"The engine is still quiet and the trans is smooth and powerful for a small truck. It has pulled my tractor out of ditches and up hills when it was . Only problem is the passenger compartment is small."
"I bought this truck new. It has towed a 24 foot travel trailer and then a 18 foot fishing boat in the mountains of northeastern California. Taken me hunting in north central Arizona and plowed through feet of snow in the mountains north of Lake Tahoe. Have had Chevy and Ford trucks and this is the best I have owned."
"Bought the truck new in 1996. The 3.9L engine starts every time and is strong and tight (no leaks). Had the tranny rebuilt after about 8 years. Oil changes, brakes, one tune-up, shocks, are the only maintenance needed in 19 years. Since it was always parked outside in Indiana weather, I had the paint and headliner redone this year. All in all I'm very satisfied with the truck."
"Bought new in 1996 didn't have to many issues had standard repairs I let my son drive it for several years but he didn't take very good care of it never told me when it needed fixed but it handled well just had motor pulled and bought a new one he added so much stop leak that it clogged up the motor but I still have the truck it's a great ext cab 318ci 5speed 4x4 will never sell it 226000 miles on it"
"I've owned this beast for 3 years, this 19 year old beast has great power in on and off road scenarios. They are very customizatible, mines about the most redneck looking thing you'll ever see but the engine has tons of power without any aftermarket improvments. its a little lacking towing but does just fine hauling just about anything i put in it. Takes trees like a champ im on my 4 one and the bumper is doing just fine."
Pros: "Reliable, tough, lots of torque for hauling"
Cons: "The Magnum Engine is weird to work on sometimes"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I actually have a '90 Dakota LE, but the only difference is the body shape as it's still the first generation.
The truck is very reliable, can haul over its rated payload without trouble (though I would not recommend doing that too much).
It's 25 years old, and the check engine light came on for the first time in its life about a week ago for a minor problem. Dodge knew what they were doing (and still do) during the manufacturing of this truck.
The only other problems I've had with it were a control arm slamming because I forgot to grease it, and after I did there have been no problems with that. My radiator sprung a leak, but it was very easy to replace.
Everything on this truck is super easy to work on and fix yourself if you feel so inclined. Yes, the engine is weird to work on but they also made it easy to work on at the same time.
I would definitely recommend this truck, or it's RAM counterpart, for that matter, to anyone looking for a cheap and reliable vehicle."