1997 Dodge Dakota Overview


Looking for a Used Dakota in your area?

CarGurus has 4,728 nationwide Dakota listings starting at $995.


Not sure what you want?

Find the models that are right for you using the CarGurus Car Finder.



2 Dr SLT 4WD Extended Cab SB
Avg. Price: $4,907
2 Dr SLT 4WD Standard Cab SB
2 Dr SLT Extended Cab SB
10 national listings
2 Dr SLT Standard Cab LB
1 national listing
2 Dr SLT Standard Cab SB
4 national listings
2 Dr Sport 4WD Extended Cab SB
2 national listings
2 Dr Sport 4WD Standard Cab SB
Avg. Price: $3,413
2 Dr Sport Extended Cab SB
1 national listing
2 Dr Sport Standard Cab LB
2 Dr Sport Standard Cab SB
1 national listing
2 Dr STD 4WD Extended Cab SB
1 national listing
Show 4 more trims

Dodge Dakota Experts

#1 Justin Doucette
Justin Doucette
Reputation 480
#2 banana
Reputation 460
#3 Snidely
Reputation 360
View All

Average User Score

4.25 stars

Based on 17 reviews

Well Worth It!!!! by Drake
 — This truck has been exelent. I have driven this truck over 200000km and I have had only one thing happen to it. the belt started to squel at about 197000km so I took it back to the dealer for the... Read More
I Will Buy Another One If I Am Able To. by 58benny
 — I had been against Mopar products ever since I owned a 2001 Chrysler Town and Country mini van. I had a very bad experience with the quality of that vehicle. I had the opportunity to purchase the Dak... Read More
Shes A Beaut by Blake
 — 2in lift, 383 v8 , dua catbackl flowmaste exhaustr, 15in custom subwoofer box, 285 wide, 35in mudders, new paint job, K&N all around, 26 highway, 10 city, faster than hell, JVC Deck newly installed, ... Read More

1997 Dodge Dakota Overview

Overall User Score

4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.25

Based on 17 reviews

1997 Dodge Dakota

Despite the introduction of a new generation of the popular mid-size pickup, not much had changed for the 1997 Dodge Dakota.  Its look was slightly more muscular, taking its cues from the successful Dodge Ram.  But underneath the big rig-like exterior, it was really the same old Dakota drivers knew and loved.

Dropping the WS trim, the 1997 Dakota came now in base, Sport, or SLT models.  The three wheelbase options remained unchanged (112-inch, 124-inch, and the Club Cab's 131-inch) as did the engines -- the 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder, 120-hp, the 3.9-liter 175-hp, V6, and the 5.2-liter V8 Magnum, which returned to its former 230-horsepower.  2WD, rear anti-lock brakes, and 5-speed manual came standard, with 4WD, 4-wheel ABS, and 4-speed automatic optional.

A new addition for 1997 was dual front airbags, reinforcing the Dodge Dakota's lead in safety.  Inside, the dash got an update, but still looked plastic and cheap.  The cab comfortably fit three up front with standard bench seats.  Optional bucket seats made room for a well-designed center console with extra storage compartments.  The rear bench seat was still basically unfit for humans over the age of ten or over the size of Mini-Me and was hard to access with only the two doors, but it did provide extra storage beneath the seats.

Aside from the poor gas mileage, uncomfortable rear seats, and wide turn radius, most drivers praise the Dodge Dakota's handling and hauling capabilities.  The other big selling point is the cab's roominess and driving comfort.  Reviews mention the excellent braking response and relatively quiet interior.


What's your take on the 1997 Dodge Dakota?

People researching a 1997 Dodge Dakota contacted a dealer about

1997 Dodge Dakota 2 Dr Sport 4WD Extended Cab SB, JEEP KILLER!, exterior
Dodge Dakota
33% of the time
Ford F-150
13% of the time
Chevrolet Blazer
8% of the time
Dodge Ram Pickup 1500
8% of the time
Looking for a Used Dakota in your area?
CarGurus has 4,728 nationwide Dakota listings starting at $995.

Dodge Dakota Questions


Swaping Transmission

Will a trans from 1997 Dodge Dakota-Auto, 2-WD, 3.9L V6, Fit a 1999 Dodge Ram 1500-Auto, 2-WD, 5.2L V8???

6 views with no answers yet

97 Dodge Dakota Crankshaft Sensor???

on my 97 dodge dakota v6 3.9 check engine came on went to autozone to have them scan fr codes it came back bad crankshaft sensor, the next day i barely made it home when i got to the freeway i hit t...

68 views with 1 answer (last answer 6 months ago)

I Have A 1997 Dodge Dakota 3.9 Motor An I Want To Swap The Motor For 98 Or ...

25 views with 2 answers (last answer 6 months ago)

1997 Dakota 5.2 V-8 Won't Start

Truck ran fine, parked it, next AM would not start.Changed cap and rotor they were very worn but no effect. It barerly tries to start but no go.It's getting spark to plugs. Tried a little starting flu...

153 views with 11 answers (last answer 6 months ago)
Clay Ryckman

Trouble Turning Left. Stiff/tight.

I have a 97 Dodge Dakota 2wd. I replaced the power steering pump about a year to 2 years ago. I am having problems with it wanting to turn to the left. It's really stiff and hard but just to the lef...

81 views with 2 answers (last answer 7 months ago)