This is my second Dakota and I love it just as much as my first one which was an 04. This on is the quad cab 4x4 slt with the 4.7 automatic. Runs great with 122k. It does everything I need it to do, whether it be hauling wood, going on a long trip, or pulling Jeeps out of the mud. Speaking of mud, it's difficult to get this truck stuck in the mud or snow. It was out in Nemo, the huge snow storm on LI in early 2013. I got through the terrible road/weather conditions with no problem whatsoever. It's a comfortable ride, and is very roomy on the inside which is great on those long trips. If you need a smaller truck that can do a full size truck's job, buy a Dakota.
Roomy, performance with small v8, flawless 4x4, comfortable ride
This is my Second Dakota. It is a good all around truck. I have over 200,000 miles on mine. I noticed my gas mileage has gone down since i have had the ball joints replaced. I get 14 mpg in the city and about 19 mpg on the hwy. Outside of normal wear of parts this truck has served me well. For an AWD truck it handles good in snow, rain and mud. I have only had to put into 4 wheel drive when I get stuck in mud. The size of the truck works well for our family, we are all 5'8" or less and the truck seems roomy to us.
My favorite feature is the AWD since my wife drives it to work in the winter time.
I can feel safe that the truck will always get her to work and back no matter how bad the weather is.
I would like to improve the ground clearance 2 inches more.
This would put the ground clearance a little less than 12" off the ground.
I live in a rural area with mountins and off roading you have to really watch out for the big rocks.
I would also like a 6 foot bed instead of the 5'4" bed.
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 have an 03 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab (full 4 doors) with the 4.7 and 5 speed auto. Man what an awesome truck, for the money there is nothing close to it. Car will giddy up and go whenever called upon. Tows my boat with no issues and will beat anything else on the road. The only vehicle out there with a REAL v8 in a midsized truck, if it's got a 4 cylinder its not a truck! Toyota can't touch it and the ranger is too small, and in my opinion the sport trac is ugly, if you're looking for a good reliable truck get the Dakota. I average 17 mpg in mine with me stomping on it quite a bit, not bad.
Only suggestions for my truck would be little nicer suspension, but that's what you get in a frame on truck.