I have had nothing but problems with my '05 Dakota. I bought it used with 20,000 in April, 2007. I had problems with the brakes from the start. The dealer replaced the pads and machined the rotors in May, 2007. I have not put 8,000 miles on the pads and they are almost GONE!!!! I believe it is the calipers. They are not releasing and my pads are running on the rotors while I am driving. The brake dust on my wheels is incredible!!! I brought it to one dealer and they said the calipers were working fine. I am still covered by the factory warranty and they are giving me the run around. How else would brand new pads be worn completely down after less than 8,000 miles? Stay away from this truck!!
Truck is great for storage, hauling (pulls my 20' boat with no problem), and has decent get up and go. Suspension is questionable. I just replace the tierod ends for the 2nd time since purchasing. Rear stabilizer bars need work also. Ground clearance is also a concern for a pickup. Fuel economy is worse than a lot of full-size trucks. I get roughly 13.5 in city and 16.5 on the highway if I am lucky.
Power for a midsize is great, only V8 in class. Quad cab is comfy, even for adults in the back. Towing capacity is also top notch for a midsize.
Suspension needs to be overhauled...new tie-rod ends, shocks, etc...need to go back to the drawing board. Fuel economy also needs improvement. It may be a V8, but it's also pulling a lot less weight around than full-size trucks.
Happy with the truck. I have had it for a little over a year. Did have to replace tie-rod ends in it a couple times, which I hear is typical for Dakotas. Gas mileage leaves a lot to be desired (about 13-14 mpg in town). Power is good and pulls my boat with no problem. Roomy cab is nice and actually fits adults in the backseat. Off-road performance is adaquate. Feel's like it can't take a lot of abuse with tough terrain and ground clearance is a concern. Overall, I am happy with it and would buy it again.
V8, Quad cab, available aftermarket accessories.
V8 could use a little more power, high ground clearance, tougher suspension for off-road capabilities.
This is a 2wd 4.7 v8 auto w/3.55 rear SLT. No problems, at 29k replaced w/17" plus size rims and tires from Laramie Ram 1500. Much better ride quality after that as well as slight increase of apx. 3/4 mpg. This is very basic engineered as a truck should be, although front end design is far superior to previous trucks. It is tough, muscle like in design. I have made a few mods such as duel exh., chip, intake, all very subtle changes. Great to park vs. full size, huge towing capability. Engine is happy to 'scream' at times. Quick for 4000 lb. truck. Excellent room inside (two huge kids fit great back there).
Engine is fantastic. Looks are cutting edge. I can scare the hell out of any truck on the road.
I've owned several Dakotas from the two previous generations and have had mixed results. The redesigned Dakota showed significant refinement in build quality, ride, handling, reliability, performance, style and just about everywhere else. I couldn't be happier with my 2005 Dakota! My only complaint is that it can be a little gas thirsty.
Seating comfort, stereo, convenience of controls.
While I've had no functional issues, interior could be softened. The hard plastic feels a little cheap.