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  #1  
Old 03-04-2004, 12:47 AM
gilraine gilraine is offline
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ranger Vs. dakota

I'm considering buying either a 2001 dakota sport (4.7, 5 speed, 4x4 and clubcab)or a 2004 ranger(4.0,stick, 2 door supercab and 4x4)... price is about the same, monthly payment wise. I just want to know which would work better for me... I just will carry hay and building supplies with it and wheel them a little... towing at most 3K twice a year..
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Old 03-04-2004, 01:02 AM
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Never driven a Ranger, but the Dakota with the 4.7 has plenty of get-up-and-go to it.
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Old 03-04-2004, 02:52 AM
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Definently the Dakota with 4.7 its got great power and torque and who wouldnt want more power
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Old 03-04-2004, 03:03 AM
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If it was me I would get the ranger. Of course being a diehard Ford guy ther would be no other choice. Lets put brand loyalty aside for a minute. The Dakota would have more power than the ranger thats for sure. However the tradeoff would be in gas mileage. The ranger would .
get better. However what you say you are going to do with your truck I would have to go with the dakota. If you were going to haul that much weight over any kind of hills I would want something with plenty of power. The dakota wins out here. I know a kid around here that has one of those has a dual exhaust on it that truck screams tons of power. I never thought I would recommend a Dodge over a Ford.but in this case I will. Just trying to be fair and non baised. Hope this helps a little. Thanks..


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Old 03-04-2004, 08:04 AM
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I think either one is fine. The Dakota will have better power but less mileage. My dad has a 2wd Dakota similar to that one. The gas mileage on the highway is 16 to 18 mpg. For that mileage, I would rather have a full size 1/2 ton truck.
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Old 03-04-2004, 11:48 AM
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I know that the thread is ranger vs. dakota but (don't kick me out of the forum for this guys,) but if we are putting brand name aside and you want power and gas mileage. Than the s-10 with 4.6 vortech is where its at. Before I got smart and went back to ford, I had a S-10 4x4. It will pull anything that a fullsize 350 will and get better gas mileage. Myself I'm not a small truck fan just not enough room. Thats just my thoughts
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Old 03-04-2004, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by redneckbronco
It will pull anything that a fullsize 350 will and get better gas mileage. Myself I'm not a small truck fan just not enough room. Thats just my thoughts
I highly doubt that an S-10 can outpull a 350. The weight that my dad sometimes pulls with his Chevys with 350s will bust the frame of an S-10. He has gotten 15 mpg pulling an empty 18' gooseneck stock trailer.

Anyway, back to the point. I would probably never buy a little pickup because a 1/2 ton usually does not do too much worse on fuel and it is much more useful. If I was forced to get a small pickup, the Dakota would be my choice, because of the size. The Ranger and S-10 are too small to be appealing to me. I also like the option of a V8 motor.
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Old 03-04-2004, 06:20 PM
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3K lbs is nothing for a Ranger to pull. Being a very satisfied Ranger owner, I wold recomend it. There is less room than compared to the Dakota, but I like the smaller size of the vehicle. Very manueverable, and good power from my 4.0, and the newer ones have even more power, although they need to rev a tad higher to make it. You should be able to get 20 MPG highway with a Ranger. I know that my uncles 4.7 Durango, yes it's a bit heavier than a Dakota, gets at most 15 on the Highway. When it comes to off road however, this is where I think the Ranger is King. If you opt for the limited slip axle, you will be very happy with where it will be able to go. My L/S is worn out and I have yet to get it stuck. Being lighter than the Dakota and being able to fit 32" tires on a Ranger makes it one tough truck off road.
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Old 03-05-2004, 11:46 AM
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In the ranger there is less room than in the dakota, but not by much, the dakota is bigger on the outside but not on the inside. For being a "midsize" truck, they dont seem to have more room than a ranger, just my 02.
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Old 03-05-2004, 12:19 PM
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I test drove Dakota too. And as you can see, I bought Ford again. The Dakota with the 4.7 is HORRIBLE on fuel. It doesn't have much more space in the cab either. And the quality just isn't as good. Ball joints are awful in them. They also don't tow much more. My Ranger has a 5,200 lb. towing capacity. The Dakota is at or below that I believe.

Also, if your payments would be the same on a 3 year old Dakota as compared to a new Ranger, someone is seriously trying to rip you off on the Dakota. Dakotas sell CHEAP around here...mainly because no one wants a small truck with horrible gas mileage.
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Old 03-05-2004, 12:35 PM
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WXboy I spoke to soon in my earlier post. You look at these trucks on the outside they will fool you. Looks like they hve plenty of room. Wrong they dont. Around my area There more Ranger pickups on the road than anything else. Rangers everywhere you look. Not to many dakotas or s-10 either. All the magazines that rate small pickups always rave about the ranger. And these rangers are no slouch when it comes to durability and longevity. I see lots of old Rangers around here 80s models that are still running. People hate to get rid of these pickups they are so reliable. It is easy to see why Ranger is the best selling compact
truck around. Lots of Chevy guys even have rangers. Just my thoughts Thanks.
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Old 03-05-2004, 01:20 PM
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Here is my 2 cents for I own both vehicles. I own an 88 Ranger X-Cab 4wd (2.9) and a 97 Dodge Dakota x-cab 4wd 318 V8. The Ranger is the best vehicle I have ever owned. I bought it with 163K and now it has over 193K. I paid $2,500 and over the 5 (yes 5) years I have invested about $2,000. I have faith it will always start and get me to point B. It is a bit small but very maneuverable.
The Dakota was purchased for my wife. She loves it. It is noticeably bigger than the Ranger. The 318 auto is smooth but really sucks the gas (14 mpg). The style hands down beats the Ranger. It really is a badd a$$ truck. The front end (sealed ball joints?) is inferior to the Ranger but the powertrain is superior. It is a heavy truck and the towing is much better than the Ranger Dodge Dakota owners are more fanatical than Ranger owners, easily. I really believe that you cannot do an apples to apples comparison. You could compare a Dakota to a Toy T100. Both good trucks but I like my Ranger better, however, I would not spend big bucks on a newer one.
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Old 03-05-2004, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by AG4.0
3K lbs is nothing for a Ranger to pull. Being a very satisfied Ranger owner, I wold recomend it. There is less room than compared to the Dakota, but I like the smaller size of the vehicle. Very manueverable, and good power from my 4.0, and the newer ones have even more power, although they need to rev a tad higher to make it. You should be able to get 20 MPG highway with a Ranger. I know that my uncles 4.7 Durango, yes it's a bit heavier than a Dakota, gets at most 15 on the Highway. When it comes to off road however, this is where I think the Ranger is King. If you opt for the limited slip axle, you will be very happy with where it will be able to go. My L/S is worn out and I have yet to get it stuck. Being lighter than the Dakota and being able to fit 32" tires on a Ranger makes it one tough truck off road.
definitly going to consider the ranger!!!
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Old 03-05-2004, 09:45 PM
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Dakotas from 97-03 have very bad front end problems, along with undersized brakes and inferior bearing design. My neighbor has one with a 5.2, and its slower than my ranger, and it has more physical displacement. The 5.2 is one of the most stable motors ever designed, thats why after 50 years, Dodge is still using it. Personally I don't think the bigger engine is worth it if you can't stop, the Dakotas are due for a face change though, so if you like the Ranger, its probably worth it.
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Old 03-06-2004, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by redneckbronco
I know that the thread is ranger vs. dakota but (don't kick me out of the forum for this guys,) but if we are putting brand name aside and you want power and gas mileage. Than the s-10 with 4.6 vortech is where its at. Before I got smart and went back to ford, I had a S-10 4x4. It will pull anything that a fullsize 350 will and get better gas mileage. Myself I'm not a small truck fan just not enough room. Thats just my thoughts
I won't consider a GM.. My uncle had a jimmy that was in for work 6 times in 2 months and it had 25,000 miles on it....
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Old 03-06-2004, 11:24 PM
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