NEW FOR 2008:

– Redesigned hood, headlamps, grille, front fascia, fenders and interior
– Revised 4.7-litre V8
– New SXT trim line
– Body-colour front and rear fascias, and grille with bright billets on ST and SXT
– Club Cab and Quad Cab renamed Extended Cab and Crew Cab
– New interior storage bins on Crew Cab
– Available box utility rails, new 16-inch cast aluminum wheels, auto-dimming rear-view mirror with UConnect hands-free system, heated bench seats, MyGIG hard drive entertainment stereo with navigation
– Available Extra Security package of four-wheel ABS and curtain airbags
– Available Utility Group package of trailer tow package, anti-spin differential and 3.92 axle ratio
– Available Cargo Convenience Group of under-rail bedliner and cargo box utility rails
– Available Convenience Group of SIRIUS satellite radio, rear sliding window and Full Swing rear door on Extended Cab
– Available Premium Sound Group
– Standard tire pressure monitoring warning lamp
– New exterior colours: Detonator Yellow and Sunburst Orange Pearl

For 2008, the Dodge Dakota receives a facelift, along with several new available features, and a single, revised 4.7-litre V8 that replaces the regular and high-output 4.7-litre V8 engines from 2007. Those engines made 230 and 260 horsepower, respectively, and 290 and 310 lb-ft of torque; the new engine, which can take E85 ethanol fuel, makes 302 hp and 329 lb-ft of torque. The V6 is mated to a six-speed manual that can be optioned to a four-speed automatic; the V8 uses a five-speed automatic.

The Dakota is available in two body styles – the Extended Cab, with smaller, rear-hinged back doors, and the Crew Cab, with four front-hinged doors that open independently of each other. Box lengths are 5-foot-3 in the Extended Cab, and 6-foot-4 in the Crew Cab. Trim lines are the ST, SXT and SLT; all can be ordered in two- or four-wheel drive.

Features on the ST models include 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, disc and drum brakes with rear-wheel ABS, front seat area carpets, manual door locks, fog lamps, manual mirrors, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, cloth seats, rear 60/40 folding rear seat, engine immobilizer, manual windows, fixed rear window, and variable intermittent wipers.

The SXT models add 16-inch aluminum wheels, floor console (with bucket seats), power locks with keyless entry, floor mats, power mirrors, 40/40 split folding rear seat, cruise control, tilt column, and power windows.

The SLT models add 17-inch aluminum wheels, overhead console with garage door opener, hood insulation, rear dome light, utility box rails, power six-way driver’s seat, rear seat flip-up cushion storage, security alarm, and sliding rear window.

A large truck, even for its midsize designation, the Dakota offers a roomy interior and numerous standard or available creature comforts. A 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. The Extended Cab’s rear doors open nearly 170 degrees, making it easier to access the rear area. On the down side, the Dakota tends to be thirsty. Should you prefer an SUV to a pickup, the Dodge Durango and the Chrysler Aspen are also built from the Dakota’s platform.

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