Dodge Dakota car model. Performance, engine and transmission.

Those who remember the Dodge Dakota pickup truck, will be pleased to learn that Ram is preparing a new midsize pickup vehicle with the Dakota moniker. This new vehicle, which is expected to debut later this year, will be less expensive and smaller than the half-ton Ram 1500.

Dodge Dakota Car Model
Dodge Dakota Car Model

While it may share certain components with its bigger sister, we believe it will be mostly based on the Jeep Gladiator, which made our 2020 list after its launch.

The Dakota will also fight against the freshly resurrected Ford Ranger, as well as midsize truck options such as the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Toyota Tacoma. Here’s all we know so far about the 2022 Ram Dakota as we wait for further information.

What’s new in the year 2022?

What's new in the year 2022?
What’s new in the year 2022?

Though concrete details regarding the impending Dakota are still limited, we assume it will either be closely connected to the Gladiator and constructed alongside it in Toledo, Ohio, or it will be based on a smaller version of the half-ton Ram’s chassis and built at Ram’s Saltillo facility. (Both rumors have been spread.)

Pricing and choosing a purchase

Pricing and choosing a purchase
Pricing and choosing a purchase

The Dakota’s price and trim levels have yet to be announced by Ram. We believe it will have a lower starting price than the Gladiator, which is presently $35,040. Starting at roughly $26,000, it would be competitive with important competitors like the Ranger and Colorado.

We don’t know which trim levels or prices will be available, but if the model structure from the bigger 1500 truck can be used as a guide, a mid-range SLT or Laramie model will likely give the greatest combination of amenities and cost.

Performance, engine and transmission

Performance, engine, and transmission
Performance, engine, and transmission

The Dakota’s engine choices are quite clear, whether it’s a reduced version of the Ram 1500 or a rebodied Gladiator. While a V-8 seems unlikely, the 3.6-liter V-6 found across Fiat Chrysler’s range is a safe assumption. It’ll most likely come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive.

The brand’s newly debuted diesel 3.0-liter V-6 engine, which produces 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, is another possible engine choice. The Dakota will very certainly feature an off-road option to compete with its mid-size competitors. A Rebel trim level might have a more rugged exterior, beefier suspension, underbody skid plates, and knobblier tires.

Capacity for towing and payload

Capacity for towing and payload
Capacity for towing and payload

The Dakota could tow up to 7650 pounds and carry up to 1600 pounds in its cargo bed, based on the Gladiator’s towing and payload specifications. These maximums are likely to vary as the business releases more information, but the ratings for the mid-size Ram should be in the same ballpark.

Real-World MPG and fuel economy

The EPA and Ram have not issued any figures for the Dakota’s fuel economy. We’ll be able to assess the mid-size pickup truck’s real-world mpg after its city and highway ratings are made public and we’ve had a chance to drive it on our 200-mile highway route.

Cargo, interior and comfort

cargo, interior, and comfort
cargo, interior, and comfort

We expect the Dakota’s interior to be comparable to that of the Ram 1500, albeit it will most likely fall short of that truck’s opulent standards. Nonetheless, the smaller pickup should come with a long list of standard and optional features.

Heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, wireless charging, and other features are likely to be included.

A crew cab will very certainly be available, as well as a smaller extended cab. Apart from the Honda Ridgeline, even the roomiest mid-size trucks don’t have especially big rear seats, so we doubt the Dakota will be any different.

It should also have both short and long cargo beds, and we expect Ram to pack every model with a variety of clever storage options.

Connectivity and infotainment

Connectivity and infotainment
Connectivity and infotainment

While the Ram 1500 has a large vertically oriented 12.0-inch touchscreen, we’re not sure whether it will be shared with the Dakota in 2022. We expect the mid-size truck to come with an 8.4-inch touchscreen at the very least.

The company’s outstanding Uconnect system is now available on a variety of different models, and it includes useful features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Base models will most likely have a more basic configuration, but should still have the functions listed above.

Driver Assistance and Safety Features

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have not crash tested the 2022 Dakota (IIHS). It will most likely come with a variety of driver aid features, both standard and optional.

Adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, and other technologies should be on the list.

Coverage for warranty and maintenance

Coverage for warranty and maintenance
Coverage for warranty and maintenance

In comparison to its mid-size competitors, the Dakota will have an average limited and powertrain warranty. The Canyon, Colorado, and Tacoma all come with free maintenance, something the Ram brand presently does not provide.

Three years or 36,000 miles are covered under the limited warranty.
A five-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranty is included.
There is no free planned maintenance.

Conclusions:

Dodge stopped manufacturing the Dakota after the 2011 model year. Chrysler had previously suggested a smaller unibody pickup truck, but the future of any such project, as well as the Dakota name, is uncertain.

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