I was in the market for a pick-up and researched for a year. Settled on the Dodge Dakota with V8. I like the size and power. Meets my needs for a vehicle that supports my fly fishing, weekend camping, towing small trailer. I bought for Sport Crew Cab with V8 for $26,800, freight and tax included. Sticker was close to $34K. Bought at $1000 under invoice, plus Dodge is offering factory $5000 rebate on 08 Crew Cabs.
Not too big, not too small. Great V8 power. 310 HP, 329 lbs of torque. Yet I'm getting 18 mpg on highway, which is not bad for a V8. Note that 2008 V8 has 2 spark plugs per cylinder, and gets as good as mileage as most V6s. Go for the power, baby! Heated seats are great. MyGig stereo with VR
I looked at all th mid/small pickups. My father-in-law owns a Colorado. I have driven many of my friends' pickups and none compare to the Dakota. Better ride and definitely more fun to drive. The new redesigned suspension is a bit stiff, giving it a tighter feel, but it is still better than the Nissan, Chevy, and the Ford. The Toyota rides a little better, but the Dakota, even with the V-6 Auto has better passing ability. Gas mileage is OK, I am getting about 22-23 MPG in mixed driving. Overall, I am very pleased I chose this truck and I look forward to many years of enjoy my time behind the wheel.