I bought this truck in January 2009 just before Chrysler went under. Like many truck guys I'm very brand loyal for better or worse. This is the third Dakota that I've owned and I've always liked the mid-size handling and the available V8 power. In those areas, the truck doesn't disappoint - acceleration and handling are impressive. The new V8 and the 5 speed automatic seem well suited to each other. The interior, like all past Dakotas, seems to be cheaply made though I've never had anything break off or not work. Maybe it's just me but the optional heated bucket seats are like riding on a piece of 2x12 - next to no cushion at all which is a pain in the butt (literally) on long trips.
terrible bucket seats (maybe the bench is better?), when will the truck get rear disc brakes?, cheap interior, find a better way for the driver to shut off the change oil warning message rather than flicking the ignition switch on and off and pumping the gas pedal (no overhead console in my truck)
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.
I wanted a truck that wasn't too big, but had enough grunt to work. Love the space the crew cab gives, wish the bed was about 1' longer. 4.7 V-8 is a great engine in search of a decent transmission. Very slow to down shift, yet won't up-shift in parking lots. 4X4 knob is in a poor location. Ride is a bit too stiff--the 07 was too soft. Handling is terrific for a truck, but I would trade a bit of handling for a less stiff ride. So far 14 mpg city 21 mpg highway, pretty decent for a 300+ HP V-8 4X4. Overall head and shoulders above the Ranger and Colorado, better looking than Toyota and Nissan. Best mid-sized truck out there
Comfortable seats, V-8 has plenty of power and is smooth and quiet. Perfect size, roomy interior, neat storage bins under rear seat.
Loosen the suspension just a bit, a 6-speed automatic that responds quicker, put some sound insulation in the roof--way too much wind noise. .
I reseached this purchase before spending $27K, and nothing compared to the value received in the Dakota. Oh yes, all the magazines love Toyota and Nissan, however, these same magazines receive a heck of a lot more incentives from these manufacturers for the positive take. This Dodge is every bit as good, more powerful, more capable and better looking. Take advantage of all the incentives, compare, and you'll come to the same conclusion---Buy it! You won't be sorry.
This is my 3rd truck in 5 years, and I must say my favorite. I bought the v6 because I drive so much and its better on gas. Love the looks of this truck, and the interior is like a luxury car. Never liked the exterior of the Dakota till the 08 came out. They are giving 08's away, mine was 10k off MSRP. The quad cab is very roomy, drives and handles way better than my 06 Titan. This is the top of the small truck class. I looked at and test drove a Canyon Z71 and a Nismo Frontier, and I was surprised that I liked The Dakota so much better.
Big Horn edition looks are amazing. Love the interior seating, back seats fold up to reveal storage slots, awesome feature. The front end is a much better improvement from Dakota's of past. Bluetooth standard is pretty cool.
30k dollar trucks should come with bedliners. Had a very dificult time getting a sliding rear window put in after purchase. If the bed was a 1' longer this would be a perfect truck