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2009 Dodge Dakota

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2009 Dodge Dakota Review

Far from the most refined vehicle in its class despite its formidable V-8 engine and towing capacity.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2009 Dodge Dakota is a midsize pickup that’s available in extended and crew cab body styles and in a variety of trim levels.

The latest Dodge Dakota features backseats with cargo loading, more comfortable seats, and custom removable containers. The bigger Crew cabs offer 7.5 cubic feet of room, which makes the Dakota more comfortable. Base ST, Big Horn, TRX4, and the top-end Laramie are the different trim levels of both the cabs of the 2009 Dodge Dakota.

These pickup trucks do not come with luxury as sedans do. They have a cheap industrial feel to the interior. But Dodge's redesigned 2009 Ram has proved that it’s possible for a pickup truck to have a good-quality cabin. The standard stereo and climate control are easy to use. The power seats of the 2009 Dodge Dakota adjust, and its bench seats feel comfortable. The back seat of the Crew cab features a 60/40 split.

The Range

Body Styles: midsize pickup
Engines: 3.7-liter V-6, 4.7-liter V-8
Transmissions: six-speed manual, four-speed automatic, five-speed automatic
Models: Dodge Dakota ST, Dodge Dakota Big Horn, Dodge Dakota TRX4, Dodge Dakota Laramie

What's New

Changes made to the 2009 Dodge Dakota have been minimal and basically consist of a reorganization of the trim levels and the addition of some new standard equipment.


The 2009 Dodge Dakota is a midsize pickup truck. It has two body styles: Extended cab and Crew cab. Extended cabs have five seats with a 6.4-foot cargo bed and come equipped with rear-hinged back doors. The truck’s profile has changed dramatically, as now it includes a rear spoiler. Crew cab versions have six seats with a 5.3-foot bed and conventional back doors.

The base ST features a dual-position tailgate and 16-inch steel wheels. The Big Horn adds body-colored bumpers, full power accessories, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Full-swing rear doors, utility bed rails, and a sliding rear window are the options of the Big Horn. These optional items are also for the Laramie. The Laramie also includes chrome exterior accents, a bed liner, automatic headlights, and 18-inch alloy wheels.


The interior of the Dakota features white-faced electroluminescent gauges, an abundance of storage options, and available heated leather seats. Although leather upholstery is only available in the Laramie. It’s true that some of the Dakota’s interior materials are low-grade but the cabin feels spacious and stays quiet.

A CD player stereo, front bucket seats, a tilt steering wheel, air-conditioning, and cloth upholstery make up the base ST. The Big Horn features two rear folding seats, a front center console, and an under-seat storage system. Options for the Big Horn include audio control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, satellite radio, and power front seats. More features of the latest version of Dodge Dakota include power windows, keyless entry, and remote ignition. In terms of entertainment, the 2009 Dodge Dakota includes a CD player, navigational aid, telemetric systems, a subwoofer, second-row sound controls, a DVD player, a voice-activated telephone, and a CD Changer.

Performance & Handling

While the V-6 engine option does provide reasonable power, in order to really enjoy the Dakota drivers must opt for the V-8. The Dakota boasts a well-calibrated suspension that enables it to remain composed over rougher terrain. For a truck of its size, it also delivers a respectable on-road performance. However the steering is somewhat lifeless and provides little in the way of feedback when driving.

There are also a number of engine choices available, including a 4.7-liter V-8 with 302 hp. The newly produced Dodge Dakota also offers a 3.7-liter, six-cylinder engine. This sort of engine pairs with a six-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission.


In terms of safety, both the Crew and Extended Dakotas get five out of five stars for driver protection. Full-length side-curtain airbags, rear-wheel anti-lock brakes, and four-wheel ABS comprise the safety features of 2009 Dodge Dakota.

More features of the latest version of Dodge Dakota include anti-theft and locks, power door locks, child safety locks, braking and traction, ABS brakes, a stability control system, automatic load-leveling, limited-slip axle, electronic brake assistance, a driver airbag, a first-aid kit, head protection with the front side airbag, a trunk anti-trap device, electronic parking aid, a passenger airbag, and head protection with second-row side airbags.

EPA Fuel Economy

Dodge Dakota: 15/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Option for powerful V-8 engine
  • Nice, innovative interior storage spaces
  • Best towing capacity in its class
  • Comfortable seating

You Won't Like

  • Industrial feel of interior
  • Limited range of body styles
  • Adding options ups price significantly
  • Rough ride on the highway
  • Optional audio and navigation touchscreen difficult to operate

Sum Up

Far from the most refined vehicle in its class despite its formidable V-8 engine and towing capacity.

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