I would call this an average vehicle with average performance and average reliability. Gas mileage, performance, comfort, reliability not awful but not great, mostly in the middle leaning towards the better side.
I have the towing package and hear that the truck is great for its size, however I have never towed with it, owned it since 2007 and do not know whether previous owner towed. MPG has crept down over the years to around 14 city, 18 highway - wish that I had purchased the 8 cyl since the day I got this one, as the smaller engine has made no difference in mileage but a lot of difference in fun, 8 is better. Average maintenance, minor warranty work on heater fan motor, OK truck.
I like that it has held its value more than most of my other vehicles, high-demand for used light trucks so I haven't lost any money for 4 years on the value. Towing is touted to be exceptional, I have not towed but may start this summer. Very roomy and comfortable inside for a family of 4 which is why I bought the quad cab - the 4-door design is great for putting kids in the back, roomy enough for adults in the back too. Nice cosmetic design, I like the looks, burgundy color (I believe they call it oxblood) is nice. Maintenance is easy, equipment is easy to reach, parts are readily-available and not very expensive to replace.
4WD requires 4-wheel alignment, seems to go out of alignment frequently and will chew through tires in 10,000 miles if you don't stay after it. Keep it clean if you live in the north, salt will eat it up. Most design is good, but my peeve is the glove box - absolutely tiny and useless - why Dodge, why? Plenty of room in the cab to make it bigger. The 6cyl is waaaaay underpowered and pointless - save no MPG over the 8cyl, so what is the point? Decent average truck, but 6cyl engine choice is not the way to go if you are buying one.
Perfect size for urban areas. Has 4.7L with 5 speed transmission with normal maintenance is still strong. Returning 16.2 combined driving. With 138631 miles I had to replace front shocks and rebuild front suspension due to feeling floaty and steering no too crisp. Interior is perfect for four full size adults.
Truck engine which means high torque aand built for heavy duty. Transmission is smooth and durable. Interior is comfortable. Made to last with proper maintenance.
We bought our 2005 dodge 2 years ago. We have had nothing but trouble with it. The first thing that happened was that the gas gauge quit working, got it fixed now it only works half, yes have had it back to the garage to have fixed, they say nothing is wrong with the gas gauge. Now the newest thing to go wrong is the the 4 wheel drive is locking itself in and out. Took it to the garage they said it was the front controll module, had it fix, was that a lot of money. It is now back to doing the samething again and the garage says they cant find anything wrong with it. I will never own another dodge truck.
To the Dodge Dakota Engineers, I would recommend this truck to anyone, but I won't because my 2005 V6 gets realistically about 11 miles per gallon. I've been told by every mechanic that there is nothing more they can do to improve it. I would upgrade to a newer model, but after 5 years of record high gas prices, you never improved the gas mileage. Get a clue!
The Look and Feel.
Bad Door Design! Fix the ice dam I get from the run-off of melted snow on the windshield, down through the doors. Less sharpness on the doors. They won't ding other car doors, they will puncture them!