Dodge's uniquely-sized pickup has been redesigned for 2008. Of course we're speaking of the Dakota, which occupies a place in the truck world between the full-size beasts that continue to get bigger and bigger (have you seen the Tundra?) and smaller trucks like the Chevrolet Colorado and Ford Ranger. The Dakota's cosmetic changes are mostly limited to the front end, where a new grille and headlights are shorter and more aggressive than those of the Tonka-like face of the outgoing model. Dodge claims that a new tailgate spoiler that improves airflow over the (longer) bed.
Inside the expanded passenger compartment, the freshening continues with a new dashboard, heated seats, and storage cubbies. For convenience, every new Dakota will be equipped with remote starters, which is a segment first--between that and seat heaters, the Dakota should be an ideal cold weather vehicle.
Together with the changes in appearance, the Dakota has some substantial improvements to its mechanical layout, with the big news being the availability of a new 4.7-liter V-8 delivering almost 300 horsepower and better fuel economy than the old V-8. A 3.7-liter V-6 is the standard motor and buyers will have a choice of two-wheel drive, part time four-wheel drive, or full time four-wheel drive. Both four-wheel drive systems will have high and low ranges.