1997 Dodge Dakota Consumer Review: Terrible

1997 Dodge Dakota - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

46 Total Reviews

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Rp on


1997 Dodge Dakota SLT 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB


Bought it with 90k miles. Within two months it needed a new motor and a new transmission. It has numerous other defective parts since then - horn does not work, cruise control does not work, alarm is set off when unlocking the door with the key, a/c does not work, speakers broke, heat does not work on passenger side, air vents shut off at random. It has had numerous sets of brakes because it cannot stop well at all. Design flaws - any owner will tell you they have replaced all the tie rods and ball joints at least once, if you have a V8 model say good bye to good fuel economy (11 mpg highway at 65mph), terrible interior with no back doors, 4WD with no locking differential?

Best Features

None really. I would say it looks good but its a rust bucket. I would say (as the other reviews say) that it has good performance (V8 and 4WD) but not really - all that power with open differentials means you barely get traction on dry asphalt let alone snow and the transmission is from the Caravan.

Worst Features

It's not possible to improve, it's a lemon hands down. It has many dangerous recalls and has been in the news plenty of times. Also it made Consumer Report's 1997-2004 "Worst of The Worst" list. Even the cup holders do not work and the interior was actually redesigned two years after the 97 model.
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