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.
I bought this truck with 200 miles on it and have loved putting every mile on it. This truck has never given me any problems. The only maintenance that I have ever done has been due to normal wear and tear. Replaced oil pump and water pump around 200,000 miles. I have taken this truck from SC to HI to WA and finally here to Va. I can't say enough how much I have enjoyed this truck. God has been so good to me with it. I would definitely buy another one as soon as I see fit to replace this one. Maybe at around 500,000 miles.
I like looking at this truck. Whenever I walk up to it I praise the Lord that he has given me this beautiful vehicle. The interior is spacious and well appointed and very comfortable. It has more than enough power with the magnum V6 than I have ever needed and has no problem hauling firewood.