Used 2005 Dodge Dakota Consumer Reviews - 112 Car Reviews | Edmunds

2005 Dodge Dakota Consumer Reviews

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a needy 4x4 truck, but ok after repairs
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By gary williams
on

Vehicle

2005 Dodge Dakota 4dr Club Cab ST 4WD SB (3.7L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I got this truck dirt cheap from a relative's estate for $300. It started right up after sitting a year, and didn't smoke or tick, and the 4x4 worked. I knew the service history of the truck, he had put a new front end in it (struts, bearings, ball joints, tie rods) and a new transmission, and always changed oil- so figured mechanically it was ok. it had 142,000 miles but relatively easy miles. he had owned it for 10 years. it needed quarter panels and bed painted, and grill/headlight, and interior cleaned- but other than that my first impression was, it's all cosmetics- that mechanically it was sound. and boy was I wrong. these trucks are inferior metal and rust out very easily. I had the rear quarters replaced/painted and found 4 Dodge mags, and put them on- the truck looked great. but the first night my kid took it out, it blew a trans line and leaked all the fluid out, and had to be towed home. ok- I replaced both lines with high pressure rubber, and refilled trans- back on road. well then I had it out one day and after climbing a local road that is a long winding mountain, a few miles later it developed a miss and stalled. had it towed home again- it had a BROKEN VALVE SPRING in the engine, drivers side last cylinder. I changed that myself ($3 part, $50 special tool, and 3 days in driveway in cold weather) and it ran again fine. I put new 4-tip spark plugs and Amsoil synthetic oil/filter for good measure. ok no more engine problems. shortly thereafter I was hauling 6 rims/tires in the bed and heard a crack/thud- unloaded the wheels at destination, looked under bed, the right rear leaf spring eye had broken off the shackle, first time I ever saw the spring itself break at that point- usually it's the shackle. checked the other side, that one has the front spring eye cracked in half. so it needs new leaf springs, and rear shackles. ($400 in parts plus labor). I pulled the emergency brake release one day, it snapped off in my hand, had to epoxy glue it back together. the radio in this truck can't pick up hardly any stations, and the CD player while ok sounding, acts up sometimes. the seats are very comfortable for a truck, and in 4x4 mode it will go anywhere. I also like the 4wd on the fly, just turn the knob, no hubs to lock. problem- it has a 3.92 rear axle ration, and weighs 4500 lbs.- and only gets 14-15 mpg daily driving. I checked it repeatedly. you MUST run premium fuel in this engine, or it runs like crap. the valve springs are only single springs, not double or triple like other makes, so they have the tendency to wear or break. you can't beat on this truck, the engine will break. it does always start, it rides nice for a 4x4. oh BTW this also needs upper/lower ball joints- again- even though my relative put them in new not too long ago. he did have a tie rod break on his once on the way to my house, I had to go pick him up, and get the truck towed. I talked to Dodge mechanics, they said these trucks eat front end parts. I bought 4 upper/lower ball joints and front struts too, going to do it all in one shot along with the back springs/shackles. so now it's banging on nearly $3000 in this truck including insurance, title, repairs- and if I had to do it over again, I never would have bought it. something told me don't buy a Chrysler, cuz they are the lowest quality American car made- I've been a GM guy for 40 years- but I have owned a few Ford and Chevy 4x4's and 2WD trucks, and one International 1 ton 2WD- and this Dodge is the worst for reliability. one more thing, from sitting the brake lines rotted out, but I knew that ahead of time, and had them replaced first thing- the lines under the master cylinder. and the tailgate hinges are rotted out, only the top latches hold the gate on. so if you are considering a Dodge Dakota, look all these factors over closely first, and if you do buy, don't pay more than $500 or so. unless it was garage kept with 60,000 miles or less. these trucks don't run forever like a Chevy or Ford.

BEST FEATURES: low price, rides nice for a truck, 4x4 on the fly no locking hubs, comfortable seats
WORST FEATURES: terrible gas mileage, frequent mechanical breakdowns over 100,000 miles- construction quality spotty due to inferior metallurgy and parts, cheap to buy but expensive to repair and keep running


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Bought new; 195,000 miles later....
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By DL Tipton
on

Vehicle

2005 Dodge Dakota 4dr Quad Cab ST Rwd SB (3.7L 6cyl 6M)


Review

The body and paint are still attractive. The V 6 is adequately powerful and overall gas mileage has consistently been 18/ gal in mixed driving. Ride has always been a bit rough with stiff suspension and interior road noise with my basic no frills version would be found noisy, but I’m quite pleased with it. Nothing fancy about passenger compartment. My transmission was rebuilt at 170,000. If it hadn’t had a busted fluid line that made it run low on fluid, I believe it would still be fine. Air Conditioner has never required Freon, or compressor replacement which amazing. My previous Dakota was similarly reliable. Of course I use it mostly as a commuter vehicle and rarely as a work horse. It’s now 13 yrs old and if they still made Dakotas, I would give them another look. If you want a mid sized pickup, you might have to go to Chevrolet. The Honda is a dream but pricey


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2005 Dodge Dakota Club Cab 3.7 automatic 4X4
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By gary williams
on

Vehicle

2005 Dodge Dakota 4dr Club Cab ST 4WD SB (3.7L 6cyl 4A)


Review

purchased used for a very good price, 142,000 miles, then set about straightening it out. truck still ran well, previous owner had done periodic oil changes, necessary repairs, maintenance, replaced transmission, rebuilt front end- twice. I found these problems: rear quarter panels rotted out just above back wheels on both sides, required patch panels on each side, and repainting the rear quarter panels. both back doors had rust on bottom, had the driver's side repaired and painted. transmission cooling lines were rotted out, leaking 7 quarts of trans fluid onto the ground. had to replace those with rubber oil cooler lines and clamps. 3 short brake lines were corroded just below the master cylinder, had those replaced with copper alloy lines and brakes bled. spark plugs were burned open to gap beyond .080", gapped those back down to .045" cleaned and reinstalled. downstream oxygen sensor driver's side bank, was lazy reading too high voltage, will be replaced, it doesn't affect engine performance but does put on the check engine light, and throws a computer code. front radiator support and crossmember just ahead of radiator is rotted and will need some attention, but is holding for now. checking front end, upper and lower ball joints on driver's side need to be replaced, even though they've been replaced before within the past 5 years or so. driver's side low beam headlight burned out, changed it. battery was dead and wouldn't hold charge, after cleaning terminals and grounds, and driving daily, it's holding a charge and starting. changed oil from regular mineral oil to synthetic, and picked up some power. the rear tailgate hinges are rotted and need to be replaced, only the top latches on each side are holding the gate on when closed. spare tire winch is seized, can't lower the spare, needs to be freed up in future. windshield wipers were worn out, replaced them. now it's a reliable vehicle with excellent traction in the snow/ice, and the heater is the best I've had in any car, period. the ride is solid, steering is precise, priority is replacing the ball joints which have noticeable play when checked with a pry bar. fuel mileage is pretty good considering it weighs mover 4500 lbs. and has 3.92 axle gear ratio. 4x4 4WD on the fly knob works great. no need to get out and lock hubs- but I wouldn't mind having locking hubs on it, would save some gas mileage. factory bed liner has preserved bed very well. all in all a presentable, reliable vehicle- provided you read up on its quirks and address the design defect areas, such as the front end. these trucks are known to wear out ball joints prematurely, I'm convinced it's due to the flooding of the domestic USA market with low quality offshore Chinese-Asian-India made suspension parts. if it runs to 200,000 will have been worth taking on. we'll see. so far it has been a good purchase and have about $2,000 into it total, including the title work, insurance, parts, repairs.


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Good Looking Truck
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Raimundo
on

Vehicle

2005 Dodge Dakota 4dr Quad Cab SLT Rwd SB (3.7L 6cyl 6M)


Review

I have it already for almost 5 years and the only problem I had was replacement of steering links but Im running it with 20" wheels. It is very comfortable, we love it. After that just normal maintenance, oil change etc and a new battery just because of time life. The truck had a couple of recalls and Dodge complied with them with no complains. But I drive it very carefull and don't abuse from it. The best thing is there is not to much technology on it, same as less headechs to deal with.


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2005 Dodge Dakota SLT Quad Cab 4WD (3.7L)
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Bill Smith
on

Vehicle

2005 Dodge Dakota 4dr Quad Cab SLT 4WD SB (3.7L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I have owned this truck for 5 years now. Picked it up used threw brand new set of michelins on it and was set. I like the truck due to the high feeling in the truck even though its not. I got the 6 Cylinder not expecting good performance and better gas mileage. The 4WD works terrific and the motor is in great shape. One thing i have noticed with these dakotas is the right rear fender rusts. The only money i have put into the truck is oil changes, brakes, sound system, and gas. i enjoy the truck like you would want to. Now to the negative side. The trans has started to act up like a year ago. It slips every now and then but is not bad atleast yet. 6 months ago i put this substance to help the trans and i havent felt it slip yet. I dont have a v8 but my point of view if your going for a v8 just get the full size. i can still tow my trailer and have tools in the back. Now it would be nice if i could get the long bed. I may have a long bed fabricated in. Ive seen a review complaining about gas mileage. What do you expect with a v8?


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