1996 Dodge Dakota Overview


Looking for a Used Dakota in your area?

CarGurus has 4,297 nationwide Dakota listings starting at $1,495.

Average user score
3.8 5 stars
Based on 22 reviews

1996 Dodge Dakota Overview

1996 was the last year for the first generation of Dodge Dakotas, a mid-size pickup that proved very popular because of its storage capacity, hauling power, engine options (the first mid-size to house a V8 Magnum), and safety record. It proved to be a great compromise for people wanting all the options of a full-size truck without the unwieldiness of trying to maneuver one through city streets and parking lots.

The only major change for the 1996 Dodge Dakota was a revamped base engine, which always seemed too weak for a pickup of this size. Still a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder, it received a boost in horsepower from 99 to 120. It's not necessarily going to win any races, but for those on a budget, it got the job done (as long as it was a small job). The 3.9-liter V6 and 5.2-liter V8 remained the models of choice.

Not many complaints from drivers. The Dakotas seem to last forever, have great braking, handle well off-road and in the snow (the 4X4s), and have a comfortable cab up front. Downers were the poor gas mileage, a cheap-looking plastic interior, and the difficulty in accessing the rear seat since it is only a 2-door truck.


What's your take on the 1996 Dodge Dakota?

Have you driven a 1996 Dodge Dakota?  
Rank This Car

Cars compared to 1996 Dodge DakotaPeople researching a 1996 Dodge Dakota contacted a dealer about


Looking for a Used Dakota in your area?

CarGurus has 4,297 nationwide Dakota listings starting at $1,495.

Have questions?   Ask a question

Dodge Dakota Questions

Motor Swap

Can a 93 dodge dakota engine be interchanged with a 96 dodge dakota 3.9 v6 magnum engine?

5 views with 5 answers (last answer about a day ago)

Transmission Question

I have a 96 dodge Dakota SLT with 5.2 v8 what transmission do I have? What's the model? Someone has put v6 trans from a jeep in it and its not working properly

0 views with no answers yet

Head Lights On High Beam Only Work As Long As You Hold Lever Up

no head lights, but if you hold high-low lever in up position then high beams work. 1996 dodge dakota. Replaced the whole unit for turn singles-lights and washers and still same problem.

3 views with 1 answer (last answer 3 weeks ago)

Switch Dodge Motors

I have a 96 dodge dakota sport and i have a 98 dodge dakota sport can i swap motors on these vehicles

10 views with 1 answer (last answer 2 months ago)

Dodge Dakota 96 Engine Switch With A Dodge Dakota 98

5 views with no answers yet