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2006 Dodge Dakota

2006 Dodge Dakota

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$1,872 — $13,380 USED
Truck
3-6 Seats
17-19 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 3 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Passenger space
  • V-8 performance
  • Maneuverability
  • Towing capacity
  • Instrument readability

The Bad

  • V-6 performance
  • Manual-transmission operation
  • Automatic-transmission operation with H.O. V-8
  • Seatback support

What to Know

about the 2006 Dodge Dakota
  • Quad Cab and Club Cab body styles
  • V-6 or V-8
  • Manual or automatic
  • New editions for 2006

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2006 Dodge Dakota Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
“Bigger, bolder and tougher.” That’s how Dodge described its Dakota pickup truck, as redesigned for 2005, promising best-in-class horsepower, torque and towing capabilities. A V-6 is standard, but the Dakota can be fitted with either of two V-8s. Club Cab and Quad Cab models are offered. Dakotas are available with rear- or four-wheel drive in three trim levels: ST, SLT and Laramie.

Four new editions debut for 2006: TRX, TRX4 Off-Road, R/T and Night Runner. A sunroof is now optional for Quad Cab pickups, Club Cabs have full-swing rear doors, and automatic-transmission modification promises improved gas mileage with the V-6. A new Alpine SoundBox stereo system is optional.

Exterior
Club Cab models have a 6.5-foot bed, while the Quad Cab gets a bed that measures 5 feet 4 inches long. Squared-off styling on the hood, grille and fender edges gives a distinctive look. Laramie models display several chrome pieces that don’t appear on other models.

The new TRX gets unique 16-inch aluminum wheels, painted monotube shocks and tow hooks. The TRX4 Off-Road adds an anti-spin differential, skid plates and an upgraded axle ratio. Dodge describes the Night Runner as “intimidating” with its blacked-out color scheme, which includes black 17-inch chrome wheels. A sport appearance package on the R/T includes a hood scoop, chrome exhaust tips and 17-inch chrome wheels.

Interior
Quad Cab models can be fitted for six-passenger seating rather than ...

Vehicle Overview
“Bigger, bolder and tougher.” That’s how Dodge described its Dakota pickup truck, as redesigned for 2005, promising best-in-class horsepower, torque and towing capabilities. A V-6 is standard, but the Dakota can be fitted with either of two V-8s. Club Cab and Quad Cab models are offered. Dakotas are available with rear- or four-wheel drive in three trim levels: ST, SLT and Laramie.

Four new editions debut for 2006: TRX, TRX4 Off-Road, R/T and Night Runner. A sunroof is now optional for Quad Cab pickups, Club Cabs have full-swing rear doors, and automatic-transmission modification promises improved gas mileage with the V-6. A new Alpine SoundBox stereo system is optional.

Exterior
Club Cab models have a 6.5-foot bed, while the Quad Cab gets a bed that measures 5 feet 4 inches long. Squared-off styling on the hood, grille and fender edges gives a distinctive look. Laramie models display several chrome pieces that don’t appear on other models.

The new TRX gets unique 16-inch aluminum wheels, painted monotube shocks and tow hooks. The TRX4 Off-Road adds an anti-spin differential, skid plates and an upgraded axle ratio. Dodge describes the Night Runner as “intimidating” with its blacked-out color scheme, which includes black 17-inch chrome wheels. A sport appearance package on the R/T includes a hood scoop, chrome exhaust tips and 17-inch chrome wheels.

Interior
Quad Cab models can be fitted for six-passenger seating rather than the usual five-passenger capacity. With the 60/40-split rear seats folded, Club Cab storage space totals 30 cubic feet, versus 37.1 cubic feet in the Quad Cab. Club Cab models have forward-facing rear seats and rear-hinged access doors.

Under the Hood
A 210-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 is standard. Stepping up a notch, the available 4.7-liter V-8 produces 230 hp and 290 pounds-feet of torque. Topping the performance list is a high-output 4.7-liter V-8 that delivers 260 hp and 310 pounds-feet of torque. Transmission choices include a four-speed automatic, five-speed automatic and six-speed manual. Either a part-time or full-time four-wheel-drive transfer case is available.

Safety
Rear-wheel antilock braking is standard; four-wheel ABS is optional. Side curtain-type airbags that protect passengers in both rows of seats are optional.

Driving Impressions
A V-6 Dakota is overtaxed — short on power and sluggish for passing and merging. The V-8s are more suitable on upgrades. After only a slight delay at start-up, the V-8-equipped Dakota delivers a steady, satisfying stream of power. Automatic-transmission shifts are a bit more noticeable than in the V-6 model, but they’re seldom annoying.

Performance with the high-output engine isn’t appreciably quicker than with a regular V-8. When pushed, its automatic transmission slams hard into the next gear. Dodge’s manual gearbox is pickup-truck typical with its slightly mushy feel, but it works with a well-behaved, easy-engaging clutch.

Four-wheel-drive versions ride with pleasant smoothness on good pavement. The suspension reacts quickly to bumps and recovers promptly. On narrow two-lane roads, the Dakota maneuvers quite handily and with a satisfying steering feel. Rear occupants in the Quad Cab sit with their knees up and have minimal foot room.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

3.9
63 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(3.6)
Interior Design
(3.8)
Comfort
(4.0)
Reliability
(3.8)
Value For The Money
(3.8)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Great truck meets all my needs plus

by Guy Farq from Saskatoon, Sask. Canada on January 16, 2021

I bought this truck as a hauler and work vehicle to save wear and tear on my main vehicle primarily for cabin hauling firewood, building materials, tools, pulling boat and utility trailer. I bought it... Read full review

(5.0)

Great truck! Almost like being brand new.

by Dodgemopar01 from Caldwell on October 25, 2020

Love my new truck! Bought it for a spare an think it's going to me more of another toy for me. It drives like a dream. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2006 Dodge Dakota currently has 6 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2006 Dodge Dakota has not been tested.

Latest 2006 Dakota Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Dakota received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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