This review is specific to the 4.7l v-8 in the extended cab base truck. First off the engine is absolutely bulletproof. I bought it with 62k miles in 2005, now 10 years later i have 170k miles and it still runs/drives so smoothly. Aside from tires and oil changes, I've had to replace are driver side tie rod end, water pump, number 7 fuel injector, front wheel bearing ($33 on amazon, it just slides on) and the two trans sensors that measure output speed (i think, they are side by side). all told most of labor i did my self but i've spent about $750.00 in the life of the truck. The alignment goes out once a year, its probably a bushing and the a/c, it has been out for about 3 years, not sure the cause but its not simply freon. This truck has taken 5 grown men from birmingham to ohio and illinois 4 times while pulling a large trailer. Its taken the same group numerous times to new orleans, tampa and south carolina. All I can say is it is still extremely reliable and if you have the opportunity to get a dakota with the 4.7, please do yourself a favor and jump on the opportunity. My wife is always asking when i'm going to buy a new truck and trade mine in (the paint is looking rough lol). I explain that I plan on my son who is 18 months, to drive it for is first car. I have all the confidence in the world, that with good maintenance and decent driving the truck will easily last another 15 years.
I bought my 00' Dakota SLT 4.7 v8 4x4 brand new in 2000. It currently has 195k miles on it and runs great. Doesn't burn oil, doesn't smoke, and doesn't even have an oil leak. The only problems I 've had is 2x freeze plugs, 2x speed sensors, and one oxygen sensor. I've pulled a Kubota 4wd tractor, a Massey Ferguson, and pulled a fullsize truck on a trailer 300 miles. The 4WD has worked great and the limited slip rear diff. has got me out places that other 4x4's couldn't. I've taken care of it mechanically and used semi-synthetic oil every 5k miles. I would buy this truck all over again with question.
Have been in a Dodge truck family my whole life (Rams, Durangos, and my own Dakota) and i couldn't be more pleased with a 16 year old truck. Drive a 2000 dakota "sport edition" 3.9 v6. Religious fluid changes, brakes, tire rotations, all done myself. Yes, rust is an issue, but thats the only big issue I've run into. No major engine or even transmission issues (which is unusual for an old dodge truck) have occurred yet, besides an oil pan gasket. Cold air intake and bigger, meatier tires than stock and my baby overcomes anything i throw its way. Looking to replace its status as my daily with a charger r/t, but even after that my Dakota will not be gotten rid of until every part has seized. If i could go back, i think i'd buy it again.
I bought this truck because I was looking at trucks in its class like the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger and Nissan Frontier. But nothing compares to this truck, my truck has the 4.7 v8 all I have to say is I am very impressed with the power and the styling of this truck it is a sweet ride. I did buy a cold air intake and a chip for this truck for $630.00 and i think it will unleash the real Dakota in side and should help with the fuel economy factor so anyways buy a dodge Dakota I really think you will love it just buy with a 4.7 or 5.9 i think you will enjoy it a bit more.