Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Purchasing 06 Dodge Dakota

I’m getting ready to purchase a 06 Dodge Dakota 6cyl 4x4. Any opinons about this truck or ways to not get taken by a used car salesman?

The '06 Dakota (as well as the '02 thru '05 models) has problems with the transmission, the 4WD mechanism, the suspension, and the brakes, so I strongly suggest that you have this truck checked over VERY carefully by a mechanic of your own choosing.

This model is listed by Consumer Reports as a “used car to avoid” as a result of its poor reliability record, so having it thoroughly checked prior to purchase is very important. If the salespeople balk at your request to take it for examination by your mechanic, just walk away.

Thanks. Transmissions was one of the reasons that I was going to buy a new truck. The transmission on my Ford Ranger is giving out and I thought instead of spending the money to have it fixed, I would just put that towards a new truck.

Any mid-size to large trucks you would recommend?

The only trucks in that category that have good reliability are the Honda Ridgeline, the Nissan Frontier, and the Toyota Tacoma. Unfortunately, they are also likely to be the most expensive used compact trucks, but their price does reflect their relative value accurately.

In the category of larger trucks, The Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra twins and the Ford F-150 have decent reliability, but they are not as reliable as the Ridgeline, the Frontier, or the Tacoma.

The trucks to avoid, based on poor reliability, are the Dakota, the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon twins, the Toyota Tundra, the Nissan Titan, and the Dodge Ram 1500.

This is a good site for all things Dakota.

Ed B.

I also have the option to buy an 08 Dakota for around the same price, but from what you’re saying, I should probably avoid them all together.

The Dakotas are kind of funny in that they’re sort of in between a small truck like the Tacoma and a full-size. The previous generation of Tundras were about the same size and I think they did a little better in the various reliability indexes than the newer ones (not that newer ones did all that badly). I’d definitely recommend an older Tundra over a newer Dakota. However, both the Tundra and the Dakota don’t get significantly better gas mileage than a real full-size truck nor are they significantly cheaper (especially used) so for my money I’d just go ahead and get a full-size.

I’d hold out for one with the 4.7L V8, since it is more powerful, and according to the EPA gets better fuel mileage.

i have a 98 4WD dAKOTA WITH A 318 AND it gets abou 9-12 miles per gallon i’d stay away from dodge v8s unless you have an endless fund alotted for gas or u don’t drive much

I own a 2002 Dodge Dakota crew cab. I purchased it with 83,000 on it and I just passed 108,000. I have done regular maintenace and have not had a problem with the truck. I have the V8 engine and the sport model.

My sister has the same truck only with the SLT package and she has had no problems either.

One less that great item on the truck is engaging the 4x4. You must be stopped to engage the 4x4. Other than that the truck is unstoppable, unless physics is not on your side.

The 4.7 is a much more modern and efficient design. The newer Dakotas also have a 5 (technically 6 ) speed automatic which also helps fuel mileage. If you take a look at the revised EPA estimates, which now are much more accurate, the 4.7L trumps the 3.9L V6 in all areas.

Thanks for all the input. I did some more research online and test drove a 2006 Nissan Frontier that I liked. I liked the interior of the Dakota a lot better, but am thinking about going with the Frontier because I have heard mixed things on the Dakota but the Frontier has gotten some better reviews.