2004 Dodge Dakota Club Cab Review | Edmunds.com

2004 Dodge Dakota Club Cab

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Dodge Dakota Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.7 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 210 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/20 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.

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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

My blue beastie the 04

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Vehicle: 2004 Dodge Dakota 2dr Club Cab SLT 4WD SB (3.7L 6cyl 5M)

Before the Canyon and Colorado there was only Dodge's Dakota. I bought mine used since then it has been through the ringer. Still roars when prodded,nimble when needed and a brute in torque that is able to pull the eye teeth out of a medium Dinosaur!! A very capable grocery getter and docile enough to get to church on time.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Love it

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Vehicle: 2004 Dodge Dakota 2dr Club Cab SXT Rwd SB (3.7L 6cyl 5M)

Our Dakota is a great medium sized truck. The towing capacity is more then adequate for our little trailer. I know much has been said about the fuel economy of the 3.7 litre but I have to say that we get 20-21 around town ans 24-25 on the highway. We keep it at 65MPH. Do wonder about the OD on the transmission; under 50 and on hills at that speed I feel it performs better with the OD off.Comfortable and solid drive!

2004 dakota club cab v-6

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Vehicle: 2004 Dodge Dakota 2dr Club Cab SLT Rwd SB (3.7L 6cyl 5M)

Replaced my 1995 Dakota with the 2004 because it had 244k miles and I didn't like the 2005 body style. I now have 116k miles. Replaced water pump, tires x 1. Still have original battery! Love it but regret not keeping the 95 (the guy I sold it to ran it into the ground) and buying a durango for the covered cargo area for luggage and groceries.

Engine replacement

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Vehicle: 2004 Dodge Dakota 2dr Club Cab SXT 4WD SB (3.7L 6cyl 5M)

I can't believe that no one else mentioned this. After 16,000 the check engine light came on...brought the truck back to the dealership who told me the head was cracked. Ordered a new head (took a month) and it was replaced. 2 days later check engine light is back on and vehicle has no compression. Engine had to be replaced (took a month because they were on backorder due to several similar cases). New engine has a constant ticking sound. Saw another Dakota owner who told me the SAME THING HAPPENED TO HIS!!! 2 Dakotas in the same area!!!

Couldn't be happier

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Vehicle: 2004 Dodge Dakota 2dr Club Cab SLT 4WD SB (3.7L 6cyl 5M)

I bought this truck 4 years ago and haven't had one single problem in 25,000 miles. Not a hiccup! This truck has great power and excellent interior size. I get compliments all the time on the power and overall build quality of this truck. It does ride like a truck, duh, but it's a solid ride that inspires confidence. This truck also handles corners with ease, it's even a 4 wheel drive! I would love to try out a R/T version!! My dad has an Avalanche and I would take this truck over his any day...so would he! The Dakota also does great offroad, I've been wheelin a lot in this truck. The only bad thing is gas mileage, but it's a V8 and I have a little lower gearing. It's a truck!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great for trailer towing &

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Vehicle: 2004 Dodge Dakota 2dr Club Cab SLT Plus Rwd SB (3.7L 6cyl 5M)

My wife and I have a 26-ft travel trailer we pull 4-5,000 miles per year. This truck is great. Also, driving around town is fun. No mechanichal problems or warranty issues. This truck is our 4th Dakota and we plan to have many more.

Talk About The 2004 Dakota

2004 Dodge Dakota Discussions See all Started By

Dakota fans will have to wait until the Winter of 2004 to see what Dodge has planned....

Hi, I have a 2004 4.7L 4x4 Dakota which I have not owned for long. The rear differential started making a whining sound, and the rear end was binding up around corners. I brought it in and upon inspec...

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Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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