FCA is again on the mid-size truck market. Jeep has a pickup after 30 years. But, the Gladiator is not what we expected. With a V6 turbodiesel engine, it is more like the full-size model. When the FCA announced specs and size of the Jeep’s truck, we knew something was left for the upcoming years. Soon, the information leaked – the company is working on the 2021 Ram Dakota mid-size truck. Definitely, the truckmaker needs a competitor in this class. Ford Ranger is back, and Hyundai Santa Cruz is another new player in the segment. FCA must catch up with Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma as well.
The interest in mid-size segment models dropped a few years ago. Now, the class is popular again. If Ford decided to come back to this market, then you can be sure it is profitable. Probably the major threat is coming from versatile and capable SUVs. Some of them are using V8 engines and can tow more than trucks. But, the 2021 Ram Dakota will be a specialized truck for working and off-road duties. So, it is the main advantage over the large SUVs. But, with new models on the market, we will see how much interest can draw each of them.
Dodge Dakota or Ram Dakota
There is a battle of nameplates in the family. Yes, we still consider the Ram lineup as Dodge Ram. But, these are definitely Rams. So, the new Dakota is hiding behind the horns. The old Dodge was discontinued in 2011 after the sales went down due to the economic crisis. Now, the FCA is ready to bring it back to the market.
We are pretty sure the 2021 Ram Dakota will carry a 3.6-liter V6 engine as the main choice. The company will also offer a four-pot unit. But, if we look at other trucks in the same segment, we will notice that V6 is way more popular. The famous Pentastar unit is capable to produce 295 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. 8-speed automatic transmission is mated to this powertrain. Buyers will have a choice between the RWD and AWD. The towing capacity of this engine and truck will be around 7,000 pounds.
A 2.4-liter four-cylinder is an alternative. It offers another choice for buyers who look for the more budget-friendly truck. Advantages are the initial price and the cost of maintenance, as well as the fuel economy. Lack of power and towing capacity are downsides. A 4-cylinder engine is delivering 180 hp and 170 lb-ft. Another option could be a 3.2-liter V6 with 270 hp and 240 pound-feet of torque.
2021 Ram Dakota vs Jeep Gladiator
The new Jeep Gladiator is coming as the mid-size model for 2020 season. But, the new pickup is larger than the models currently on this market. A Pentastar unit is the main power source, while the truck also offers a 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine. With 250 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, it is obvious the Gladiator is not the standard mid-size model. We can say it is between this and a full-size class. So, the 2021 Ram Dakota will take the vacant spot in the mid-size category.
But then, the FCA will have two similar trucks. So what? General Motors is offering two same models called GM Twins – Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon. Still, Jeep Gladiator is stronger and larger, with better off-road capabilities. Dakota will be a classic mid-size model.
READ MORE: 2020 Jeep Gladiator Launch Edition
2021 Ram Dakota Price
The cost of the 2021 Ram Dakota depends on the engine. If the inline-four is going to be part of the lineup, the most affordable truck could cost around $22,000. That is a price we expect for this kind of pickup (mid-size, four-cylinder engine, regular cab). The V6 will boost the price for at least $3,000. Again, the new Dakota will have a chance on the market with such MSRP.