2007 Dakota - Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror - Update

Update to: <http://groups.google.com/group/alt.autos.dodge.trucks/browse_frm/thread/bd19d659d0c2e5f6/ed348059ffe385ba?lnk=gst&q=auto-dimming&rnum=1#ed348059ffe385ba
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.
<rant> 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. </rant>
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 time.
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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John T
http://sage1solutions.com/blogs/TknoFlyer
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My 02 Dak will spray and sweep wipers only a couple times if I push the lever in. Doesn't yours ? Ron
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Yes, but that's not what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is the ability to activate the control and get a single sweep of the wipers. This feature is usually labeled "Mist".
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John T wrote:

My Dodge Caliber has that feature.
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Well, if I turn on my Dakota's wipers then turn them off right away, I get a single sweep, too. :)
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