Ad Radar

2002 Dodge Dakota

Get A Dealer Quote

Compare Dealer Clearance Prices and SAVE

  • Review

2002 Dodge Dakota Review

For carrying five adult people, tackling terrain off-road, or transporting cargo.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2002 Dodge Dakota is one of the best in the midsize pickup lineup of Dodge notoriety. The replacement of trim levels includes the base model, Sport, and SLT. The affordable trim levels offer such amenities as unique bumpers, grille, fascia, fender flares, air-conditioning, cruise control, and the 15-inch alloy wheels. The dashboard saw a redesign as well, along with various interior updates and modification. The midsize pickup is one of the truly well-built trucks in the class, even though it is sometimes classified as being in the compact category. Overall, it's one of the best trucks on the market and is one that has something that will fit all types of truck-shoppers. Offering every advantage possible, it's a very worthy choice in midsize pickups.

The Range

Body Styles: regular cab, club cab, quad cab
Engines: 3.9-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed-manual, four-speed-automatic
Models: Dodge Dakota, Dodge Dakota Sport, Dodge Dakota SLT

What's New

The 2002 Dodge Dakota debuts the SXT, which includes alloyed 16-inch wheels, air-conditioning, CD player, bucket seats, and an automatic transmission. An appearance package consisting of graphite-color bumpers, fender flares and grille adds a touch of sporty class to the SXT.


The 2002 Dodge Dakota bases its exterior styling after its full-size sibling, the Ram. The Regular Cab, the Club Cab style and the Quad Cab are available. While the Quad Cab has four doors, it has the same size wheelbase as the Club, measuring in at 131 inches. The Quad also comes with a shorter bed that hauls about 6.5 cubic feet of cargo. It is the biggest of the compact four-door pickups and can carry almost 2000 pounds of payload and tow around 6200 pounds.

The 2002 Dodge Dakota gives a longer 6.5-foot bed on the regular cab models, which only measures 196 inches. The pickup rides on a 112-inch wheelbase, and there are no rear doors on the Club Cab. All of the Dodge Dakota models are fitted with the 17-inch alloy wheels.


The 2002 Dodge Dakota is very roomy and comfortable with every model having a choice of bucket seats or bench seating. The Quad Cab has almost a foot more in length, so that allows the rear seat to be much roomier over the Club. The floor console of the models that choose bucket seats has an armrest, storage bins, and three cup holders. There are several standard features included on the models individually. The base model has pretty much the simple stuff like cassette player, power steering, cup holders, and a four-speaker stereo. Going up to the Sport model level will add cloth seating to the existing list, and the SLT further includes cruise control, chrome trim, and air-conditioning.

Performance & Handling

The 2002 Dodge Dakota's power comes from a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that can generate 120 horsepower. The 2.5-liter is the standard engine for the regular and Club Cabs equipped with the two-wheel-drive system. Other models use a 3.9-liter V-6 that provides 175 hp, which is a stronger engine for the large truck. These rugged Dakota trucks can also be fitted with a bigger V-8, and the 4.7-liter V-8 produces 235 hp and is available for all body styles. Then there is a 5.9-liter, V-8 Magnum can make 250 hp, and this engine is an available option on all body styles. The Dakota R/T gets the special 250-hp engine variety. A convenient switch in the dashboard allows transfer-case operation on all of the four-wheel-drive models. The engines come matched with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.


The 2002 Dodge Dakota receive standard safety features that include front airbags for both the driver and passenger, deactivation switch for the passenger, front-wheel anti-lock brake system, and rear anti-lock brakes. Crash testing information is not available at this time, though with the included safety equipment, there are efficient safety precautions taken.

EPA Fuel Economy

Dodge Dakota Base: 17/22 mpg city/highway
Dodge Dakota Sport: 17/22 mpg city/highway
Dodge Dakota SLT: 14/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Commendable off- and on-road performance
  • Available V-8

You Won't Like

  • V-8 has poor fuel economy
  • Gets expensive if many options purchased

Sum Up

For carrying five adult people, tackling terrain off-road, or transporting cargo.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Dodge Ram 3500
  • Ford F-150
  • Chevrolet Avalanche
  • GMC Sierra
  • Mitsubishi Mighty Max

Similarly Priced Vehicles