2003 Dodge Dakota Sport Plus 4X4 4.7 Liter V8 from North America


Nothing has gone wrong thus far.

General Comments:

This is the perfect family man, all purpose truck! Just like another reviewer perfectly stated. The Dodge Dakota Quad Cab has all of the room, performance, and features a family man like myself could want in a truck. I felt the Dakota (not the 05 model) was easily the best looking mid-size quad cab truck on the market. This truck offers plenty of engine for moderate towing needs, ample interior room for my family, and a fully functional truck box. The mileage so far from the V-8 is the stated 19mpg highway. This is on par with the I6 my Jeep had, with so much more performance. I had issues with the quality of the parts on my Jeep so I purchased an extended warranty to be safe.

I will keep those that are interested posted on future reliability.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th October, 2004

28th Nov 2004, 09:30

I was interested in your comment that the Dodge Dakota was good-looking, but not the 2005. Do you see a big difference? I am looking at either the 2004 or 2005. I like the size and look of the 2004 better, but the 2005 has changes to improve the safety ratings. What do you think, or anyone else think, about the differences between the 2004 and 2005? Thanks.

2nd Dec 2004, 10:34

This is the original message poster. I do see a major change in the look of the new 05 Dakota. It now shares the same platform as the new Durango, which was changed for 04. I really am not impressed with the new look of the 05 truck. All along, the Dakota was in my opinion the best looking Quad Cab out there. Mine is the 03, with the 4.7 liter V-8. I LOVE THIS TRUCK. To be safe (I hope), I purchased an extended warranty. So far, no problems.

If I were you, I would at least wait a year on the 05 and get an 06, or the 04. I think it is a mistake to buy the first model year of any vehicle with significant changes like the 05 Dakota.

28th Jan 2010, 16:02

I agree on the look of the 05, it's just ugly.

I also have an 03, and it does drive fantastic. The only issue I'm having is the mileage is not what it's supposed to be. I feed it good gas and change the oil regularly, did plugs and filter, and even cleaned the throttle body (which was ugly), and I'm still only getting around 12 to 13. I'm still trying to work the bugs out, but I think I'm getting closer.

2003 Dodge Dakota SXT Club Cab 3.9L V6 from North America


Everything I ever wanted in a truck, and more!


Nothing has gone wrong with this truck.

General Comments:

This is the first truck I've ever bought on my own. I've had others since I was 16 (1997 Ford F150 (4.2 V6) and 1994 Chevy Caprice (4.3 V8) and I have to say that I think the Dakota out classes both vehicles hands down.

Comparing to the 1997 Ford F150 4.2L

* Areas where the Dakota is better

- Power

- Handling

- Comfort

- Audio System

- Cab Noise is MUCH less than the ford

- easier access to engine components

- Aesthetics (Appearance)

- Better Horn (still weak, but the ford is really dinky and wouldn't work on cold days)

- Better Value IMHO

* Areas where the F150 is better

- More Cab room

- Sat higher

- Bigger Mirrors.

Now for the comparison with the

94' Chevy Caprice 4.3L V8

* Areas where the Dakota is better

- Handling

- better acceleration/low end power

- Engine components are easier to get to

- Better suspension

- Sits Higher

- MUCH better looking

- Smaller Steering wheel easier to control

- Overall better Ride

* Areas where the Caprice is better

- More top end power

- Overall room (duh, 4 door car)

- slightly more comfortable

- sounded better (V8 and had Flow masters on it)

- Takes hard bumps better, but floats even with new shocks.

The Dakota beats the F150 hands down, but there isn't really much to compare between the caprice. But this should give some of you a better idea of what it's looking at.

My Favorite points about the Dakota:

- MUCH roomier than other similar trucks

- Great power without much compromise on fuel efficiency

- Handles GREAT and rides better than many cars

- Not a better looking truck on the market

- PLENTY of different packages to choose from to suite anyone's needs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd January, 2004

9th Nov 2004, 18:31

You say you had a 4.3 V8? The only problem with that statement is GM DOES NOT make a 4.3 V8. The 4.3 is a V6.

9th Nov 2004, 18:54

Actually, GM did make a 4.3 liter EIGHT cylinder engine and used it in the 1994-1996 Caprice.

Although I think comparing a pickup truck to a car doesn't really make any sense anyway.

14th Dec 2005, 20:30

4.3L is a v6, orginally it's a v8 block with Two cylinders chopped off.

21st Jul 2010, 10:30

I would have to say he is justified in comparing to the 97 Ford F150. His 03 Dodge Dakota with the 3.9V6 is little different from the 97/98 model when it came out. Same drivetrain, frame, etc. Minus some interior changes and maybe disc rear brakes if he got that option, it is comparable vintage wise...

25th Jun 2015, 17:39

Actually yes, there is a 4.3 V6, but there were two 4.3 V8's - in '79, the 267 V8, and then again '93 to '95 Caprices - we had a '94 with the 4.3 V8, which got us 26 out on the highway and was nearly as powerful as the 350 (5.7L). That particular 4.3 was the replacement for the 5.0/305.

BTW the 267 (4.3L) was a short stroke V8 with a redline of around 6500 RPM. My wife drove the Malibu wagon 300 miles in second gear at 75 mph and it didn't faze it.