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2008 Dodge Dakota Extended Cab

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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 New for 2008

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 552 Ratings for the 2008 - 2010 models.

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

Enjoyable driving and nice for long trip also

By on Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "obvious is still a great drive"

Cons: "a bit more insulation to reduce road noise."

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

"I mainly drive in the local area and shopping for groceries etc. I wanted an expanded cab so the groceries and other shopping items could be placed in the cab on a seat. I did take 4 trips mainly interstate to Arizona and another to the Southern states. The air conditioner even as a 9 year old vehicle is very good, all the bells and whistles work fine, Windows, power seat and cruise control. The MPG around area abt 20 mpg and the long trips average 25 MPG. This vehicle is a Club cab model and 6 cylinder automatic. Wish they would again make this mid size vehicle. I am retired and do not need a full size vehicle. Have enjoyed the vehicle very much. Just waiting to update, but leaning again toward a midsize pickup."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Its a great vehicle overall

By on Sunday, April 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 122,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "truly fun to drive for our "get away" trips"

Cons: "none"

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

"I am the 2nd owner of my "07" dakota and have not had any negative experiences with it.This truck has proven itself to be reliable and dependable. I dont have power windows or a tilt steering wheel,its still quite comfortable."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Truck Exceeded Expectation

By on Friday, February 5, 2016

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

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive and reliable."

Cons: "Love to have a Hemi in it."

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

"Bought new 2006 with V8 Auto. Many people were surprise I purchased a Dodge truck because of perceived poor reliability and transmission issues. Well the truck drives great, has good power, and looks nice. I use it as a daily driver and for home improvement projects. Replaced brakes, ball joints, tires, & radiator. Rust around rear passenger wheel well. Not too bad for 10 year old vehicle and it should last another 10 years. Too bad Dodge discontinued this model and I hope they bring it back."

12 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Good mechanics, poor rust resistance

By on Monday, December 7, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Good engine/drivetrain"

Cons: "Body rust through, steering ratio too aggressive."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Engine/drivetrain are good. Forward visibility isn't very good. Steering is way too quick for a truck. The body quality is alright if you don't mind early rust through, especially around right rear fender. Had several Dakotas and regret trading my 1995 for this one."

5 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great truck

By on Thursday, November 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "No major problems in over 100 thousand miles"

Cons: "Cloth seats"

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

"I have had this truck since new. traded in a regular cab for the quad when the twins arrived. Raised them in this truck. Totally reliable, never had a problem. Did regular oil changes and preventative maintenance and it paid off. All I would change is having leather seats instead of the cloth. The front seat look almost new, but the back seat where the girls lived is really stained."

9 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Nice truck but could use the longer bed.

By on Saturday, September 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfortable, great sound system."

Cons: "Not the most ecomonical for a V6 and A/C is weak."

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

"Comfortable to drive, plenty of power, handles well and fun four wheeling. Solid ride, but shift points for an automatic are a bit abrupt."

8 people out of 19 found this review helpful

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