Originally Posted by LiftedAWDAstro
Something to consider with the Dakota is that it gets the same fuel mileage as the 1/2 ton Ram. They still only average around the 14/15 mpg. Might as well get a 1/2 ton in another flavor than a Ram so you get better payload. The Dakota with tow package will tow a decent load though.
Without the trailer, I get about 14-17 mpg (freeway doing 75ish), and about the same in the city. Running the AC has a big effect on the mileage. If we are traveling on two lane highways and keep the speed down to 55-60mph, we have had as high as 23.5 mpg (not running the AC). So it is not quite the same as a fullsize ½ ton truck.
If you do go for a Dakota you need to ensure you get the tow package and check the tow ratings (vin check with manufacture). The setup can affect the towing ability. My setup has the lowest tow rating of all the Dakotas, I do not recall the towing capacity of my setup but I am within about 1000 lbs of it.
Best of luck with your choice.