2008 Dodge Dakota

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2008 Dodge Dakota Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Dodge Dakota was new.

The redesigned Dakota impresses reviewers with its hefty towing capabilities and class-leading six-passenger capacity. Nevertheless, low-grade cabin materials and poor interior comfort  detract from its overall appeal.

Pros & Cons

  • Only available V8 engine in its class
  • Capable of best-in-class towing capacity
  • Available class-leading six-passenger capacity
  • New lifetime powertrain warranty
  • No available traction control or stability control
  • Some interior materials appear low-grade and many find interior styling drab
  • Reviewers unimpressed with rear-seat comfort

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Dodge Dakota has a score of 8.4 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 60 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 6.9
Safety: 9.2
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2008 Dodge Dakota Overview

The 2008 Dodge Dakota has a revised exterior styling and more car-like handling that reviewers like. BusinessWeek says the new Dakota is "not only better than the previous model but offers features and capabilities that rivals can't match. For buyers who want the maneuverability of a small pickup combined with big-truck towing capacity, seating for up to six people, and a powerful V8 engine, the new Dakota may be the best small pickup on the market." Still, the truck disappoints on some important elements -- including standard safety features.  Although rear-seat comfort is not a major priority for most truck shoppers, critics warn that the Dakota's rear seats are not comfortable at all.  While the Dakato gets praise for offering a V8 engine, its V6 is among the least fuel efficient in the class.

The 2008 Dodge Dakota is available in six trim levels -- ST, SXT, SLT TRX4, Sport and Laramie -- in either Extended Cab or Crew Cab body styles. Four-wheel drive is optional. If you're shopping for a compact pickup, you should consider the Toyota Tacoma.

  • "The Dakota is for buyers who want a little more size, power, and roominess. It's ideal if you want to trade down from a full-size pickup but are reluctant to go with a genuine compact." -- BusinessWeek
  • "It's inarguable that the 2008 Dakota is better-looking and more powerful than before. … But given its newfound squishiness and lackluster interior, we find it hard to call the new Dakota truly improved." -- Car and Driver
  • "The Dodge Dakota is unique among midsize pickups. Its large size and available rear seat storage system offer plenty of room and utility for a typical family, and its powerful V8 engine makes it quicker and gives it more towing capacity than most competitors." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "It's probably not enough to revitalize a slow segment, but it's the best in its class for power, space, and towing capacity, and that's a good start." -- Motor Trend
  • "Never mind the new look if you don't care for it. The 2008 Dodge Dakota has a V8. We've been told our entire lives it's what's inside that counts." -- PickupTruck.com

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