The 2010 Dodge Dakota feels like a full-size pickup, though with a wheelbase of 131.3 inches, it's still a notch smaller than the true Rams and Titans of the realm.
There's a two-passenger Extended Cab, with a comfortable pair of front seats, a small cargo area behind them accessible through rear access doors, and an optional and uncomfortable jump seat for five-person emergencies. There's also a six-passenger Crew Cab with four doors and two rows of seats. The Crew Cab's rear seats fold up to create storage space, a helpful option since the seats themselves have nearly vertical backrests and aren't comfortable for more than an hour of driving. Upgraded seats are fitted to the top two Dakota models. Edmunds reports that the "Dakota's cabin is quite roomy, but even so we strongly recommend moving up to the Crew Cab if you regularly carry four or more adults." ConsumerGuide agrees, noting that "only two adults will fit comfortably" in the back, where "headroom and legroom is adequate for adults under 6 ft, but taller riders will want more legroom."
The best features of the Dakota's cab are the Crate 'N Go system, which comes with custom removable containers that fit under the rear seat, allowing gear to be organized and contained within the truck without rolling around, and a useful and space-efficient center console, which incorporates cup holders with modular inserts and a pull-out bin specifically designed to hold electronics such as an MP3 player (which may be plugged into any of the Dodge Dakota's audio systems), cell phone, or PDA. Edmunds reviewers love the "handy new storage bin over the glovebox," which is perfect for storing electronics, while MyRide.com points out that the Dodge Dakota offers "a plethora of cubbies and nooks."
In back, the Dakota offers a 6.6-foot bed on extended cab trucks and a 5.3-foot bed on the Crew Cab, and both have built-in utility rails. Utility is diminished somewhat, warns Edmunds, since "Dodge offers neither a longer bed length nor a factory bed extender."
Quality should be closely inspected by prospective buyers; the Dakota's fit and finish improved in 2008, but the interior feels low-grade, and the Dakota's repair history has been spotty. ConsumerGuide observes "interior materials look and feel budget grade," and notes "hard, shiny plastic covers most surfaces." Car and Driver disparages the "hard plastic inside the cabin," while Edmunds asserts that "quality remains unimpressive when compared to the segment leaders." Still, Dodge turns down the volume inside the Dakota's cabin. Cars.com says "the roomy cab is arguably quieter on the road than other compact trucks," and ConsumerGuide reports "road noise is impressively hushed."