The 2008 Dakota truck has the largest and longest standard bed in the class and is the largest mid-size truck cab.
The truck's new 4.7-liter engine is the only V8 in this class. It is excellent in all aspects because of the dual spark plugs per cylinder, increased compression, better cylinder-head port flow, and a new combustion system. It gives 290 horsepower; that is a 25 percent increase over the standard engine and an increase of 12 percent over the previous 4.7-liter High Output. It can still operate on E85 ethanol fuel. An Electronic Throttle Control also gears the new 4.7-liter V-8.
The 3.7 liter V6 with 210 horsepower and 235 lb.-ft. of torque, as well as the Electronic Throttle Control are still available for the standard engine.
Except for Laramie, all Dodge Dakota trucks for 2008 with V-6 get a six-speed manual. The engine can be coupled with a four-speed automatic, while the V8 can have a five-speed automatic.
Owners of a Dakota trucks can choose from a wide variety of transfer cases.
The exterior styling cues include a newly designed hood, grille, front fascia, rear spoiler, fenders and headlamps. Improved aerodynamics, better fit and gap management are given by the front end. The design of the hood surface was intended to imply power and to intense further the drop fender. This design is standard to all Dodge trucks.
The headlamps are similar to those of the Dodge Nitro. They are rectangular in shape for a conventional look and for maximizing the surface area for better lighting ahead. For serious driving, reflectors are deep set behind each lens.
The truck also has new fog lamps. A new spoiler in the tailgate supports smooth flow of air over the rear. This helps achieve improved fuel economy. The top surface cargo box also has a refined protective area.
In 2008 models, Dodge Dakota trucks will once again be available in two body styles and six trim levels: Extended and Crew Cabs; and ST, SXT, SLT, TRX4, Sport and Laramie.
The interior has a new instrument panel, center console and accent finishes, and an array of new interior storage choices.
Opening through an estimated 170 degrees to an interior with a seating room for five, the Full SwingÃ¢â€žÂ¢ rear access doors are available for the Extended Cabs - this is the unique feature in the class. A maximum of 30 cubic feet storage room is attained when rear seats are not used or folded.
The Crew Cab measures 37.1 cubic feet of seating for up to six occupants. This cab has a first for Dakota; this is the new under-seat storage system that is accessed when rear seats are folded.
More storage choices are found in the interior. An added storage bin is located above the glove box to provide easy access for items that are utilized everyday. The all-new center console has cup holders with modular inserts and a pull-out bin that is engineered to hold electronics such as an MP3 player, cell phone or Personal Digital Assistant. To access this, Dodge provided an additional power outlet.
Comfort while seated is assured by the YES EssentialsÃ¢â€žÂ¢ Worry Free Fabric. This is stain and odor-resistant and an anti-static. And for the first time, the Dodge Dakota for 2008 comes with heated bench seats. To feel further comfort, a folding center armrest is also available.
A 40/40 rear-folding seats are available for the Extended Cab while Crew Cab models come with a standard 60/40 split-folding rear seat.
AM-FM stereo radios with MP3 capability, SIRIUS Satellite Radio that transcends more than 125 channels, a 508-watt Sound Box system (for Extended Cabs) and a DVD navigation system with turn-by-turn directions are some of the electronic choices for the vehicle. Standard on all 2008 Dodge Dakotas are the power accessory delay that does power functions, to operate after the vehicle is turned off.
With 6-foot-6-inches in the Extended Cab, the 2008 model is the largest and longest standard cargo bed in its class. To adjustably tie down the cargo box, built-in utility rails are made. The dual-position tailgate is safe in a mid-position. This provides support for super wide or long cargo that is laid on top of wheel wells and extending over the bed end.
In the mid size pick up market, the Dodge Dakota still reigns as the vehicle with the highest towing ratings which is up to 7,050 pounds.
As to the safety, this truck is not left behind. So that energy is absorbed and to hinder force from the cabin, the octagonal front frame rail tips up front collapse towards the rear. Standard on rear wheels and an option on all four wheels is the anti-lock brake system (ABS). Meanwhile, an advance multi-stage driver and front passenger air bags come standard, and supplemental side-curtain air bags come optional.
The Crew Cabs have rear head restraints have foam pads for increased protection. These are especially engineered to ensure the driver's rearward visibility.
About the Author - Evander Klum is a Business Administration graduate who hails from Alabama. He enjoys extreme sports and he is also a car racing fanatic. At present, he works as a marketing manager at an advertising agency in Cleveland.