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2000 Dodge Dakota Overview

Slowly transforming into a family car that just happens to be a truck in its off-hours, the 2000 Dodge Dakota proves to be an alternative to the more traditional SUVs and minivans favored by suburban families.

The mid-size Dakota achieved this in 2000 by finally building a 4-door Quad-cab model, the Crew Cab, available in the Sport and SLT trims. Maintaining the 131-inch wheelbase of the extended Club Cab, it shaved off 13 inches in the bed to make room for comfortable rear bucket seats that fit three and flipped back to reveal more storage room underneath. The shorter 5'3" bed meant you were trading in hauling capacity for partying with five of your friends, but it was ample cargo space for the average person's needs. The 8-foot bed option in the regular cabs disappeared, so all non-Crew Cab models came standard with a 6.5-foot bed.

Why did it take Dodge so long to listen to the number one complaint of many drivers and create a four-door with easy access to the rear seat for loading both humans and cargo? No one knows, but everyone applauded the innovation.

The other big change in the 2000 Dakota was the replacement of the old 5.2-liter V8 with a more fuel-efficient 4.7-liter V8 that hit 235-horsepower (compared to the 225 in with the 5.2). It ran better and faster than previous versions of the V8 engines and came as either a 5-speed manual or a redesigned 4-speed automatic.

The 2000 Dakota, with its new roomy rear seats, heavy suspension, and car-like handling, offered a comfortable ride that was surprisingly quiet (unless you opted for the R/T trim, which proudly announced its engine power upon acceleration). Good visibility due to big mirrors and windows, and the easy access made the Dakota a safe family "car" choice, but it's optional 5.9-liter V8 Magnum engine appealed to drivers looking for the intense power of a sports truck. The biggest complaint, despite the convenience of four doors, was the shortened bed in the Crew Cab.

Updated by Anonymous

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