We've given this page a whole new look

View the new design

2002 Dodge Dakota

Change Vehicle
2002 Dodge Dakota
Available in 16 styles:  2002 Dodge Dakota 4x4 Quad Cab 131.1" WB shown
Asking Price Range
Estimated MPG

15–16 city / 19–22 hwy


2002 Dodge Dakota 4.3 12
$ 2,212-10,160
April 15, 2002
Vehicle Overview
The base, Sport and SLT price classes replace last year’s decor groups for Dodge’s midsize pickup. The Dakota is likely to be redesigned next year, along with the Durango sport utility vehicle. A new “value-priced” SXT model includes graphite bumpers, fascia, grille and fender flares, along with sporty, 16-inch aluminum wheels.

Though the Dakota is generally classified as a compact, it is larger than its foremost rivals: the Chevrolet S-10, Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma. Some observers in the auto industry consider the Dakota to be the only midsize pickup.

Four engines remain available: a four-cylinder, a V-6 and a pair of V-8s, with either a five-speed-manual or four-speed-automatic transmission. The top performer is the Dakota R/T (road and track), which is equipped with a 250-horsepower V-8, front and rear stabilizer bars, unique suspension tuning, P255/55R17 tires and a stance that’s 1 inch lower than usual.

In 2000, Dakotas earned major changes to the exterior. It was at that time that a four-door Quad Cab (crew-cab) body style was introduced. A redesigned dashboard and other interior modifications followed. The Chevrolet S-10, GMC Sonoma, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma are also available with crew-cab styling, which offers four conventional, front-hinged doors.

Basic Dakota styling is patterned after the full-size Ram pickup. Regular-cab, Club Cab and Quad Cab body styles are available. The four-door Quad Cab rides the same 131-inch wheelbase and measures the same 215 inches in overall length as the Club Cab (extended cab). Because the Quad Cab devotes more space to passengers, it comes with a shorter, 5.25-foot cargo bed instead of the 6.5-foot bed available on regular-cab models. Nevertheless, Dodge claims it is the largest cargo bed among four-door compact pickups; this model is capable of handling a payload of up to 1,770 pounds. A Quad Cab Dakota can tow as much as 6,200 pounds.

Although regular-cab models use the 6.5-foot cargo bed, they have shorter dimensions for both the wheelbase and overall length than the Quad Cab. Regular cabs measure 196 inches long on a 112.1-inch wheelbase. Unlike other extended-cab compacts, no rear doors are offered on the Dakota Club Cab. Buyers who want more than two doors must turn to the Quad Cab.

All models can be equipped with either a front bench or a pair of bucket seats. A floor console for models with front bucket seats includes three cupholders, an armrest and a group of storage bins. Club Cab and Quad Cab models have split rear benches with cushions that fold for extra storage space. A pullout cupholder sits under the backseat.

Because the Quad Cab’s interior is about a foot longer than the Club Cab’s, its backseat is vastly roomier. Space is adequate for adults in the Quad Cab’s rear seat, but they are likely to be cramped in the Club Cab. Tall rear doors that open 90 degrees on the Quad Cab make it easier to get in and out of the rear seat. The front passenger seat slides forward on Club Cabs, but it’s still awkward to squeeze into the backseat. Elastic straps on the undersides of the cushions are handy for securing ice scrapers, umbrellas and other small items.

Under the Hood
A 120-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder serves as the base engine for two-wheel-drive regular cabs and Club Cabs. Because it’s really too small for this truck, the four-cylinder power plant is seldomly used in the Dakota. Most other models have a 175-hp, 3.9-liter V-6 as standard equipment.

Dakotas are unique among compact pickups because they can be fitted with V-8 engines. A 235-hp, 4.7-liter V-8 is available for all three body styles. A 250-hp, 5.9-liter Magnum V-8 — which is bigger than the V-8s in some full-size pickups — is available for all body styles, and a special 250-hp version goes into the sporty Dakota R/T. Transfer-case operation on four-wheel-drive models relies on a convenient dashboard switch. Four-wheel antilock brakes are standard on the new “value-priced” SXT and come as optional equipment on all other models.

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Featured Services for this Dodge Dakota

  • Sell your current car quickly and easily on Cars.com.
  • Not sure what auto repair should cost you? Use our price estimator.
  • Get help with car repair now on Cars.com. Visit Repair & Care

Search Inventory Near You

Calculate Monthly Payment

What will my monthly cost be?

Check Payment

Calculate Affordable Price

What is the most I can afford?

Check Price

More Calculators

Compare finance offers to decide what's right for you.

Certain specifications, prices and equipment data have been provided under license from Chrome Data Solutions ("Chrome Data"). ©2013 Chrome Data Solutions, LP. All Rights Reserved. This information is supplied for personal use only and may not be used for any commercial purpose whatsoever without the express written consent of Chrome Data. Chrome Data makes no guarantee or warranty, either expressed or implied, including without limitation any warranty of merchantability or fitness for particular purpose, with respect to the data presented here. All specifications, prices and equipment are subject to change without notice.