I bought the 00 Dakota Quad cab with its 5.9L V8 in November of 2000, brandnew with 140 miles on the ODO. I've since put 60000m on the truck without any major issues. Heated sideview mirrors were replaced under warranty. Right side passanger widow regulator died and had to be replaced. Recent leak in the cooling system fixed with a hose replacement. Otherwise this truck has performed wonderfully for the past 8 years. I've pulled a boat, 5 people and the bed filled with camping gears over the pass with no problems. I've hauled 50 foot of fencing material, tons of gravel, you name it. This is the family truck to own. It's also stylish enough that wife and I drive it to the opera and ballet.
The power of the 5.9L V8, the room inside. I've hauled five golfer with gear to the course. I have the front bench seat so room for 6. I love the styling, it still get compliments, Tons of aftermarket available. Comfortable ride on the highway, drove to California with no fatigue.
Gas mileage. The only thing lacking is good gas mil.age, I get 11mpg around town no matter if I'm driving alone or hauling a ton of gravel with 6 people inside. Even in its class I think Dodge needs to invest in some engine efficiency and gas mileage improvement.