Test: 2008 Dodge Dakota Club Cab 4x4 V8
Katrina Ramser Posted:
03-11-08 23:37 PT
© 2008 PickupTruck.com
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.
Dodge fans, repeat this adage above so as not to miss what the new
Dakota can do. With a 31 percent increase in horsepower and a 13 percent
increase in torque, it's still the only vehicle offering an eight cylinder
engine in the compact/mid-size truck segment. So yes, the looks could
grow on you.
also offers the largest crew and extended cabs,
6-foot-6-inches of bed, plus a towing capacity of 7,050 pounds. This
beats the closest competitors by several inches to over 500-pounds
(Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier can each tow up to 6,500-pounds
when properly equipped).
I'm just buttering loyalists up so as not to take offence the squared
face-lift of the Dakota reflects a desire to capture new, or younger
group of Dodge fans that might look elsewhere for a compact vehicle able
to meet their active, outdoor needs. It's a crowd that is attracted to
the fresh look of the Nitro. Dodge's
words, not mine.
Week voted the Dakota America's Best Small Pickup for 2008, but it
hasn't won any additional automotive beauty pageants for its bold changes;
just in-house accolades from its creator for having the best standard
payload in its class.
interior upgrades for the 2008 model, including a new instrument panel,
center console, and the much talked about, and very cool, Crate 'N
Go removable storage option under the rear seats.
a 2008 Dodge Dakota TRX4 with an Extended Cab and the 302-horsepower
4.7-liter V8 with 329 lb-ft of torque. Make no mistake the efficient
small pickup is a diminishing breed with the Dakota's 14- city/19-highway
driving. It has FFV (Fuel Flexible Vehicle) and ethanol (E85) options,
but that isn't much of a carbon-neutral plug anymore.
are roughly what you'll find with the Nissan Frontier's 261-horsepower
4.0-liter V6. Having just previously tested the Frontier, it was on
my mind to carefully compare it with the Dakota.
comfortable second row seating, 6.1-feet bed length (with a factory
spray-in bed liner), and responsive acceleration had dazzled me. Would
I feel the Dakota, at a total vehicle price of $32,510, would be a
better buy than the Frontier's cost of $31,660?
I gave the Dakota a fair chance to pull ahead by testing it in the snowy
mountains of the Tahoe Sierras.
is built on a fully boxed ladder-type frame created for a smoother,
quieter ride. Combined with the independent front suspension and coil-over
shock absorbers, the ride does give the Dakota a carlike feel, but the
live rear axle does causes jounce over rough terrain, especially
on the pock-ridden Highway 80 that sees its fair share of tire-chain