The Good: Good interior, lots of truck for the money. Fairly decent fuel mileage. The Bad: Ball joints were completely worn out. Replacing them requires chiseling and/or grinding steel rivets off. Cheap plastic interior pieces, not very well put together. The Ugly: Designed by an accountant. Control-arm bushings are not replaceable. The whole control-arm needs replacing at over $300 per. Rubber plug in the differential cover. Non adjustable clutch master/slave cylinder. Very notchy 5-speed, with completely wrong ratios for the 4 cylinder engine. Will not pull even a moderate incline at highway speeds in 5th gear. 50 year old pushrod engine design. Not even a crossflow cylinder head.
Plenty of space in the cab and decent headroom. The cloth seats are durable. The truck had 41,000 miles. The engine fan bearing was replaced so I checked for heat damage on the block. The gaskets and seals were original w/ no leaking. Rides nice, even when I pulled a lawn tractor/trailer.
My Mom purchased this truck and it is simply amazing. We have an automatic and even the auto is quick. The interior is comfortable with a spacious armrest for even more comfortable driving. The sound system that comes stock is amazing and sounds great with tapes or just good old FM/AM radio. The drive is smooth and it absorbs bumps easily. We have had problems with the AC, but that's normal and our tranny line busted. AC get's pricey obviously, but a simple hose is nothing to repair. Fantastic truck I would recommend it to anybody!
My 1998 Dodge Dakota with a four cylinder is terribly underpowered. Even negotiating a modest grade with the A/C running is impossible. It has no cupholders. It is poor visibility and is not fun, or easy, to drive.