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2010 Dodge Dakota Extended Cab Big Horn 4×4 “The Right Size Pickup Truck”

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Filed under Automotive, Dodge, Featured, Test Drives

The new 2010 Dodge Dakota Extended Cab pickup truck comes with bold Dodge styling, the most horsepower its class, with the versatility and capability for work or any type of lifestyle.

Production numbers for pickup trucks continue to lead in all segments because they are the perfect work or play vehicle, and come in compact and full-size.  The Dakota is a compact pickup with the most power, (302hp), most towing capacity (7,250lbs. with the V8), most interior room, (30cu.ft. Extended/37.1cu.ft. crew cab), and the longest cargo box, (6ft.6in. extended cab), in the segment.   As the leader in these four important areas is what makes the Dakota so appealing to so many pickup consumers.

For 2010, Dodge Dakota adds new Tokico gas-charged shock modules and Arvin rear springs for improved ride quality and handling prowess, plus new exterior colors.

The Dakota is offered in two body styles, extended and crew cab, with a boldly styled hood, cross-haired grille similar to the Ram, a front fascia trimmed with brushed aluminum, flared fenders and powerful halogen headlamps.  The extended cab features full-swing-out rear access doors that open nearly 170-degrees.  Dakota also offers an available rear spoiler, cargo-box top protection and utility rail/tie-down system.

The Dakota comes standard with a 3.7 liter Magnum V6 engine that generates 210hp at 5,200rpm and 235lb.ft. of torque at 4,000rpm.  The available 4.7 liter V8 incorporates two spark plugs per cylinder, like the 5.7 liter HEMI V8, which includes increased compression ratio, 9.0:1, improved cylinder head port flow and combustion system.  It puts out 302hp 5,650rpm and 329lb.ft. of torque at 3,950rpm.  The V8 is also equipped with electronic throttle control and is E85 compatible. The 3.7 liter Magnum V6 is backed by a standard four-speed automatic with OD, while a five-speed automatic OD transmission is standard on V8 equipped models.

With new Tokico coilovers up front for even sharper and quicker cornering, Dodge matches the high-performance with a great power-assisted rack & pinion steering system. The steering wheel always felt right in my hands with great feedback from the road and almost instantaneous response to my inputs.  The Dakota is no sports truck but getting around slower city traffic, freeway entry and parking lot maneuvering is easy.

If you need the enhanced ability of four-wheel-drive, Dodge offers an easy to use shift-on-the-fly 4X4 transfer case with a large switch to the left of the center console with neutral, 2WD, locked 4WD High and locked 4WD Low.  It couldn’t be easier when going off-road.

Quickly and safely slowing the Dakota extended cab 4X4 down from speed are big, power-assisted, 12.2in. vented discs clamped with dual-piston calipers up front, and 11.6 drum brakes in the rear.  Keeping you in control during severe braking maneuvers are standard ABS and electronic brake force distribution.

My extended cab Dakota Big Horn 4X4 test model rode on 18X8in. alloy wheels wrapped with Goodyear 265/65R18in. Wrangler tires for great on-road/off-road capability.

Also new this year inside is a clever under-seat storage system in the Dakota Crew Cab-a first for Dodge Dakota-that includes the unique Crate ‘N Go’ collapsible and removable cargo management system.  Additional storage options are provided throughout the interior including a storage bin above the glove box, a center console incorporating three cupholders with modular insert with a pull-out bin specifically designed to hold electronics such as an MP3 player, (which may be plugged into Dakota’s audio systems),

Or cell phone (Uconnect phone available).  In the cargo box available built-in utility rails make cargo box tie-downs infinitely adjustable, and the dual-position tailgate may be secured in a mid-position, which provides support for extra-wide or extra-long cargo. Inside or out, Dakota has your personal or professional storage needs taken care of.

Standard equipment in my test model not mentioned above included cruise-control, power windows/door locks, trip computer, cruise-control, remote keyless entry, power accessory delay, variable intermittent wipers/washer, media center/AM-FM-CD radio with four-speakers, fixed glass rear window with defogger, AC/heater, leather wrapped/tilting steering wheel, white-faced instrument cluster with a black bezel, storage slots in each of the four doors, dual sunvisors, dual map lamps, power-remote sideview mirrors, thick cut-pile carpeting and grab handles at each ‘A’ pillar.

My test Dakota came with these options: brushed aluminum fascia/headlamp trim, remote start, full-swing out rear doors, sentry key theft-deterrent system, Media Center 6-CD/DVD/MP3/Satelitte radio, 275-watt amp with six-Alpine speakers, steering wheel audio buttons, tilt/leather-wrapped steering wheel, front/rear floor mats, foglamps, pickup box utility rails, HD service group, HD engine cooling, auxiliary transmission oil cooler, 6X9in. fold-away sideview mirrors, 7-pin wiring harness, under the rail box bedliner, anti-spin rear axle differential, 3.92 axle ratio, 6-way drivers’ seat with manual lumber support, engine block heater, and 18X8in. alloy wheels.

Standard safety systems include advanced multi-stage front airbags, tire pressure monitoring system, side-impact front airbags, side-curtain airbags for all outboard seats, 3-point safety belts with load limiters/pretensioners up front, front and rear crush zones and steel beams in each door.

The 2010 Dodge Dakota extended cab Big Horn 4X4 pickup is boldly styled in the Dodge Ram tradition, has plenty of power for business or personal use, handles very well in everyday use, and features an interior with all of the convenience and comfort found in a mid-size sedan.  The base price of my test Dakota is $27,880.00 and the price of it nicely loaded is $34,040.00 including destination charges.



Price: Base Extended Cab Big Horn 4×4 $27,880 As-Tested $34,040
Type: Compact Truck
Where Built: United States
EPA Class: Standard Pickup Trucks
Construction: ladder-type frame, steel body mounted on rubber isolators


Length: 218.5 in.
Width: 71.7 in.
Height: 68.6 in.
Wheel Base: 131.3 in.
Ground Clearance: 7.9 in.
Curb Weight: 4395 lbs.
Gross Weight: 6010 lbs.

Front Head Room: 39.6 in.
Front Hip Room: 54.9 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 57.7 in.
Rear Head Room: 36.5 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 57.4 in.
Rear Hip Room: 56.9 in.
Front Leg Room: 41.9 in.
Rear Leg Room: 32.1 in.
Maximum Seating: 5

Suspension: f/r-upper and lower ‘A’ arms, Tokico gas-charged coil-over shocks, link-type stabilizer bar/r-live axle, multi-leaf Arvin two-stage longitudinal springs, staggered Tokico gas-charged shocks

Performance Data

Base Number of Cylinders: 6
Base Engine Size: 3.7 liters
Base Engine Type: V6
Horsepower: 210 hp
Max Horsepower: 5200 rpm
Torque: 235 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 4000 rpm
Maximum Payload: 1610 lbs.
Maximum Towing Capacity: 7000 lbs.
Drive Type: 4WD
Turning Circle: 44 ft.

Fuel Data

Fuel Tank Capacity: 22 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway/Combined)
Automatic: 14 mpg / 18 mpg / 15 mpg
Range in Miles:
Automatic: 308 mi. / 396 mi. / 330 mi.


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