2009 Dodge Dakota Review
Despite low-grade cabin materials and poor interior comfort, the Dodge Dakota is a decent choice among compact pickups.
The 2009 Dodge Dakota is seen by most reviewers as perfectly adequate -- no more, no less -- for most compact pickup buyers. "When something's not superb-or particularly awful-what is it?" asks Car and Driver. "Sometimes we need to describe the middle-of-the-road, neither-here-nor-there vehicles, the simply unremarkable. The Dodge Dakota is one such example, a vehicle that led us to coin a new term: perb."
Though the Dakota offers V8 power, something only competitors like the GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado can boast, and is larger than most compact pickups, the truck disappoints on some important elements. Although rear-seat comfort is not a major priority for most truck shoppers, critics warn that the Dakota's rear seats are not comfortable at all. While the Dakota gets praise for offering a V8 engine and class-leading towing abilities, its V6 is among the least efficient in the class and is almost universally panned for being underpowered.
If you're shopping for a compact pickup, you should also consider the Toyota Tacoma. The Tacoma is almost universally liked for its car-like, comfortable interior and easy-to-live-with drivability. It also costs a lot less than the Dakota.
The 2009 Dodge Dakota is available in either Extended Cab or Crew Cab body styles. Four-wheel drive is optional.
- "The Dakota is for buyers who want a little more size, power, and roominess. It's ideal if you want to trade down from a full-size pickup but are reluctant to go with a genuine compact." -- BusinessWeek
- "Speaking of, how does 26 grand for a zero-option truck grab ya? Not only do other quasi-large trucks offer more bang for less coin, the Dakota treads in dangerous water: the four portal, full size trucks offer more utility, power and style for a minor bump in monthly payments. . . . Smaller trucks do everything the Dakota's customer demands, but with more power, style and value." -- The Truth About Cars
- "Given its newfound squishiness and lackluster interior, we find it hard to call the new Dakota truly improved." -- Car and Driver
- "The Dodge Dakota is unique among midsize pickups. Its large size and available rear seat storage system offer plenty of room and utility for a typical family, and its powerful V8 engine makes it quicker and gives it more towing capacity than most competitors." -- New Car Test Drive
- "It's probably not enough to revitalize a slow segment, but it's the best in its class for power, space, and towing capacity, and that's a good start." -- Motor Trend