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.
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.