I researched the small truck market for months prior to buying. On paper, it
came down to the Dakota, Tacoma, and Ranger. After the test drive, the
Dakota won hands down. It had more muscle, better styling, the best ride,
and it just felt more like I was in a real truck. The only negative is the gas
mileage, which has surprised me only because it's been a good bit lower
than advertised. I am a big guy - 6'2", 250 lbs. - and this truck is easily
roomy enough and comfortable enough for me to drive daily. The seats have
never caused me any discomfort, even on long trips. After three years, I'm as
happy with my decision as the day I drove it off the lot.
Comfort of seats, cabin space, layout of dash, quality of sound system (I
have the AM/FM CD/cassette), ride and handling.
Gas mileage (V6), tires. Tires wore out in two years (I have the sports
suspension with the larger tires) and the only company that makes a tire to
fit the suspension is Goodyear - and they are VERY expensive to replace. If
you have a choice, go with the regular suspension and regular tires.
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