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Average User Score
4.1 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 19 reviews
1997 Dodge Dakota Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 19 reviews
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?
Dodge Dakota Questions
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1997 Dodge Dakota Cranks No Start/ No Spark
I installed new crank sensor, cam inside dist cap, coil....I jumped out the asd 30-87, now I have 12v going to coil blue/orange wire. 12v test light on, with the black/white coil wire but 12v test l...