The situation in the mid-size truck market is warming up. This segment was nearly discontinued with the expansion of big SVs. In the past few years, the sales revived, making more companies try their skills in this market. For example, we saw the return of the Ford Ranger and even Jeep reintroduced a pickup truck after 30 years. Still, the Gladiator is more of a Wrangler-truck, rather than a new model. So, the FCA is considering the next move. Could it lead to the 2022 Dodge Dakota? Let’s check the possibilities.
Old fans will definitely like to see the Dakota back. However, the vehicle was not discontinued without a reason. But, there was no year without rumors about the comeback. Now, with the revival of the market for mid-size pickups, the speculations are even louder. Plus, FCA has shown the intention to pair the full-size Ram 1500 with a smaller sibling. This leads us to the next question – will there be the 2022 Dodge Dakota, or the truck is about to wear the Ram badge? Fans still call Ram models Dodge Ram. So, this is just finesse.
Another thing why we can think of 2022 Dakota as the realistic option is announced moving Durango from a unibody platform to a ladder frame. This one can be shared with a new truck. Besides that, FCA launched a new model in South America and a few other markets. Can we see Dakota after Ram 700?
Which Engines the 2022 Dodge Dakota Can Use?
FCA is climbing up the pecking order in the US automotive market. Well, the company holds some of the best-known nameplates, including Jeep, Dodge Ram, and Chrysler. But, what makes the FCA vehicles so special is a wide choice of powertrains. The mid-size truck won’t have problems finding the best configuration. Most truckers expect a V6 from such a vehicle. The Pentastar 3.6-liter displacement is a proven and durable unit that can provide up to 300 hp. It will make the 2022 Dodge Dakota more than competitive. Expect the towing capacity to reach 7,000 pounds. Only a few pickups can top that. The class leader is Chevy Colorado with a diesel unit (7,700 lbs).
Still, the base engine will be one of the four-cylinder powertrains. A 2.4-liter Tigershark mill is capable of producing 180 hp and 175 lb-ft. This will be the setup for these drivers who love trucks but don’t need them to haul big loads. The smaller displacement is going to save a lot of fuel compared to the V6.
There are two more possibilities. A turbo-four will enhance the driving experience. But, that’s all. Still, with 270 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque, it is worth of consideration. A 3.2-liter V6 is an outgoing engine and experts doubt it will be part of the lineup for the 2022 Dodge Dakota. But, the FCA might offer something different than the Jeep Gladiator.
What Will Dodge Lineup Look Like in the Future?
This was used to be one of the most popular badges. But, times change and nowadays, there are only a few Dodge vehicles in the market. Definitely, the most popular is the Durango SUV. But, compared to the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the mid-size model coming from the same manufacturer, it underperforms. Dodge Charger and Challenger are famous muscle cars. However, it is SUV-time. The Journey is a mid-size SUV that does not sell well and many rumors are claiming it will be discontinued soon. Finally, Dodge is delivering Grand Caravan minivan. We can also hear that the legendary Cuda might be back as well.
2022 Dodge Dakota vs Jeep Gladiator
The main question is why FCA would launch another truck. The company recently introduced the Jeep Gladiator. For a long time, we knew the manufacturer is ready for this move. However, no one knew what name the truck would carry. Similarities with Wrangler SUV are obvious and the FCA might need a pickup with fresh styling. That is why the 2022 Dodge Dakota is needed.
It won’t be the first time there are two vehicles by the same carmaker in the same class. We already mentioned Durango and Grand Cherokee. Now, the Dodge SUV might move to the body-on-frame architecture, and we expect the same from Durango. The main difference between Dakota and Gladiator will be in styling. But, we could see some modifications under the hood. For example, the upcoming truck is not going to use a big 3.0-liter turbodiesel unit. Also, a 3.2-liter might be a refreshment compared to a 3.6-liter V6, as well as the turbo and naturally-aspirated four-pot mills.
When Will 2022 Dodge Dakota be Available?
Some say now or never. The situation is almost perfect for this kind of vehicle – the market was growing and the company is one of the most trusted. But, the COVID-19 pandemic is putting the question mark above every new project and release. After things calm down, fans could hear more news about Dakota’s comeback.