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Dodge Dakota, Truck
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#114 of 142 Saw my first 05 - reply
Dec 25, 2004 (1:43 pm)
I had considered going back to a Dakota. I had a 2000 Quad and replaced it with a 2003 Ram Quad.
I'm considering replacing the Ram because I want side curtain air bags and a few additional options that were not available when I bought the 2003. I am also getting disenchanted with the Hemis poor gas mileage so that I would consider a smaller motor.
I have priced out a 2005 Dakota Quad and a 2005 Ram Quad. I have found that a comparably equipped Dakota would cost me more to buy than the Ram. The Dakota rebates are nowhere as good as those offered on the Rams.
I got a mailing from Dodge that offered an additional $2000 off any new Dakota or Durango if I was a current Dakota/Durango owner but that is no longer the case.
Like others I haven't warmed to the new look either. I thought the 2000-4 Dakota to be a much more attractive package. I have yet to see anyone driving a new one here in Omaha, even the salesmen drive the Rams for demos. I suspect the $2000 offer for current owners may be extended to the general populace just to start moving them off the lots.
The only real thing the new Dakota has going for it is the option of heated cloth or leather seats. It was -3 degrees here the other morning and that sure would have been a nice option to have. Merry Christmas to all the Mopar community (ever those lurkers who have strayed from the pack) Rick
#115 of 142 Re: Saw my first 05 - reply [iowabigguy]
Dec 26, 2004 (10:15 am)
>>I suspect the $2000 offer for current owners may be extended to the general populace just to start moving them off the lots.<<
Here in Connecticut, I've noticed that the advertised prices are getting attractive. This morning a local Dodge dealer has an ad in the paper offering to sell new '05s at invoice (I forget whether further rebates were included) and will make a $250 donation to a local charity. Problem is that the selection is limited. I'm betting that when Dodge, Toyota, Chev/GMC and Nissan get more new product on the lots that your suspicion will come true. Yes, heated seats are nice below zero. (That plus a bottle of peppermint schnaps under the seat.)
#116 of 142 Re: style and market [saabgirl]
Jan 04, 2005 (7:52 am)
I agree that the body styling of the 05 Dakota is fugly. Even worse is the Durango. It looks like a school bus or mini-van on steroids. However I also think the 05 Taco and the Chevy/GMC Colorado/Canyon are no better. Also not impressed with pictures of the upcoming Frontier. While on the subject what in the world is taking Ford so long with the Ranger? My own two cents is that Trucks and especially SUV's are so popular with consumers and so profitable for the manufacturers that not a lot of thought and R & D really needs to be devoted to styling. Just put a fender flare here and a bulge there and we're done! All Ford did with the new F-150 was shrink the body styling of the F-250, and not successfully in my opinion. And I hate to say this but the latest Ram looks like a cartoon character. But you know, how many ways can you style a square cab on top of a rectangular body and bed? I think Chevy took the right approach with the Silverado. Over time the conservative styling has aged well as has the earlier Ram and Dakota. All of the above is my opinion. I understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
#117 of 142 Re: [goboilers] - '05 Dakotas [spike50] [tcsmpsi] [spike50]
Jan 04, 2005 (12:32 pm)
I know that the front end on the '05 Dak puts some folks off. The protruding front bumper, most notably. However, it is function oriented more than cosmetic. It's design is to, most especially as it is directly frame related with two rather massive octagon members. The front bumper set up would take a great deal of shock and trauma before allowing damage to more intricate equipment.
The rear bumper is also much better equipped to withstand collision.
The entire frame and supension has been re-evaluated and upgraded. Even the window glass is thicker to help with road noise (which doesn't mean much to me as I am not comfortable not hearing the sounds outside and always have the window open a bit). Since I am a bit long-bodied, I am pleased with the extra headroom inside.
Though the body lines may be a bit 'bold' for some, the structural integrity it adds to the sheet metal is notable.
Now, I suppose many of the more 'add-on' changes might not appeal to some. I like the plain truck, no power windows and the minimal package with 2WD. Generally, I leave my rock climbing, etc to my personal physical enjoyment, and have taken 2WD vehicles many places where 4WDs would 'disagree'.
So far, relative mixed driving has produced +/-20 mpg, with the 4spd auto transmission and 6 cyl.
Got about 1500 miles on it presently, and becoming more acquainted with it, has brought me only to appreciate it more.
#118 of 142 Re: style and market [surfla1]
Jan 04, 2005 (3:23 pm)
The new RAM didn't turn me on and the new Dakota even less so. That being said I would not shun owning either one based on that single lack of merit alone. What bothers me more about the Dakota is the lack of a complete set of gauges.
I guess I'm just getting old but none of the new truck designs appeal much to my eye. Currently, the Tundra is probably the most pleasing to me, followed by the GMC version. The new F150, Titan, and the Chevy have made the RAM my third choice.
When it comes to exterior looks alone the '97-'04 Dakotas were the best in my opinion, the '01-'04s inside as well.
#119 of 142 Re: [goboilers] - '05 Dakotas [spike50] [tcsmpsi] [spike50] [tcsmpsi]
Jan 04, 2005 (3:24 pm)
I work with a fellow who really loves his '05 Dakota, says its the best handling and riding truck and super quiet. His gas mileage matches yours as well.
Good luck with yours.
#120 of 142 05 dakota
Jan 04, 2005 (4:54 pm)
I was at the dealer 3 week's ago . While I was waiting I looked at the 05 Dakota Didn't look very good then but got off work the other day and there was a white one parked out front.Sitting along with other cars it had a better persepctive.I looked at it again and liked it a lot better.
#121 of 142 Re: 05 dakota [roper2]
Jan 07, 2005 (8:57 am)
I find it interesting how the color of a particular model can sometimes make the truck or car look better. I generally find the Titan styling too over the top. However I saw an all black one today that was a little more pleasing to my eye.
I also agree that age probably is a factor in the new "bolder styling". The new "bolder" looks are generally more appealing to younger people who are a prime target demographic buyer. My opinion has always been that the styling of any automobile that I buy should appeal to my taste in its base form, without all the plastic and chrome add ons. In that sense the last generation Dakota and the current Silverado are tops. When you fully trick out the Ram and the 4 X 4 F-150, they are obviously much more pleasing to the eye. But it's also obviously much harder on the pocket book.
I consider both form and function when buying a vehicle. The last generation Dakota was the best fit for my bill. I don't think the current model blended form and function nearly as well as the last. I agree that function is most important in a truck. But I do not agree that that to take a step forward in function requires a step backward in form.
Does anyone know whether any of the manufactures seek consumer opinion on new design changes or is it all left up to the in-house design team?
#122 of 142 Re: 05 dakota [surfla1]
Jan 07, 2005 (2:37 pm)
>>Does anyone know whether any of the manufacturers seek consumer opinion on new design changes or is it all left up to the in-house design team?<<
All manufacturers do focus groups. Curb appeal is too big a deal to leave entirely to any one roomful of people. The target market will be the one most widely represented in the focus group.
But manufacturers are also keenly interested in branding. They want their products to be instantly recognizable as one of the family. So the Dakota had to look like the little brother of the Ram. To my eye, the Ram is kind of a cartoon truck, so it's not surprising that the Dakota inherits some of that.
For something similar see the Tacoma/Tundra, Frontier/Titan or Colorado/Canyon/Silverado.
I don't have a strong aversion to the appearance of the 2005 model, though I might slightly prefer the less "high style" look of its predecessor. Still haven't seen one on the road here in central Connecticut. Did see half a dozen Tacomas. (Or maybe the same three twice each.)