1997 Dakota

Consumer Reviews

1997 Dodge Dakota

$958 - $7,030  MSRP Range
1997 Dodge Dakota

Review Score

4.3 out of 5 stars

4.3

13 Reviews
Score Breakdown
4.2 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.2 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.2 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.2 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.2 out of 5 stars Performance
4.4 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 13 reviews

4 out of 5 stars

good light truck

by mclovin from florence, Ma on Sun May 04 2008

The dakota isnt big, or all that fast, but it can get you and whatever u need where your going. Personally i havn't run into anyproblems with it, and its been very reliable.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

This is a great truck to have!

by sandra from Wisconsin on Thu Apr 23 2009

I have owned this truck and loved it! It rides great and it feels tough without having to pay a lot!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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3 out of 5 stars

Not to Shabby but reliability issues

by Country Boy from Dayton, OH on Fri Sep 16 2011

I bought this truck in 2001 with 76k mi it now has 172k mi. It has been a decent truck over the years. But I have had several issues with ball joints, wheel bearings, brakes (several different issues), and in dash sensors switches. The biggest issue I had though was that if I towed up hill I could but the pedal to the floor and still lost speed, and I have the V6 Magnum. I have kept up with the maintenance of the vehicle but from the start this was an issue. Now the vehicle has cosmetic issues too. Rust every where especially underneath the vehicle. had to replace a brake line the rusted through, not very safe. Also the clear coat is peeling right off making the vehicle ugly. I really liked this truck for looks and value but the performance and reliability are an issue, beyond the age. Otherwise it has been a good truck but time to upgrade.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
3 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
3 out of 5 starsReliability
1 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does not recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Doesnt know how small it is

by kizzle from columbus, ohio on Sun Oct 04 2009

Mine has the 3.9 v6 in it.. and it doesnt know how small it actually is. this truck will tow anything! Never feels underpowered. very reliable.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Towing

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Just an excellent little truck

by Beebeepo from Philadelphia on Wed Apr 19 2017

I bought this truck in 98. Had 8000 miles on it. Has 160,000 now. I just love this truck. Has only let me down once. Runs great. Still go from oil change to oil change without adding any oil. I've kept up on all service recommendation. Still looks & runs like new.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Great little truck

by Karak on Sun Nov 26 2017

My 97 Dakota 4x4 has the 5.2L V8 and NV3500 manual transmission with 266,000 miles on it. The only oddball mechanical issues I’ve encountered are the valve cover bolts like to work themselves loose after awhile and the transmission has always been a bit quirky. It hasn’t had a super easy life but it’s never been abused and has held up very well. The 5.2 is easy to work on, but the transmission can be a bear to open up without a few special tools and taking them in to have them rebuilt is nearly as expensive as buying a new one, so if you have transmission issues just buy a reman! The front axles on these are vacuum operated are notorious for not fully engaging/disengaging when shifting between four wheel drive because they develop a vacuum leak so keep an eye and ear out for that as well.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Worst vehicle I've ever owned.

by Rick3373 from Moab, UT on Wed Nov 27 2013

I've spent nearly as much money having this thing fixed as I paid for it. So far I have had to have the timing chain replaced, and the clutch replaced, I've changed the totally worn out spark plugs, and the bad oxygen sensors, flushed the cooling system. The radiator is plugged and will not drain, the heater core is also apparently bad as it will not make much heat. All things that the dealer should've done in my opinion and I haven't even had it a month. If I weren't disabled and had extremely limited funds I would get rid of it. Being totally unfamiliar with it and having never owned that brand of vehicle before I didn't know anything was wrong.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
1 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
1 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does not recommend this car!!

9 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

One of the Best trucks I've owned.

by 97 Dakota Sport from Southeast Washington State on Mon May 19 2014

Purchased this truck ( 1997 Dodge Club Cab Sport 4X4 5.2L V8, 5 speed Manual Transmission) in 1999. It has towed everything from a motorcycle trailer to a 28 foot travel trailer with no problem. The only maintenance required was to repair a intake manifold leak. Replace the intake gasket and was good as new. I've put about 110,000 miles on the truck and has never failed to return me home. I can't say that about many of the other cars I've owned. I have used this truck as a daily commuter vehicle for many years. It has been reliable and comfortable. With the 5 speed manual transmission it's fun to drive. When I don't need this truck I plan on giving it to my grandson. It's been a very good truck.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Excellent mid size truck

by Drew from Easthampton Ma on Thu Oct 23 2008

My Dakota never had anything go wrong on it. The only thing i ever did was the brakes. They have a pretty smooth ride for a truck(compared to the ranger at least). It is a very good truck for the money, but they dont get the greatest gas mileage, which is expected.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

it was excellent

by sheldon from harrah oklahoma on Fri Jun 26 2015

my dad bought this truck back in 1998 and it was the truck i was brought home in when i was born and then my grandparents drove it for a long time then back in 2008 my grandma had a heart attack in it and smashed it up good but all that damage was cosmetic and it ran till about 2011 when it overheated and lost all compression but it is a excellent truck did all that we threw at it

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Work

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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Our Take on the 1997 Dodge Dakota

Was there ever a time that pickup trucks were just simple workhorses, modern-day buckboards, as stylish as old work boots?

There was, but it's long gone. Successful pickup trucks today are handsome and desirable as well as utilitarian. They must appeal as campus cruisers with comfort to operate as daily commuters.

They must drive as well as cars, without losing their strength to haul, tow or tackle rough terrain. They have to look good, too.

Dodge's baby Ram, the newly redesigned Dakota, is a perfect case in point. Once a squared-off critter, neither big nor small, the Dakota now sports the rugged good looks of a Marlboro cowboy and the sophistication of a New York stockbroker.

And... Read More