The Dodge Dakota SLT Crew Cab 4WD features an updated exterior design for 2008, with a new hood, grille, headlights, and front fascia. Other exterior features include 16-inch cast aluminum wheels, fog lamps, pickup-box utility rails, and a dual-position tailgate, which enables the SLT Crew Cab to carry extra-long cargo.
The SLT Crew Cab 4WD provides additional traction and stability on slippery roads, thanks to its part-time four-wheel-drive transfer case and part-time 4LOCK and 4LO modes. The 4LOCK mode locks the front and rear axles together to provide extra traction on slippery surfaces, while the 4LO mode cranks up engine torque and locks the front and rear axles together, so they'll rotate at the same speed for optimum traction.
The four-door SLT Crew Cab offers a roomy cabin, with seating for up to five passengers. A new Crate 'N Go collapsible rear seat and removable storage system makes it easy to carry passengers or cargo behind the front seats. In addition, the center console between the front seats includes a fold-out bin for electronics devices like cell phones and MP3 players.
Other standard interior features include power-adjustable front bucket seats with stain- and odor-resistant fabric, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, an illuminated entry system, and a four-speaker AM/FM audio system with a CD player, an MP3 input jack, and a year of Sirius satellite radio.
A 210-horsepower, 3.7-liter Magnum V6 engine, designed for improved fuel efficiency, powers the Dakota SLT Crew Cab 4WD. The engine links to a six-speed manual transmission, which comes standard, or an optional four-speed automatic. The EPA rates mileage for the SLT at 16 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway with the manual, and 15 city/20 highway with the automatic transmission.
Design-wise, the new Dakota offers a big improvement over previous versions, according to drivers and reviewers. Power and cargo capacity get good marks, as do handling and maneuverability, although some find the interior and safety features lacking. In addition, the rear seats offer minimal support, some drivers note.