2004 Dodge Dakota Review | Edmunds.com

2004 Dodge Dakota

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Dodge Dakota Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.7 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 210 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/19 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2004 Dodge Dakota

  • Whether carrying five adults, cruising the interstate, transporting cargo or tackling off-road terrain, the 2004 Dodge Dakota is at ease no matter where it is or what it's asked to do.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Most powerful engine in its class, quick-shifting transmission, spot-on suspension both on- and off-road, easily accessible and accommodating cabin.

  • Cons

    Below-average fuel mileage, low-tech interior design, can get pricey if too many options are chosen.

  • What's New for 2004

    For the 2004 Dodge Dakota, a new 210-horsepower, 3.7-liter Magnum V6 replaces the previous 3.9-liter engine, while the R/T model (along with its ancient 5.9-liter V8) is dropped and a Stampede Appearance package debuts.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (5 total reviews)

Winter mustang

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Vehicle: 2004 Dodge Dakota 4dr Quad Cab Sport 4WD SB (3.7L 6cyl 5M)

After researching, just bought this off-lease from Mopar dealer. 2004's were built during Daimler "marriage," so let's hope for decent quality/reliability. Apparently, 4.7 L Magnum is only 5% thirstier than sluggish V6. I bought this 4x4, as I store my '06 Mustang (from harsh salt, Canadian winters). Box will come in handy for Reno projects, too. May add cat-back exhaust for better sound & fuel economy. Recent combined, stop 'n go Toronto traffic + 120 km/hr (70 mph) highway yielded 17.6 imperial mpg. Really didn't want/need full size p/u. Rangers/S10/etc, is too small in rear (ok for small kids), Dakota just right size. 1/2 price of Nissan/Toyota V6 Quad. Local driving, so $1.00 a liter, is ok

It's a truck i'll miss

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Vehicle: 2004 Dodge Dakota 4dr Quad Cab Sport 4WD SB (3.7L 6cyl 5M)

Just traded in our 2004 Dakota Quad Cab 4x4 w/4.7L V8. The only reason why, poor gas mileage. Other than that we love this truck, super super reliable! We bought it new, put 42k on it and only had to put on new tires and change fluids as recommended. No problems at all and would have kept it but with the kids all in school now, my wife wants to back to school and finish her degree and the school is about 45 miles away and with only getting 12 mpg cty and hwy, we did get 14 mpg once with a strong tail wind, when we tow our boat it was 10 mpg maybe 11 mpg. We are all going to miss this truck!!!!!! We bought an 08 Jeep Liberty to replace it.

Great mid/full size truck

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Vehicle: 2004 Dodge Dakota 4dr Quad Cab Sport 4WD SB (3.7L 6cyl 5M)

This is my first pickup and I couldn't be happier! The power, reliablity, comfort, style, rugged build is everything I wanted out of a truck. I test drove and researched a year before this purchase and I chose correctly! I like this truck far more than the new design! If you're a bigger person the Dakota is the way to go. Not quite full size but definitely bigger than the competition. I love it!

Love this truck!

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Vehicle: 2004 Dodge Dakota 4dr Quad Cab Sport 4WD SB (3.7L 6cyl 5M)

I was skeptical when I let my wife talk me into this - I was looking for a high gas mileage import. She knew I'd always liked the looks. Once I drove it I was hooked. I have the 4.7 V8 & 5sp. I average 17/gal for my commute and 19+ on the road (my best is 19.85). Great for this truck. I have had nothing but great experience from my dealer. I had a heater hose leak (there was a service bulletin on it) and they offered to replace the carpet if I wanted! I am now getting into a carpool because of the gas prices, but I NEED the truck. It is a great vehicle. Easy & fun to drive and comfortable on the road. The family likes it better than anything else we've owned.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2004 dodge dakota sport quad

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Vehicle: 2004 Dodge Dakota 4dr Quad Cab Sport 4WD SB (3.7L 6cyl 5M)

This is my first new dodge. So far i am nothing but impressed. I have only put 550 miles on it, had it 3 days. I bought the V-8,had trucks with v-6 didn't like the power. Let me tell you i love the V-8 power, four full size doors and it looks awesome. Rides great on the highway, not much wind noise.The only thing i can see as a drawback to this truck is the gas mileage. First tank 12mpg. If this gets better i will be truly happy with my first dodge.

Full 2004 Dodge Dakota Review

What's New for 2004

For the 2004 Dodge Dakota, a new 210-horsepower, 3.7-liter Magnum V6 replaces the previous 3.9-liter engine, while the R/T model (along with its ancient 5.9-liter V8) is dropped and a Stampede Appearance package debuts.


Introduced in 1987, the Dodge Dakota filled the sizable gap between compact and full-size pickups. Although referred to as a compact, the Dakota is slightly bigger than most of its rivals. But it wasn't until 1997, when the Dakota was redesigned and adopted the handsome look of its bigger brother, the Dodge Ram, that people took notice. The following years saw the introduction of the potent R/T muscle truck (packing a 250-horsepower V8 along with a monochrome paint scheme and big wheels) and the Quad Cab, a true crew cab pickup with full-size doors and plenty of room for rear passengers.

The 2004 Dodge Dakota features a new V6 engine rated for 210 horsepower, while dropping the tire-spinning R/T. In addition, the company has added a Stampede package to the options list that offers a monochromatic paint and additional body cladding. As before, three cab configurations and a multitude of trim levels are available including everything from a basic, standard cab workhorse to a leather-lined 4WD Quad Cab that can serve as a family vehicle. If you're looking for a weak spot in the lineup, just check out the EPA mileage ratings, as the Dakota tends to be a gas guzzler compared to its smaller rivals.

The Dakota does, however, offer more room, more power and more capability than its competition, namely the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Ford Ranger and Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins. Everything from its towing capacity to its available V8 power and roomy interior are a cut above the smaller rigs. Although a redesigned model is expected to debut for the 2005 model year, the 2004 Dodge Dakota is still a very appealing truck with few shortcomings.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2004 Dodge Dakota is available in three body styles -- regular cab, extended ("Club") cab and crew ("Quad") cab -- and six trim levels: base; value-oriented SXT; flashy Sport and Sport Plus; and luxury SLT and SLT Plus. Base models are bare-boned work trucks with basic features like air conditioning, cloth seats and an AM/FM stereo, while SXTs are upgraded with interior carpet, bucket seats and a CD player. Sport and Sport Plus models offer color-keyed cloth interiors, an upgraded gauge cluster and additional options like keyless entry, power windows and a CD changer. The SLT and SLT Plus are the top-of-the-line models that offer everything from leather seats to larger wheel and tires. A new Stampede package, offered on Sport models, adds monochromatic paint, revised front and rear fascias, extended sills, a thicker rear stabilizer bar and 16-inch aluminum wheels.

Powertrains and Performance

Standard on all Dakotas is a new 3.7-liter V6 engine that's considerably more powerful than the 3.9-liter mill it replaces. This new V6 puts out 210 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque. If even more power is needed, there is an optional (on Sport and SLT models) 4.7-liter V8 rated at 235 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The standard transmission on both engines is a five-speed manual while the V6 offers an optional four-speed automatic and the V8 a five-speed automatic. Although the V6 provides more than enough power for most applications, V8-equipped models are especially fast and can tow up to 6,600 pounds.


Rear wheel antilock brakes are standard on all models. Four-wheel ABS is optional, but side airbags are not available. In NHTSA crash testing, the 2004 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab earned four out of five stars for both driver and front passenger protection in a frontal collision. Side-impact tests resulted in a five-star rating for both front and rear passengers. The IIHS tested a standard cab model and gave the Dakota a "Poor" rating (its lowest) after conducting its frontal offset crash test.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Dakota's interior shows its age, but in terms of functionality, it works well. The quality of the materials is average, but their construction is solid. The gauges are large and clear and simple three-dial climate controls make temperature adjustments quick and easy. Quad cab models have enough room to seat four comfortably and there's plenty of storage room in the large center console.

Driving Impressions

Willing power plants, automatic transmissions that are rarely caught off guard and well-sorted suspensions make these trucks easy to live with, no matter what they're asked to do. On-road, the supple suspension swallows up bumps, yet doesn't have the truck wallowing through the turns. And off-road, the Dakota easily handles everything, even severely rutted and rock-strewn trails. All things considered, the Dakota offers the best combination of ride comfort and capability in the compact truck class.

Talk About The 2004 Dakota

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs