How Does the New 2024 Ram Dakota Compare to the Old 2011 Dodge Dakota?

Midsize pickup trucks died down in popularity a few years ago, but that’s changing thanks to better engines that don’t guzzle as much gas. And consumers are begging for more. That’s why Ram is bringing back the Dakota after more than a decade. So, how does it compare to the 2011 Dodge Dakota, and what significant changes are coming? Here’s what we know about the 2024 Ram Dakota.

2011 Dodge Dakota overview

Ram Dakota Dodge Dakota truck
Ram logo | Artur Widak/NurPhoto

The 2011 Dodge Dakota had a standard 3.7-liter V6 engine producing 210 hp. For a little extra money, buyers could upgrade to a V8 harnessing 302 hp, which at the time was one of only a few midsize pickup trucks offering that kind of power. It was available with two- or four-wheel drive, which appealed to many drivers. And its max towing capacity was 7,250 pounds — impressive for a truck of this size, Cars.com reports. 

In addition, it offered seating for four. Although extended cabs are popular nowadays, some consumers disliked that the 2011 Dodge Dakota didn’t offer a regular cab. It had only an extended cab or a crew cab.

When Dodge announced the 2011 model would be the last Dakota, the news left truck enthusiasts disappointed. But that’s all about to change.

The Dakota is back

Since Dodge Ram split, Ram officially got custody of the truck division. That’s why the new Dakota doesn’t bear the Dodge name. That said, much of what we know, courtesy of Car and Driver, is mostly speculation, so info could change as new information trickles in.

Insiders strongly suspect the new 2024 Ram Dakota will have a lot in common with the Jeep Gladiator. The Dakota might also share some Ram 1500 characteristics.

As of this writing, there will be four trim levels: Tradesman, SLT, Laramie (which C/D recommends), and the Limited. The price range could hover around $26,000 to $34,000. If that proves true, the 2024 Dakota will be one of the most affordable new trucks.

C/D believes the new Dakota will offer a V8, which helped make the 2011 model so popular. But it should have a 3.0-liter V6.

The 2024 Ram Dakota will face stiff competition

Ram hasn’t announced an exact release date for the Dakota, but it will likely debut in late 2023. The pickup truck division is slowly picking up steam, so the Dakota will face tough competition. Rivals include the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Ford Ranger.

However, the 2024 Ram Dakota will offer two major benefits: One is nostalgia. For those who grew up riding in a Dakota, chances are high they’ll at least take a peek at the new model to see if it still holds up to its predecessors. 

The other plus is that the Dakota is new. Consumers tend to like new, shiny things, and being one of the only Dakota owners in your social circle will have an appeal all its own. We’ll have to wait and see what Ram delivers.

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