Conveniences like remote starting; stain-, odor-, and static-resistant YES Essentials fabric; and a dual-position tailgate for cargo-carrying flexibility highlight some of the changes to the 2007 Dakota. New 18-inch wheels and a fuel-saving 4.7-liter engine capable of running on ethanol/gasoline are also new. For 2008, the Dakota will see substantial interior, exterior, and powertrain changes.
Since its introduction in 1987, the midsize Dodge Dakota has appealed to consumers interested in a pickup truck with more room and power than a compact, yet not as perceivably unwieldy and extra strong as a fullsize truck. The Dakota, which can seat as many as six, shares the same platform as the Dodge Durango SUV and offers customers a choice between V-6 and V-8 power. The Dakota was redesigned in 2005 and is scheduled for another makeover in 2008.
For 2007, the Dakota is offered in Club Cab and Quad Cab models; both feature 4 doors (the former's rear doors are smaller than the latter's full-size rear doors.) Both models come in three trim levels: base ST, up-level SLT, and top-of-the-line Laramie. The shorter cabin of the Club Cab affords a longer cargo box than the Quad Cab's (6 feet, 6 inches and 5 feet, 4 inches, respectively). Two- and four-wheel-drive models are available.
Base power for the Club Cab is a 3.7-liter Magnum V-6 rated at 210 hp and 235 lb.-ft. of torque. Dodge also touts the Dakota as the only truck in the segment to offer V-8 power, and consumers have two to choose from: the 230-hp, 4.7-liter V-8 Magnum with 290 lb.-ft. of torque, or the more powerful 4.7-liter High Output Magnum rated at 260 hp and a best-in-class 310 lb.-ft. of torque. Properly equipped, the Dakota can tow up to 7,150 pounds. Three transmissions are available for the Dakota. Standard on all except the Laramie is a 6-speed manual. Two automatics are also available: a 4-speed (now with variable-line-pressure for better fuel economy) offered only on the V-6 and a 5-speed that's available on the 230-hp V-8 and standard with the High Output engine.
The Dodge Dakota competes in the Midsize Pickup segment, which consists of 11 models. Buyers in this segment look for reliability, quality, and performance, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Toyota Tacoma (178,351 units sold), Chevrolet Colorado (93,876), and Ford Ranger (92,420). The Dodge Dakota sold 76,098 units in 2006, a decrease of 26.9 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Midsize Pickup segment include the Nissan Frontier , Honda Ridgeline, Ford Explorer Sport Trac, GMC Canyon, and Mitsubishi Raider.
|ST||6 speed manual||$19,370||210-hp / 3.7L 6-cyl||16/22|
|SLT||6 speed manual||$23,255||210-hp / 3.7L 6-cyl||16/22|
|Laramie||4 speed automatic||$25,540||210-hp / 3.7L 6-cyl||16/22|