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2006 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab Laramie

The Good :)  Bold and Modern Exterior.  Powerful V8 Engine.  Spacious Interior.  Wide Opening Rear Passenger Doors.


The Bad :(  Bouncy Ride.  Seating Position is Very High.  Steering Wheel is not Telescoping.  Too Much Plastic Inside.  Two-Wheel Drive terrible in snow and dirt roads.

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            As everything gets bigger in America, so has the mid- size pickup truck.  The all-new Dodge Dakota jump started the midsize pickup market by delivering a bigger and more powerful truck than anything in its class.  The Dakota is featured in either an extended cab version called the Club Cab or the four-door version called Quad Cab.  We test the high end Laramie Quad Cab which offers all the bell and whistles.

The bull horn design has certainly come through in the all new Dakota.  The huge front end is sculpted and emits a powerful image from the massive center grill.  The large amount of chrome around the grill and on the bumper enhances the truck's bling-bling appearance.  The long hood is proportional in length to the rear bed which makes the truck look balanced  yet large.  A fender line blends into the side of the Dakota nicely and onto the flared out rear end as well.  The only things missing are built in side steps.  Large 17x8 inch aluminum chrome clad wheels and P255/65R16 tires make the truck appear much larger than a midsize pickup.  They also help you go off-road with plenty of ground clearance.  The truck bed is long and deep, great for putting extra loads of chopped wood.  Headlamps and tail lights look stylish and the integrated fog lamps in the bumpers compliment the headlights nicely.  

The Dakota offers the class exclusive V8 engine with best in class torque of 310 lb.-ft.  The V8 Magnum engine offers 230 horsepower.  Towing ability with this engine is also best in class at 7,150 pounds.  You can also opt for the standard engine which is a 3.7 liter Magnum V6 that produces 210 horsepower and 235 lb-ft of torque.  We found the V8 to be powerful with good acceleration and something quite fun for the overall look and feel of the Dakota.  The engine is slow at the drag strip going to sixty in 9.3 seconds however the torque makes up for this by at least making you feel like you are moving right along.  As for gas mileage, our tests revealed a meager 12.6 miles per gallon. 

The Dakota has a fully boxed, hydroformed frame that provides greater stiffness and strength.  It can handle 1,730 pound payload and comes with the largest cargo bed at five feet four inches.  Ground clearance is about 8 inches.  The independent front coil-over shock suspension greatly improves ride quality over previous models. 

The Dakota Laramie model is equipped with a host of features on the inside as well.  A 20.4 inch step height makes getting in and out a bit hard but the wide opening doors do make up for this climb.  Upon the initial entry, we found the seats to be comfortable all around.  There is ample leg room and elbow room with a full cabin of two adults in front and three adults in rear.  The steering wheel is positioned too far into the cabin and is very close to the driver.  While you can put your seat back the pedals are not adjustable and the steering column is not telescoping.

Ride quality is good with a precise steering feel and little looseness.  The rack and pinion steering also provided good road feedback to the driver.  The interior is quiet and free of squeaks and rattles.  We found that some bounce still lingered after going over a bump, here the suspension should be improved if this is going to be a commuter vehicle.  In our two-wheel-drive version, the power sent to the light weight rear of the Dakota easily led to burn outs and tire squeals.  On slushy roads it was shameful to not be able to drive confidentially with such poor traction.  You may look big and bold but don't go off road or try to pull someone out of a ditch in snow.  This just gives Dodge a bad name.  Four-wheel drive or front wheel drive is necessary as rear wheel drive is pretty much useless in a pickup truck. 

The Laramie model features a sunroof that brings in loads of light and is a good feature to have in a truck.  In addition, an array of new stereo options for 2006 are available, such as an audio auxiliary jack that enables playback of personal audio devices, a powerful 508-watt SoundBox, and a six-speaker Alpine sound system with six-disc CD player.  Also available is the Sirius Satellite Radio and Bluetooth phone connection called UConnect.  Other standard features include automatic transmission, automatic headlamps, leather trimmed bucket seats with six-way power driver's seat (the seat back is not powered), leather-wrapped steering wheel with remote audio controls, power windows and locks, auto-dimming day/night rearview mirror, security alarm, Sentry Key engine immobilizer, and Overhead Convenience Group.

There is an abundance of storage space inside the cabin. The large center armrest opens to reveal a large storage space big enough to store your laptop.  In the center dash there are many bins to put your personal items like cell phone, notepad and change.  The downside to all this storage room is that there is a lot of plastic paneling everywhere.   Even the dash is made of hard plastic which doesn't feel or look good.  However, the interior does have a clean and modern appearance which is nice, but something should be done change up the materials so everything is not hard plastic. 

With rear seats folded, 37.1 cu. ft. of storage space is available behind the Dakota Quad Cab's front seat if the rear seats are in their folded position.  The driver's seat also offers 8.7 inches of travel so that both tall and short persons can find a comfortable driving position.  In the front, there are 41.9 inches of leg room and 39.9 inches of head room.  Rear legroom is 36.4 inches and rear head room is 38.4 inches.  There is plenty of room for adults both in the front and rear.

The Dakota offers a host of safety features such as anti-lock brakes, dual air bags, side curtain air bags and electronic brake force distribution.  The new Dodge Dakota received five stars for driver's front impact test and four stars for passenger front impact tests done by the NHTSA.  The basic warranty on the Dodge Dakota is a three year 26,000 mile limited warranty.  Towing assistance is provided during the warranty period. 

Our Dakota had a base price of $26,660.  Options added were the five speed automatic transmission for $75.  The powerful and useful 4.7 Liter magnum V8 engine costs $785.  The power sunroof adds $850.  Destination charged of $645 makes the total $29,015. 

The all new Dakota is much improved over the previous generation both in ride and comfort.  Pickup truck buyers will immediately notice the more refined interior and greater use of technology such as integrated hands-free Bluetooth.  Many of the improvements are subtle and may go unnoticed; however, Dodge has created a truck that is more civilized which should appeal to the weekend Home Depot crowd yet still meet the high demands of professional tradesmen. 



Base Pricing 24,453 26,840
Destination 645 645
V8, 4.7 Liter 1,421 1,615
Sport Appearance Group 1,513 1,700
Trailer Tow Group 462 525
Sun Roof, Power SLT, Laramie 748 850
Bed Liner 165 245
Communication System, UConnect 242 275
Restraint System, Side Impact Air Bag 436 495



  2006 Dodge Dakota
Laramie 4dr Quad Cab SB (3.7L 6cyl 4A)
2006 Chevrolet Colorado
LT 4dr Crew Cab SB (2.8L 4cyl 4A)
2006 Nissan Frontier
LE 4dr Crew Cab SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
2006 Toyota Tacoma
4dr Access Cab SB (2.7L 4cyl 4A)
2006 Ford Ranger
XLT 4dr SuperCab 4WD Styleside SB (4.0L 6cyl 5M)
Pricing Dakota Colorado Frontier Tacoma Ranger
MSRP $26,740 $21,330 $24,350 $18,320 $23,325
Invoice $24,364 $19,944 $22,774 $16,808 $21,408
Basic 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Drivetrain 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Roadside 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. Being Researched / Being Researched 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Rust 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 6 yr. / 100000 mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V6 inline 4 V6 inline 4 V6
Base Engine Displacement 3.7 liters 2.8 liters 4.0 liters 2.7 liters 4.0 liters
Valvetrain 12 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
12 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
Horsepower 210 hp @ 5200 rpm 175 hp @ 5600 rpm 265 hp @ 5600 rpm 159 hp @ 5200 rpm 207 hp @ 5250 rpm
Torque 235 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 185 ft-lbs. @ 2800 rpm 284 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 180 ft-lbs. @ 3800 rpm 238 ft-lbs. @ 3000 rpm
Tires P255/65R16
all season
all season
all season
all season
all terrain
Wheels alloy rims
16 x 8.0 in.
alloy rims
15 x 6.5 in.
alloy rims
17 x 7.5 in.
steel rims
15 x 6.0 in.
alloy rims
16 x 7.0 in.
Traction Control Not Available Optional Optional Optional Not Available
Stability Control Not Available Not Available Not Available Optional Not Available
Satellite Communications System Not Available OnStar - Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available
Turning Circle 44 ft. 44.3 ft. 43.7 ft. 42.3 ft. 43 ft.
Max. Payload Capacity 1630 lbs. 1316 lbs. 1495 lbs. 1420 lbs. 1260 lbs.
Max. Towing Capacity 6900 lbs. 4000 lbs. 6300 lbs. 3500 lbs. 9500 lbs.
City 17 mpg. 18 mpg. 16 mpg. 21 mpg. 16 mpg.
Highway 22 mpg. 25 mpg. 20 mpg. 26 mpg. 19 mpg.
Length 218.8 in. 207.1 in. 205.5 in. 208.1 in. 202.9 in.
Width 74.3 in. 67.6 in. 72.8 in. 72.2 in. 70.3 in.
Height 68.7 in. 65.2 in. 73.9 in. 65.7 in. 69.4 in.
Weight 4378 lbs. 3722 lbs. 4277 lbs. 3430 lbs. 3705 lbs.
Wheel Base 131.3 in. 126 in. 125.9 in. 127.2 in. 125.7 in.
Ground Clearance 7.9 in. 7.6 in. 9.8 in. 8.1 in. 10.1 in.
Front Headroom 39.9 in. 39.6 in. 40 in. 39.9 in. 39.3 in.
Rear Headroom 38.4 in. 38.3 in. 38.7 in. 35.2 in. 33.3 in.
Front Shoulder Room 57.7 in. 57.1 in. 58.3 in. 57.7 in. 53.8 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 57.5 in. 57.1 in. 58.3 in. 57.7 in. 15.3 in.
Front Hip Room 54.9 in. 53.3 in. 55.6 in. 53.6 in. 52.7 in.
Rear Hip Room 56 in. 52.9 in. 58 in. 53.6 in. 19.4 in.
Front Leg Room 41.9 in. 42.2 in. 42.4 in. 41.7 in. 42.4 in.
Rear Leg Room 36.4 in. 34.8 in. 33.6 in. 28.2 in. 40.1 in.


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