|Compact pickup truck; Built in USA|
|Good condition price range: $1,800 – $7,900*|
1998 Dodge Dakota Sport regular cab
1998 Dodge Dakota SLT Club Cab extended cab
1997 Dodge Dakota Sport Club Cab extended cab
1997 Dodge Dakota interior
1997 Dodge Dakota Sport regular cab
Dakota offers a bit more interior space and towing capacity than compact pickup rivals, and a significant advantage in payload capacity. If you like the styling, the rest of the truck probably won’t be disappointing.
Fully redesigned for 1997, Dodge’s pickup again measured between compact and full-size. Powertrains and suspensions were essentially carryovers. Dual airbags were now standard. Regular-cab Dakotas came in two sizes: 111.0-inch wheelbase with a 6.5-foot cargo bed, or 123.9-inch with an 8-foot bed. The Club Cab, which added a 3-place bench seat and 19 inches to the back of the cab, rode a 131-inch wheelbase and came only with the shorter bed. All body styles were available with rear-wheel drive or on-demand 4-wheel drive that is not for use on dry pavement. Rear antilock brakes were standard; 4-wheel ABS optional. Three engines were available: a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with 120 horsepower; a 3.9-liter V6 that produced 175 horsepower; and a 5.2-liter V8 with 230 horsepower. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard; 4-speed automatic optional only with the V6 or V8.
A deactivation switch for the passenger-side airbag was added for ’98, and, at mid-season, a high-performance Dakota R/T arrived, packing a 250-horsepower 5.9-liter V8 with automatic transmission and riding a sport suspension with 17-inch tires, became available.
Dakotas got a one-touch-down power driver’s window and a redesigned overhead console for ’99. A rotary headlight switch replaced the prior pull-turn knob.
Dakotas could now be equipped with a 235-horsepower, 4.7-liter V8 engine, borrowed from the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It replaced the previous 5.2-liter V8. A “crew cab” (Quad Cab) model with four front-hinged side doors debuted in midseason. Quad Cabs seated six. Regular-cab models abandoned the previously available 8-foot cargo bed, coming only with the 6.5-foot bed used by the Club Cab.
New linewide features for 2001 included a standard universal garage door opener, redesigned alloy wheels for Sport and SLT models, and 16-inch wheels instead of 15s with the optional tire and handling packages. Dashboards and center consoles were also redesigned and, on 4x4s, the transfer case was now controlled by a dashboard switch rather than a floor lever.
New for 2002 was an SXT version that included popular equipment such as 16-inch wheels and bucket seats.
The 4-cylinder engine is dropped, while 4.7-liter V8s could get a 5-speed automatic. Also for ’03, 16-inch wheels are standard in place of 15s on all models except the R/T, which uses 17s. Rear seats gain LATCH system child-seat anchors, and added midyear was a Stampede package that includes the Tire and Handling Group plus body-color bumpers and lower-body trim.
Dodge dropped the 245-hp 5.9-liter V8 for ’04, and replaced the 175-hp 3.9-liter V6 with a 210-hp 3.7-liter V6. Also dropped this year was the sporty R/T model.