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2011 Ram Dakota Review

Though it doesn't have the most refined cabin in the class, the 2011 Ram Dakota is a fine choice if you’re looking for a capable truck for towing or hauling that isn’t as large as a full-size pickup.

Pros & Cons

  • Strong available V8
  • Low-rent interior
  • Lackluster base engine




Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 7.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Ram Dakota Overview

Reviewers liked the 2011 Ram Dakota for offering a bit more towing and hauling capability than most compact trucks. Reviewers didn’t say much about its ride, though one publication said its ride comfort is “average”. They said that its base V6 feels underpowered compared with the available V8, which was well-liked. Two- or four-wheel drive were available, and both engines were paired with an automatic transmission. A two-wheel drive Dakota with the V6 engine achieves 15/20 mpg city/highway, which is about average for the class. The V8 only reduces fuel economy by one mpg. A V8-equipped Dakota can tow up to 7,250 pounds, which is one of the highest ratings in the class.

Reviewers noticed that the 2011 Dakota has lots of hard, cheap plastic throughout the interior. The Dakota came in either extended or crew cab configurations capable of seating up to five or six people, respectively. Reviewers said the front seats offer plenty of support. They noted that that extended cab models offer very little back-seat legroom, and that the crew cab is the more passenger-friendly choice. Reviewers appreciated the usefulness of the Crate N Go rear-seat storage system available in crew cab models. The Dakota comes standard with a four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack. Features available as options or on upper trims when it was new include an upgraded stereo, power windows, door locks and mirrors, Bluetooth, leather seats and front heated seats.

See the full 2011 Ram Dakota specs »

Other Trucks to Consider

The 2011 Toyota Tacoma was well-liked by reviewers for its composed handling and strong V6. Reviewers also liked its high-quality interior and passenger-friendly crew cab body style.

If you don’t mind sacrificing some towing capacity for more ride comfort, the 2011 Honda Ridgeline is worth a look. With its car-based platform, reviewers said the Ridgeline is one of the most comfortable-riding trucks in the class. The Ridgeline also has a strong safety score.

Compare the Dakota to the Tacoma and Ridgeline »

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