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2003 Dodge Dakota Overview
We've often seen the Dodge Dakota classified as a mid-size pickup, or even as the mid-size pickup: smaller than a Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, or Dodge's own Ram, yet bigger than the Ford Ranger, Chevy S-10, GMC Sonoma, or Toyota Tacoma. Dodge strategically promotes the Dakota as the biggest, most powerful, most capable compact pickup on the market. Call it a compact and it's the only compact offering optional V8 power. Whatever you call it, the Dakota offers more versatility than other compact pickups, without quite as much bulk as a full-size truck. Or as Shakespeare might have put it: A Dakota by any other name would be precisely the same size. And that size seems to fit some pickup buyers just right. Dakota's biggest change for 2002 is the addition of the value-priced SXT, which offers sporty looks and features for under $17,000. And unlike some competitors' compact-trucks-with-attitude, SXT comes in two or four-wheel drive. For more serious performance, Dakota continues to offer the big-engined R/T model, now with chromed wheels optional. Most Dakotas ride into 2002 with an increased GVW, and the rear-wheel anti-lock brake system (RWAL) now includes electronic brake apportioning (EBA) for more effective stopping and increased lining life.