For 2007, the Dodge Dakota receives minor changes. YES Essentials stain-resistant fabric is standard on SLT and available on ST models; a three-flash lane change turn signal and dual position tailgate are standard on all models; a remote starter is available on SLT; the 4.7-litre V8 engine is available as a flexible fuel model; body-colour front and rear bumpers are standard on SLT models; and there are available 18-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels.
The Dakota is available in Club Cab or Quad Cab configuration, in ST or SLT trim; the base engine is a 3.7-litre V6, mated to a six-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic. All models can be optioned to a 4.7-litre V8 (with optional flexible fuel capability) that makes 230 hp; the SLT can be further optioned to a high-output 4.7-litre that makes 260 hp. The 230 hp version comes with a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic, while the high-output V8 and the flex-fuel version mate solely to the five-speed automatic.
Driveline choices are rear-wheel or electronic part-time four-wheel drive with 4LOCK and 4LO. Box lengths are 5-foot-3 in the Quad Cab, and 6-foot-4 in the Club Cab.
Features on the ST include 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, vinyl trim panels, cloth seats, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary output jack and four speakers, engine immobilizer, grey front fascia and rear step bumper, dual-stage removable tailgate, and front disc/rear drum brakes with rear-wheel anti-lock. Quad Cab models include a rear 60/40 split folding rear bench seat.
The SLT adds 16-inch aluminum wheels, centre floor console, cruise control, tilt column, overhead console with map lights and mini trip computer, garage door opener, power locks with keyless entry, power mirrors, power windows, YES Essentials fabric, six-way power driver’s seat, security alarm, body-colour front fascia and rear step bumper, and fog lamps. Club Cab models include 40/40 folding rear seats and “full-swing” rear doors.
There are four available add-on trim packages, including the Club Cab TRX Group, ST Sport Appearance Group, SLT Sport Appearance Group and TRX4 Off-Road Group, which can add such items as all-terrain tires, body-colour grille, skid plates, heavy-duty shocks and rubber floor mats.
Large even for a midsize truck, the Dakota offers a roomy interior and beefy towing capacity. The new dual-position liftgate improves its cargo capacity; if you’re carrying long loads, such as boards, the liftgate can be positioned halfway up to support them. It’s also an easy truck to load inside, thanks to the Club Cab’s rear doors, which open nearly 170 degrees. On the down side, the Dakota tends to be thirsty. Should you like the size and styling but don’t want a pickup box, look at the Durango, which is built off the Dakota’s platform.