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2009 Dodge Dakota Review

The 2009 Dodge Dakota is a bit bigger than its rivals, and it’s an adequate pickup if you occasionally haul cargo or tow a moderate-sized trailer. However, some compact trucks are a bit more refined.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent towing capacity
  • Cheap interior materials
  • Worse fuel economy than rivals




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 8.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Dodge Dakota Overview

While most critics agreed that the 2009 Dodge Dakota’s base V6 engine is adequate for around-town driving, most also noted that the V8 is the better choice for anyone who plans to use the Dakota for towing and hauling with any regularity. Some commented that under moderate loads, the V6 simply feels overworked and not up to the task. The Dakota is available with either two- or four-wheel drive. A two-wheel drive Dakota with the V6 and an automatic transmission achieves 15/20 mpg city/highway, which is a bit low for the class. A V8-powered Chevrolet Colorado achieves better fuel economy. The Dakota can tow up to 7,050 pounds, which is among the best in the class.

The Dakota comes in extended and crew cab configurations, and can seat up to six. The Dakota’s seats drew mixed reviews, as reviewers complained about the lack of rear-seat space, especially in extended cab models. While reviewers found the Dakota’s interior simple and straightforward, many also bemoaned the extensive use of cheap plastics. Available features include power windows, mirrors and door locks, a six-speaker stereo with a six-disc CD changer, satellite radio, Bluetooth, navigation, leather upholstery and power-adjustable heated front seats.

See the full 2009 Dodge Dakota specs »

Other Cars to Consider

While it can’t tow as much as the Dakota, the 2009 Nissan Frontier gets better fuel economy estimates. Reviewers also liked its smooth, powerful V6 engine and off-road capability.

The 2009 Toyota Tacoma was well-liked by reviewers for its refined engines and high-quality interior. It also has a great safety score and gets decent fuel economy.

Compare the Dakota to the Frontier and Tacoma »

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