Detroit’s Big Three automakers ditched their midsize trucks in the early 2010s, abandoning the segment to the Toyota Tacoma (and, to a lesser extent, the Nissan Frontier). But midsize trucks have come roaring back the past few years. While Chevy revived the Colorado and Ford brought back the Ranger, Ram has remained notably absent from the midsized category — but that seems about to change. A new midsize Ram truck was featured in FCA’s five-year plan back in 2018, and we may have just received our best evidence that said truck will arrive soon.
The natural name for the new Ram midsize truck would be to revive the old name of Dodge’s smaller pickup: Dakota. It’s well-known, meets the unofficial requirement that a midsize truck name be vaguely western (Tacoma, Frontier, Colorado, Ranger, Ridgeline), and perhaps most importantly, it’s the path of least resistance.
So we can’t say we were surprised to learn that, last week, FCA filed paperwork to trademark “Dakota” for use on vehicle parts and automotive exterior trim. A trademark does not automatically mean a name will be used; Ford likely doesn’t have a new massive Excursion SUV in the works. But Dakota seems like a solid bet for the truck name in this case.
While FCA already has the Jeep Gladiator in the segment, there is ample room for a Ram truck to carve out a separate niche. The Gladiator starts at $33,545 — more than $12,000 above the base Chevy Colorado — and can be optioned past $60K with ease. Ram’s Dakota could slot in at a cheaper price point for those looking for an affordable truck, a work truck, or perhaps a more road-going style truck.
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