All things considered not a bad truck in a 140k miles. Bought used with 30k miles and 2k later transmission went and was repaired under waranty - no problems since. Have the 5.2l V8 with positraction. Used the truck for hauling a 4500lb boat just about every good weather weekend and commuting to work. Replaced dist pickup at 65k and 120K, O2 sensor at 120k due to a "21"error code, and blower resistor at 110k. Aside from normal wear items such as tires, brakes, plugs, fan belt, radiator hoses etc. no other problems - very reliable. Been using Mobil 1 at 7.5k oil changes and does not leak a drop of engine or tranny oil. As with all these dakotas, the headliner fails, and fuel gauge is whacky.
Great for towing with 3.73 posi rear and 5.2l V8. Easy on tires (lightweight truck). Handles fairly well. AC still works great. Handles a 1/2 ton load easily. Truck feels really solid - little frame twist. ample storage behind seat.
Dash gauges and controls are somewhat fisher price style. Rear jump seat is for looks only. OEM shocks were total crap - but a set of Bilsteins made this truck handle and ride great.
I got this truck for utility functions in addition to going to work and back. The engine purrs like a kitten, which truly amazes me. The tranny (auto) is a little slow to shift in extreme cold, but warm her up and she does just like you'd want. I replaced the brakes in their entirety and all 4 shocks (Rancho). It handles like new... and I got it at a great price. The heat is a little weak when it gets cold, but otherwise, you will have a hard time finding such a wonderful truck at such a great price. I'd drive this thing over a same aged Toyota any day. The engine sounds just like new and I have 113,000 miles on it. It has minor leaks, but, not enough to require servicing between maintenance
The V-6 Magnum has to be one of the best engines ever made. HEMI sounds cool, but this baby is sweet. The handling is well above average, but as I mentioned, I put Ranchos on & Raybestos rotors (which are now made in China-thanks for nothing) and some US Goodyear Fortera Silent Armor's (love these!)
The bench seats were a mistake. The dash looks a little 70's like... but it's a '96, but it's a reliable instrument panel. The people who designed the second row of seats did not love their children. I just use that area for cargo as a kid would crack their head every speed bump.
My father bought this truck in 2002, my uncle got it after he died, and I recieved it almost 2 years ago. This truck has been put through its paces. It was an escort truck, hauling truck, towing people, wrecked twice (haven't had the money to fix it yet), it has 200,000 on her and still going strong. The only things replaced is the regular maintanance. Other than the headlight which happens to be a tin can since that area is caved in. The most durable and reliable truck ever.
Purchased truck in high school, drove through college, now married and still running. Truck is amazing in all weather. Only minor problems over 110,000 miles, including the standard crap Dodge transmission. I mostly drive unloaded but tow cars probably 1500-2000 miles/yr and it works great. Can't wait to get some money to put some performance stuff in her. I get great mileage, 20 mpg with the 5.2L on straight highway miles, 16-17 on normal driving. Little tip...Firestone Destination LE tires are amazing on this truck.
EVERYTHING. Quick, powerful, reliable, good ride for a truck, easy to manuver...just awesome.
Stronger transmissions but I think Dodge may have finally figured that out. Wish mine had factory fog lights, but thats just a luxury.
This has been a very reliable pickup. it has the most room of any truck in its class. it takes the corners very well and handles great. my first road trip with it (600 miles) rendered me 27 miles to the gallon which was pretty good at 75 mph going up and down hills!!!
The storage space under the back bench seat is very handy. the cruise controls on the steering wheel are very convienent.
For a compact pickup this is darn near perfect!!! I wouldn't change a thing!
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.