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Dodge Dakota RT Club Cab Sport (2001)

SEE ALSO: Dodge Buyer's Guide

by Brendan Hagin and Mikele Schappell-Hagin


     Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price              $ 17,235 
     Price As Tested                                    $ 25,475 
     Engine Type              SOHC 16-valve 4.7 Liter V8 w/SMFI* 
     Engine Size                                 287 cid/4701 cc 
     Horsepower                                   230 @ 4800 RPM 
     Torque (lb-ft)                               295 @ 3200 RPM 
     Wheelbase/Width/Length                  131.0"/71.5"/214.8" 
     Transmission                           Four-speed automatic 
     Curb Weight                                     4052 pounds 
     Fuel Capacity                                  22.0 gallons 
     Tires  (F/R)                          P255/65R16 all-season 
     Brakes (F/R)                          Disc (ABS)/drum (ABS) 
     Drive Train                   Front-engine/rear-wheel-drive 
     Vehicle Type                         Six-passenger/two-door 
     Domestic Content                                 86 percent 
     Coefficient of Drag (Cd.)                               N/A 


     EPA Economy, miles per gallon 
        city/highway/average                            14/19/17 
     0-60                                            8.0 seconds 
     Maximum payload capacity                        1275 pounds 
     Maximum towing capacity                         6100 pounds 
                 * Sequential multi-port fuel injection 

BRENDAN - The Dodge Boys have staged a major comeback in recent years, with exciting designs and powerful machines like the V-10 Viper and their brutish Ram pickups. But they have also made some serious strides in the mid-size pickup market as well, as evidenced by the 2001 Dakota R/T Club Cab Sport. It's powered by a robust 230-horsepower 4.7-liter Magnum V8 that supplies a healthy 295 pound-feet of torque at 3,200 rpm. Not quite a on a parallel with its vintage 426 Hemi, but a definite shot in the arm. The Club Cab can be had with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission with a lock up torque converter. With a truck this fast however, a stick would be my vote.

MIKELE - I've never owned a Dodge pickup Bren, nor has my father, a truck enthusiast, but I'm sure he would like this baby. The press packet says it has front upper and lower A arms, coil springs, heavy-duty gas-charged shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar for great handling, and a rear live axle with 3.92 axle ratio and four-leaf two-stage longitudinal springs in back. I'm not sure what that means, but I'm guessing it's good. It has four-wheel anti-lock brakes incorporated into its front disc/rear drum design, and power rack and pinion steering, so it doesn't steer like an old farming truck that somebody's grandfather would drive.

BRENDAN - There is a number of option groups for the Club Cab, and one of the cooler ones is the Power Overhead Convenience Group. It features map/reading lamps, a digital compass and outside temperature displays, just in case you want to know how hot it is outside while you're inside in air-conditioned comfort. There's even a trip computer that gauges average fuel economy, distance-to-empty, and elapsed travel time. A 22-gallon fuel tank means you can go for longer rides without a fill up, although the R/T only gets about 14 miles per gallon in the city and 19 on the highway. That's what I would consider a gas-guzzler, but big V8 engines traditionally don't get great gas mileage. The overhead console also features a brand new HomeLink universal transceiver that allows up to three remote controls for a garage door opener, interior/exterior home lighting and security devices.

MIKELE - It sure sounds advanced, Bren. I bet my Dad never had those kinds of gizmos on the old family pickups. Maybe he'll join the modern age and trade in his old faithful. One thing he does appreciate in any vehicle is a great stereo. The Club Cab has three optional sound systems to choose from, including a combination CD/cassette player with graphic equalizer and an Infinity-brand eight-speaker system. That means awesome tunes to go along with an awesome-looking truck. The front seats can move over seven inches forward and back, while the 60/40 foldable rear split- bench seats three across and provides lots of under-seat storage. The Sport model has cool-looking 16-inch alloy wheels mounted on 255/75R15 all season tires that give it an appearance that would appeal to today's teen-racers as well as the older hot-rodder set. The double-wall construction truck bed with one-piece, high-strength steel floor and cargo tie-down loops also offer a removable tailgate for a lower drag coefficient and easier loading.

BRENDAN - The Club Cab has many of safety items that are becoming standard in today's vehicles, like driver and front passenger airbags, but it also features a front passenger on/off switch that's located on the instrument panel. An airbag can be dangerous to a small child or family pet if it's deployed, so it's nice to have an option. New user-ready child seat top-tether anchors are standard as well, as is new seat belt cluster lamp operation that stays on after engine is started, reminding the driver to buckle up if he or she hasn't already. That small feature alone can save lives.

MIKELE - You really seem to want people to know about safety issues. Maybe you're getting more caring in your later years.

BRENDAN - Hey, I can still get a little wild, but there is no reason not to do stupid things.

MIKELE - Hey, you're really maturing, Bren.