I bought my Dakota in 2002 with 40K and it has dependable since the day I purchased it. It now has 108K and I still love driving it. It's had minor repairs only in the last year or so and they have been easy and inexpensive fixes. My only complaint is the clear coat is pealing in some spots, but clear auto spray does the trick to protect the paint. Great size inside (love the back bench seat!)Great size outside, perfect for hauling my hay and grain or furniture, no blind spots like the new Dakotas, great drive, good on fuel for the size.
Size, especially if you have the extended cab. Comfortable. No blind spots like many vehicles today. Good on fuel for a 3.9.
Definitely have heard other complaints about the sealer or paint peeling like mine.
We purchased used in 1996 with 45,000 on it. It has been dependable and easy for the Mrs. to drive. It handles well. It has in the last two years started to peal paint. The Mrs. feels safe in this vehicle. We both like the size of the vehicle. I am not a tall man and it was "just right" to get to my tools in the back. I like the fact that I can Lock up the more expensive tools in the cab and especially that the rain can not rust the tools while inside.
Height of the truck is the main thing that our family loves.
I bought this truck because of the design and size, not too big, not too small. Has been a reliable truck, a few repairs here and there, but no major repairs other than a clockspring replacement in the steering wheel.
Ride is great, bench seat is surprisingly comfortable, even for a 6' 1" guy. A/C works great. Used to tow a little camper, and it does a decent job for a smaller truck.
Problems w/ water leaking into back slider window, had to caulk it to stop rain from coming in. Fuel mileage is not what I expected, only 12 mpg in town driving, about 17 on the highway.