1995 Dodge Dakota Sport 2.5L inline-four from North America


A gutless wonder with a horrible electrical system; otherwise decent


Lost almost every electrical component in the cab due to a blown under-hood fuse.

The paint was burned off in places due to Hawaii's sun.

The catalytic converter developed a nasty rattle.

A previous owner had installed an aftermarket alarm system, which was an absolute pain in the neck.

The stock stereo was pathetic.

General Comments:

The electrical system was terrible.

Whoever decided a 4-cylinder should be offered in this truck obviously never drove one. Acceleration was slow at best, and even moderate hills required dropping it down into third gear. Of all the vehicles I've owned, only my Volkswagen Beetle was more lacking in power.

The upholstery and interior trim held up very well, suffering damage only from cigarette burns. The interior, however, looked very cheap.

The exterior was well-styled, but paint quality left something to be desired.

Overall, though, the Dakota was a decent truck -- but if I'd known about the electrical problems and pathetic engine, I'd have bought the S-10 that the dealer had.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 15th October, 2008

1st May 2019, 00:35

An update from the author of this review. I neglected to mention that a previous owner had installed a monster stereo system. This probably did not help the electrical system. It also, along with the aftermarket alarm, likely caused my longtime hatred of non-factory wiring. My thoughts on the underperforming 4-cylinder engine remain unchanged.

1st May 2019, 22:32

My aftermarket system did not involve any cutting of wires. Bought the correct harness kit. Dedicated fuse to system right next to the battery. You might upgrade your alternator and battery. And not run it with the ignition off. I love my system. Maybe you do not need an alarm. Is your vehicle that valuable?

2nd May 2019, 18:16

Uh, sure. The reviewer has not owned the truck since 2002.

So, he is not likely to do that stuff.

4th May 2019, 01:40

Doesn’t matter it’s the solution to the mechanical issue. Past or present. Case closed.

4th May 2019, 19:37

Imagine telling a boss case closed after any discussion.

5th May 2019, 19:36

What if you owned the company?

24th Apr 2021, 03:38

Author of the review here again. The monster aftermarket stereo had been replaced with the stock parts when I bought the truck. Perhaps the truck had some other sort of weird electrical gremlin. A long time has passed since I sold the truck, but I don't remember having any major electrical issues after that underhood fuse was replaced. I don't know what the final drive ratio was, and it may have been too high for the four-banger's limited power, but I'd still avoid that engine. Much has changed since I owned the truck and wrote the review, and I'd now consider a first-generation Dakota... as long as it has the V-6 or V-8 backed by a 5-speed and didn't spend too many winters in Michigan.

1995 Dodge Dakota V6 Magnum from North America


A good truck is only as good as its maintenance


Transmission slipped at one time, but the mechanic worked his magic and it's never done it since.

Windows (manual) stick slightly at times.

Door handles stick at times, till sprayed with wd-40.

Stock radio is piece of junk - replace if possible.

The brake lines on both Dodge trucks rusted and were replaced.

General Comments:

Truck accelerates quite well (V6 Magnum), 2 wheel drive, and the motor runs fine.

My last truck, a 1986 Dakoda, would turn over at a flick, whereas this one doesn't catch instantly.

Not great in the snow unless weight is in the back.

Roof lining drops down and has on both models. I poked a hole in the corner of each liner, and used a spray on glue and pushed the cloth liner up, and that solved the problem.

The only reason I bought another Dodge after ten years with the first one was due to an accident that totaled the truck with Bambi T. Deer. Otherwise the first truck would still be running strong.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th March, 2008

10th Oct 2008, 14:25

I bought my 1995 Dodge Dakota new. The only trouble were brake lines and the air conditioner evaporator had to be replaced.

The only other comment I have is that I love my truck and will not give it up.