Great little truck! Had an 02 GMC Z71 and this 318 Dakota outran it and is much more dependable. Only has 95,000 on it with no rust at all. Does have fresh paint 4 yrs ago. Would definitely recommend a dodge!
318 v8 very strong! reliability, easy to repair if needed. 390 rear gear with locker great for off road.
This truck is great for heavy work and off-road play. With it 3.9 liter V6 Magnum and its strong design, It has far surpassed my exspectations in any mid-size truck of its time. I love the feel, the look and the capabilities of this truck. I will never trade or sell this this pick-up. If you are looking for a truck that is low priced and is a work horse this is the truck for you.
I bought this truck 10 years ago, with 91,000 miles on it for my first vehicle. Since then, I have overheated it, run it out of oil, totaled another car with it, (stupid teenager stuff, you know?) driven it an additional 85,000 miles, ended up with it sitting for 4 years, and it still starts up the first time, every time. Incredible engine, I have never had any trouble with the engine itself. I have had to replace the rack and pinion, and right side A-arm, but that's probably due to the wreck. It just keeps on going! That 318 is a beast of an engine!
Engine, engine, engine. Plenty of power to haul with (moved into and out of my first 3 apartments with only this truck, and everything I had loaded in it, ran through WV hills, no trouble). Can fry 30" BFG offroad tires on demand. Very nice sound, with flowmaster system on it. It just...goes!
Like others have said, the paint does peel on this truck. Primer is good, so I just had it repainted again, worth it for a truck that's this reliable otherwise! Body is still good, very very little rust.
I've had this truck a long time...and it's been great! Fun to drive ...dependable, strong engine, lots of power. I have over 240,000 miles on the original engine and aside from blowing a little smoke from worn rings...it hasn't missed a beat. The paint has always been a problem ...it looks a little rough....but I'd never get rid of it, it runs waaaaay to good! It could be better on gas mileage, but with the standard shift....it's not too bad. I'd recommend one to anyone lucky enough to find one.
I bought this truck new and still own it. It has never failed me and I've put it through some serious work. I load a large, cabover camper in the rear and take it off road here in Nevada. Even though it is not a 4- wheel drive truck it still handles almost all 4 wheeling roads as if it were. After 15 years I doubt I'll ever get rid of it. I've owned a lot of different trucks over the years and this one is heads above all of them. Mine is pretty basic, no big power options, but that just makes it easier to maintain and more reliable. If you ever are in a position to buy one of these trucks, you will not be disappointed.
Handling, hauling capacity, power, looks, rear bed design with notches for 2x4s, simplicity and ease of maintenance, strong rear end.
Paint began peeling early on and kept it up until I finally had it completely repainted. Uncomfortable front seat which I replaced. Added limited slip and lower gears in the rear along with Firestone air bags when I bought the cabover camper. Stereo speakers were not the best so I replaced them.