1997 Dodge Dakota 3.9L gas from North America


Good truck


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


Love it


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


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


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

1997 Dodge Dakota SLT 5.2 V8 318 from North America


One of the best vehicles I have ever owned


The tail light was broken.

Multiple lights burnt out.

Front bumper badly rusted.

Leaks when it rains.

Power window on the door is slow.

General Comments:

This has been the most solid vehicle I have ever owned.

I am very comfortable driving it, and even at 180000 plus miles, I would travel across country in it.

The gas mileage isn't great. I plan on fixing this truck up.

It tows my boat with ease.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th April, 2010

1997 Dodge Dakota SLT 5.2 V8 Magnum from North America


This truck is sweet


Brake lines, calipers, tranny is starting to act up, rust on bumper (normal for dodge) ball joints replaced when I bought it.

General Comments:

This is a great truck. I love it. I take it off road almost every weekend in the summer and drive it pretty hard.

Mpg for my 5.2 is an average of 16 mpg, which the 3.9 and the 4.7 are pretty close to.

This truck only packs about 230hp, which is much different from my 420hp Cummins, but despite that 230hp it can still move. It can see 100mph easily and can smoke the tires all day long. It tows well too, just don't expect to win any races.

I only have 2 complaints:

One is the rough rear of the truck. The front end rides over bumps nicely and you can barely feel it, but when the back hits the bump, it feels like it came off the ground.

The other is the lack of aftermarket parts like suspension lifts and some other things. So far I have added a 3.5in dual exit magnaflow exhaust and it sounds great. I don't have the cat on anymore, which lets the 5.2 breath more, but even with it on it still sounds good.

I have 31 inch BFG's all terrains, which are wearing very nicely and still have lots of tread left.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th May, 2009

24th Apr 2010, 12:50

My 97 Dakota rode better with a heavy load in the back, than it did empty. The traction in 2WD was not good, but I figure it's typical for a PU truck. The 4WD worked great and got me through lots of deep snow and bad roads. The tailgate didn't always latch, had to learn to check it every time I opened and closed it, but no big deal. Everything bad about the back half of the truck was typical of PU trucks, in my opinion. I had the 5.2L V8 4WD version. I never had a problem with the 4WD, except the light by the 4WD shifter burned out around 140,000 miles. No big deal. The rust progressed very fast. Watch out for rust. Bumpers in particular.