Dodge's Dakota mid-size pickup is smaller overall than full-size pickups like the Dodge Ram for 2007, yet larger than compact trucks like the Ford Ranger, offering a compromise between the two. Maneuvering the Dakota on city streets isn't as problematic as full-size trucks, yet towing and hauling ability is better than most compact trucks.
The standard engine on the Dakota is a 3.7L V6 making 210 horsepower and 235 lb-ft of torque. The optional 4.7L V8 is offered in two variants; a flexible-fuel version is compatible with E85 fuel and makes 230 horsepower and 290 lb-ft, while a High Output version makes 260 horsepower and 310 lb-ft. The base ST and mid-range SLT have a standard six-speed manual transmission and optional four-speed automatic, while the top-trim Laramie comes only with the automatic.
The Dakota is available in a relatively simplified lineup compared to most other pickups. There are Club Cab or Quad Cab versions of each trim level (ST, SLT, and Laramie), and each one is available with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Club Cabs have 180-degree-opening rear access doors, and Quad Cabs have four full-size doors and seating for six. The Club Cab has a 6'6" bed, and the Quad Cab's measures 5'3". The Dakota has a fully boxed frame for improved stiffness and durability over other frame designs, according to Dodge.
In addition to the rear-wheel-only ABS, four-wheel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution are optional, as are side-curtain air bags that cover front and rear occupants. The Dakota also comes with knee bolsters.
The ST comes better equipped than most base-level compact pickups, with standard equipment including air conditioning, an AM/FM CD sound system with four speakers, and rear-wheel-only anti-lock brakes. The SLT upgrades to power windows, mirrors, and locks, plus keyless entry, fog lamps, Sirius satellite radio compatibility, and cloth bucket seats with a full console. At the top of the range, the Laramie includes an alarm system, leather bucket seats, a power driver's seat, a premium sound system with six-disc changes, steering-wheel audio controls, and Bluetooth hands-free interface.