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Dodge Dakota Real World MPG Numbers

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
Post your MPG and compare with other Dakota owners MPG numbers here.

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  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    2003 Dakota Club Cab Sport Plus, 287 (4.7) V8, 545RFE automatic, 3:55 limited slip differential:


    Average at 37512 miles, 16.45 MPG


    Highest tank - 21.76 MPG (summer, highway)


    lowest tabk - 12.79 (last week, sub-zero temps, all city driving)


    From 5/29 to 9/27, my summertime fuel mileage average was 18.05.


    Driven calmly the 4.7 will deliver the EPA mileage and better. The amount of driver impatience, however, will have a direct and corresponding negative effect on fuel consumption. But the 4.7 is a real nice motor!



  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    2002 Dakota Quad Cab, 4x4, 4.7, 45RFE automatic, 3.92 limited slip:


    Best tank: 19.0 (summer, all highway @ 70 MPH)(This has only happened once, best highway MPG since then is 17.8)


    Worst tank: 11.8 (summer, all city)


    Highway min/max/average: 16.4/19.0/16.8 (70 MPH)


    Mixed driving min/max/average: 13.9/14.8/14.4 summer, 12.8/13.8/13.6 winter

    (Mixed driving is about 50% highway, 50% suburban/rural. Most trips are 15 miles or less.)


    Reported averages are with Redline synthetic lubricants in differentials and transfer case. Mileage increased approx 0.75-2.0 MPG after switching.
  • Thats about what my 2003 Hemi Ram Quad does (grin)
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    2000 Dakota Quad Cab, 4x4, 4.7, 5sp, 3.55 limited slip, 31x10.5-15 tires, HD electric, stock air intake and exhaust systems, tonneau cover most of its life, now running "naked", southcentral Pennsylvania (snow sometimes)


    Best tank: 21+ (spring, mostly flat highway along Susquehanna River for 200 miles @ 60-65 MPH on cruise control, with tonneau cover, with nearly worn-out GY RT/S).


    Worst tank (s): 8.2 - 9.4 mpg (all hauling motorcycles of 4-wheels on a trailer, flying at 70+ mph on hilly Rt 80 across northern Pennsylvania, mostly with the GY RT/S, in and out of strip mines, logging roads, etc, all included in that tank of gas).


    Mixed driving min / max / average: 8.2 / 21.2 / 16.2

    (driving is about 40% highway, 60% suburban/rural. Most highway trips are 500 - 1000 miles round-turn with a load)


    Reported min / max / averages are mostly based on original lubes. Redline synthetic lubes were installed in differentials, transmission, and transfer case in July 2003. Mileage may have increased with the Redline products but new tires (Bridgestone Dueler AT - Revo), in Nov 2003, introduced a 1-2 mpg drop on average.


    Total miles: 65,173

    Total gas $: $5,979.02

    Total gals: 4,027.5

    Avg mpg: 16.2

    Avg $/gal: $1.48

    Avg $/mile: $0.092


    79.2% or 266 fill ups (336 total fill ups) produced mpgs between 15 - 18 mpg. Most common occurrence is 16 mpg at 59 fill ups. I have changed the spark plugs 2x (Bosch platinums & plain Autolite coppers). Also changed air filter 1x.
  • tcsmpsitcsmpsi Posts: 31
    2005 Dakota Quad Cab V-6 automatic 2WD all standard equipment, 2200 mi.


    Latest check revealed 14.3 mpg, flatland, 85% in town with a lot of stop and go, with approx. 6, 10-20 minute still running (waiting for children) segments for that tankfull.


    So far, have gotten as good as 20.6 mpg for combination city/highway driving.


    Always conscientious of braking and starting, with occassional 'bursts' in all type road/situations to know what the vehicle is capable of in emergency.


    Prior to the '05, I ran a 2001 Dak Quad Cab, standard equipment (except for handling package), V-6 standard transmission 2WD.


    The '05 automatic has thusfar shown just a slight edge over the '01 in MPG.
  • saabgirlsaabgirl Posts: 184
    I think the Dakota review said there's only a 1 mpg difference between the 3.7 six and the 4.7 eight, so buyers may as well opt for the oomph of the eight. But in practice it sounds like the disparity is considerably greater than that. As Dusty (?) said, you can drive an eight for economy ... but the temptation to hear that pleasing V8 roar is hard to resist, I'll betcha. Heck, it might be worth it sometimes. Also, doesn't the eight require premium fuel? Thanks for the info.
  • tcsmpsitcsmpsi Posts: 31
    I know those who have/had the 8's in Dakotas and their actual mileage has shown to be notably less than what I have experienced with the 6. I seldom pull large loads and am not that enamored with the slight performance boost of the 8.


    There is the initial cost variation of the 6 and 8, the additional cost of maintenance and the (though slight it might be---however, with rising fuel...) increase in fuel costs.


    Between my wife and myself, we average 4000 miles a month on our vehicles. With our (so far) last fledgling teenagers at home, having grandchildren and being homeowners, we needed a pickup which was as economical, passenger oriented, safe and tough as we could find. The Dakota quad has fulfilled that perfectly.


    I suppose the last 'need' I had for throaty sounding/performance oriented vehicles was fulfilled with my last '57 Chevy with tricked out 327, etc., etc. :-)


    Getting used to this new auto transmission in the '05 has been interesting. Of course, the last truck I had an auto in was a '79 Adventurer, which was much more direct and 'to the point'.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Past 4.7s did not require premium fuel. Starting in '05 there will be an optional 4.7 High Output that will. The regular 4.7 will still only need regular.



  • saabgirlsaabgirl Posts: 184
    >>we needed a pickup which was as economical, passenger oriented, safe and tough as we could find. The Dakota quad has fulfilled that perfectly.<<


    Yep, that's what appeals to me about the Dakota Q Cab, too. (I had a black '57 Chevy hardtop with the 283, 4-barrel and dual exhausts. I suppose cars are "better" now, but still ...)
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    MPG-Real world "numbers"
  • Info '02 Quad 4.7, 5spd, 3.51 LSD, tow pkg,

    added K&N cool air induction, (3")Dynamax cat back exhaust, "tornado", Redline syn in eng, tranny and diff. 265-70 x 16 toyo country road tires 52,000 + miles.

     Best mpg Bakersfield to San Diego 250 mi 22 mpg w/ wife, daughter, mother-in-law and myself in cab about 400 lbs in bed. traveled at 65-70mph.

    this trip was not a level drive going over the "grapevine" pass north of LA I5 and along the foothills on I 210 s to 15 s to San Diego.

     I normally avg 15-18 mpg combo driving 16 miles each way to work and running around.

     I've noticed if I keep my foot out of the pedal on trips and keep the speed between 65-70 I get right at 19/20mpg depending on how many hills/mountains are in the way.

     I run regular fuel from Shell or Chevron.

     I don't keep written records around town, but I do on trips. Best trip mileage was trip in august to Waco Tx round trip w/ running around town was almost 2900 miles. A/C on 99% of trip with hwy speeds between 65-80 avg around 75 with final mpg of 19.3. worst trip mileage was a trip from San Francisco to San Diego hitting a head wind (50% of 525mi.) going 65-75 final mpg 15
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    04 Quad Cab 4.7V8/45rfe 4x4, with 245/75/16 tires, non-tire and handling package.


    LAst Winter with less than 15 thousand miles, in the dead of Winter, short hop trips to work consisting of 10 minutes in town than 5 on the highway: 11.9-low 12s.


    Warmer weather, same trip: Normally high 14s.


    Best road trip mileage with speeds restricted to 65-70 mph: high 18s. With average speeds closer to 75 mph: 17mpg.


    Of course the 4.7 now has about 25 thousand miles on it and I hear that's right about when these trucks really start to get broken in. But I stopped measuring a long time ago and don't plan to check again any time soon.
  • 00 Club, 3.9, auto, 2wd, 47,000 miles, 17.5 mpg on 20-mile, two-lane highway to work and back. V6 gives me plenty of power when I need it, and I think I would give in to the urge to show the power more if I had a V8.
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    And Im willing to pay the price in terms of bad mileage.
  • shineshine Posts: 20
    I have looked at all the mid size trucks but I still end up with the Dakota. Can someone tell me what to expect with a QC 4x4 with the 6 should I expect an average of 15 or 16. I know it does look to good but the GM Twins get about 19 combined. Any insign would be appreciated
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Mileage reports vary considerably on most vehicles. The posts in the S10 forum indicates a wide variation of results. I think the same basic rule applies to all vehicles. It's how you drive them. There is no way a correctly running Dakota or S10 should not get the EPA ratings.

    My '03 Dakota Club Cab, two-wheel drive, 4.7 V8, automatic with 3.55 gears gets 14-16 around town, winter, 17-18 summer. I've hit almost 22 MPG on the highway (summer).

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Since January 1, 2005 my average has been 15.48 MPG.

    The cold weather has had its effect.

  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    The best mileage was 22 mpg.
    Worst was 14 mpg.
    Usual get 16-17 mpg with mixed city/highway driving.

    2001 quad cab
    4.7l v8
    5 spd manual
    3.55 ratio
    265/70/16 tires

    40k miles on truck now.

    see my profile for truck details.
  • tootall1tootall1 Posts: 7
    Need some advice please. I owned a 01 Quad with the 4.7 V8 and the towing package. Not sure on the gears. I was averaging 14MPG with 30 mile commute, 15 through hills and 15 flat highway each way. I ended up selling the truck, but want to come back. I am interested in buying a 05 Quad and I will need a 4x4.
    Should I go with the new 3.7 V6 or back with the 4.7 V8. Which would give the best MPG? I do not need the towing so I imaging I should leave that off to help.
    What about the gears> which would be best for MPG.

    I do not expect 20mpg, but 18 would be acceptable. 13-14 is not.

  • aaronwiaaronwi Posts: 18
    I have an 02 Dakota Quad SLT with the 4.7 (bought new in 01)

    Best tank ever: 14mpg (65mph freeway driving all day)

    Average tank: 10 (90% highway at 70mph, 10% rural town)

    I run full syntetic motor oil, diff, transfer case at the lowest recommended viscosities.

    Dealer says "your still within specs"

    Any pointers?????
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    geez, my my 2003 Ram 1500 Quad Cab with a Hemi does better than your mileage. My worse tank ever was 11.4 and my best was 17.3. My overall average for 21,000 miles + is 14.2.
    My previous truck was a 2000 Dakota Quad cab with the 4.7/5-speed manual in 2 wheel drive (as is my current Ram). I had the overhead display that gave you instantaneous MPG. I found that if I paid attention to the display I could modify my driving style to maximize my fuel economy. The 4.7 seemed to get better mileage with moderate acceleration. I wasn't the first away from the stoplight but neither was I the last. The sweet spot for my truck was just under 65 mph. My best tanks of gas approached 22 mpg on roads with 55mph speed limits. I would cruise at just under 60. Driving 70 to 75 would drop mileage into the 17mpg range. 80-85 would get down to 13-14 range. A full throttle launch from a stop light would show 1-2 mpg until speed picked up and then it would get up to 4-5 until you backed off the throttle. I really think driving style has a much greater impact on economy than if you were to get into a v6/v8 comparison. Dodge no longer gives you the instant mpg on the overhead display, only the average so I can't really drive my Hemi for economy but using what I learned with my 2000 Dakota I believe has given me somewhat better economy with my Ram than a lot of others report getting. Unfortunately the siren song of the Hemi's exhaust note calls to me more often than the 4.7 in my Dakota did. Rick
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    That mileage seems very low. My 02 QC, 4x4, 4.7, auto, 3.92s averages 13.3 to 14.7 in mixed driving (60% highway @ 70 MPH, 40% rural/suburban). The mileage is very temperature dependant. Lower temps, lower mileage. I've only had 1 tank in pure city driving and got 12.5 MPG. On the highway, it generally gets 16.5 to 19.0 at 70 MPH. The average is around 17.5 MPG. Again, temperature, wind conditions, and terrain all come into play. I did have one time where I got 14 MPG on the highway, but I was fighting a very strong headwind in a hilly area. I consider myself to be an average driver. I'm not the first one away from the stoplight, but I'm not the last either.
  • blasieblasie Posts: 13
    I have a 2 W/D 02 Durango that gets 19 to 20 M.P.G. all year long my 03 Dak. 4X4 at best so far is 15.5 (both with 4.7L). I just bought the Dak. and I am taking it to the dealer to get it looked at. Has anybody had any luck with better fuel mileage by adding a K&N air filter or any other alterations? I never had two Veh. so similar with the exception of 4X4 to compare mileage.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Do not add that K&N, those oilable type of filters are a wasteof $$ and have even been reported to cause problems when the oil migrates (gets sucked) into the intake sytem. (A lot of $$ and headaches for no meaningful difference in performance)

    You did not mention the gear ratio that your dakota has. Perhaps it is different from your Durango. Also, does your Dak have that "full time" 4X4?
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    When I first got my 02 QC (4.7L, auto, 4x4, 3.92s), the mileage was fairly poor. On the highway with the cruise set to 70, I would only get 15-16 MPG. I switched to Redline synthetic gear lubes in the front and rear differentials and the mileage increased 1-3 MPG. Right now, my highway mileage is between 16 and 19, with an average around 17.4. The mileage from the 4.7L in the Dakota is sensitive to temperature, terrain, wind, and driving style. I have more mileage variation in my Dakota that any other vehicle I've owned.

    Also, I've noticed that my average MPG continues to improve with age (now at 55K miles). It's not a huge increase (about 0.3 MPG in the last three years), but at least it is going in the right direction. I don't expect this to last much longer, though.

    As was mentioned in another post, don't bother with the drop-in K&N type filter.
  • haselhasel Posts: 64
    I have used the K&N air filters in my 1999 Club Cab V-6 in my 2001 and 2004 Q Cabs with the 4.7L V8 and now am installing one in my 2005 4.7L Dakota Q Cab, I have never had any problems with these Air Filters, on the long run you will save money by being able to wash/oil the filter and re-use them.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    My '03 Dakota Club Cab Sport 2WD, 4.7 with 545RFE, 3.55 LSD, has delivered a average of 16.56 at a total of 42099 miles. My summer time average for the last two years has been 17.36 MPG. I consistently hit 21 MPG on interstate trips to my property, including carrying between 650-900 pounds of load (ATV and other gear). I've hit over 22 on several occasions. Week-to-week summer time averages are typically 18 or better. The wintertime drops considerably. This year's wintertime average was 14.51. This was worse than the year before at 14.68.

    Echoing the comments from Bpeebles and Sunburn, I have found that the 4.7 is sensitive to how it's being driven, temperature, and driving conditions. Mine took a little longer to break in, I think. I've been using Mobil 1 0W-30 motor oil, the only synthetic lubricant in my truck (except the factory fill ATF+4 is semi-synthetic). I'm usually light on the gas pedal, but I do a lot of in-town or country road driving. Not too much freeway or interstate.

    From my discussions with other Dak owners I think you'll find that your going to realize about a 1-2 MPG penalty with 4x4. But a lot depends on your driving habits, too. I think the 4x4 Dakota is heavier by about 900 pounds over the two-wheel drive version. Do you know how much your Durango weighs?

    Best regards,
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    You are fooling yourself if you think you are saving money "in the long run". My definition of "long run" means at least 150,000 miles. The facts dont add up to saving any money when all is considerd. (like the engine wearing out faster)

    But also the math comes out showing that the oiled-guaze filter does not cost less than quality paper filters changed at 50K miles over the life of the vehicle. (It takes a LOT of $6 paper filters before they cost more than the oiled-guaze ($50), oil, cleaning-compound, and time it takes to muck around with them)

    $50(K/N ) / $6 (paper) = OVER 8 PAPER FILTERS!
    8 filters X 50,000miles = 400,000miles

    (I just looked up the prices on the web for the airfilters so I know my numbers above are correct average prices.)

    Also, there is no need to change air-filter more often than about 50K miles unless you drive in VERY dusty conditions. This has been proven in tests. If you are a skeptic, you can even add a "filter minder" to your intake so you KNOW when to change the airfilter. ("filterminder" actually measures the filter for plugging and tells you when it needs to be changed.)

    Obviously, the oiled-guaze filter filters worse (thus allows more damaging particals to enter the engine and the oil) Also, on many vehicle applications, the oiled-guaze filter does not seal well around the edges after being removed several times for cleaning and re-oiling....this allows UNFILTERD AIR to enter the engine and contaminate the oil.

    BOTTOM LINE: Guaze belongs in the medical field....NOT soaked with oil and soaking up my hard-earned cash.
  • blasieblasie Posts: 13
    Since posting the original message I have heard more bad things about washable high flow filters than good. they might work OK on my dirt bike but not on my daily driver, I plan to get 300,000 miles out of this one like I did the last one. I looked to see what the Durango had for gears but I forgot, the Dak. has 3:55 gears, 255/70 R16 tires and the trailer towing Pkg (if that make a difference). Both vehicles turn 1950 R.P.M.'s @ 70 M.P.H. I also did a little research and asked some questions in the past couple of days that may end up solving my problem and hopefully some other peoples problems with their fuel mileage. That info is posted on this site, but not on this particular page. As for the full time 4X4 I don't believe it does. I will post the problems found if any when I get my truck back. Thanks for the advice.
  • blasieblasie Posts: 13
    I was thinking of switching to Amsoil synthetic, now I think I will with 1 - 3 M.P.G. improvement. I have only had this Dak. almost 30 days and the mileage does vary quite a bit even compared to my wifes Durango. The thing that really gets me about my mileage is that I also have a 1986 3/4 ton Dodge with a 318 (carb.) 4:11 geared and no over drive and it gets 12 M.P.G. if I drive it conservatively and don't show off my exhaust!!
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