A weekend driving this mid-size pickup reminded me how much I miss owning such a handy workhorse. In stark contrast to the F-150, Sierra, and Ram monster trucks, the Dakota is significantly more manageable, fuel efficient, and socially acceptable. After taking a 350-mile round trip on Saturday, my Sunday assignment was pulling a trailer weighing at least twice the rated tow rating. A lack of grades, high temperatures, and traffic helped accomplish that ambitious chore without difficulty, although I don't recommend it for towing novices. With ample room for five, four doors for convenient access, and a 64-inch-long bed, this Dakota is the ideal suburban-lifestyle support vehicle. A longer bed, 4x4 driveline, and V-8 are not on my list of essentials. So before you follow the herd with a too-big truck, take a serious look at this highly practical alternative.
Don Sherman, Technical Editor