Shopping for a new Dodge Dakota?
SEE LOCAL CLASSIFIEDS
STYLING | 7 out of 10
The front end is where the dramatic transformation has taken place
Car and Driver
Deserves a look for its refinement
The Dakota's cosmetic changes are mostly limited to the front end
The 2008 Dodge Dakota turns up its bullish nose at higher gas prices, with a sharpened style that’s even more aggressive than last year’s version.
It’s supposed to be a mid-size truck, but with a wheelbase of 131.3 inches--longer than some current full-size regular cab pickups--the 2008 Dakota doesn't look much different from a full-size truck. The supersizing of America is certainly at play here. Two body styles are offered: extended and crew cab. “Dodge no longer offers a standard cab configuration for the Dakota,” Edmunds points out.
Outside, inside, and under the hood, every model shows significant changes for 2008, but it's not an all-new truck. The first thing you'll notice is the more angular Nitro-ish exterior that features better fit and gap management. The new fenders dramatically change the truck's profile, which now includes a rear spoiler--a genuine aero feature.
ConsumerGuide says that the 2008 Dodge Dakota sports a "freshened interior and exterior styling." Automedia reports, “Redesigning of the Dakota for 2008 gives the pickup a restyled hood, grille, front fascia, headlights, and fenders, as well as a tailgate-mounted rear spoiler.” Car and Driver observes, “As good-looking nose jobs go, this one's right up there with Ashlee Simpson's and Cher's.” Although the Dodge Dakota is considered a large pickup, it is 31 inches shorter than the company’s full-size Ram, states Cars.com; the restyling has "hints of the Dodge Rampage concept truck," they contend, deeming it "edgier" than previous models. Car and Driver highlights the upgrade, noting the "front end is where the dramatic transformation has taken place." They add, "Gone is the choppy, flattened nose" of older models and in its place is "a more fetching, more refined, and decidedly handsomer mug."
Moving on, Car and Driver also notices changes inside this Dodge Dakota 2008 model, though they are not as impressive or dramatic as the exterior modifications. They note "the instrument panel, the center console, and the accent finishes are new," but the "box-in-box-in-box design" and the "dreary gray atmosphere" is reminiscent of "Chrysler's recent interior atrocities." Cars.com is a bit more upbeat, saying that "the Dakota's dashboard has been mildly revised," but the styling is still "squarish and utilitarian," making "truck guys...feel at home." ConsumerGuide points out, "Large gauges are easy to read," plus the "controls are logically placed and readily accessible."
The 2008 Dodge Dakota has been improved on the outside, though the interior still needs work.