I have owned this truck since new and will not be getting rid of it any time soon. The 1996 Dakota is a true mid size with all the guts of a full size. The v6 I have pulls and hauls as well as any small 8, and wile fuel milage around town is not great (who buys a truck for fuel mileage?) open road mileage is in the 20 mpg range. Over all I am very happy with my '96, both in performance and style. Just try to find a truck with chrome on both ends these days.
The over all look of the truck. It looks like a truck, boxy but not so much that it doesnt have style.