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1996 Dodge Dakota

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starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown

Pickup Truck

Body style


Seating capacity

208.4” x 65.6”


Rear-wheel drive



8 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

  • Sport 4WD

  • WS


  • Sport


  • Base


  • Club Cab Sport


  • Club Cab


  • 4WD


  • Club Cab 4WD


Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 1996 Dodge Dakota trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best Pickup Trucks for 2024

1996 Dodge Dakota review: Our expert's take

By Editors

We didn’t drive a Dakota to Dakota, but we did drive it around town and hadthe chance to employ four-wheel-drive and found the compact pickup a pleasantlittle cruiser.

Dodge has forced Chevrolet and Ford to sit up and take notice in full-sizetrucks now that consumers are buying just about every Dodge Ram that thefactory can build. Ford’s F-Series pickups and Chevy’s C/K pickups have someserious competition from Ram.

The Dakota hasn’t gained similar popularity against the Ford Ranger andChevy S-10. Dodge hopes to gain some attention with its optional V-8 inDakota.

Ford offers a 4-liter, 160-h.p., V-6 in its compact Ranger, Chevy a4.3-liter, 200-h.p., V-6 in its compact S-10, but neither offers a V-8 in thatsize truck.

Dodge offers an optional 5.2-liter, Magnum V-8 that develops 220 h.p. toensure that you can fill the short bed to the brim, and Dakota will show up towork.

While boasting of a V-8, however, the Dakota 4×4 Sport we tested also comeswith a 13-m.p.g. city/18-m.p.g. highway rating when teamed with a 5-speedmanual transmission, about the mileage you’d expect from a full-sizepickup–with an automatic, not a 5-speed manual.

The 4.3-liter, V-6 in the Chevy, and its 17-m.p.g. city/21-m.p.g. highwayrating, looks very good when compared with Dakota’s V-8 fuel economy. The S-10has only 20 h.p. less than the Dakota or the Dakota has 20 h.p. more than theChevy, but we’d probably settle for 20 less h.p. and a lot more mileage out ofthe Chevy.

The Dakota 4×4 Sport we tested starts at $16,895. Standard equipmentincludes shift-on-the-fly, four-wheel-drive, power steering, independent frontsuspension, front stabilizer bar, gas-charged shocks, power brakes (frontdisc, rear drum), stainless-steel exhaust, body-colored grille, tinted glass,dual mirrors, cast aluminum wheels, painted rear step bumper, tailgate thatpops right off, full-size spare, driver-side air bag, cloth seats, carpetedfloor, trip odometer, dual slide-out cupholders, intermittent wipers and AM/FMstereo with cassette.

The test vehicle came with the Magnum V-8 option at $587, speed control andtilt steering at $390, four-wheel ABS at $500, anti-spin differential (asystem like traction control) at $257, air conditioning at $797 and a premiumcloth-seat upgrade with a center console at $379. Freight is $495. The stickercame to $20,300.

Nice truck, but it would be nicer with ABS as standard and the 5.2 liter,V-8 in less need of thirst-quenching.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.4
  • Interior 3.9
  • Performance 4.5
  • Value 4.8
  • Exterior 4.0
  • Reliability 4.9
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Most recent consumer reviews


Going for 300,000!

Original owner (Dad) now with 299,000 miles on a 3.9L five-speed 4X$ Sport Model. Just returned on a 3,000 mile road trip with no problems. It's a keeper. Need I say more?


Great truck I have this Doge Dakota new 1996 and truck stills looks like new everyone asking me how old it is and if I would sale my Doge Dakota and they say nice Dokota


one of the quickest stock trucks i own

its the coolest truck i have ever owned it tows so much and its got good power everything in mine still works like the power locks and windows and the gage cluster is sus but if yah hit the dash its all good

See all 8 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Dodge CPO Go
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
6-10 MY and/or 75,001-120,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
3 Month 3,000 mile Max Care Warranty
Dealer certification required
125 point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

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