The Dodge Dakota moved from a compact to a midsize pickup truck with the introduction of an all-new version for 2005. For 2006, that truck adds four high-performance models: the TRX, TRX4 Off-Road, R/T, and Night Runner. Also new is an optional sunroof for the Quad Cab version of the Dakota.
Dodge proclaims that its Dakota offers best-in-class torque and towing capabilities. According to Dodge, this truck not only has the only V-8 engine in the segment, but offers customers a choice of two V-8s. Dakota buyers can choose a 230-hp, 4.7L Magnum V-8 or a 260-hp, 4.7L High Output Magnum V-8. Also available is a 210-hp, 3.7L Magnum V-6.
The Dakota ST comes with a 6-speed manual transmission (an automatic is optional), air conditioning, and a CD player. The Dakota SLT adds bucket seats with a floor console, chrome bumpers, fog lamps, power mirrors/windows/locks, and keyless entry. The Dakota Laramie comes with a standard automatic transmission, automatic headlamps, leather seats with six-way power for the driver's seat, a 288-watt Alpine six-CD audio system, and more. Dakota options include a 500-watt SoundBox audio system and side curtain air bags. The TRX, TRX4 Off-Road, R/T, and Night Runner have special features that range from added off-road hardware to street-tuned body styles.
The Dakota is available in Club Cab and Quad Cab versions, and with rear- and four-wheel drive. The Club Cab has two forward-facing rear seats and rear-hinged "full-swing" access doors that open nearly 180 degrees to ease entry and exit. The rear seat cushions can be folded out of the way to provide 30 cubic feet of interior storage behind the front seats. With four standard front-hinged doors, the Dakota Quad Cab offers seating for as many as six occupants and, with the rear seats folded, more than 37 cubic feet of storage behind the front seats. Dodge also notes that the Dakota offers 45.2 inches between the rear wheels, more than any model in its class. The Club Cab has a six-foot, six-inch long bed, while the Quad Cab's bed is five feet, four inches in length.
The Dodge Dakota is one of a dozen models competing in the Midsize Pickup segment, a group of models that have replaced earlier-generation compact pickup trucks. The larger, midsize pickups offer better fuel economy and maneuverability than their full-size counterparts, and more room than former compacts.
The Toyota Tacoma was the best-selling model in the segment in calendar year 2005, with sales of 168,831 units, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM The Chevrolet Colorado (128,359 units sold) edged the Ford Ranger (120,958) for second place. The Dakota, with sales of 104,058 units in calendar year 2005, was fourth on the sales list.
|ST||6 speed manual||$20,340||210-hp / 3.7L 6-cyl||16/22|
|SLT||6 speed manual||$22,170||210-hp / 3.7L 6-cyl||16/22|
|Laramie||4 speed automatic||$25,575||210-hp / 3.7L 6-cyl||16/22|