I bought my truck brand new back in 2002. I looked at other trucks including the F150, but it would not fit in the garage. The Dakota is smaller but has the V-8 (4.7) that can handle most anything. Its a great truck and I have had very little problems.
Best and most reliable truck ever owned. When I first got it, needed a computer and some maintenance after that it runs like a champ and it does what I ask it to do and never lets me down. The 3.9 v6 magnum starts right up in sub zero temps in the middle of brutal Maine winters and runs strong. The truck gets up and goes with the 3.92 rear , while its missing top end power. The 4wd in the truck is awesome with good clearance and it out classes any fords, chevys, and toyotas offroad. Take this truck to rugged Maine north country offroad through mud holes , rivers and mountains every summer to go camping and its never giving me a problem. Very good looking truck and fun to drive.
The looks of the truck with the dark blue and gray bumpers and grill give it a rugged appearance. Like everything else about the truck
Best truck I have owned yet. Went looking for a new one this summer and was not happy. They have nothing like this out there. Ford and Chevy gave up making Rangers and S-10's. Toyota has a smaller interior. This truck has been excellent in upper Michigan. In snow and off road it handles like a champ. Never had any major issues yet and has been a joy to drive. I plan on keeping it for another 80K. Why spend money on the new junk! The 4.7l V8 really goes and has tons of power that can tow a 24 ft trailer with no problem.
I purchased this truck new, and have done the maintenance. (4.7 V8, automatic) It's the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. 148,000 miles and counting. Cost per mile for maintenance and repairs is only $0.025. 19.6 MPG since the day I bought it(I have a soft tonneau on it). It still looks good and has no squeaks or rattles. I'm very happy with this truck.
Looks, reliability, sound system (stock AM/FM/CD).
I bought this truck new in 2002 and have loved it all the while. Only had to replace an o2 sensor. My previous truck was an Isuzu and the Dakota is a million times better. I haul welders, tools and a trailer, so it gets used. I expect to get another 8 years out of it. I get about 13 mpg with tools in and about 17 mpg empty. I put an extra leaf spring in it to help haul the weight which was a great idea.
smooth quiet ride and handling
make the dashboard dish deeper so my sunglasses don't go flying off when going around corners.