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2000 Dodge Dakota Truck

Reg Cab 112' WB Base

Starting at | Starting at 20 MPG City - 24 MPG Highway

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  • $13,655 original MSRP
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Printable Version

2000 Dodge Dakota Truck

Printable Version

2000 Dodge Dakota Truck

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2000 Dodge Dakota

Source: New Car Test Drive

This truck is just right.

by Dean Stevens

 

Base Price $13,555
As Tested $28,375

Goldilocks would have liked the Dodge Dakota. Some people find large, full-sized pickups too big, and smaller, compact trucks too small. Larger than the Ford Ranger, Chevy S-10 and other so-called compact pickups, the Dodge Dakota is the largest compact truck on the market today. It's really an intermediate-sized pickup.

Inside, the Dakota just got bigger with the introduction of the four-door Quad Cab. It features four forward-swinging doors and a back seat that's roomier than those found in extended-cab pickups. While the Quad Cab doesn't have as much room in the rear seating area as a full-size crew cab like the Ford F-150 SuperCrew, it does have more interior room than you'll find in other compact trucks.

Model Lineup

Dodge Dakota is available in three cab configurations: Regular Cab, Club Cab, and Quad Cab. Club Cabs are only available with two doors.

Choose from three trim levels: base, Sport and SLT. Base Regular Cab 2WD retails for $13,555; Sport Regular Cab 2WD goes for $14,860; and SLT Regular Cab sells for $16,975. Sport trim adds better seats and interior trim and upgrades to the exterior. SLT offers more luxuries, bright bumpers and grille, and more options.

Dakota's stable offers an array of engines: 2.5-liter inline-4, 3.9-liter V6, 4.7-liter V8, and 5.7-liter V8. The 4.7-liter is new to the Dakota line this year. Manual and automatic transmissions are available; the 4.7-liter offers a sophisticated new automatic as an option. Two types of four-wheel drive are available: One is a part-time system with shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive that works well for off-road use. The other is a fulltime four-wheel-drive system designed to provide all-weather traction capability.

Gone is the optional 8-foot bed. New color choices: dark garnet, red pearl coat, sierra bronze pearl coat, amber fire pearl coat, and patriot blue pearl coat.

Limited-production R/T models come with a high-performance version of the 5.9-liter V8. Less restrictive exhaust increases horsepower and torque and offers a more aggressive exhaust note. Available on 2WD Regular or Club Cabs, the Dakota R/T Sport Group includes aggressive (255/55R17) tires mounted on 17-inch aluminum wheels, heavy-duty stabilizer bars, and a limited-slip rear differential. The R/T is lowered 1 inch. The package adds bucket seats, fog lights, special trim and a long list of convenience items. It adds $2,410 to a Club Cab and $2,370 to a Regular Cab.

Walkaround

Dakota features the Freightliner styling of the bigger Dodge Ram. Bold lines give it a big, burley look, like it's ready to take on anything that comes its way.

Regular and Club Cabs have a 6-ft. 6-in. bed - a good size for a compact truck. The Quad Cab, on the other hand, has a 5-ft. 3-in. bed. According to Dodge, people seldom need the full length of the longer bed. Those who need more cargo space can consider an optional bed extender -an aluminum cage that flips over the lowered tailgate to extend the bed by 18 inches. It adds utility, but it isn't like having a full-sized bed. Dodge also offers a special shell developed for the Dakota by Leer that provides a protected cargo area.

Interior Features

Visibility from inside the Dakota Quad Cab is outstanding. The driver sits high and there are no obvious blind spots. Optional 6x9-inch mirrors improve visibility rearward.

The Quad Cab is roomy and comfortable. The front seat is 40/20/40 split. The wide console Dodge has been using in Ram and Dakota pickups works well for storage area, but it gets in the way when fastening seat belts. A pullout cup holder at the foot of the center section is a nice touch. For $200 you can replace the 40/20/40 split bench with high-back buckets with a center console.

Though roomier than any other compact truck, the rear seating area offers limited legroom. Children and smaller adults should be happy back there, but taller folk will find the space confining. A better use for this space is to fold the rear 60/40 split bench seats entirely out of the way for a nice, secure storage area. Or you can leave part of the seat down for a passenger and still have room to tote stuff.

Controls are nicely placed and easy to operate. One exception: the $660 AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo offers superb sound through eight Infinity speakers spread around the cab, but the controls are small and confusing. Our test truck came with the overhead electronic console with an eight-point compass and ambient temperature that are useful when traveling. It also features a trip computer and odometer that reports fuel economy and fuel tank range. The console is part of the Overhead Convenience Group ($975) and includes compartments for sunglasses and garage door openers, auto-dimming rearview mirror and map lights.

Driving Impressions

Our Dodge Dakota Sport 4X4 Quad Cab offered impeccable road manners during the four-hour journey north from Los Angeles to the Owens River in northeastern California. The new 4.7-liter V8 quickly spoiled us, and the smooth ride made the journey a pleasure. There was a considerable amount of wind noise, which was overpowered by that wonderful sound system. Once in the Owens Valley we hooked up with a couple of fly fishers and headed for the river.

The driver and front seat passenger had tons of legroom. Fortunately, our backseater was on the short side, so he was relatively happy in his space. The rear doors are fairly wide - about 37 inches. That, coupled with the fact that there is no cutout in them for the rear wheel-well (like there is in many SUVs), makes getting in and out of the rear seat relatively easy. It also means the rear windows roll all the way down.

The floor-mounted transfer case lever (Dodge doesn't offer push-button 4WD on the Dakota) is easy to reach and operate. We hit one particularly sandy section and slipped easily into 4WD without dropping speed. Later, on a steep hill, we pulled the transfer case into 4WD-low and easily walked up a hill that had a good 15-degree grade.

On washboard sections of hard-packed dirt roads in 2WD, the backend had a tendency to fishtail - common in unloaded pickups. It exhibited similar tendencies in radical transient maneuvers on dry pavement. The brakes delivered straight and true stopping power. Our Quad Cab had the optional four-wheel anti-lock brakes ($495). We were impressed with the Quad Cab's turning radius. For a truck its length, it makes relatively tight turns.

Dodge claims its new 4.7-liter V8 ($590), designed from a clean sheet of paper, is the most refined V8 ever offered on a Dodge truck. It's a powerful little devil, rated at 235 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds of torque. It offers all the power and torque you expect from a V8.

The 4.7-liter engine can be paired with a five-speed manual or Dodge's new “multi-speed” automatic transmission. It's a fully electronic four-speed automatic with a dual-ratio second gear. This transmission was designed in tandem with the 4.7-liter engine and they are precisely calibrated to each other. Its onboard computer continuously adjusts the shift pattern to match the way the truck is driven. A tall first gear ratio gives the driver better initial acceleration. It selects one of two second-gear ratios based on load and driver input. Its reverse gear uses a ratio equal to the first gear, beneficial when backing up with a heavy trailer.

Final Word

Dodge Dakota is a solid, well-built truck I found fun to drive. The new 4.7-liter V8 in our Quad Cab offers great performance and works seamlessly with a specially designed automatic transmission.

If you don't want a full-size truck and compacts seem too small, then the Dodge Dakota may be just right.

© New Car Test Drive, Inc.

 

Printable Version

2000 Dodge Dakota Truck

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Passenger On/Off Std

Road Visibility

Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std
Printable Version

2000 Dodge Dakota Truck

Dodge Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

7-Years/100,000-Miles (whichever comes first). Powertrain Limited Warranty runs from the date vehicle was sold as new.

3-Month/3,000-Mile Maximum Care Warranty. Starts on the date of the CPOV sale, or at the expiration of the remaining 3/36 Basic New Vehicle Warranty.

A deductible may apply. See dealer for details or call 1-800-677-5782
Age/Mileage Eligibility 5 years / 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 125
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $100

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2000 Dodge Dakota Truck

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