need a hemi, well, God bless but 13-14 MPG is a bad joke.
  • awyseguyawyseguy Member Posts: 1
    The Dakota owners biggest concerns/ wants are plain & simple.
    Do NOT downsize. If anything make it a little bigger; Why not, the Ram has grown?
    Make 5.7L Hemi available (especially with 5spd=Lightning killer)
    Make a diesel available.. 5.9L is NOT practical.. 3.9L Cummins version IS very practical, would fit easily, and handle any workload a Dakota would encounter while giving it more longevity.
    Bring back the 8--- YES the EIGHT foot bed. That is a full PU bed.. Not 6'3"!
    Do something with the front suspension & brakes.. The rotors are CHEAP and warp easily and often. and the ball joints wear after 1-2 years.
    Get the D-C quality back UP to the Chrysler Corporation truck levels. Why are so many components ready to be replaced after roughly 15K miles????
    Payload?? Dakotas used to have better payload ratings available.
    We're not asking for miracles just asking D-C to not systematically take the Dakota out of a market that it created and dominated; and to make some minor variations to make the truck more useful, practical, and saleable.
  • usaf52usaf52 Member Posts: 70
    Received the copy of "Dodge Magazine" for Dodge owners. There's a photo of the 2004 Dakota, and it looks exactly like the 2003 to me. Don't know what, if any, interior changes were made, but the headlights, grill etc seem to be the same. Now, the Durnago was changed to reflect the Ram's appearance and looks pretty good.
  • brianbmbrianbm Member Posts: 55
    I think the bigger redesign is for the 2005 model year. I assume the same 3.7 and 4.7 engines, and the same transmissions, will be available; the frame will get heavier and be hydroformed (this seems to be the engineering and marketing frame trend du jour and I have no idea whether it really matters or not). What else changes, only the patron saint of truck designers knows. (There probably is one, too .... anyone know?)
  • boredbored Member Posts: 300
    Apparently no one has seen the '05 Dakota spy photos?

    image - - rticle=6279

    Um, it's bigger...

    What some cannot understand is that the Dakota is already too close to the Ram in pricing, and it was cancelled in the past because it got a bit too big, and was the size of the old Ram, making it compete directly with it's bigger brother.

    Engine choices are going to be the 3.7L V6, the 4.7L V8, and there might be a 5.7L V8...for a sort of SRT-8 version. Now, as for a Ford Lightning killer, that's what the Ram SRT-10 is for, more commonly called the "Viper Ram".

    As for rotor problems...that's pretty typical for today's cars and trucks.
  • jconwelljconwell Member Posts: 2
    I saw that Dodge magazine too. The 04 Dakota is the same as the 03. The 05 Dakota comes out in the spring of 04. That is why it is called redesigned in 04. I dont think the Dakota is smaller, it is just that the new Durango is larger.
  • brianbmbrianbm Member Posts: 55
    Since the only surface that isn't masked is the grill and the windshield, I don't think Dodge has given away too much information here. If in fact the vehicle gets a mechanical update while staying the same in size, why, fine - great! That's what I'd like the company to do. Sizewise it's perfect as is.
    My own reservations have to do with mileage and build quality. As far as the rotors go, Jeep seems to be the benchmark for sheer lousy rotors, the Grand Cherokee being the worst. I'll bet Dodge does a lot better with this next version.
  • mtrialsmmtrialsm Member Posts: 159
    Looks like the Durango is now based on the RAM chassis/truck. The '05 Dakota will be by itself?
  • boredbored Member Posts: 300
    The Durango is NOT based on the Ram Chassis!

    And yes, the Dakota is now on its own platform.
  • dmoulddmould Member Posts: 76
    The 2005 is based on a revised version of the current Dakota chassis, not the new Durango chassis.
    The spy shot is an club cab - I hope they keep this configuration, as they got rid of it with the Ram. I do hope they add rear doors to the club cab, however. The club cab is a great place for a dog or child seat, without taking away from bed length as does the quad cab. The 5'quad bed is too short for my snowmobile or slide in camper.
    I also hope they keep the manual transmission/V8 available. A manual with a hemi would be too sweet!!!
  • dako1dako1 Member Posts: 18
    Dusty: You may recall that I was looking to buy a 3.7 V6 in a new Dakota. Well just for the heck of it I drove a regular cab 4x4 RAM and I fell in love with the truck. I looked around and had a chance to buy one with the 5.9 or the 4.7 V8. Both were used nicely equiped low mileage vehiclesone was black (the 4.7) and the other was granite gray (the 5.9) I loved the gray color and preferred it to the black because black is so hard to keep clean but I currently have the 4.7 in my Dakota and I love the engine so I bought the black one. It does not have the 5 speed auto but rather the older design (I presume)4spd. Anyway I have had it a couple of days now and other than the color, I love the think. Great sounding stock exhaust, just the right amount of growl. I hope I'm not too disappointed in the mileage. I currently get a solid 18 to 19 mpg with the Dakota primarily hwy driving. The RAM has the 3.92 axle which was a concern but when I drove it the tack read about the same rpm at 60 mph that my DAkota shows at the same speed. My conclusion then is that the mpg should be about the same. Am I off on my thinking and what are your thoughts on this rig.
This discussion has been closed.