2007 Chicago Auto Show: 2008 Dodge Dakota


The new Dodge Dakota will have a new look, inside and out, and a new optional V-8 engine when it goes on sale in August. The base engine remains a 3.7-liter V-6 with 210 hp, but the optional 4.7-liter V-8 pumps out 290 hp — a 25% increase over the outgoing engine — and 320 pounds-feet of torque, a 10% bump. The new V-8 is also a FlexFuel engine and can run on either regular gas or E85 ethanol. The maximum towing capacity is 7,050 pounds.

What about the new look? Well, the Dakota definitely got a thorough face-lift. Out is the rounded-yet-bold look of past Dodge trucks, in is the squared-off crosshair grille found on new Dodge vehicles, like the Nitro SUV. It’s a dramatic change and we’d love to hear what Dodge fans think of it. Inside, the Dakota upgrades to an interior more akin to its Dodge siblings as well.

Other new features include a standard remote starter, built-in utility rails in the bed, heated bench seats and an under-seat storage system. We’ll have more on the Dakota after we see it in person later this week at the Chicago Auto Show, but for now check out more photos below.

2008 Dakota Sport Extended Cab









2008 Dakota Laramie Crew Cab







By David Thomas | February 3, 2007 | Comments (38)



Did they make ABS, stability control, or side airbags standard? They weren't standard on the old model.


Major improvement IMO. I thought the previous front-end was absolutely hideous. Still not a huge fan of the dash, but it works.


I have an 02 Dakota that I use as a daily driver.

The 05-07 design leaaves me cold and I would buy something else if I had to repalce it right now or Dodge would have to almost give it to me for free.

The new 08 style looks great, I hope Dodge doesn't screw it up by pricing it out of sight!

Ken L.

The design of this "new" Dakota looks dated already; just like their new upcoming minivans. Did Dodge just recently discover aerodynamic headlamps? This design reminds me of something from the late 80's, early 90's. But then again, if this truck can do the job... who cares right?


Squared-off styling looks much sharper. Will they have a standard cab / long bed / 2wd / V8 model available?


I think the new 2008 Dakota is a fine looking truck and I want one. I have a 2001 Dakota and love it. My grandfather drove nothing but Dodge Ram trucks and my dad had six of them so for me it's Dodge and nothin' but. That and my favorite NASCAR team, the #43 and #45, drive Dodges.


I miss the old one already. (They can't all be winners)


The 08 dakota looks good and the horsepower improvement was much needed. But, you know darn well Dodge will price this truck high just like the 05-07 models. You are better off with a full size for the price they will charge.

This truck looks almost as bad as the one it replaces. With such a cool looking full size truck, they just cannot land a good design. The interior is better. Who designs these things? They had better get it together because Daimler is looking to sell them off. Chrysler is another US auto maker who sat back expecting the sales to come to them. Daimler got them to produce the new 300 which was so positive and different from the mess that car replaced. I see a vast array of older Dodge/Chryslers on the road and they are all pitiful. SUV's like the Commander came on when the market was dead and they cancel the Pacifica which was one of the first crossovers to make inroads in that growing segment. I would like to see them make the comeback for real, with or without Daimler.


I currently drive a 2001 Dakota that I have enjoyed since it was new. I am a big guy (6'4", 265 lbs), and this vehicle is very comfortable and capable. The V-8 has a lot of punch. I considered an 05-07 Dakota, but it did not have as much room,was not as comfortable, and was UGLY. The new design looks good; I just hope it has the room that my 2001 has.


Dodge has unfortunately abandoned the popular rounded styling of the '97-'04 in favor of unspectacular and uninspiring edge styling - I own a 2000 SLT/4.7V8 standard cab (which I admire very much) but it looks like I'll be hanging on to it as long as I can as I simply hate the sharp corners of the new versions (including the '08), and since I don't see a standard cab in Dakota's future either, it appears that this will be the last Mopar truck I'll own!


As an owner of a 2005 Dakota (and a 2000 Dakota before that), I must agree with graham about the styling. While I really like the power of my 2005 over the 2000, (maybe the V8 vs the I4 has something to do with that); I got more complements about the looks of my 2000 than I have for my 2005. Neither has had any customizing or aftermarket additions.


I own a 2006 Dakota 3.7l V6 6sp man, it was my first venture into Dodge/Chrysler land. I am very satisfied with rig except for the OPEC friendly fuel consumption. I was really hoping that the folks at Dodge would shake their heads and finally put a decent mid sized diesel into this truck. They have a 3.0l V6 on the shelf (going into the Grand Cherokee), this would be perfect for this truck delivering decent fuel consumption.


I Wanna buy American...You would think Dodge would ask the public what they want. I bought a Jeep Comanche 4X4 in 1988 with a 4.0 inline 6, plenty of power put a lift on it with lager tires and still got 24 mpg. I kept waiting for someone to come out with something better but 250,000 miles later I sold it and bought a new 2001 Tacoma Double cab 4X4, put a lift and bigger tires and get 20 mpg. Now still looking for the American truck that is as good or better then the Tacoma. In 2005 Dodge lowered their 4X4 so now us people that hunt and fish or kids who just play buy the Tacoma or Frontier, I thought maybe Dodge had learned from that for the New 2008 model but what I see is it is the same height as this years along with the same old 3.7 V6 that gets 15mpg and a "more" powerful gas guzzler that is supposed to get 10% over the 13-15 it gets now.

To compete with the Tacoma and Frontier they need to take about 600 pounds of weight off, put a new hi-tech style V6 and raise it up a couple inches. I think I like the new style gives it a meatier look then the 2006

That is my rant, Dodge do you hear me?


Get a ranger 4.0 fast, easy to work on, grate off road and made in the USA


Ranger cannot carry more then 2 people on a 600 to 1,200 mile hunting or fishing trip plus carry all the gear. It is so narrow (buddy of mine has one) cannot put a recurve bow behind the seat out of site, has to set one end on floor other end sticking up in far side window. Plus no 4 door and do not even start on the Sport-trac, 3 foot bed and rides lower then a Canyon or Dakota.
Just need to lighten up the Dakota, raise it up a few inches, put a new hi-tech VVT engine (which doing all 3 it will get a whole lot better gas milage) and it will sell like crazy. Do not need a mid-size truck to pull 7000 pounds. just need to pull a hunting trailor or the bass boat. neither weigh more then 2,500 pounds

For the love of all that is good and holy, PUT A DIESEL IN THIS THING!!!

Chad Westmoreland

They finally got the Dakota right again! They had it wrong since 2005 as the 05-07 front end just never looked right to me. The new Ram's front end should look something like this when it is redesigned in '09. At least I hope.....I pray they don't screw up the Ram's big rig look.


I think it sux as much as last years! ugly!


I'm certain Ford, GM and the asians will be glad to see they have continued the ugly streak for this perenially pathetic truck.

Diesel Dan

I wish the Big 3 would get their collective acts together, and notice the pent-up demand for more efficient and powerful powertrains...can anyone say diesel?

You get great low end torque, better gas mileage than any comparatively equipped gas engine, and they'll last forever, you can't hardly screw up a diesel, and with the tons of aftermarket products out there to further boost efficiencies, VIOLA/PRESTO, you get the best of both worlds.

Now that Jeep is putting in the Mercedez 3.0/V6 diesel in the Grand Cherokee, hopefully someone in Chrysler/Jeep HQ will allow common sense to rule and put this very badly needed package in their Dakotas/Durangos.



American auto-makers really don't get it. I currently own a 2005 Dakota (which is just coming off lease) and am getting pretty desperate looking for a replacement. The one I have now has the 3.7 V-6 and it is a good overall truck, but the engine is both weak and inefficient (I generally get about 14mpg around town no matter how hard or easy I drive it.) Can't someone at Dodge PLEASE stop messing with unimportant stuff and spend the money putting an affordable diesel in one of these (and maybe the Jeep Wrangler line too.) The only DCX diesel truck/SUVs (available in the US) all run in the $50K range!!!
I wish I had enough money to make my own auto company, so I could build something people actually want to buy.


DIESEL DIESEL DIESEL. Put a 2.5 or 3.0 liter diesel in it with 200 horse and 350 torque, 35 mpg and you'll sell millions.

Diesel Dan

Hey Growler and Matt, what's wrong with you? You both make WAY too much sense, and the pin-heads and bean counters in Detroit can't see through the trees to see the forrest...we're surrounded by morons making illogical business decisions for the 'bowtie', 'blue oval', and 'ram' gang. My mama always used to tell me that common sense was in big demand and in short supply. Being a Car Crazy kind of guy, this infuriates me to no end...when will Detroit get it? I've always driven a Chevy truck, S10 and Silverado, and either been pretty lucky or taken half-way decent care of them, cause they all have lasted over 150K miles. But whichever of these three (won't buy a Toyota, Nissan, Honda, etc...) builds a medium size diesel for their SUVs/Pickups will have to add shifts and expand plant capacity. The new diesel technology is so advanced, folks have a hard time forgetting about the plumes of black smoke, and clatter of the valve train will be hard to overcome. All three should be mounting HUGE P.R. campaigns to start touting alternative fuels and especially my fav, bio-diesel...B5/B20 whatever, let's start driving and pumping smarter...hooah! DD out


Alright, Toyota Camry!!!! Oh wait... wrong forum.


I also have an 05 quad and am seriously looking at other options...like a Tundra. I like V8s in my trucks, but really miss the 318cin that I had in my '95 Dakota 4X4 that had more horses and torque with only 1 MPG less than this engine (and my 05 is a 2WD to boot). Besides the weak V8 in this truck, I also have issues with the way some of the things were engineered, like putting the oil drain right above the cross bar. I also agree with the rest of you that the edges in the body suck and the front end is UG-LEE. Don't see much improvement with the '08 either.


I also have an 05 quad and am seriously looking at other options...like a Tundra. I like V8s in my trucks, but really miss the 318cin that I had in my '95 Dakota 4X4 that had more horses and torque with only 1 MPG less than this engine (and my 05 is a 2WD to boot). Besides the weak V8 in this truck, I also have issues with the way some of the things were engineered, like putting the oil drain right above the cross bar. I also agree with the rest of you that the edges in the body suck and the front end is UG-LEE. Don't see much improvement with the '08 either.


They would have a clear winner if they put the 3.0L diesel in it. But they didn't. Why not?

So Dodge is making it like a car and less like a truck. Shame. Dodge should offer a nice off-road-style truck with 18", 2-4" body lift, etc.
If I need a station wagon to haul lots of people that is low to the ground, I'll buy a station wagon. Shame to see a very nice truck that was ground braking a few years ago turned into a low riding minivan for kids.


I will wait and see if the Dakota gets the V6 Cummins diesel. When Cummins starts to build them in 2009 or 2010 before I spend my money for a new truck.


I own a 2004 quad 4.7 and love it. Hated the new look of the 05-07. Was really hoping the 08 would look better and would have a diesel engine option....sad.

Fred W

I presently have a GMC Sierra Crew Cab and my previous 4 trucks were 2 Rams and 2 Dakotas. After all kinds of problems with the Sierra, I am going back to Dodge. They make great trucks. The last 2 were a 2001 and 2004 Dakota Quad Cab and they were fantastic vehicles. Plenty of power to tow, lots of room in the cab, and easier to manuever and park than the full size trucks. I am looking to buy the 2008 Dakota Quad Cab with a 4.7 V8. With lots more power and a 16 MPG city and 22 MPG highway, there is not a better gas mileage V8 out there. With todays gas prices, this is a significant savings every month if you drive as much as I do. Personally, I like the looks of the new ones.

Curt So. Cal

I'm a happy owner of an 02 quad cab 4.7 Dakota with over 80k trouble free miles and unlike the last version I'm considering the new truck.
The front end styling is much improved over the last Dakota (but not nearly as nice as the 02)and I like the 5 lug/spoke wheels but I still dislike the bedsides. I've been looking into power adding for my 02 but with the 303hp 330 ft lb of this truck and claimed better milage (the one dissapointment of my 02) I may buy one to tow my Jeep. Now where's the dual mode hybrid system and multi displacement they're using on the 5.7 Hemis?


Its hideous. Did Mopar hire a designer that's
been living in a cave for the last 30 years.I have an '01 Quad Cab which I am quite fond of
but I wouldn't be caught dead driving this 70's
throwback. These Chrysler designers with there retro designs better get off the glue or there gonna drive this once proud company into the ground,again.


Just recently purchased a 2008 4x4 QuadCab SLT Dakota in metallic black. Awesome truck and my 5th dakota over the years. I'm in love. It's just a joy to drive and unlike my 2005 which was too soft but a nice truck this thing is where it's at. With the newly designed 4.7, this thing has some kahunas now. Won't keep up with my Magnum with the Hemi but it's a thrill a minute. Yes it was a little pricey especially up here in Canada but this one is like my 2005 which is an SLT A package with a lot of laramie options. I've been driving Chrysler products since my first car a 1963 plymouth and knock on wood they have all been good. This is an awesome truck...it's a keeper.


I have a 2001 SLT QC w/ 4.7 5-spd 2wd. I love this truck. I get 22-23 mpg on the highway and 17-18 in town if I'm easy on the gas. I am really PO'ed that Chrysler dropped the 5-spd option with this new 4.7. I was really looking into replacing mine. Now I'm going to wait and see if they make up for this blunder my coming out with a DIESEL and 6-spd tranny.

Jason Morris

The truck looks great.. nice mean looking design. I like the look of my Black and chrome 2005 Laramie a lot better though. I just want Daimler Chrysler to come out with a 3.0l Diesel crate motor conversion for my Dakota. The price of gas is not good right now and i love my truck but i want a diesel.


I bought a 2007 Dakota about 8 months ago after doing a lot of research on all comparably priced and equipped medium trucks. I searched all over ontario and found one with the 6 speed manual and the 4.7 v8 (there were only 2 in the whole province). This setup (although in 2wd) allows me to hit 23 mpg all day even when driving fast (110 km to and from work, 45 km one way). You can bog 6th gear as low as 40km and the motor is only turning @ 900 rpm. I get 600 km per $60-70 fillup which is equatable to the tacoma, the close second. I went with the dodge because I got it really cheap (no-one wants stick anymore) and the tacomas are pricey (25k or more I paid 15 brand new). I'm not crazy about their complicated variable valve engine either or the though of driving japanese period, but toyota would be the only option if I did. Personally, I liked the look of the 05-07 trucks more than the 08, especially once you add a nice grille and LED projector headlights. Dodge would be wise to fix the following issues with my 07 dakota however.
1. Put a turbo diesel in it (the 3.0 litre from jeep) and you would hit 30 mpg without sacrificing power.
2. I can see past it, but most think the interior is cheap looking/ feeling so this would improve sales. (most people who buy imports aren't real car people so they are impressed by such things)
3. I nearly sided with toyota because they are the only ones I can get a standard 4x4 with, but not a v8. Also the 4x4 engagement should be manual (another stick on the floor) those shift on the fly things are complicated electronic garbage that have no place on a truck.
4. As someone else rightly mentioned, the crossover piece on the front end is right under the oil drain (stupid!) but the whole front end needs revision (lifted and beefed up).
If they made the 90's rt (5.9L) in stick 4x4 I would've bought that but I suppose you could always buy one and just drop the 360 in.

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