The first night I owned the vehicle I started it and the Variable Speed Fan was locked up. It roared like an 18 wheeler. Then came the transmission problem. When coming to a stop, at 25 MPH the transmission dropped into low gear and jolted the whole vehicle. Many trips to dealer never resolved these problems. Tech says fan problem is normal!!! I got rid of it at 28,900 miles. The decision was made solely due to the problems with the vehicle.
I liked the design, ride and comfort. I disliked having repeat problems especially with the transmission. The Final Straw was when the dealer's technician (Chapman Dodge) said nothing was wrong with the transmission. Tech says Differential is SHATTERING, needs an oil change every 15k miles.
Build a more reliable vehicle; concentrate on quality. Fix it when it has a problem; don't try to get it past warranty and dump the cost of repair on the buyer.
It has a firm, borderline stiff ride, much less spongy than the previous model years. We have many 2006-07's in our fleet and you can tell the difference. The console and cup holder layout is great and much improved. All controls are easy to reach and use. The ride is quiet. I would recommend the V8 if you need serious power. So far, my 3.7L accelerates good enough and maintains highway speeds adequately. We have had very few quality issues in our fleet so far with Dakotas, and hopefully this series will even be better.
The rear storage baskets are collapsible and are a neat feature. The cargo rails w/moveable tie downs are a long-overdue improvement. YES fabrics are nice feature and are easy to clean up, especially good for fleet use.
My old toolbox w/medium depth did not fit this model due to hitting the wheel wells. Will presumably only take a shallow-depth toolbox behind the cab- not sure how they could improve this.