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College kid looking for a truck

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Here is the deal. Junior working on my engineering degree. I currently have a car my parents let me use. If my sister goes to the community college i used to go to she is gonna need a car. Figure it's time I buy myself something. Currently i borrow my dad's tacoma, but looking at used prices for those and they are a bit more then i'll have the option to buy.

Looking for a mid-sized truck. Basically right now my list is cost and comfort in that order. By cost I don't just mean purchase price, i also am including things like fuel and parts. High mileage doesn't scare me... what it can bring does. My current car has 251k miles and still runs like a top. I was clicking through dodge dakota... they seem to need an engine around 90k.

So, what are the options, and how do are they to deal with?

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A little Ranger or S-10 2wd should be pretty good on fuel and seem to be reliable. I have an 07 Ranger with a 2.3L and get around 30 mpg. I've had it since new and have 75K on it now. Replaced tires and fron't brake pads. Power isn't great with a 4 banger, but it does surprisingly well for what it is. It's the stripped down model, so creature comforts don't exist, but it rides ok and is quiet enough. Driver door rattles a bit over rough roads, but I'm kinda hard on it.

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don't be afraid of the Dakota's.... I've had a 93 and currently a 97.... both with 5.2L (318) motors. These motors don't die, but may be a little harder on fuel than you like.

I've got 382000kms on my 97... only changed starter, alternator, coil and fuel pump. Oh, and ball joints and had the rear end rebuilt. Very solid truck. I bought it new. Love it to death. I hope it holds out another year or so, then I'm getting a full size.

If I was buying a Dakota, I'd go with the 8cyl. The 6cyl isn't much better on gas and the 8 doesn't work hard in the truck, I think thats why it's lasted so many problem free years :banana:

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I don't want a V8. Yes, the 318 would be nice, but i simply don't need it. Maybe once i start making engineer money, but to me there is no point to have it. Same with 4wd. Yes, i live in upstate ny, but right now i have a rwd 4cyl that weight north of 4k pounds... as i said, quarter million miles and it was rated at 110hp back when it was new.

ubu, how stripped down is it? I can live with having to roll down the window to adjust the mirrors but it's a royal pain, especially on the passenger side.

however, 30mpg is better then my current car gets. (ok... it does 30 with the cruise control set going down the highway)

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Try an older toyota pick up truck or firstgen 4runner with the 22re motor. its about the same size as the truck your using now but you can get them fairly cheep and they dont die.

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I have an 03 dakota v6..Its pretty reasonable on gas. I have the 4 door so that means short bed, that is the only downfall of this being a dirt bike hauler, buy a bed extender problem solved. Other than that it awesome to take to ride/race it has plenty of room in the back seat to change into gear, If you are really serious about buying a Dakota let me know as mine will be for sale very shortly.

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I'm at RPI in troy.

But i'm probably going to be buying more towards the end of the summer when i have more money.

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Your not gonna see good gas mileage out of a dakota unless its a regular cab that sits down low, and has the smallest available rim/tires combo (if thats possible to find with the newer trucks). I have an 04 Dakota, quad cab, and a 4x4 with the 4.7 v8. This whole winter I couldn't seem to get anymore than 15mpg, but during summer I can easily get 17+mpg. Who the heck told you that they blow engines at 90k?? The 3.9 v6 along with the 318 are legendary as far as reliability goes since they've been around for decades. The 4.7 in my truck has only been around for 10 years but it has been a very solid and highly regarded engine! They're also much more efficient than the old Magnums.

What is your price range BTW?

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Iubu, how stripped down is it? I can live with having to roll down the window to adjust the mirrors but it's a royal pain, especially on the passenger side.

however, 30mpg is better then my current car gets. (ok... it does 30 with the cruise control set going down the highway)

Stripped down like a NAPA truck. Reg cab, vinyl floors, vinyl seats, hand cranks, steel wheels. I put an aftermarket CD unit it and just drive the piss out of it. It's a little small and can get a bit cramped with 2 people and riding gear, but it's fine for what I need. Same as any small pickup (s-10, toyota, etc) I guess.

30 mpg is on the highway at 65. Over 70 or around town it takes a small hit.

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Your not gonna see good gas mileage out of a dakota unless its a regular cab that sits down low, and has the smallest available rim/tires combo (if thats possible to find with the newer trucks). I have an 04 Dakota, quad cab, and a 4x4 with the 4.7 v8. This whole winter I couldn't seem to get anymore than 15mpg, but during summer I can easily get 17+mpg. Who the heck told you that they blow engines at 90k?? The 3.9 v6 along with the 318 are legendary as far as reliability goes since they've been around for decades. The 4.7 in my truck has only been around for 10 years but it has been a very solid and highly regarded engine! They're also much more efficient than the old Magnums.

What is your price range BTW?

figure i'll have between 6 and 9k for a truck when i'm done with the summer... that might change when i start figuring in insurance. depends on if my parents will keep me on theirs or not. Basically i was originally gonna just keep the volvo but for my rents to have to buy my sister a car so i can keep this for a year just doesn't seem right. I'd consider a small loan if it's needed, but i'd rather not being making car payments when in school because i don't work.

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kurt, what kind of mileage are you actually getting?

Any where from 15-19. It really just depends on the drive. I dont drive it in town anymore so the only time I drive it is to races/rides So lately its been getting 18-19 pretty consistently, which isnt the best but for what this truck offers I think its great.

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i'd like to get in the 20's for mpg. Looks like i'm really looking at a 4cyl. Lets face it, it will get the job done and i won't have to pay a lot for gas. Maybe in a few years when i'm out of school i'll get the bigger engine.

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I was clicking through dodge dakota... they seem to need an engine around 90k.

Not sure where you heard that....:banana: My Dakota has been AWESOME :lol: Check out these threads and this Dakota forum.

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=824358&highlight=dakota

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=734733&highlight=dakota

http://www.dakota-durango.com/forum/

I have an 02 Quad Cab Dakota with the 4.7 (2wd, 3in suspension lift and 3in body lift with 32in tires and 3.92 gears) and I LOVE this truck :banana:

I bought the truck with 29K miles on it and have ZERO issues. I now have 95K miles on it and it still runs strong. I get 20mpg on the highway and 16 in the city.

I have no complaints! :banana: IMHO there is no other truck that has what this truck has when it comes to the size of the truck and the motor options :banana:

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Not sure where you heard that.

no one told me. I just did a craigslist search and like every dakota said new engine at 80k

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