I bought this truck in 2002 and it had 11,200 miles on it. I've owned a lot of trucks both foriegn and domestic, and this is a great truck. Other than normal wear and tear there have been no problems. I replaced rotors, brake pads and changed transmission fluid and filter at 58,000 miles.
The engine is great, ride is great, and it's comfortable to drive
I had a Chevy Silverado regular cab with the 350 5.7 small block, and my Dakota is much faster and hauls better. It has been nothing but a pleasure having this truck. I like to go to the beach and ride my quad, I was doing circles around other trucks that got stuck in the sand. My Dakota with a load in the back made it easily through the sand.
The Interior design, and the power.
The only thing i can think of is maybe a longer bed.
I have the R/T and obviously love the power. It is only rated for towing 2,000 pounds, but I've towed well over 3,500 pounds without any problems running the air conditioning full blast while driving up the mountains in the summertime. However, I've had lots of electrical problems, and the truck has broken down on me in the middle of the Arizona desert. In addition, I get 12 mpg in the city and 15 on the freeway.
Best truck ever. Combination of power (4.7L V-8) and comfort. I can carry five easily with plenty of leg room. I pull a 3800lbs travel trailer and can do 55 up the steepest hills. Stability is great. Reliability has been excellent. Did have to replace the drivers side window motor/assembly at 80,000 miles.
The 4.7L V-8. Strong engine with great acceleration. Zero maintenance other than standard oil changes and lubricant top-offs. I have never had to add oil between changes at every 3000 miles. Zero oil consumption