The Ram Dakota Might Dethrone the Ford Maverick

A significant comeback could be on the way for the Ram Dakota. The new Ram Dakota could serve as a midsize alternative to the Jeep Gladiator, which would be exciting. However, it could also become a compact option to fight the 2022 Ford Maverick. 

What to expect with the new Ram Dakota 

2022 Ram 700 on a black and white back ground
The Ram Dakota could be based on the Ram 700 | Ram

According to MotorTrend, Mike Koval shared that there are eight new Ram pickup trucks on the way, and one of them might be the midsize Ram Dakota. Koval shared that the midsize pickup truck segment is growing, and Ram needs to get in the game. 

The full-size Ram 1500 EV will ride on the new STLA Frame that will underpin all massive body-on-frame vehicles. This includes ICE vehicles and new electric options. However, Koval mentioned that the STLA platform is too big for the midsize truck. 

This could indicate that the Dakota will be a compact option like the Maverick. Also, rumors suggest that the midsize truck could have a unibody construction. Currently, the Honda Ridgeline is the only midsize unibody truck. 

Both the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz ride on unibody platforms. But the Santa Cruz can tow up to 5,000 lbs, and the Maverick can carry a payload of up to 1,500 lbs, putting them on par with midsize options. 

Will the Dakota be built for off-roading? 

We’re still waiting to learn more clues about the Ram Dakota. However, current rumors suggest that it will be more of a lifestyle truck than a hardcore off-roader. But don’t give up hope. An off-roading trim could emerge. 

Currently, the Jeep Gladiator is available for those who want a midsize truck for off-roading. It rides on the JT architecture but has hardpoints designed for a live front axle. This is perfect for slow-speed off-roading adventures such as rock crawling. 

But it comes at the expense of comfort and ride quality on the road. The Ram 1500 is known for having one of the smoothest rides and quietest interiors available. So the baby Dakota probably needs to continue that trend. 

Also, critics often complain about the bumpy ride quality of the Ford Maverick. If the new Dakota is smoother and more comfortable, it would be a major competitor. The Hyundai Santa Cruz reportedly have better on-road manners, but people just aren’t as interested. 

So, Ram needs a different platform for the Dakota. The Maverick got its platform from the Ford Escape, and the Santa Cruz rides on the Hyundai Tucson platform. Isn’t there a smaller Stellantis platform available? 

Will the Dakota be like the Ram 700? 

2021 Fiat Strada/Ram 700
2021 Fiat Strada/Ram 700 | Stellantis

It’s possible that the Ram Dakota could borrow from the Ram 700. The Ram 700 is small ute sold in Mexico, but it hasn’t made its way into the United States. However, it might not be able to meet the higher emission standards in America. 

Plus, it’s a little weak for Americans. The Ram 700 pumps out 98 hp and 94 lb-ft of torque. The Ford Maverick provides 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. The Dakota needs to either match or surpass these figures. 

But the Ram 700 can carry a payload of up to 1,653 lbs, which is pretty impressive. The Dakota is only one of the potential new trucks out of eight. Stellantis has a lot in the works, and we can’t wait to learn more.

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