my father was going to sell it but instead he gave it to me and i've had only minor problems with it, it has a great engine and sounds great with the flowmasters i had put in, love my truck and wouldn't trade it for the world...
my fave features would have to be the engine and towing capacity!
Regular cab is cramped for larger drivers. If you're over 6' and/or 200lbs (I'm both) it's uncomfortable. Ride is nice on smoother roads, very stable at hi speed. Gets very harsh over poorly maintained roads. Handles tight for a truck, but stock braking is not good. I highly recommond upgraded pads/rotors. Fuel economy is so-so, only 1-2mpg better than a V8. V6's power is OK. Will tow anything you ask it to, and pulls hard off the line, but passing power on the highway is a bit weak. Clutch is heavy and "grabby", but strong. Seems I'm one of the few Dakota owners who didn't wind up with a lemon. Rotors warped at 27k, AC relay went at 35k, AC compressor went at 55k, and that's it. 60k trouble-free miles.
Full size towing/hauling ability. Handles better on dry pavement than any other truck I've driven. Great torque from literally idle to about 2500rpm and decent mid-range. Nice shifter feel
Full-size fuel economy. Cramped interior. Wet/snow handling is horrible. Atrocious ride on rough roads. Stock braking ability is scary-bad. Poor higher-rpm power. It begins "wheezing out" near 4000rpm.By 4500rpm, the party's over.
I am a very picky buyer- this was my 21st vehicle and my first new vehicle. Dodge was the only manufacturer that offered the combination I was looking for- a v8, stick, anti-slip transmission, great appeal, and low insurance cost. After 84000 miles, the truck hasn't lost any power, I get an honest 19 MPG average city/hwy, my insurance is $338 A YEAR, and it is quicker than the R/T, and most sports cars. I can pass other vehicles quickly while towing a 3500 lb. boat! The ride is smooth, parts are cheap ($125 for a complete DIY brake job), and it has the American resilience to rust.
Power, style, dependability, utility, gas mileage, handling, low maintenance.
Rotors warped after 25000 miles, replacements did the same. A little cramped for those over 6'.
During the first year there were several
recalls issued which I took care of
during regular maintence cycles at no
extra charge, and I've had only had one
major fault since that had to be
addressed at my (partial) expense - the
differential had something internal go
bad which caused a vibration. My
service contract had a $200 deductible
which I had to pay.
It's been very comfortable and useful to
me with few exceptions.
I asked for 3 things and got them:
5 speed manual
The seats are a little too upright for
long road trips in the regular cab. If
I had it to do over again I'd get the
extended cab for the reclining room.