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2008 Dodge Dakota Extended Cab

Overview
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2008 Dodge Dakota Extended Cab Review

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With aggressive new styling, the mid-size 2008 Dodge Dakota can no longer be mistaken for just a small Ram. Dakota buyers disdain today's bulked-up full-sized pickups and demand a leaner exterior. With little compromise in interior room or workhorse ability, the Dakota delivers a trimmer package that makes it easier to negotiate congested city traffic and crowded parking lots. Yet the Dakota remains roomier and more potent than its smaller-than-full-size competitors. The Dakota comes in six distinct trim levels. Each is available with either aft-hinged rear doors—called Extended Cab—or the four conventional doors of the Crew Cab. All are available with either rear-, conventional four-wheel drive or full-time four-wheel drive. Standard is a capable 210-horsepower V6, while an impressive 302-horsepower V8 is available.

You'll Like This Car If...

Of less-than-full-size pickups the 2008 Dodge Dakota offers the most power and the largest interior. Its optional V8 makes 302 horsepower and gets better fuel mileage than last year's V8. Real truck folks will love the new removable storage bins that stow under the Crew Cab's rear seat.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Dakota is not a "little" pickup. It's about as big as some full-sized pickups once were. Unlike some other smaller pickups, the Dakota does not offer a budget version with a four-cylinder engine and a single-row cab.

What's Significant About This Car?

A completely restyled front end, a more functional and attractive interior and radical improvements to its optional 4.7-liter V8 highlight changes for the 2008 Dodge Dakota.

Driving the Dakota Extended Cab

Driving Impressions In comparing the 2008 Dodge Dakota to a typical sedan, a sophisticated driver may notice a small amount of rear-axle ride harshness over uneven pavement. Others may feel...

the Dakota rides as well as most cars. And, with a few hundred pounds loaded in the cargo box, there will be little difference between a current sedan and the Dakota. Steering and braking are predictable in response and feel, and the Dakota owner will likely have no complaints about how it rides smoothly down the road and handles responsively around corners. The optional V8 makes easy the sometimes challenging task of passing slow-moving traffic on rural two-lane highways.

Available V8 Engine

We really like the Dakota's 302-horsepower V8. But most will be more than satisfied with the standard and more practical 210-horsepower V6.

Ride and Handling
The Dakota's ride comfort, even when it's unloaded, is more than capable for a truck and, perhaps surprisingly, essentially as good as many cars.

2008 Dodge Dakota Extended Cab Details
Interior

If you're moving from, say, a fairly recent sedan to a pickup, you'll be hard pressed to find deficiencies in the Dakota. The black-on-white instrument panel is easy to read and the ample storage areas are so numerous that you might find yourself trying to find uses for all of them.

Exterior
2008 Dodge Dakota Extended Cab photo

No longer will the observant confuse a Dakota with a Ram. Forward of the front-door hinge, the 2008 Dodge Dakota is completely different than either its predecessor or its bigger sibling. While maintaining the aggressive styling that has become a Dodge trademark, the 2008 Dakota is angular where its previous generation was rounded. If you'd like people to think you are driving a Ram, the Dodge 2008 Dakota is not for you.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2008 Dodge Dakota is available in six trim levels and two body styles: The Extended Cab, which has rear-hinged aft doors, and the Crew Cab, which has four conventional doors. Each is available in rear- or four-wheel drive. The ST comes standard with a 210-horsepower V6 coupled to a six-speed manual transmission. SXT standard equipment includes aluminum wheels, cruise control and power windows. The SLT has SIRIUS Satellite Radio standard, while the potent V8 is an option. Under-body skid plates on the off-road-tuned TRX and TRX4 protect the oil pan and transmission from rocks and stumps. The Sport version boasts 18-inch wheels and special interior trim, and the luxury Laramie has a chromed grille and rear bumper.

Optional Equipment

The top option on the 2008 Dodge Dakota is the V8 engine. Two versions of four-wheel-drive are available: The first is a more-traditional system with high- and low-range gear ratios. The other offers full-time four-wheel drive, making the Dakota the only smaller pickup to offer this option. The available MyGIG Multimedia system features, among many other things, a voice-activated navigation system and a 20-gigabyte hard drive to which you can load music, photos and movies (the latter won't play while the truck is moving.). The available cargo box rail with movable tie-down cleats will come in handy when friends need help moving.

Under the Hood

Just to put the 2008 Dodge Dakota's optional 302-horspower 4.7-liter V8 in perspective, compared to last year's V8 (which was also 4.7-liters) it turns out almost a third more horsepower and, with 329 lb.-ft., 13 percent more torque. On top of that, the new V8 gets better fuel mileage and will operate on E85 ethanol-based fuel. The V8 comes fitted only with a five-speed automatic. While it's easy to become infatuated with the Dakota's optional V8, the standard 3.7-liter V6 will provide a rewarding, long-term relationship for most. With 210 horsepower and 235 lb.-ft. of torque, it should easily deal with most light-to-moderate trailer-towing and load-hauling duty.

3.7-liter V6
210 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
235 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/20 (manual, 2WD), 15/20 (automatic, 2WD), 15/19 (manual, 4WD), 14/18 (automatic, 4WD)

4.7-liter V8
302 horsepower @ 4600 rpm
329 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 (2WD), 15/21 (4WD)

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2008 Dodge Dakota Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.0
Out of 10

Based on 530 Ratings for the 2005 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    8.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.4/10

This is the ultimate truck! Best ever!

By on Monday, November 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 147,860

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive. All around versatile truck"

Cons: "Can't think of any"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

The best truck EVER!

"This truck is incredible. It has handled everything we've thrown at it from transporting people and animals across the country to hauling landscaping and remodeling materials. We've had both a cap and a soft tonneau cover on it. It is an all around versatile vehicle. And for all the beefiness of this truck, it rides like a car. Total package! I truly can't think of anything negative to say about it."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

The best truck EVER!

Great vehicle

By on Monday, October 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 114,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I am disappointed they discontinued the Dakota. It's the perfect size. With 114000 miles I've had zero mechanical issues. It even has the original brakes and battery. The rear wheel wells rusted through."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

2006 Had it for 6 years

By on Monday, October 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Dependable, looks"

Cons: "Rides rough"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Very dependable and not much in the way of repairs. from 18k to 115k, one brake job, one water pump and 2 batteries. Always had the fluids changed. Oil, trans, coolant, etc. No major mech failures. The creature comforts are not great. It rides rough and the seats could use some more padding. Other than that, Its been a very very good truck!"

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Best buy I ever made!

By on Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable and comfortable."

Cons: "none I can n think of."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This truck has hauled every thing I have thrown in it, including twin girls from infants through 9 years. Nothing exct oil changes every 5000 miles and new tires after over 50000."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

good for the price

By on Friday, September 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great price"

Cons: "brake and rust issues"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Its to bad dodge didnt do a better quality job, I really liked this truck. Its was a nice truck for the price, but gas miles were poor I cant get better than 14, I have had huge problems with front brakes(cant get more than 5000 miles and have replaced every inch of the system from booster,lines,master,rotors,calipers and still have problems) then the rust on rear bed around the wheel wells shouldnt be their I take great care ,I wash truck 3-4 times a week, and wax 4-5 times a year,I bought it with 50k and now has 82000 miles. other than that I like how it looks,I like the ride,I think I would by another if they still made it."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Excellent truck for 8 years..

By on Monday, August 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,400

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliability. Value."

Cons: "None."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Purchased truck new. Owned for 8 years. This truck has been reliable. Other than expected service (oil, filters, and one set of plugs) this truck has required no repairs. Exterior paint still shines like new. Interior fabric still looks very good. No squeaks or rattles."

11 people out of 19 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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