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Are the 2005-2007 the step children in the Dakota Family?
Are there technological milestones for this generation?
Did Dodge "miss the boat" in this generation?
I just don't see much of "anything" offered in these years, used parts, upgrades. etc.
Regards, Thanks for reading and posting positive comments.
 

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Are the 2005-2007 the step children in the Dakota Family?
Probably….. This is all my opinion, but I think the magic was all but worn out by 2005. The Dakota was a milestone truck, a unique idea, when it was first introduced, and it offered tons of options and style over the course of it's existence. It was the first midsize truck ever offered, it was the first to come with a V8, and there were performance variants; Shelby Dakota, and R/Ts. There were convertibles, and rare Little Red Dakotas. The most popular and IMO best looking of Dakotas were the "Baby Rams" intro'ed in 97, which followed the very popular 94 Ram. But eventually every competitor caught up. They offered V8s of their own, they had performance versions, and most importantly, they were sometimes cheaper. The redesigned 05 was not a huge hit. For some reason, Dodge in those years was going thru an ugly phase in design. The Dakota wasn't spared, but it wasn't the only one to be hit with the ugly stick. The next gen Durango wasn't very pretty, the next Ram wasn't either and a bunch of their cars weren't easy to look at. My guess is that Dodge tried to top the success of the previous models, with these "new" ideas and designs, and failed miserably. (and the proof is lost sales in these years) Another problem was the cost of the Dakota. It had been going up in the last few years to the point where it actually began competing with the full-size models. The customers eventually figured out that for the same price, they could step up to a Ram and get all the benefits of the bigger vehicle. There were probably mistakes made along the way as well. For one, the 4.7 had teething problems when it was first introduced and never gained the trust of customers. Then, for some reason, Dodge didn't offer the popular 5.7 Hemi in the Dakota. That engine in the Dakota could had been a big game changer as the competition by this time were introducing much better and more powerful V8s. But Dodge stuck it out with that 4.7 For the money, the Ram offered the Hemi, and it sold like hotcakes. Even the ugly-rango had the 5.7 Hemi….Oppertunity lost.

Are there technological milestones for this generation?
Yes, but not many. The 05 had an all new 4WD front suspension, that allowed for a better ride and more bells and whistles, but companies like Toyota simply did it all better

Did Dodge "miss the boat" in this generation?
Yes. The Dakota, to this point was a very popular truck, due in part to it's design. When it was time to give it a face lift in '05, it didn't go off well and they should have sued their plastic surgeon. The body was widened by stretching out the fenders, but the interior didn't benefit from more space. The tight sexy curves of the 97-04 were squared off in an unflattering way and the sleek grille was made into an oversized blocky and raked rendition of the former. Then there were those horrible headlights that looked like they were sitting in a pair of clear plastic refrigerator draws and the really big front bumper that looked like it could be used to push snow. Worse imo, was the use of the double bubble taillights that Dodge felt it needed to include on every truck in it's line up. I just didn't think they looked as good as the earlier trucks…..Even the 08s at least started to redeem itself with the last updates, but it really had a long way to go..sadly Dodge decided to kill it

Honestly, I'm getting over the style, it's really isn't that bad and with a bit of lift, some larger tires and some well placed accessories, can probably be made to look pretty good. But so far, there are few examples.

I just don't see much of "anything" offered in these years, used parts, upgrades. etc.
Regards, Thanks for reading and posting positive comments.
There really isn't much of anything offered, for any Dakota. In the overall grand scheme of things, the Dakota itself was the red-headed step child of light trucks. The aftermarket all but ignored these vehicle for more popular and better selling trucks. But it's not hopeless. There is just enough support if you're resourceful and theres all kinds of ideas that can be applied to these rides.

Ed
 

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Yeah, this Gen was a step in the wrong direction, plus prices close to a Ram doomed sales numbers. Low sales meant low aftermarket support, but at least there's some anyway. But I plan on driving this thing for a loooong time regardless.
 
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