Put on many good miles on this truck with next to zero problems. The worst problem I have had was a radiator leak. Engine and trans are solid. This truck is fast and handles great. It can take a corner at 55mph. I moved from San Diego to NJ towing 3k lbs, averaged 80 mph and the truck felt like there was nothing there. It took on mountains like flat terrain. Great truck!
I inherited an 03 Dakota 2 years ago. I live in the Northeast and not having 4WD pretty much just doesn't work out. It gets stuck every time there is more than 3 inches of snow on the ground, and slides all over the place in any snow or ice (which is pretty much 3 full months a year). Piling weight in the back just doesn't seem to help. The fuel economy is terrible for a 2wd vehicle, my count is about 18 mph highway at best but i have got as little as 8 city. The Truck would be fine in a snow less region, but if you live in a cold climate look elsewhere. You can get much more traction power without sacrificing too much in MPG.
This is a fun truck to drive. It gives you a sense of power driving around town. The styling is distinctive, the patriot blue color is different and the handling off and on highways is superb. It is without a doubt the best truck that I've ever had, including full size trucks. The reliability gives not doubt that this truck will last me a very long time without any problems.
This truck handles really well. The ride initially is not great, you feel all of the bumps and grooves in the roadway. Over time, this seems to have smoothed out a bit. Interior is very comfortable and roomy in my model (bucket seats, club cab). Gas mileage is around 17-18 city, 19-21 hwy.