A review of the Ram Dakota Pickup that covers trim levels, available options, powertrains and overall driving performance, and provides information on past model years.
For decades, the Ram was Dodge's iconic full-size pickup. Starting in 2011, however, parent company Chrysler decided to make the Ram name an actual brand. As part of that switch, the midsize Dodge Dakota was renamed the Ram Dakota.
Due to slow sales, the Ram Dakota was produced for just one year. However, it could still be a very good choice for a used midsize pickup.
Most Recent Ram Dakota The Ram Dakota was produced for 2011 only. Engine choices included a 210-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 and a 302-hp 4.7-liter V8. The base V6 will suffice if cost is your main consideration, but it won't impress anyone with its towing capabilities. It was also barely more fuel-efficient than the V8, which offered considerably more power and torque.
The Dakota was available with two-wheel drive or part-time four-wheel drive; however, on high-line models you could get a full-time 4WD system -- an unusual feature in this class. There was no regular cab configuration, so buyers have their choice of an extended cab (known as the Club Cab) or crew cab (Quad Cab). The Quad Cab is the way to go if your truck will serve as a family vehicle, but unfortunately, it has a short 5-foot 4-inch bed, and Ram offered neither a longer bed length nor a factory bed extender. Club Cabs had 6-foot, 6-inch beds.
In road tests and reviews, we found that the Ram Dakota boasted comfortable seating, abundant storage and simple controls. When equipped with the V8 engine, power was ample. Downsides to this midsize truck included low-quality interior materials, lackluster fuel economy and a harsh ride quality.
For more information on prior years of this truck, please see our review of the Dodge Dakota.