I bought this truck this year (2018) for farm use and pulling a trailer for loads of lumber ect. It had 355,000 miles on it and I paid $250 for it. It's the red extended cab 4x4 sport edition with the 3.9 litre v6 Magnum. I'm a car guy do let me go into some detail. I bought it with a miss in the engine and new plugs wires distributor and ignition coil fixed that up. I'm guessing I'm going to rebuild the engine (parts at just around 500 or so) myself and it should run like new. It has low compression so I assume my rings are getting worn out and it does burn a little oil but nothing you expect from nearly 400,000 miles. Now I'm a Chevy owner so this is my first Dodge. I have to say, it's been taken care of, the headliner is 95% still attached to the roof, there's only one tiny chip in the windshield and the dash isn't cracked or broken. More over the seats are clean with no rips or wearing out from getting in or out which surprised me. The back seat isn't large so i don't think adults would be at all comfortable back there but plenty of room for my kids (12, 10, and 1) the bed has a bed liner and it looks like it's been in since it was new. The paint hasn't held up great, but it's still red with no rust. The clear coat is gone though. I plan to repaint if I rebuild the engine. Over all it has great potential and I wish I could have seen it new because the styling on these little trucks is pretty awesome to say the least. They really are a mini ram with the emblem on the hood and the big truck styling. The 4 wheel drive still works great, no issues with the transmission or transfer case. Headlights are ok, it's old so they arent as bright as I'd like. I'll probably put some hid's aftermarket ones in. The fog lights are nice though and help to see at night without artificial lighting. Especially in the woods. It handles well and turning is very responsive with the rack and pinion power steering. Turn radius is good and the shocks and springs have all held up very well. I give this little fighting truck a 5/5 all the way. I never thought I'd like a Dodge as much as my Silverado but it really impressed me. Take care of it and this truck can be a life long dependable ride. You won't go wrong with a Dodge Dakota.
My model is actually a Sport 2WD 3.9 5 speed manual that I bought with about 102,500 miles. I get plenty of snow in my area, but the truck is for occasional use. I wanted a truck with a V6 and a manual transmission, something not easy to find. I think the V6 with the manual is a great combination - and a rare find. The regular cab is a little tight for me - but that's ok. I do enjoy driving the truck. It rides well, and the interior is solid. With the windows up it's quiet - there's not one rattle in the truck. My first fuel calculation, highway and around town was 18.8 mpg. Very satisfied with that. I feel good about this truck.
I was asked to update my review. I no longer have the Dakota, mainly because my son was living in an off campus area where the roads were steep. He had a AWD car, but it was getting up there in miles and if he needed repairs I wanted him to borrow something suited for snow, so I bought a 4WD truck with an automatic transmission. I will say, the interior of the Dakota was solid, not one rattle. I can't say the same about the 2001 GM truck that replaced it. I'd still recommend a used Dodge Dakota. I know someone who had about 230k miles on the 3.9V6 and it was still running fine.
I was again asked to update my review. All I can add is the friend's Dakota mentioned above with 230k miles was sold with 320k. Last he heard it was running with 329k.
318 5.2 auto 192,000 miles. Purchased it last summer from a 1 owner, always garaged and well taken care of. Usual rust areas esp in northeast to be expected....bottom of the pass side door, and had the rear spring shackles replaced. Hasnt failed me yet...a/c doesnt work the best, to be expected on a 13 y/o vehicle. Not the best on gas, 13.3 - 18.5 on aggressive tread 31's....wish I had a 5spd for better gas milage. Other than the a/c, everything else works great. Needed to replace the steering shaft. My second Dakota...feel they are built well and Id buy another.
This truck has only 72,000 miles, on it just now have replaced, the original brakes.The truck has been used to trailer heavy construction equipment, the V-8 runs great gets 19 to 20 on highway. Just put the 2nd set of tires on it, front end wears tires with out uneven wear. There is no vibration in front at all.Have used 4wd very often on muddy constructions sites. The only problem the cheap plastic gear shift handle broke loose.I have always run premium gas in the v-8 and it makes a whole lot of difference over regular gas. Over all Very happy with truck.