A Buyer’s Guide to the 2011 Dodge Dakota

2011 marked the final year of production for Dodge’s venerable Dakota pickup truck. It was a compact pickup, not quite the size of the Ram, and competed with similar models like the Chevy S10 and the Ford Ranger (both of which have also been discontinued).

Key Features

There are several important features available for the 2011 Dodge Dakota (technically, the Ram Dakota). One of the most notable is the available V8 engine (the base model uses a V6). Another is the availability of both crew and extended cab formats to suit different needs. The extended cab model also comes with a longer bed than the crew cab (6.4 feet versus 5.3 feet). Neither option provides the same amount of cargo space as a full size pickup, though.

Changes for This Model Year

Dodge introduced several changes for the 2011 Dakota, including antilock brakes and side curtain airbags. Other changes include the switch to the moniker Ram Dakota, as well as the elimination of both the TRX4 trim level and the navigation system.

What We Like

Oddly, one of the best things about the 2011 Dodge Dakota is the amount of in-cabin storage space. You’ll find plenty of it available. You’ll also find that the towing capacity is outstanding (the best in the truck’s class). The seats are comfortable and supportive, and the V8 engine delivers ample power (the V6 is only so-so).

What Concerns Us

There are quite a few things that cause us concern with the 2011 Dodge Dakota. The interior is definitely lacking in polish (utilitarian sums it up best). The body style options are also lacking, and extras can quickly ramp up the price. We were disappointed that Dodge eliminated the optional navigation system, as well.

Available Models

You have options when it comes to the 2011 Dodge Dakota. You can choose from a crew or extended cab format. You can also choose from three trim levels. ST is the base trim. Big Horn is the next tier up, and the highest is Laramie. Note that Laramie trim is only available with the crew cab.

The standard engine for all formats is a 3.7-liter V6 engine with 210 hp and 235 lb-ft of torque. It uses a 4-speed automatic transmission and gets 14/18 mpg. The 4.7-liter V8 engine is optional, and produces 302 hp and 329 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a 5-speed automatic and gets 14/18 mpg. Towing capacity for the V6 is 4950 pounds, while the V8 can tow 7250 pounds.

Major Recalls

There are several recalls on the 2011 Dodge Dakota. One is for the rear axle pinion nut, which may come loose. Another was for a battery separator that might overheat and catch fire. Finally, a third recall was issued over possible moisture penetration in the front airbags, which might cause metal fragments to hit the driver if the airbag deployed.

Common Issues

The most common issues with the 2011 Dodge Dakota are a lack of body styles, and poor fuel economy.

Dodge Dakota 2011 interior


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