Dakota is the legendary truck that was in production for 25 years. However, the mid-size pickup segment suffered from the economic crisis ten years ago, so the FCA discontinued this nameplate. Ever since fans are asking about the comeback. The manufacturer launched a new pickup, but as the Jeep Gladiator. It is not quite what we expected. The 2022 RAM Dakota is now more likely to happen. First of all, the company tested the market. Also, there is the Ram 700 compact model for the South American market. So, there is a willingness in developing fresh models.
The most important reason is the lack of a mid-size truck with the Ram badge. Last season, Ram 1500 was more popular than the legendary Chevy Silverado in the half-ton segment. The performance-oriented TRX Hellcat is already announced for 2021. The next step is a debut in the mid-size segment. There were some rumors about the comeback earlier, mentioning the Fiat Fullback is the base for the new 2022 RAM Dakota. However, the Italian truck is discontinued and the US pickup needs a way better platform if it wants to survive against Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado, and Nissan Frontier.
How Realistic the Comeback of the 2022 RAM Dakota Could Be?
Let’s start with the pros. The mid-size pickup market was in a tough position for some while. Well, the Dakota was discontinued because of slow sales. Even Ford revoked its Ranger from the US. The market started the recovery and we saw the comeback of the Blue Oval company to this segment, as well as the entrance of the Jeep truck after three decades. So, there are buyers.
Another reason is that Jeep Gladiator is more of the Wrangler truck. It is not the classic model that will be a rival to Chevrolet and Ford. The 2022 RAM Dakota will take that position, probably with a kind of a diesel engine. Still, there are a lot of interesting units in the mix and FCA could even go with a hybrid configuration.
Downsides: the cost of building and COVID-19 pandemic. The automotive industry was shocked with the virus outburst. It is recovering, but predictions are not good about new waves. The truck was supposed to join the lineup in 2021, but this spoiled everything. Now, even the 2022 RAM Dakota is under the question mark. Since the revenue is dropping, FCA will turn to safe bets, rather than new projects. Ram 1500 sells nicely, as well as the Grand Cherokee SUV. That is where the company is investing in 2021.
Of course, the competition is another question that can determine the future of the 2022 RAM Dakota. The company is already producing a mid-size truck. But, Dakota would be there with a new design, not like the Wrangler-based Gladiator. The best selling models in the segment are Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado. These two also offer off-road packages for extreme adventures. You won’t get wrong if you pick the Nissan Frontier or Ford Ranger. Other companies are also considering joining the battle. Korean companies, Kia and Hyundai, are out with concepts. German carmakers are about to bring luxury models, and if you want to feel a different driving impression, Honda Ridgeline is not using a ladder frame, but a unibody architecture for a sportier ride.
Find more news from the mid-size pickup truck market HERE
Engines and Specifications
There is no doubt that the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is going to be the main source of power for the 2022 RAM Dakota. The truck can count on nearly 300 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. Converted to towing capacity, the new Dakota will settle somewhere around 7,000 pounds. An eight-speed transmission is a power router that sends power to the rear axle or all wheels. The mid-size truck will probably offer a four-cylinder engine as an alternative. Still, this one is not going to be as popular as the V6.
We are more interested in a hybrid setup. Ram 1500 half-ton pickup uses the MHEV system, but it is not improving the outputs with some stunning results. Well, the full-size truck is going to be a lot heavier than Dakota and weight savings will help the small pickup save some gas. A diesel engine is also an option. But, FCA is criticized for using a huge 3.0-liter displacement in the Gladiator. This oil-burner is definitely not happening on the new 2022 Dakota.
How Much will 2022 RAM Dakota Cost?
The 2022 RAM Dakota is coming back next year, probably in the second half. The production will occur in Warren Assembly Plant, although the company plans to produce the new Grand Wagoneer there as well. The price of the mid-size model will be competitive, around $25,000 with a V6 engine. A four-pot will make the price go down, but that is just the marketing trick. High-end options are going to include the latest features and probably the brand-new Uconnect 5.0 infotainment system, which should debut by then.