1997 Dodge Dakota Review | Edmunds.com

1997 Dodge Dakota

Dodge Dakota Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 120 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1997 Dodge Dakota

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Dual airbags, tight turning circle, Ram styling, roomy cab, simplified model lineup, optional V-8 engine, optional ABS

  • Cons

    No third door option, cannot use rear facing child safety seat in front seat because passenger airbag cannot be switched off

  • What's New for 1997

    Powertrains are carried over, but everything else on the 1997 Dodge Dakota is new. Distinctions? Tightest turning circle in class,…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (46 total reviews)

Just bought a '97 in

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Vehicle: 1997 Dodge Dakota SLT 2dr Regular Cab SB

My model is actually a Sport 2WD 3.9 5 speed manual that I bought with about 102,500 miles. I get plenty of snow in my area, but the truck is for occasional use. I wanted a truck with a V6 and a manual transmission, something not easy to find. I think the V6 with the manual is a great combination - and a rare find. The regular cab is a little tight for me - but that's ok. I do enjoy driving the truck. It rides well, and the interior is solid. With the windows up it's quiet - there's not one rattle in the truck. My first fuel calculation, highway and around town was 18.8 mpg. Very satisfied with that. I feel good about this truck.

Great 97 dakota

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Vehicle: 1997 Dodge Dakota Sport 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB

318 5.2 auto 192,000 miles. Purchased it last summer from a 1 owner, always garaged and well taken care of. Usual rust areas esp in northeast to be expected....bottom of the pass side door, and had the rear spring shackles replaced. Hasnt failed me yet...a/c doesnt work the best, to be expected on a 13 y/o vehicle. Not the best on gas, 13.3 - 18.5 on aggressive tread 31's....wish I had a 5spd for better gas milage. Other than the a/c, everything else works great. Needed to replace the steering shaft. My second Dakota...feel they are built well and Id buy another.

Nice 97

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Vehicle: 1997 Dodge Dakota SLT 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB

This truck has only 72,000 miles, on it just now have replaced, the original brakes.The truck has been used to trailer heavy construction equipment, the V-8 runs great gets 19 to 20 on highway. Just put the 2nd set of tires on it, front end wears tires with out uneven wear. There is no vibration in front at all.Have used 4wd very often on muddy constructions sites. The only problem the cheap plastic gear shift handle broke loose.I have always run premium gas in the v-8 and it makes a whole lot of difference over regular gas. Over all Very happy with truck.

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 1997 Dodge Dakota Review

What's New for 1997

Powertrains are carried over, but everything else on the 1997 Dodge Dakota is new. Distinctions? Tightest turning circle in class, roomiest cabs and dual airbags are standard. Faux pas? No third door option, and the passenger airbag cannot be deactivated, so a rear-facing child seat is out of the question unless you cram it into the rear of the Club Cab.

Talk About The 1997 Dakota