I have the 3.7 with just over 80,000 miles. it runs phenomenally considering the amount of torture ive put it through. It does lack power and torque. however, it is a reliable vehicle. the 4x4 to be quite honest should be used strictly for what it was designed and not mud running. I get just over 11 miles to a gallon, which is disappointing but, again this thing just keeps running. The only real issues Ive came across are having to replace the entire front suspension and all four o2 sensors. I highly recommend that if you are to own one of these trucks especially the 2005 that you have advanced knowledge in mechanics, otherwise you might as well just give your paycheck the garage.
The driveshaft that couples the front axle to the transfer case is ungreaseable and only lasts about 75000 miles the rear axles splines break and need to be replaced before 100000miles and the auto trans will be due for a rebuild at around a 100000 also, This all happens even if you change fluids and do maintenance as recommended in owners manual. This are very light duty vehicles, not really trucks as far my definition of truck goes.
My Dakota has the 4.7L V8, which was not one of the choices on your drop- down menu. The V8 is the only way to go. Power, economy (Rated 1 MPG better than the 3.7) and that cool V8 sound. The horsepower is a good match with the size of the vehicle. I tested the 3.7 and there is no comparison. There is no part of the truck that I can complain about. The ride is stiff, but it is a truck. Must haves are the heated seats and the Sirius Satellite radio. I almost regret getting the 6 Disc CD changer because with what Sirius has to offer, I will probably never play a CD again.
After seeing some negative words, I had to jump on and defend this little truck. I'm not too demanding on the vehicle, but effortlessly pull my boat with it. Have found this truck to be responsive, easy to maneuver and reliable! Only problem ever encountered is vapor lock with a precocious locking gas cap, it makes the check engine light come on every once in a while after a fill up. Have had since new and am a very pleased owner.
It's been a great truck for the work & travel that I do. Average 21.5 mpg with the V6. Still on the original tires, had the brakes done at 105,000 miles. Change the oil every 6,000 miles. The fronts needed replacement, the rears just needed adjustment. The only other thing that has been replaced was the ambient air sensor. Still has plenty of power in heavy traffic.