Is the Ram Dakota Coming for the Ford Maverick?

Trucks are trending smaller, as made clear by the upcoming 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz and the compact Ford Maverick. Now Ram is getting involved with the 2022 Ram Dakota. But is this truck going after the Maverick or Ford Ranger? 

What we know about the 2022 Ram Dakota 

Back in the day, the Dodge Dakota was a mid-size truck used to compete against the Chevy Colorado until it was discontinued in 2011. The Ford Ranger was a compact truck that was recently revived as a new mid-size model. 

So, as Ram revives the Dakota, will it go smaller or bigger? Rumors suggest that the FCA is targeting a mid-size truck, as noted on the trademark application. So, the Ford Maverick can relax as the Ford Ranger may start feeling nervous about the new competition coming its way. 

2022 Ram Dakota features 

The 2022 Ram Dakota will most likely look like a mini Ram 1500 with similar styling aspects. These include the muscular appearance, wide trapezoidal grille, low color-coded bumpers, and tow hook recovery points. 

It will also probably have four doors, a shorter bed, LED lights in the front and back, a RAM box for additional storage, and chrome accents on the door handles, windows, around the grille, and more. 

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The Ram Dakota will have to incorporate features of the Ram 1500’s luxurious and beloved interior, including the 12” vertical infotainment center. Soft-touch materials will enhance the dash, and large leather bucket seats should cradle the driver and front passenger. However, there isn’t any information about how much passenger room or cargo space this truck will have yet. 

Ram Rebel TRX Concept parked in sand
Ram Rebel TRX Concept

Also, it’s safe to assume that convenience features will include a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated seats, a digital cluster display, storage under the seats, a Wifi hotspot, and the whole suite of safety and driver assistance features. 

2022 Ram Dakota Power 

We aren’t sure if the Ram Dakota will ride on the same platform as the Ram 1500 or Jeep Gladiator. Also, those platforms could be shortened to fit the Dakota. Either way, fans are expecting a powerful mid-size truck. 

2019 Ram 1500 Rebel driving on dirt road
2019 Ram 1500 Rebel | Ram

One of the engine options could include the 3.6-liter V6 engine paired with the 48V eTorque mild hybrid transmission that pumps out 305 horsepower. Also, the turbocharged RAM 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine would be impressive. 

This engine pumps out 260 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque and can tow up to 12,500 lb. It would also provide a mid-size truck with a diesel option as the Chevy Colorado recently dropped their diesel option. 

Also, to properly compete against rivals, it will need an off-roading version. The Ford Ranger Raptor is coming, the Chevy Colorado Bison is unmatched, and we can’t forget the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. 

A silver Ram 1500 on a dirt road climbs over the peak of a hill.
2020 Ram 1500 Rebel | FCA

Will we see a Ram Dakota Rebel? Or a Ram Dakota TRX? Also, if everything is getting a Hellcat, can we expect one of those as well? Would a smaller version be called the Hellkitten? There are so many unanswered questions, and unfortunately, we will have to wait to learn more.