Used 1999 Dodge Dakota Review
The Dakota was completely redesigned inside and out in 1997, and since then changes have been kept to a minimum. That's because Dodge got it right the first time. The Dakota is an exceptional truck on and off the road. The steering is communicative, the brake pedal provides excellent feel and feedback, the ride is surprisingly quiet, the cab is roomy, and the Dakota is altogether a very likeable truck.
An R/T edition is available for anyone who prefers the ride height of a truck to the natural handling of a sports car. Still, the R/T is bound to spark interest from enthusiasts. The R/T gets the 5.9-liter Magnum V8 with 250 horsepower and 335 foot-pounds of torque, sport bucket seats, a sport-tuned suspension, attractive wheels, and various R/T decals. Though it's a blast to drive, who really needs to haul things fast?
Inside the Dakota, user- friendly controls and displays pass the same work-glove ease-of-operation test that the bigger Dodge Ram does. Seats are king-of-the-road high, and extremely comfortable. Club Cab models will carry up to six people, but the rear seat is an extremely tight squeeze, meant for small people.
The Club Cab offers no third door option. Seems odd from the company that pioneered the fourth sliding door on minivans and has a Quad Cab full-size Ram pickup. To get this convenience, you've got to buy a Chevy S-10 or GMC Sonoma. Dodge had the chance to build the perfect compact pickup, and we'll have to wait to see if they ever decide to add more doors.
Still, the Dakota is a nice piece of work. Base, Sport, SLT and R/T models are available. Regular cab 2WD models feature a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine that provides 120 horsepower. Club Cab and 4WD models get a 3.9-liter V6 good for 175 horsepower and 225 foot-pounds of torque. Optional on all models (except R/T) is a 5.2-liter V8 engine that makes 230 horsepower and 300 foot-pounds of torque at 3,200 rpm and sucks gas like it's going out of style. Crammed into a regular cab shortbed with 2WD, the V8 transforms the Dakota into a storming sport truck.
Overall, the Dakota is quite a truck. Want the best-looking, best-performing compact pickup on the market? Look no further.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.