- Helping you drive happy

2005 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab Laramie 4x4 (Video Clip)

Get the best interest rate
Michel Deslauriers
* Click HERE to see a video on the Dodge Dakota *

Like a workout at the gym, but without the effort

2005 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab Laramie 4x4 (Photo: Michel Deslauriers, Auto123)
I climb into this big pickup, but it's so high that I practically have to take a good swing and jump in. I start the Dakota and move out, but it's so long that I have trouble getting out of the narrow parking lot. And, I'm not even home yet and the gas gauge has already gone down. Despite all this, I was happy.

Why? For reasons that are difficult to explain, it seems that everyone likes pickups. Men or women, children or mutt dogs, whatever; riding in a pickup is cool.

Speaking of kids, my two-year-old son adored the Dakota so much that I had to pry him out of his seat with the Jaws of Life. A tantrum awaited me every time we got home.

We suddenly go into some sort of metamorphism behind the wheel. We feel stronger; we have the impression that our biceps measure 3 or 4 inches more in diameter; we're the king of the road ahead. Subcompacts in front of you scramble to get out of your way in the left lane when they see you coming, with their tail between their legs. We feel as if we could face any problem, whether it's an obstacle on the road or large objects to haul around. And with a four-door model, we can accomplish all this while the family or four passengers are on board.

2005 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab Laramie 4x4 (Photo: Michel Deslauriers, Auto123)
The Dakota shown here is the priciest model, being a four-wheel drive Quad Cab Laramie. It comes standard with a SOHC 4.7-litre Magnum V8 that develops 230 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque. It's bolted to a 5-speed automatic transmission. That's enough to propel this truck to 100 km/h in about 9 seconds. Cruising on the highway at 100 km/h, the engine is practically falling asleep, spinning at fewer than 2,000 rpm. If this engine is not powerful enough, you can always order a high-output version of this same V8 for $985. It will reward you with 30 extra horsepower. If that seems like a lot of money for such a minor power bump, you're not the only one. And, so many times people have asked why a HEMI engine is not available in the Dakota since its redesign last fall. But after trying the Magnum engine, I don't see why it would be necessary to drop the 5.7-litre in it. However, the 4.7 does not have the raging engine sound that the HEMI has.

In the looks department, I must say that the squared-off styling of this new Dakota pleases me, without quite calling it a classic design. It won't
2005 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab Laramie 4x4 (Photo: Michel Deslauriers, Auto123)
be mistaken for any other pickup, except for the 2006 Ram which will receive a similar corporate face. Big tow hooks that lightly stick out form the front bumper and the chromed grille give the Dakota a muscled-up appearance. However, I wonder why the door handles are so huge? Don't they reduce aerodynamic drag? If André the Giant was still alive, he would have no trouble opening the doors of the Dakota. And I've always found that "4x4" stickers on the rear flanks of trucks is a little tacky; the ones on the Dakota are no exception. Offer them as an option, please! By the way, I only heard compliments on the truck's blue paint job.
Michel Deslauriers
Michel Deslauriers
Automotive expert