1997 Dodge Dakota Reviews - Page 2 of 7

1997 Dodge Dakota Ext. Cab 4x4 5.2 ( 318) from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 5.2 ( 318) Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 miles
Most recent distance140000 miles
Previous carFord Contour

Summary:

Everything I could ask for

Faults:

While I had the car, the only problems I had were routine maintenance, tires, oil change, tune up, etc. This truck NEVER left me stranded.

General Comments:

I drove this truck how a truck is supposed to be driven, and it never let me down. I live in an area that gets quite a bit of snow, and the 4 wheel drive was awesome. I pulled an open car trailer with my Mustang on it plenty of times, this truck really did it all for me. But towards the end, it started to show its age, and the problems started to surface.

I ended up selling the truck to my dad for a good price, and unfortunately for him, that's when the problems started coming. The exhaust rotted from the manifolds back, numerous check engine lights, and then the transmission went (I hear the trans is a common problem with these Dodges). All within a year of him buying it from me. I felt awful.

But for the sake of this review, I can't say anything bad about the truck, it treated me very well. I just wish I would have known those problems were going to happen, I wouldn't have sold it to my dad.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th February, 2011

1997 Dodge Dakota 3.9L gas from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 3.9L gas Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.2 / 10
Distance when acquired18000 miles
Most recent distance200000 miles
Previous carDodge Dakota

Summary:

Good truck

Faults:

Have not had any problems yet.

General Comments:

I went from a 1992 Dodge Dakota ex cab 2wd to a 1997 ext cab 4x4. My 92 got 18mpg, my 97 gets 14mpg, both highway miles. I gotta say, I miss my old truck, but I can't complain because the 4x4 helps out a lot.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th November, 2010

1997 Dodge Dakota from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired6 miles
Most recent distance182000 miles
Previous carOldsmobile Ciera

Summary:

Love it

Faults:

I had no problems with the truck until about 80K miles, when it wouldn't start in the rain. This is when it got its very first tuneup. First brake replacement was well into the 50k mark, and had no further issues until around 120K.

After 120K I replaced front shocks, later the tie rods, then the O2 sensor, and then at 180K miles I replaced the brake line and rear brakes.

This is a fabulous truck, single cab, and I was extremely disappointed to find that it is now offered in only the double cab style. Looks like I need to hold on to this one!

General Comments:

Outstanding performance on dry roads, but likes to swim on snowy or really wet roads if not in part/full-time 4 wheel drive.

Has a tight wheel base that makes great u-turns.

Gas mileage stinks.

All that said, I would buy another one today in a heart beat!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd June, 2010

1997 Dodge Dakota 4X4 Sport 5.2L from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 5.2L Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired104000 miles
Most recent distance165000 miles
Previous carFord Mustang

Summary:

If not for the RUST, I may have kept it much longer

Faults:

A/C compressor - bad at 104k, when I bought the truck.

O2 sensor - bad at 160k, left me stranded, no start.

Radio - bad at 104k, when I bought the truck.

Starter - bad at 145k.

RUST - This truck had minimal rust when I bought it. It was just the beginning. Rust progressed throughout, fast. I used spray foam in a can to fill the holes, so I could pass inspection. The rear bumper almost fell off, it was so bad.

General Comments:

Aside from typical maintenance, like tires, battery, and brakes, I had to replace tie rods, ball joints, brake lines, fuel lines, fuel pump, exhaust, front bearings, rear springs, starter, O2 sensors, and more at around 150k.

I would have kept the truck, but it rusted out from under me. I then got hit from behind and it was totaled, so I am currently looking for something else with better MPG. My needs have changed, but I loved that truck.

Other than rust, it may have lasted a LOT longer. I seriously overloaded that truck a few times (hence the need for springs) and abused it badly. The tranny was going, probably from overworking it a few times. I live in Massachusetts. I did 75% highway driving, got a combined 18-19 MPG regularly. Around town I got 16 MPG, maybe 14-15 MPG while driving around town in deep snow, using 4WD. Not bad for a V-8, automatic, 4WD truck.

Total cost of ownership, over 6 years and 60,000 miles, was about $8,000. If it hadn't gotten hit, I may have seen many more miles. Don't know how much more maintenance it was going to need, or how much longer the tranny was gonna last. I abused the tranny. Really.

Overall, I got a good truck. If it's not rusted, I would recommend it if you need an inexpensive used truck. If there is rust, beware!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd April, 2010

Average review marks: 7.1 / 10, based on 29 reviews