I just got word back from the dealer who got it from the factory that Dodge
no longer offers this mirror on Dakotas - which also explains why the
factory-installed UConnect I wanted was not available for this truck. The
rationale for cutting the mirror is "cost saving effort". I guess that
includes the under-hood lamp I was expecting to see as well as the liberal
use of ABS plastic for the interior.
After hearing of the huge expenses being paid by major auto manufacturers
for labor, pensions, and medical benefits, I have to wonder: Was my mirror
(aftermarket retail = ~$100) the victim of these other expenses?
Yes, it's a small thing but, frankly, every car has four wheels and a motor.
It's the small things that distinguishes one model from another or one trim
package from another and when I'm willing to spend this much cash, I expect
a commensurate level of luxury - and chrome on the bumper isn't luxury.
Despite this not-quite-minor irritant, I'm satisfied with the truck so far.
It rides much smoother than my 2000 Dakota (both are 4x4). The 2007 truck
reminds me of a Chevy ride without the Chevy roll in the turns.
I also like how the all-wheel-drive I have in the 2007 deters skids. Both
trucks have anti-spin rear ends and it was pretty easy to get the rear end
of the 2000 loose on wet roads. The AWD seems to do a good job pulling
through the turns to make it more difficult to skid the rear end. I haven't
tried the ABS brakes, yet, but I sprung for the 4-wheel version and I'm
anxious to see how well they work.
Getting the 4.7L engine was a good call. It gets nearly the same mileage as
the 3.9L in my 2000, but I've got a lot more power available to me now. I
drove it ~450 miles down I-81 along the Shenandoah Valley/Blue Ridge
Mountains and the transmission didn't seem to shift more than I expected.
The cruise control held a constant speed and I was pleasantly surprised to
see it downshift to hold its speed going downhill. This may be a standard
feature on other makes/models, but I'm coming from a manual transmission and
I haven't seen this happen on other automatics I've driven. Maybe the others
were just smoother about it. :)
Another kudo: The tiedowns in the bed. The rubber plugs covering the front
tiedowns in my 2000 truck were a PITA. I didn't want to leave them out to
let debris get in the tiedown holes and it was not always convenient to pull
them out before attempting to put a load in the bed (meaning I'd have to
shift the load or put it partially in the bed to let me pull the plugs). The
sidemounted tiedowns of the 2007 are a better idea - and I like how they're
shaped to allow quick and easy ties with thin rope (even though I tend to
use straps with hooks).
I got the sunroof (quad cab) and I have only about 1 inch clearance between
my head and the headliner (I'm 6'2"). This isn't too bad and I was able to
adjust the seating position to get me a bit more clearance. Still, I can
feel the occasional hair catching the headliner. The jury is still out
regarding whether my next vehicle will have a sunroof. The wife loves them,
but I'm not yet a die-hard fan - and I may opt for the extra headroom next
I do wish DC would add a "mist" feature to their windshield wipers. No, it
doesn't kill me or cause carpal tunnel syndrome to flick the wipers on/off,
but it seems every other make I drive has a mist feature and it's
disappointing DC doesn't.
All in all, I can see myself driving this truck for 6+ years, but unless DC
shows me they're willing to respect my hard-earned cash for their
top-of-the-line package, my next one may well be a different make.
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