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Chrysler unveils new mid-size Dakota pickup
JOHN PORRETTO
Associated Press

CHICAGO - The Chrysler Group's latest addition to its expanded lineup is a beefier mid-size pickup, the redesigned and more powerful Dakota that's scheduled to reach showrooms this fall.

Chrysler, part of German-American automaker DaimlerChrysler AG, has fought declining U.S. market share in recent years, which analysts and even some company officials attribute to an aging product line and increasing competition from Asian and European nameplates.

Chrysler's Dodge division was expected to show the new 2005 Dakota on Wednesday at the Chicago Auto Show.

Because most of the growth in the pickup segment has come in the full-size category, Dodge is touting the Dakota as bigger, bolder and tougher.

The new pickup is 3.7 inches longer than its predecessor, primarily ahead of the front axle, to provide added "crush space" for improved impact performance. Dodge also notes the Dakota has the only V-8 engine in its class.

Dakota sales slipped 15.5 percent last year, while its full-size brother, the Ram, increased its volume by nearly 11 percent, according to Autodata Corp.

"Dakota defined the mid-size segment with more room, more comfort and more power than the competition," said Eric Ridenour, Chrysler's executive vice president for product development. "The 2005 Dakota ... injects some Dodge Ram DNA into the design and feel."

The truck will compete against models such as the new Chevrolet Colorado and Nissan Frontier.

The Dakota also features a new advanced air bag system that includes dual front air bags and an occupant-sensing system for the passenger-side front air bag.

The new truck is part of the automaker's long-range plan to introduce 25 new or redesigned vehicles over the next 36 months.

Among them are the Chrysler 300C sedan, a convertible version of the PT Cruiser and the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, which is 15 inches longer than the current model.

The smallest of Detroit's Big Three automakers, Chrysler saw its U.S. market share fall to 12.8 percent in 2003 from 13.1 the year before.

Chrysler chief Dieter Zetsche said in November the automaker will spend an extra $250 million this year to promote its new offerings





 

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We get a green slip on DCX vehicles and I was considering a new Dakota Club or Quad cab and thought "hell, I might as well wait and see what the next one looks like". Sheeeeeiiiiitttt. Nevermind.
 

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Originally posted by Rex Raider@Feb 4 2004, 10:35 AM
Chrysler chief Dieter Zetsche said in November the automaker will spend an extra $250 million this year to promote its new offerings
better spend that on making better products, dumba$$!

I dig a little the sides and rear, but the front is kinda messed up
 

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Of the big 3, at least dodge had nice looking cars and trucks. Now, for the most part, none of them do. I hate the durango and this looks worse yet!
 

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In my opinion, the new Dakota is the best looking midsize truck on the market. It offers the best engine / transmission options as well as one of the clasiest interiors on the market. I think Dodge is set to easily outsell the new Chevy/GMC twins.
 

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Very very nice midsize truck, clearly looks like more like a Dodge, the front is right of the Durango and so is the interior. Gives Dodge a clear advantage in the midsize truck market competitng with the LOSERS which I hate Ford Ranger (TOO OLD), Toyota Tacoma too wimpy. But I think GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado are real competitors for this!!!!
 

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NOOOOOOOO!!!! Why did they let Dodge's Dakota into Chevy Trucks hands????

It looks like what the current Silverado looks like. I like the previous Dakota thank you. My pick goes back to Chevy Colorado. (Though i may warm up to the styling, but like the current silverado, it'll never be the same)
 

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Originally posted by boblutzfan@Feb 4 2004, 07:42 PM
In my opinion, the new Dakota is the best looking midsize truck on the market. It offers the best engine / transmission options as well as one of the clasiest interiors on the market. I think Dodge is set to easily outsell the new Chevy/GMC twins.
werd, this is an awesome truck. How can you not like the look of it? It looks awesome!! I didnt know theywere coming out with a new one?

This looks way better, and bigger, then the GM twins. Engine options? Hemi? If there is a Hemi in this one... take cover. All they need now is a hemi coupe and Im a mopar man.
 

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is that a gm radio in that dakota, looks somewhat like the new ones in GM cars, ala g6 adn others
 

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I have to say: the old Dakota looked much better, in my opinion, but of course the Durango is getting a lot of buzz (personally, it is the ugliest SUV ever), so maybe the Durango-based Dakota for 05' might get some of the buzz too. Still, I think its ugly! ;)
 

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hmmm... not too bad at all. it's a truck for sure... no soft edges there. canyon and colorado look much better, including inside. dodge'll sell a few... but it's nothing to worry about. the next ranger shouldn't be trouble either... since ford's current trend is stick that boring explorer front end on everything. (lucky F-150 got away with a nice snout).
 
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