You get what you pay for.
Mid 2000’s dodge was never a great year for any of their vehicles. Nothing shows that better than the 2006 V8 crew cab Dakota.
I bought mine used in decent condition with low miles, and ran into eventual issues down the road. A disclaimer here- I’m an aviation mechanic so most things on a vehicle aren’t too daunting for me to fix.
First thing to go down the drain, the idle air control valve/switch went bad, letting my truck idle around 2000-2500 rpm. After that, the transmission light would pop up, then turn off when you restarted the vehicle. ( there was no faults found). The AC compressor gave out , and the time for the heater to build up is nothing to write home about. The rear window motor/ winching assembly broke, and the entire assembly hides behind an welded wall of metal, with small cheese holes giving you minimal ability to do anything other than stare at it longingly. The V8 is actually decent for acceleration off the brake, but i wouldn’t test its upper limits. The interior is bare bones, and the plastic is thin, cheap, crap. My center console is one giant piece of molded plastic that wiggles side to side on two rusted screw. On top of it all, the truck shifts into every gear like someone just rear ended you at a stop light. However, here’s the caveat to all this-
Because dodge made these vehicles as cheaply as possible, there is no proprietary software/special parts
/ or extreme levels of maintenance knowledge required to fix any of the numerous faults you will encounter on your cheap-plastic filled journey, because that in turn, would cost money. Which dodge simply won’t put into their products. That means it is super easy to find replacement parts, and no need for a specialized technician-* I’m looking at you BMW*
All around, I’m not surprised by most of what happens to this truck, and neither is dodge. The Dakota is cheap garbage, but the garbage sells for garbage prices. 3/5 because Atleast it still gets me where I want to go... for now.