Substantially better than I get with my 97 Dakota 318. Too bad Dodge doesn't
offer a small diesel in the Dakota and 1500 Ram. Of course no one else offers
a 1/2 ton diesel so why should they? Lack of innovation is why Toyota and the
other foreign manufacturers are kicking the big three's ass (soon to be the
little three or two).
They announced a diesel option for the Ram 1500 coming in a couple of years:
"The automaker will debut a new turbodiesel engine in its Dodge light-duty
pickups after 2009. The new Cummins "clean diesel" for the Dodge Ram 1500
will provide up to 30 percent better fuel economy and a 20 percent reduction
in carbon dioxide emissions compared with a conventional gas engine."
If I still had the factory rear-end gears of 3.54 instead of 3.73 that was
installed, I would be getting 25 MPG highway.
Actually the Big 3 are doing quite well with their truck sales.
It's the automobiles that are being bashed. 80% of Chrysler sales have been
I agree that the big three truck sales are what has kept them out of
bankruptcy but the Tundra and Titan are quickly gaining market share. Just
look at the Tundra commercials that talk about how much tougher their trucks
are by comparing components. And then look at Ford who drives theirs through a
cake to show their toughness. It leaves the viewer with the impression the
Tundra is a much better truck than any big three product. And Toyota has a
reputation for quality that none of the big three have ever come close to. I
think it's just a matter of time until the majority of light duty trucks on
the road are Japanese branded.
Seems you kept your truck for some time. I'd suggest a Dodge with a Cummins.
Is expensive at first,but you get a lot of stuff with the engine. Also you
will retain value with the Cummins. Decent economy once broken in. Oh, it is
a 6 cyl. Warranty on the engine is 100K I believe, the rest is a DC deal
which you can extend. Now you have to figure out if you have a need for the
I just went through that analysis.
While I was quite happy with my '98 Dakota, It is now for sale,
replaced with a Toyota Tacoma, double cab 2WD. My criteria was
somewhat different than yours. I wanted the best MPG possible for a
truck rated to tow 4000 lbs. with a 35% cushion on the rating and a
9000 lb gross combined with a 20% cushion on the rating.
Tacoma won by far. rated tow capacity is 6500/11,100 GC, with an 18/22
MPG EPA estimate. Dakota(with a V8) could get the tow rating but
with terrible fuel economy.
First two tanks averaged 21 MPG with four adults, luggage, mostly
If I were limiting my search to a full size truck, I would have gone
with the new (not classic) Chevrolet or GMC equivelent, with an iron
block 5.3L. 16/22 MPG EPA estimate. Lots of nice features. great
warranty. But I didn't want a full size truck. You may.
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