I bought this truck 3 months ago for $2500.00 and its the best $2500.00 I've ever spent.Truck has 180,000 and runs like a champ.The 6th dodge I've owned and as you can see it will always be this way. Dodge Dakota best truck on the road.
Bought this truck in 98 for $8900. Paid off in 4 yrs and drove maintenance free (virtually) for another 6 years. Replaced the fuel pump at 100k miles. Replaced engine computer just after that. Engine light still comes on but dealership cannot figure out why. Truck runs great. Air still cold and it always cranks. Needs paint now but I'm debating whether to put anymore money in it. May use it for Cash for Clunkers bill just signed. Best car purchase I've ever made. not sure how to get it to pass inspection now that check engine light keeps coming on but have a few months to figure that out.
Reliability, no question. For the money, you cannot beat this truck. V6 is strong - has always pulled whatever I have wanted. Two scoops of mulch barely slows it down.
Sure does ride rough when compared with other trucks in it's class.
Received this truck after wrapping a Toyota around a telephone pole... This truck is amazing with its reliability. Turn the key and it starts right up. Gets me to work 5 days a week and hauls drywall, mulch or gravel the other 2. The worst I have had to do is complete brakes 3 years ago. Engine is strong, tranny tight, gets me where I need to be. Only dings, dents or rust is what I've caused. I'll drive this baby until the wheels fall of. Probably will subsidize her with a new sedan here in a month or two but its about time. 12 years and still running strong!
Reliability, Payload, did I mention the reliability? Cost of ownership is negligible at worst...
Headliner failed, cup holders can be a kneebanger (if that's the worst, who cares..)
My wife and I have owned our Dakota since September of 1995 when we bought it new. I will drive it 'til the day it dies , and I don't think that will be any time soon! It has been a SUPER truck! I have hauled all sorts of things in it, gone on vacation in it,driven it to work daily for years and it has never let me down. It has 132,000 miles on it, burns NO oil and runs as well as the day we drove it off the lot! Not counting oil changes and tires, I have probably spent less than 500 dollars in repairs and upkeep in all those years! If you need a great light to medium duty truck for daily use, if you can find one in good shape that has been well maintained , you can't go wrong here!
Reasonably comfortable, hauls more than an S-10 or a Ranger (by far), requires only basic upkeep, and is dependable as the sunrise!
A little more cab room would be great for carrying groceries behind the seat, that's about it... it's a great truck and gets good gas mileage, which at $3.50 gal. is critical.
I've had my '96 sport 2.5 4 cyl. for 4 years now, bought it when it had 103,000 miles on it, one previous owner, and let me you, this truck is seriously well built. Dodge apparantly used an engine that was unique to all the other Dakotas of the period, (at least for the 4 cyl model), a motor designed for Jeep, it was originally designed by a collaboration of engine makers, (Renault, Chrysler, and maybe a third party?) Anyway, anyone I have ever talked to says the same...this truck is really built to last. One person I spoke with said he sold his when it had 300,000 on it and it still ran strong. I absolutely love mine.
Peppy 2.5 liter magnum is quick. It's dependability. I am a flooring installer who typically carries alot of weight to my jobs and have been doing so with my truck since I bought it and this truck has no problems whatsoever with really bulking it down. I suggest LT's or RT's for the tires though.