Show full review Editor's note: This review was written in November 2007 about the 2008 Dodge Dakota. With 210 horsepower and 235 lb. However, some compact trucks are a bit more refined. It also manages to be more aggressive than the previous design's wide-eyed look, which is always good in the truck market. The six-speed manual has longish throws, and it requires a decent amount of effort to shift from gear to gear; it kind of feels like you're moving a broomstick around in a bucket of cement. Dodge's revisions to the Dakota for 2008 fall short of a full redesign, but the changes do add a little life to the truck see a with the 2007 model.
Available V8 Engine We really like the Dakota's 302-horsepower V8. The dash is made of hard plastic, but it does have nice graining, and there's a cubby on the passenger side of the dashboard for odds and ends. Forward of the front-door hinge, the 2009 Dakota is completely different than either its predecessor or its bigger sibling. The luxury-minded Laramie has a chromed grille, power seats, premium audio, remote start and chrome rear bumper. Styling The Dakota's overall shape is largely the same as it was before, but the front is more streamlined thanks to a new hood, headlights and fenders.
A dual-position tail gate can be secured in mid-position to act as a support for extra long cargo extending beyond the Dakota's six-foot six-inch bed. Most are available with rear-, conventional four-wheel drive or full-time four-wheel drive. Standard is a capable 210-horsepower V6, while an impressive 302-horsepower V8 is available. Just to put the 2009 Dakota's optional 302-horspower 4. In comparing the 2009 Dakota to a typical sedan, a sophisticated driver may notice a small amount of rear-axle ride harshness over uneven pavement. The Dakota comes in extended and crew cab configurations, and can seat up to six.
A V8-powered achieves better fuel economy. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's frontal-offset crash test, the Dakota received an Acceptable rating, the second-highest score. The space is better used for storage, and the rear seats' bottom cushions flip up easily to make space for belongings you need to store inside the cab. Send Mike an Hide full review. The black-on-white instrument panel is easy to read, although the plastics that make up much of the interior feel hard and somewhat low-budget. It was ahead of its time in that regard, as most other once-small pickups have since grown to match the Dakota's size. Styling The Dakota's overall shape is largely the same as it was before, but the front is more streamlined thanks to a new hood, headlights and fenders.
The Dodge Dakota of the late '90s was one of the early midsize pickup trucks on the market. It can get jostling at times,. Ride and Handling The Dakota's ride comfort, even when it's unloaded, is more than capable for a truck and, perhaps surprisingly, essentially as good as many cars. The V-6 and manual transmission make a nice pair in the Dakota. It can get jostling at times, and there's some slight cab shudder on rough roads, but overall it's not excessive for a truck. When available, Sirius Satellite Radio can provide traffic information.
While maintaining the aggressive styling that has become a Dodge trademark, the 2009 Dakota is angular where its previous generation was rounded. Currently the Dodge Dakota has a score of 7. When stopping, the driver enjoys natural brake pedal effort that's very progressive. . Though clutch pedal effort is rather heavy, it engages smoothly and is quickly mastered. An oversized version of Dodge's crosshair grille dominates the front.
Upholstery choices include cloth, stain-resistant fabric and leather. Two front-seat configurations are offered: bucket seats or a three-place bench that includes a flip-down center armrest. It also manages to be more aggressive than the previous design's wide-eyed look, which is always good in the truck market. It was ahead of its time in that regard, as most other once-small pickups have since grown to match the Dakota's size. There's not much feedback from the wheel, but it's easy to hold your line on the highway. Dakota buyers disdain today's bulked-up full-sized pickups and demand a leaner exterior. Big Horn and Lone Star standard equipment includes 17-inch aluminum wheels, cruise control and power windows.
The Inside My wife thought the cabin had a cheap appearance, though some might call it utilitarian. An oversized version of Dodge's crosshair grille dominates the front. The manual air conditioning and stereo systems feature large knobs and buttons that should be well-suited for work-gloved hands. With little compromise in interior room or workhorse ability, the Dakota delivers a trimmer package that makes it easier to negotiate congested city traffic and crowded parking lots. The tailgate is a little heavy to close, and the bed is 17.
Dodge's revisions to the Dakota for 2008 fall short of a full redesign, but the changes do add a little life to the truck see a with the 2007 model. While its updated styling should enhance its appeal, and its base engine delivers acceptable performance, the Dakota's stiff ride may be an unappreciated surprise to first-time truck buyers. The Dakota is available with either two- or four-wheel drive. The top option on the 2009 Dakota is the V8 engine. I tested a V-6 truck with the six-speed manual and four-wheel drive.
While its updated styling should enhance its appeal, and its base engine delivers acceptable performance, the Dakota's stiff ride may be an unappreciated surprise to first-time truck buyers. The Dakota steers with light effort thanks to the highly boosted steering system. If you want to carry more than a couple full-size adults in this truck, including the driver, you'll have to opt for a crew cab version. At 70 mph, wind noise is a problem in this truck. Over the course of one 20-mile drive that featured stop-and-go, highway and suburban driving, the truck averaged 16 mpg. The optional 18-inch chrome wheels help in this regard.