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TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven the latest Dodge Dakota and have written this review from firsthand driving impressions. Editors have compared the Dakota to other mid-size pickups to help you narrow your shopping list. TCC's team also has compiled a full review that condenses opinions from around the Web into the most useful guide to the Dodge Dakota on the Web.
- Big enough for most truck tasks
- Powerful V-8 as frugal as the V-6
- Cargo-friendly cabin with wide-opening doors
- Entertaining sound options
- Unsettled handling
- Anti-lock brakes optional on base truck
- Poor crash-test scores
- Poor fit and finish
The 2010 Dodge Dakota is a survivor. In 2009, the Chrysler Group filed for bankruptcy, and few expected the aging Dakota to make it through the proceedings. It's still here-for a couple more years, at least. The Dakota returns mostly unchanged from 2009, after a thorough revamp in 2008. It's offered in extended and crew cab models, with a choice of six- or eight-cylinder engines, manual or automatic transmissions, and rear- or four-wheel drive. With a base price of $22,755, the Dakota is a good deal larger than the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins and the aged Ford Ranger. It competes more directly with the Nissan Frontier, the Toyota Tacoma, and the Honda Ridgeline. Some versions overlap full-size pickups with price tags above $33,000.
The 2010 Dodge Dakota aims for a tough styling take on basic work trucks, and it succeeds-but it's a little institutional. The Dakota wears the same angular look it's borne for the past decade, with the boxier shapes fitted to it in 2008. Square-jawed even from the back, this latest Dodge truck bucked the usual trend and grew plainer and more cheap-looking when it was last revamped. The wide crosshair grille instantly telegraphs "Dodge" to truck buyers, and the Dakota's flat panels and mid-size dimensions give it some of the big-boy stance of the larger, more lavish Ram trucks-as do the hulking fenders. There's a slight wing on the rear end for minor aerodynamic improvement, but it's the equivalent of an extra eyelash on the Ironman. Humble on the outside, the Dakota is relentlessly Spartan inside, with a sea of black plastic pieces barely taking a commercial break to expose big, white-face gauges, an Eighties-vintage green-LCD audio display, and friendly, old-school climate-control knobs.