2021 Dodge Dakota Pickup Reviews Canada – Just a few years ago, the midsize-pickup-truck field was better suited to archaeologists than automotive enthusiasts, but now General Motors’ Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon doppelgängers share the road with Jeep’s Gladiator, the returned Ford Ranger, an updated Toyota Tacoma, and soon a Ram Dakota that might look something like this. Expected to arrive in 2020 for the 2021 model year, the upcoming Dakota might be exactly what you expect—or it could yet hold some surprises.
2021 Dodge Dakota Pickup Reviews Canada
Although details are still entirely speculative, some baseline expectations are likely to be met: a body-on-frame structure, a choice of gas or diesel V-6 or gas turbocharged four-cylinder engines, and a careful job of positioning around the Gladiator’s space in the market. That latter element might be the trickiest part of the Dakota’s development, as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles won’t want its two most profitable brands stepping on each other’s toes.
Given Jeep’s position as the off-roadiest brand in the FCA family, Ram should push the Dakota toward the more realistic, everyday uses most pickups actually get put to—think something more along the lines of Honda’s Ridgeline, minus the unibody construction and carlike driving demeanor. (Or, viewed from the other end, plus body-on-frame toughness and a satisfyingly trucklike driving demeanor.) FCA CEO Mike Manley has already stated the Gladiator and Dakota will have very different missions. To that end, the Ram is also likely to offer both single and quad cabs and both short and long boxes, where the Jeep is only available with four full doors and a short bed.
Threading the needle with the Dakota gets even harder when you consider the Ram Classic, the marque’s previous-gen pickup, is still on sale alongside the current Ram 1500. It will continue after the Dakota’s launch and was just updated to include a special-edition Warlock model.
Whatever the Dakota’s final form, it’s certain to meet a market recently repopulated with very strong competition. But given Ram’s distinctive styling, strong powertrain selection, and broad, often brand-loyal fan base among pickup buyers, we’re already stocking up on the popcorn.
Ram confirmed last year that it is working on a new mid-size pickup truck. We think it will be called the Dakota, a name last applied to a Dodge pickup in the mid-2000s. Now revived under the Ram truck brand, the 2021 Dakota is likely to be closely related to the Jeep Gladiator, but with a different mission to attract a broader slice of the truck market.
The new Gladiator, wearing standard four-wheel drive, a peel-off roof, and the coveted Jeep badge, starts at $35,040. A mid-size Ram gives parent company FCA a less expensive and more conventional pickup for buyers who need a truck, which is an entirely different set of folk from those who merely want a truck.
The Dakota will likely be built at the same Toledo Assembly Complex as the Gladiator and Wrangler, using a modified version of the former’s steel frame. Expect the Ram to drop the Gladiator’s live front axle in favor of an independent suspension.
FCA’s utility player, the Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6, is on deck, paired with an eight-speed automatic and either rear- or selectable four-wheel drive. If the powertrain lineup gets any broader than that, a gasoline-powered four-cylinder is more likely than a diesel.
The competition includes the usual suspects such as the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, Nissan Frontier, and Toyota Tacoma. Mediocrity won’t cut it in this increasingly crowded segment. If the Dakota is going to stand out, engineers will need to walk a tightrope to keep the price in check while developing a credible competitor. The Dakota will hit dealerships in late 2020 with a starting price in the mid-$20,000s.