Dodge Dakota Future Models

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
edited March 2014 in Dodge
Click on the "2004 Dodge Dakota" link in the sidebar and come back here to offer your comments.

Owners Clubs


  • jhorljhorl Member Posts: 89
    Not too much to go by yet but I'm interested to see what it looks like. Would like to see a Diesel available for the truck....maybe a baby cummins.
  • mailman54mailman54 Member Posts: 111
    This is a dream come true. 5.7 Hemi V-8 in a Regular Cab. You gotta love it!

  • kwanderikwanderi Member Posts: 33
    I was leaning towards the Ram RC once the 5.7 was available, but if I can get it in the Dakota..

    Put mine on order today..
  • wetwilliewetwillie Member Posts: 129
    Me Too, Me Too!
  • slr9589slr9589 Member Posts: 121
    I know it will never happen but i'd like them to put an almost full size bed in the dak...
    but you asked
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Member Posts: 552
    Another of my Ace Buzz Patrollers reports that the SRT-8 badge will not be used on the Ram. Instead it will be used for the next generation of the Dakota R/T. The HEMI powered Dakota SRT-8 will probably make its debut in 2005.
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    Rick, thanks for the "heads up" and subsequent links. Looks like some exciting stuff is forthcoming.

  • datagurudataguru Member Posts: 95
    Has anyone heard the latest speculation/rumour that DC may offer the HO 4.7L (260-270HP) engine in Dakotas later this year(mid-2003 model year)? This engine is ONLY available currently in 2 models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Edition and Overland models? I've asked many dealerships and the customer assistance centre reps and no one has any official information.
  • mtrialsmmtrialsm Member Posts: 159
    Does this mean it's NOT gonna be downsized?
    I like to have a diesel option.
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Well, I was told by a friend at work that he's waiting to buy a Dakota in 2004 because they're going to put the 5.7 Hemi in it. Said he heard that from a Dodge saleman.

  • vulcan3vulcan3 Member Posts: 1
    I have 3 Dakotas, 1993, 1996, 1997, and all purchased new . These trucks are very good trucks and I was disappointed to hear that the new 2004 Dakota was to be downsized. Is this true? or is that comment based on the fact that the Durango which is based on the Dakota chassis going up size next year, and the Dakota will remain, "smaller"? Dodge started the mid size idea, and it would be a sin to get rid of the Dakota as we know it.
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    The way I understand it, the new Durango will be much larger. When the platform designers came up with the new Dakota based on the new Durango platform, they realized that the Dakota would only be slightly smaller than the RAM.

    So, the Durango will be increased in size but the new Dakota will be roughly the same size as the current version.

  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Member Posts: 552
    16/12/2003 - DCX announced that both Dodge and Mitsubishi will sell versions of the Dodge Dakota, both to be made at Chrysler's Warren, Michigan assembly plant. They will be similar in engineering but have different sheet metal and looks. It is hard to say how much input each of the companies has had, though Dodge appears to be largely responsible for the Dakota's engineering. Styling for each model was done by the respective company, independently, though bound by engineering constraints.
  • brianbmbrianbm Member Posts: 55
    I'd be very comfortable with a Dakota using the current 4.7, so Hemi news doesn't get me too excited.
    Show me the interior design, tell me about the suspension - I am wary of control arms on wheels in independent suspensions, they look like a failure waiting to happen the first time you test a rock while off road - and tell me that the cabin is updated. Ram styling leaves me worse then cold, but if the mechanicals are good, I'll put up with bloated styling.
  • brianbmbrianbm Member Posts: 55
    If the mechanicals prove good, maybe Mitsubishi's version will offer a more appealing choice of sheet metal. The Ram looks to me like someone stuck a hose up the truck's [non-permissible content removed] and inflated it. The new F-150 looks a lot nicer, but it's half again the truck I need, and gas consumption - uuuuuughhhh.
  • sunburnsunburn Member Posts: 319
    There are some pictures of the 2005 Dakota at Got to New Cars 2004/2005 then to 2005 Dodge Dakota.
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    I saw some pre-release stuff a few weeks ago about design changes and specs. I must say that I think the Dakota may be better appealing to my eye than the Durango. I'll have to wait until I see it in the flesh. I thought the Titan would be a lot better looking than it is in person, but when I first saw a real example I was really disappointed.

    Thanks for the heads-up, Sunburn.

    Best regards,
  • jimqjimq Member Posts: 14
    Dodge has just posted exterior & interior pictures of the new dakota. They are located under
    dodge life >events > auto shows >2005 Dakota. jimq
  • mtrialsmmtrialsm Member Posts: 159
    The new sheet metal design looks great. Flared fenders to fit larger tire/wheel package without
    those outdated add-on fender flares!
    I hope the seats have been redesigned! Only real
    grip about my Quad are the front seats. They are
    OK but could be much improved! I'll be looking at the
    year 2006 as a replacement? Maybe? I think Toyota,Nissan and even Honda will be on my truck list.
  • gregp5gregp5 Member Posts: 51
    Yeah, I like it too. Only bad thing is it makes my 01 QC look old. I wonder what the prices will start at ? At the Dodge site I built my 01 over again at the 04 prices and it come to just under 31K. Scares me to think of the 05 prices.
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926 the front end. It just doesn't adjust to my eyes, or vice-versa.

    I still like the looks of my '03 and I've had a number of comments that others like it too. In fact, the current generation scupture looks the best on the Durango, in my opinion.

  • gregp5gregp5 Member Posts: 51
    Just reading my new Truck Trend magazine and displayed prominently on the cover is the new Dakota with the title as...Not Much Change for "New" Dodge Dakota."
    So I'm pretty dissapointed and start reading the article...Hmm the 4.7 is a good engine and they go on to say "many of the same developement and design technologies from the new Durango have made their way over to the Dakota." a new hydroformed and welded frame is the foundation for a lengthened and widened pickup....and I'm thinking that sounds kinda new to me ?
    The pictures show a totally new front end and equally new taillights, brand new dash, seventeen inch wheels, wider opening doors, rear seats flip a different way for increased storage and new hydroformed longer and wider frame, but.....that isnt "new"?
    Hey I dont know, maybe its me, but I just had the feeling after reading it that if the Dakota had 500 horsepower, got 40 mpg and sold for 17,500. it still would have said Not Much New.

    Oh and one more VERY IMPORTANT thing, They did like the improved fender flares on the Nissan Frontier.

    Now is is more to the article but.....Am I missing something here ?
    Well thats all the time I have to rant today, Bye.
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Keep in mind that the only difference between the opinions of automotive magazine writers and editors and the rest of us is that they are paid for having an opinion. Since they are "opinions," by definition they are no more or no less valuable than anybody else's. Maybe even less so.

    Career opinionists would have most of us believe that they have a monopoly on the correct world view. Unfortunately, people still have a right to buy or like any particular automobile based on the individuals likes and dislikes, even if to you and me it seems devoid of logic. This has a tendency to make the "professional" opinionists a little insecure.

    Your account is so blatantly obvious for its lack of intelligence, objectivity -- or both -- that I think you might consider another reading vehicle or spending your money on something a little more useful, like putting the $5.00 away each month and taking the family out to dinner.

    "Truck Trend," huh? "Not much change?"

    And some people wonder why they're called morons.

    Best regards,
  • gregp5gregp5 Member Posts: 51
    I think you hit the nail on the head. I thought a magazine with TRUCK in the title would be interesting reading, being were truck owners.
    Guess I'll just look at the pictures while the subscription runs out.

  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Member Posts: 501
    I think whoever wrote the "Not much change" caption on the cover did not speak to whoever wrote the article. Based on my quick glance through last night, the article actually seems favorable.
  • quadmeisterquadmeister Member Posts: 25
    Maybe it's the redneck in me, but what's up with the 4X4 being the same height as the 2WD (actually the 4X4 is .1" lower). I realize not everybody requires extra ground clearance on their 4X4, but there's a great many that do.

    The rocker panels won't last very long come the first Spring thaw when some gravel roads turn into "'sippy holes".

    While overall there seem to be a lot of improvements, I'm pretty sure they're going to lose a lot of return 4X4 Dak customers unless they introduce an off-road suspension package or something (something like the Toyota Tacoma Prerunner, only on the 4X4 maybe).
  • ford_biiford_bii Member Posts: 120
    I agree with you. The 2004 lists its ground clearance at 7.9" vs 9.1" for the 2003. That's a big drop. Even the Ford Explorer has 8.6" of ground clearance. I really don't know what Dodge is thinking on this one. They must really need the cost savings of having only one suspension.

    I'm still trying to figure out why they are going to a 6-speed manual in the 2004. I can only figure the driving factor is the 3.7L engine, since the 4.7 with the 5-speed seem to mate very well. I checked out the gear ratios for the 5 vs 6 speed trannies and the 6 speed's 6th gear is taller then the 5th gear on the five speed. The closer ratios should allow you to shift faster, which is good, but they decided to drop the rear end ratio from 3.55 to 3.25 to save the gas mileage hit due to the taller 6th gear. I know that the final ratio is what matters, but are there durability issues with using a lower ratio in the rear? I've never heard of any serious towing rig having lower then a 3.55 rear. 3.73 or 4.10 is more common. 3.25 sounds like something you'd put on a passenger car.

    Though nobody has it listed yet, I figure the new truck must be heavier then the old one, due to the wider/longer body. Not good for power or gas mileage, since the standard 4.7 is the same output as the last generation, and the HO 4.7 needs premium fuel (heck with that). Also, what is the deal with no manual tranny on the HO 4.7?? Are you telling me the new Getrag trans can't handle the extra 20 HP and 10 lb-ft of torque of the HO motor??? It should be bolt-and-go as far as I can tell.

    The only feature that I'm somewhat interested in is the new all wheel drive system. We bought my wife a new Explorer last year, and I am extremely impressed with the control-trac system that Ford puts standard on all 4x4 Explorers. If the system on the new Dakota is similar, I would probably get my next one with it.

    As it is, I don't think the new Dakota has a lot going for it.
  • quadmeisterquadmeister Member Posts: 25
    yup, and I don't get how they figure better gas mileage with higher gears. Theoretically, yes, higher gears mean better gas mileage, but realistically, when the tranny has to downshift once or twice to try to maintain a consistent speed up a hill it does not help the fuel mileage... not in this neck of the woods, anyway.

    When I first heard of them revamping the Dakota, I had visions of... well, sort of what they did, but with 10 - 12 inches of ground clearance (I can still dream), and... um... I hate to say it, but basically a better looking Nissan Titan.
  • ford_biiford_bii Member Posts: 120
    Here is some info on transmissions/gear ratios that might be interesting:

    2004 Dakota
    NV3500 5-speed:
    1st 4.01
    2nd 2.32
    3rd 1.40
    4th 1.00
    5th 0.73

    2005 Dakota
    Getrag 238 6-speed:
    1st 4.23
    2nd 2.53
    3rd 1.67
    4th 1.23
    5th 1.00
    6th 0.79

    The standard rear on the 2004 Dakota was a 3.55, with a 3.92 option. So the final drive ratio (I think it's the final drive, or is the final drive ratio the ratio of just the rear?) would be 0.73*3.55=2.59. The 2005 Dakota has a standard rear of 3.21 with the 3.55 as the optional rear, so it would have 0.79*3.21=2.53 . So, the better gas mileage comes from a reduced overall drive ratio (trans*rear).

    The alternate rear ratios result in 3.92*0.73=2.86 / 3.55*0.79=2.80.

    So in any case, the mileage will be better due to the lower final drive ratios of the new trans/rear combo.

    If you do the above calculations for the first gear for each trans, you will see that the 2005 has a final ratio of 13.57:1 vs 14.2:1 for the 2004. (with 3.55 vs 3.21 rears)

    So, in summary, the new dakota will have less grunt off the line and will be even more of a pig in top gear on the highway. But, it will get better gas mileage.

    As somebody who tows quite a bit with my 2001 QC, I like the idea of the closer ratios in the 6-speed trans, but I would probably get the 3.55 rear to compensate for the drop in the overall drive ratio due to the 3.21 rear.
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    Regarding the transmission availability with the 287 (4.7) HO motor, I would guess that the lack of a manual transmission is due to emissions certification. I believe the HO version 287 is not available with manual transmission in any platform that uses it.

    Best regards,
  • quadmeisterquadmeister Member Posts: 25
    The lack of the manual on the HO is a bummer. but I can live with the auto.

    I would have liked to see a diesel version of the new Dak. With a six speed... and more ground clearance :-)

    ...and congratulations to Dodge for having the creative vision of finally putting back doors on the club cab. The only reason I now have a quad cab instead of the club cab (for the longer box) is because of that lack of vision on Dodge's part. Even a third door would have been good, but... required too much plant retooling, I guess...

    ...OK, I'm done grumbling about Dodge designers and engineers... for now.

    Somebody out there start developing a 6 inch suspension lift for that thing :-)
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    You know that's one thing I can't say I've ever seen is a lifted Dakota. Hard to believe someone doesn't make a kit for them.

    But, there is a local Dakota around here with something in it that is very, very, very fast. I've been told that it's a 318 with a blower, a hyper 360, and one report it was a 383 (which I doubt).

  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Member Posts: 501
    I've actually gotten stuck riding in a government issue 4wd Dakota when the vehicle went into some deep muddy ruts and it bottomed out, with all 4 wheels spinning. Seeing that ground clearance has dropped is troubling.

    I could have steered around and made it through the mud bog, but I had a woman driver, which is another story....
  • quadmeisterquadmeister Member Posts: 25
    There are a couple lift kits... or sorry, lift systems available out there, but they're a little involved which = fairly expensive ( too many $$ for me to justify to the spouse, anyway).

    Speaking of fast Dakotas... there's a guy in my hometown who took the 340 (with Predator carb, NOS, etc, etc...) out of his 4X4 race truck and dropped it (with tranny/transfer case) into his '01 club cab. That's one stock looking Dakota you don't want to challenge for pink slips, on or off the road.

    ...and atlgaxt, now be honest, was it the truck, the driver, or the navigator ;-)
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Member Posts: 501
    I had a highly attractive, highly intelligent and highly educated U.S. Forest Service Rangerette touring me through the property.

    However, driving (especially off road) was not one of her fortes. The funny part was after we were stuck as soon as she called in on the radio and before she even told why she was calling, the guy on the other end started laughing and said "all right (Name deleted to protect the innocent) - where do I have to go to come get you?"
  • quadmeisterquadmeister Member Posts: 25
    nothing like a highly attractive, highly intelligent and highly educated U.S. Forest Service Rangerette helplessly stuck in the mud... buddy was probably a little disappointed you were there with her. ;-)

    ... enough about that now.

    Hopefully the new Dakota just "sounds" low to the ground... like I mentioned before, I think the Toyota Tacoma Prerunner is a good idea. It would sure be nice if they had a "Rubicon Edition" of the new Dakota... I know, it ain't a Jeep, but it's the concept. Maybe call it the "Appalachian Edition"
  • roblrobl Member Posts: 1
    Gives good detail on upcoming model. See link: 2004&aff=national

    Select "2005 Dodge Dakota" from list
  • sunburnsunburn Member Posts: 319
    I was reading an article on the Mercedes E320 turbo diesel today. It has a 3.2L, 24 valve, 6 cylinder diesel. It produces 201 HP and 369 Ft-Lb torque. Something like that would be great in the Dakota. Maybe some of the diesel technology from DC's parts bin on the other side of the Atlantic will make it over here some day. Of course, DC would probably charge an extra $3K for it.
  • ford_biiford_bii Member Posts: 120
    Any idea what kind of mileage that diesel would get in the Dakota? I definitely be interested in that configuration.
  • spike50spike50 Member Posts: 481
    ford_bii - Seems that you're falling for sunburn's pipe dream. I too have pined over the idea of a small turbo diesel powered Dakota. Plenty of Benz power plant / transmission combos to choose from.

    A friend of mine had a Ram 1500, traded it for a F150 crew cab, and recently traded it for a diesel Ram 2500 (I think) so he could pull a trailer of 4-wheelers. Although the diesel part is OK, the rest of the truck is so heavy-duty that it is uncomfortable as a daily driver (unloaded). I'm just remembering how other Dak owners have complained about a harsh ride.

    My rambling is coming around to the point that maybe we wouldn't like the end product (too rough). I'm sure that a more pleasant (mama bear) version could be produced but DC would only do it if the sales were there. I also think that diesels are restricted to fewer models than in the old days for environmental reasons, which is another hurdle. DC would probably prefer you buy their Ram 2500 / 3500 versus all that extra work.
  • ford_biiford_bii Member Posts: 120
    Yes, a pipe dream it most likely is.

    BUT, with rising gas prices and emissions, you have to wonder if more manufacturers won't try a diesel soon. If Ford/GM/Honda/Toyota are willing to invest research in Hybrid vehicles, why not diesels?

    Why do people pick hybrids? Usually it's gas mileage (I think). I think most people like myself are turned off on hybrids when we think of the cost to repair and the fact that they've pretty much only been small vehicles (and are not as powerful as their gas equivalents). I found an article on the E320 diesel and it gets 30 mpg in the Benz. That translates to low to mid 20's in a Dakota. So, if you were told that you could get 30% better gas mileage using proven reliable technology, with the only caveat being you have to pump from a different pump, would you do it? I sure would. Not to mention I get 68 more lb-ft of torque to boot.

    A pipe dream, certainly, but I think smaller diesels are going to become an interim step to hybrid technology in the future as gas prices continue to rise and emissions become stricter.
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Member Posts: 501
    The RAM is a heavy duty truck that is not going to be plush. However, putting one of Daimler Chrysler's excellent European diesels in a Dakota would not hurt its comfort level one bit while providing an efficient engine with decent hp and strong torque. Sounds like the perfect midsized pickup to me.

    The thing to remember is every diesel being brought to the market right now is a gamble that somehow the manufacturers will figure out a way to meet the new tougher 2007 pollution requirements, or that these requirments will be softened. If either is the case, you will see a much larger investment in diesels. If it is not the case, diesel usage will retreat back to being only for heavy duty pick-ups.
  • spike50spike50 Member Posts: 481
    I was reading the most recent Four Wheeler mag tonight and they had a mini-debate about gas versus diesel. Their two biggest points were the environmental pollution (only available on 3/4 ton and bigger) and cost. They weren't specific about engine sizes or manufacturer but they were quoting that there could be as much as a $6000 price increase for a diesel rig and that the pay back period wouldn't be worth it.

    Personally, I wish Dakota had a diesel option but remembering back to the fall/winter/spring or 1999/2000, gas was only $0.85/gal. Ahhh the good old days.
  • quadmeisterquadmeister Member Posts: 25
    I'm still dreaming too... but if they will do it in a Liberty, then why not a Dakota? There's a reason (sales and marketing motivated, I'm sure) why they're offering a diesel in the Liberty, I'm hoping that same reason will encourage DC to offer a diesel in the new Dakota, too.

    One thing I'm certain of is that the ol' girl's Cherokee is gonna get traded in for a Liberty CRD, asap., while in dreamland, can we have a 6" suspension lift in the new Dak too? :-)
  • ron35ron35 Member Posts: 134
    Below is a link to an interesting article comparing the 05 Dakota and Frontier.
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    Ron, thanks for the link. Very interesting article. I noticed on the comparison specifications, that Nissan had a 6 speed manual as standard, versus a 5 speed automatic for Dodge, unless that was a typo.

  • mopar67mopar67 Member Posts: 728
    who's supplying the frame for the new Dak? Tower? Magna? AO Smith?
    Also, will it feature full box hyrdroformed sections?
    I also read that the torsion bar setup will be gone on the 2005 models. Not sure on this one but I caught wind of it somewhere.
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926

    It will incorporate a full box hydroformed frame, be lighter than the current Dakota backbone, and approximately 35% stiffer in multiaxis. There's nothing wrong with the current Dakota frame, by the way, which is stiffer torsionally than the current GM versions.

    I do not know who will be manufacturing the Dakota frame.

    Yeah, I think they are using coils to replace the torsion bars, too.

    Best regards,
  • mopar67mopar67 Member Posts: 728
    as they currently have the Ram and Current Generation Dakota.

    Oh well, suffice it to say its much easier identifying who makes what for Dodge than it is Suzuki.
This discussion has been closed.