I've borrowed this truck from my uncle, sometimes driving it for a long distance. It has the 3.7 V6. I like how it looks and handles. It preforms good enough for me. Pretty good seat support and I kind of like how it drives. Fuel economy could easily be better. Overall, I think this is overall a good truck for a person who wants a mid sized pickup for daily driving and as a light/medium work truck. But yet again, it does have its flaws, like any other car. To sum up, I am pleased with the Dakota
I needed a truck that met the weight requirement of over 6000 lbs and over a 6 ft box to qualify for IRS Section 179 100% tax depreciation in the first year. I did not want a big full sized truck to do it, so I searched the market and found 2. The Honda Ridgeline and the Dakota. The Ridgeline was underpowered. The Dakota is perfect. GVWR of 6010 lbs and a 6.6 ft box meet Section 179 requirements. I test drove other 4x4's and only the Dakota rides perfect on rough roads - not to loose and not jarring stiff. The cabin is nice and quiet at interstate speeds. The 4.7 L High Output V8 pulls hard on hills, blasts around when passing traffic, tows 7500lbs and gets 20 highway mpg.
I have been behind the wheel of Dodge Trucks, from the D50 all the way to the present truck I own, a 2007 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab SLT. I feel I have grown with the truck line. As my family has grown, so has the truck. I could not be more pleased with the evolution of this truck. The handling is superb with the heavy duty suspension. I had to get used to the electronic accelerator, but a small price to pay for technology. The interior room is awesome. Plenty of leg room and comfortable seats with real padding. I do miss the cloth interior my '01 Dakota had. The 3.7L engine is fine for my driving habit, but still has great acceleration for traffic and gets 22mpg highway. I love it.
I leased this on a 27 month lease because the price was so good, and it is the best looking 1/4 ton by NA manufacturers. I basically choose this based on looks. Big mistake. I've had both front wheel bearing replaced, distributer cap, computer, brakes, emissions pump, etc. The engine would just all of a sudden have no power despite revving high. These problems could be over looked if I was able to get the posted mileage of 20 city and 29 highway. I get 16 highway and about 14 city. I should be able to sue Dodge for the difference in gas mileage because that is ridiculous. About half the posed mileage! I'm buying a Toyota as soon as a get rid of this junk bucket.
What should other shoppers know about Dodge Dakotas before buying one? The TSBs (Technical Service Bulletins), if bound, along with the recalls, would make a good-sized book. The killer defect is in an area this forum selection didn't give me: the 3.7L V6 w/ the 4-speed AUTOMATIC (NOT the "6M"). The drivetrain with the 42RLE automatic shudders and vibrates from the low 30s to 50 mph. Supposedly this is a problem with the PCM misprogramming. I've been to the Dodge dealer for the flash remedy for the PCM-caused torque converter shudder according to the TSB, but this did not fix the problem. Now I wonder,"WHICH TSB? Also, the quality of interior plastic is very poor. The console cracks at a couple of stress points. This truck appears great on paper and also sitting on the car lot, but the quality did not go in before the Dodge name went on.