(2005 model shown)
The mid-size Dakota pickup underwent a complete makeover last year and became larger and more powerful in the process. The rugged-looking, hard-working truck comes in rear- and four-wheel-drive models and offers a choice of two-door, five-passenger Club Cab and four-door, six-passenger Quad Cab versions. The base engine remains a 3.7-liter V-6 that generates 210 horsepower and 235 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the competition, the Dakota offers an available eight-cylinder powerplant, a 4.7-liter Magnum V-8 that generates 230 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard across the line, while a choice of four- and five-speed automatic gearboxes is also available. The five-speed automatic includes a unique dual-ratio second gear for better power management in towing, passing, and grade-change situations. Few updates are evident for 2006.
2005 Dodge Dakota by Marc K. Stengel
Dodge treads into new territory with bigger, bolder pickup.