Dodge Dakota is known as the King of the Midsize segment. Its first release in 1987 showed the public a perfect blend of size and power and a class-dominating truck. Trucks have always been a part of the hearts of the Americans, and due to constant demand for a bigger, bolder, and better versions of these haulers, Dodge evolved its models into something that would quench the consumers' demands.
When it comes to providing the perfect combination of car like ride and handling and of light-duty hauling capability, the Dodge Dakota half-breed is the best answer. The Dakota is considered the first midsize truck in the automotive market. With the V8 engine that comes with it, solidifies Dodge's reputation as one of the successful players in the American truck arena.
For seventeen years now, changes have been made to the Dakota model. Still its character as being a fun to drive truck with its sporty suspension and plenty of power can be recognized easily. One look and your neighbors will instantly know that you are driving a Dodge.
Although totally redesigned, the all new 2005 Dakota still carries Dodge's distinctive characters. What's good about this new design is the idea that the Dodge engineers did not just patch up the old Dakota model, they designed a brand new chassis that makes the Dakota the largest, the strongest and the most powerful midsize pickup ever made still with a car-like feel driving and ride.
Under the hood, the Dakota's old overhead valve six that powers it before is now replaced with a stellar 3.7 liter single-overhead cam V6 which was shared with the Jeep Liberty. This engine pumps out 210 horsepower and 235 lbs-ft torque. The good news is that in the engine compartment, two V8's are available. One is the standard 4.7 Magnum V8 230 hp and 290 lb-ft torque which was carried over by the previous models, and the optional version of the 4.7 for this lineup. The V6 and the standard V8 is offered either with a five speed automatic or a six speed manual transmission.
All in all, the new Dodge Dakota drives well like a sedan, with power so smooth, the interiors well refined and designed, and the suspension very responsive, something one can't resist especially if you're one of those who want bigger cars. Drive like a car, tow and load like a pickup. This will be a new experience and a very useful vehicle for the whole family, for groups, personal or in whatever status you may be.
How to Maintain the Excellent Driving Performance of your Dodge Dakota
The Dodge Dakota is the first mid-size pickup truck manufactured by Chrysler. It is designed to perform and handle most of the jobs that a full-size pickup truck can offer but it is not quite as good in hauling heavy cargoes. It may not be excellent when it comes to hauling but this car is outstanding when about it comes to speed and power. As a car owner, you must be aware that cars aren't all about convenience. There are also downsides with owning a car, especially if some of its engine parts become defective. Here are some useful suggestions on how you can preserve the maximum driving performance of your pickup:
- Examine and replace your timing and serpentine belts when needed.
The timing and serpentine belts are two types of belts in your car's engine. The timing belt controls the closing and opening of the engine's intake and exhaust valves. Your engine will cease to run if the timing belt gets damaged. Meanwhile, the serpentine belts supply power to the air injection pump, cooling fan, power steering pump and air conditioning compressor. If your serpentine belt gets broken, the engine parts that is being supplied with power will cease to work properly, which can possibly lead to overheating. All of these mechanical failures will be prevented if regular examination of your timing and serpentine belts are performed. Experts suggest that changing of timing belts must be made every 60,000 to 86,000 miles while the serpentine belts must be changed every 36,000 miles to 50,000 miles.
- Select the proper grade of octane fuel for your pickup.
Octane rating is the criterion in measuring the performance of an engine's ability to resist knocking during combustion. Your owner's manual will guide you on how to determine the proper grade of your engine's octane fuel. Usually, the recommended octane level for almost all cars is octane 87. Cars that have high compression engines can have an octane level of 89, 91 or higher. It is believed that using a higher octane can improve the gas mileage and power of your engine. However, contrary to this belief, a high octane is useless to your engine and can only add up to your unnecessary expenses. It is wise to use the proper grade of octane fuel as suggested in your owner's manual.
The battery is an essential part your pickup as it supplies power for ignition and electrical lighting. It is easy to recognize when your battery is in trouble if your engine doesn't start easy. Replace the battery as soon as you notice that it is starting to wear out. You may either choose to buy a non-sealed battery that is suited for hot climate or a sealed battery that is more suited for cold climate. You can also pick a dual marine battery that can be adaptable to changing climate conditions. Maintaining your battery in good shape can prolong its battery years and can serve you for a very long time. Familiarizing yourself with these useful suggestions can minimize the early deterioration of your pickup.
Dodge Dakota: 25 Years and Four Generations of Excellence
Chrysler, through its Dodge Truck division, started a new line of vehicles in 1987 to compete in the mid-size pickup truck market—the Dakota. Known for their impressive handling and versatility, the Dakota was one of the industry’s most successful line of trucks. Though the line already ceased production after 25 years, its four generations still spanned various innovations that are not only considered as classic but award-winning as well.
1987: First generation
With its excellent fuel economy and handling capacity, the first generation of Dakotas was released in 1987. Although they shared most of their parts with other vehicles manufactured by Chrysler, the first gens were still a success. In fact, a year after its debut, a new Dakota package—Sport—was added to the line. And in 1989, a convertible model was released which sold approximately 2,482 units.
1991: Second generation
Introduced in 1991, the second generation of Dakotas received some aesthetic changes. Some of the notable ones were the revamped grille and longer engine compartment. Dodge decided to make the engine compartment longer to fit the 5.2 L V8 engine that could produce up to 170 hp although this engine only came as an optional feature. A year after the second gens were introduced, the classic square sealed beam headlamps were replaced with molded plastic ones that contained halogen bulbs.
1997: Third generation
With its restyled semi-truck look, the third generation Dodge Dakota was released in 1997. However, although the 1997 models were somehow redesigned, they still had the same parts underneath. In 1998, as part of the same generation, a limited edition package was released. Known as the R/T, this package was made as an option for Dakota Sports and featured a 5.9 liter V8 engine, performance exhaust, updated brakes, and rear-wheel drive.
2005: Fourth generation
Manufactured under the same platform as the Durango SUV, the last generation of Dakotas was released in 2005. The fourth gens were known for having updated rear and front suspensions, rack-and-pinion steering systems, and longer and wider bodies. However, in order to cut production cost and save assembly time, this generation went back from having six-lugged wheels to the old five lugs. Two years after their release, the fourth generation Dakotas underwent another facelift. Some of the significant changes that were done during that time were the increase in towing capacity, use of the best standard bed, and installation of heated bench seats. In 2010, the Dakota fell under Ram even though the Dodge emblem was still used. Unfortunately, Chrysler decided to pull the plug on the Dakota line in 2011 because of the dropping sales of light trucks particularly in North America.