2008 Dodge Dakota Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Dodge Dakota

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 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 210 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Dodge Dakota

  • The 2008 Dodge Dakota midsize truck is a capable workhorse with a potent V8 engine, but it still trails the segment leaders with respect to general interior quality and body style selections.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Spacious cabin, class-leading V8 power, impressive towing capacity, respectable handling.

  • Cons

    Some low-grade interior materials, high price when loaded with options, limited body style configurations.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Dodge Dakota has a revised V8 engine this year. The optional 4.7-liter V8 now makes 302 horsepower and is said to be more fuel-efficient as well. On the inside, the Dakota receives a redesigned instrument panel, additional storage compartments, heated bench seats and the MyGIG multimedia system that includes a hard-drive-based navigation system. Other changes this year include new built-in cargo box utility rails, freshened front-end styling and a new limited lifetime powertrain warranty. There's also a new Big Horn trim (called the Lone Star in Texas) for 2008.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Family man's sport truck

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Dodge Dakota

My third Dakota, gave the first one away with 320,000 miles on it, #2 t- boned a Chevy Blazer doing 60 mph (he pulled out, did not see me) front bumper was sitting on the front tires, both front doors still opened and I walked away. It had 265,000 at that time. #3 Had to go to Michigan to find it, Quad Cab, V8, Manual Trans. FUN TO DRIVE. I maintain them well and drive them hard, no major problems from any of them.

Good work truck, good value

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Vehicle: 2007 Dodge Dakota

I've borrowed this truck from my uncle, sometimes driving it for a long distance. It has the 3.7 V6. I like how it looks and handles. It preforms good enough for me. Pretty good seat support and I kind of like how it drives. Fuel economy could easily be better. Overall, I think this is overall a good truck for a person who wants a mid sized pickup for daily driving and as a light/medium work truck. But yet again, it does have its flaws, like any other car. To sum up, I am pleased with the Dakota

Not heavyduty

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Dodge Dakota

Front suspension will not hold up if driving off-road. Replaced tie-rod ends and torsion bar ends just driving slowing on dirt and gravel roads. This truck? is not as sturdy as my 98 or 2001 Dakota.

Love this truck

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Vehicle: 2007 Dodge Dakota

i love this truck i bought it about 3- 4 months ago. i am a firefighter and this truck has done wonders for me it has the power that i need and it has great response time i was looking for a full size truck but when i went to the dealer i took one look at the truck test drove it and that was it and i can say that was one of the best decisions i have made because i don't regret it the truck is wonderful great looking awesome power and the E85 ethanol is great for when the gas prices are outrageous this truck has given me a new perspective on trucks. i think this truck is a great truck all around and i have not had any problems mechanically or anything breaking.

My everything vehicle

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Vehicle: 2007 Dodge Dakota

I've bought it 2 years ago,new off lot and love it.I live in country on old farm.fun to drive and handles great.got the 4.7v8,will smoke the tires(not reccomended)Looks good&comfortable.only trouble was bad tierods,covered under warranty.2 position tailgate lets me load anything I could with big truck.Gas milage not best,Have not tried flex fuel yet.should have got posi rearend.in 2wheel drive(in heavy rain) it gets loose easily.only paid 22000 new,with bedliner

Big wow, little performance.

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Dodge Dakota

I leased on a 48 month lease because it fit my budget and this is a great looking 1/4 ton truck. I have not had any real mechanical issues other than a very very soft suspension. I had a '79 Ford Granada as a teenage and it had better suspension! Gas mileage is a joke - 20 C/ 29 H, more like 13 C/ 19 H. The V8 4.7L is a great engine in this truck, lots of power when called upon. Like I said before, it looks great, outside and inside. Very rugged looking, to bad the suspension doesn't keep up!

Full 2008 Dodge Dakota Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Dodge Dakota has a revised V8 engine this year. The optional 4.7-liter V8 now makes 302 horsepower and is said to be more fuel-efficient as well. On the inside, the Dakota receives a redesigned instrument panel, additional storage compartments, heated bench seats and the MyGIG multimedia system that includes a hard-drive-based navigation system. Other changes this year include new built-in cargo box utility rails, freshened front-end styling and a new limited lifetime powertrain warranty. There's also a new Big Horn trim (called the Lone Star in Texas) for 2008.


When it debuted two decades ago, the Dodge Dakota's "in-between" dimensions conveniently straddled the traditional compact and full-size pickup truck segments. The truck's popular alternative midsize configuration has continued through successive generations. And this tradition, along with the truck's solid performance, respectable utility and handsome good looks, has made it a popular choice for pickup truck consumers.

Now in its third generation, the 2008 Dodge Dakota continues the trend of being a midsize offering. And this year, Dodge has made a number of upgrades to make the truck more appealing. Most significant is its revised 4.7-liter V8. Offering better fuel economy, power and torque than the previous 4.7-liter engine, the new version is rated at 302 hp, a 31 percent increase, and 329 pound-feet of torque, a 13 percent increase. Dodge says additional refinements have reduced engine noise and made the engine smoother.

There are exterior and interior changes as well. Outside, there's a new front fascia, hood, grille, headlights and fenders. In back, the cargo box features enhanced utility through a new integrated rail tie-down system and protective surface along its top edge. Inside, the Dakota's cabin has been ergonomically enhanced and is more appealing than before with a new instrument panel, center console and cosmetic accents, along with handy new interior storage features. Chrysler's MyGIG multimedia system, which includes a hard-drive-based navigation system that can store digital music files, is another new addition this year.

These new additions, especially the new V8, are certainly worth noting. The 2008 Dodge Dakota is designed for drivers who use their truck daily for work, commuting or occasional towing duty, but don't need a full-size truck's extra hauling capacity, ungainly size and expense. For this it works well and is a top choice among domestic entries. However, although Dodge has somewhat addressed our earlier concerns about fuel economy and cabin design/quality, it remains a pricey choice that still doesn't quite measure up to the class-leading Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma in terms of refinement or available body styles. Be sure to check them out as well before committing to this truck.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Dodge Dakota midsize pickup truck is available in two body styles and seven total trim levels -- ST, SXT and SLT models, plus add-on TRX, Sport, Laramie and Big Horn/Lone Star packages. The extended Club Cab body features rear access doors and a 6.5-foot bed. The more spacious Quad Cab crew cab has four full-size doors, room for six people and a 5.3-foot cargo bed.

The basic ST comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, cloth seats, air-conditioning, a CD player and folding 60/40-split rear seats in the Quad Cab. Stepping up to the midlevel SXT is a better choice for most buyers as it also includes alloy wheels, full power accessories, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel and rear jump seats in the Club Cab, and is more upgradeable with additional convenience and utility features. The top-of-the-line Dakota SLT provides foglamps, power front seats and satellite radio with the option to add V8 power, 18-inch chromed alloy wheels, heated front seats, the MyGIG infotainment system and a premium sound group with six-disc CD changer, remote audio controls and remote starting.

The TRX trim is very similar to the SLT but gives 2WD models the look and feel of an off-road truck, while 4WD TRX4s have functional upgrades like an off-road suspension, skid plates and a shorter rear-axle ratio. The Sport adds 18-inch painted wheels, a shorter rear-axle ratio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and unique two-tone bolstered cloth bucket seats; the Dakota Laramie adds a V8 engine, automatic headlights, chrome exterior trim, leather-trimmed bucket seats and premium audio. There's also a new Big Horn (called Lone Star in the great state of Texas) trim; it's like the SXT but with additional exterior styling details.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2008 Dodge Dakota offers two engine options: the base 3.7-liter V6 with 210 hp and 235 lb-ft of torque, and this year's upgraded 4.7-liter V8 that generates 302 hp and 329 lb-ft of torque. The V6 is coupled to a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, while the V8 drives through a modern five-speed automatic. Standard 2WD and part-time 4WD configurations are available, as is a full-time 4WD setup. Maximum towing capacity is best-in-class at up to 7,050 pounds when properly equipped.


Rear-wheel antilock brakes are standard on the Dodge Dakota; an optional Safety Group provides four-wheel ABS and full-length side curtain airbags. In government frontal crash tests, the extended-cab truck earned a perfect five stars for driver and front-passenger protection. (The crew cab Dakota is unrated.) In side-impact tests, the crew cab earned five stars for the protection of both front and rear passengers; the extended-cab pickup earned five stars for front occupants only. The Dakota scored a second-best "Acceptable" rating in frontal-offset crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Dakota offers a clean and attractive interior design with simple, easy-to-reach controls and ample storage. The revised instrument panel features a handy new storage bin over the glovebox and stylish touches like aluminum trim and white-faced gauges, but overall materials quality remains unimpressive when compared to the segment leaders. A new rear under-seat storage system in the Dakota Crew Cab includes a handy collapsible and removable cargo management system for loose gear. The Dakota's cabin is quite roomy, but even so we strongly recommend moving up to the Quad Cab if you regularly carry four or more adults.

Driving Impressions

The Dakota's V6 offers adequate power, but the new V8 is the engine you want if you have frequent towing or hauling in mind -- or even if you simply want to best the powerful V6s from Nissan and Toyota. The 2008 Dodge Dakota offers a smooth, quiet ride at any speed, and its cabin is well insulated from wind and road noise. A coil-over front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering give this truck a nimble, carlike feel when cornering, and body roll is minimal even around tight turns. The Dakota even maintains its composure on harsher terrain thanks to its well-calibrated suspension and a stiff hydro-formed frame.

Talk About The 2008 Dakota

Read more about the 2008 Dodge Dakota

Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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