2018 Dodge Dakota Might Come Back As Badge-Engineered Fiat


There are plenty of rumors about Dodge Dakota successor, coming back in 2018. Most speculation articles described the comeback of the old design, forget about the FCA strategy of sharing platforms and engineering resources.

We provide two different views – if the successor is released in the nearest future and the reasons why it might be just a rumor.

If it will be released

Imagine that FCA bosses decide to bring one more model of a pickup truck into US market. We already have brutal Ram trucks here, so there should be something more compact than Ram 1500. So, there could be two options – bring Fiat Fullback, which is actually a rebadged Mitsubishi L200 (what a mess!) or new Fiat Toro made for the Brazilian market.

Fiat rebadged

The second option is way more likely, due to the fact that this stylish-looking pickup truck is based on US Wide FCA platform, used in 2nd generation Compass and Renegade, as well as in Fiat 500X.

The car is fresh, debuted in 2016, with a great looking styling and high-quality interior – that’s a perfect base for 2018 Dodge Dakota. Furthermore, Toro has the unibody design, good option to compete with Honda Ridgeline, for instance – another lightweight unibody truck.

The 2018 Dodge Dakota design might be slightly changed – we might see X-shaped Dodge-style grille, new badges (of course), and some minor tweaks to the front and rear lights.

Considering powertrain range, it’s all even more blurred. In Brazil, the truck has either 2-liter turbodiesel (170 HP) or 2.4 16V gasoline engine (4 cylinders, 186 HP) with turbocharging. We don’t expect diesel engine even in plans, so it could be three options: standard 2.4, turbo 2.4 and 3.6 Pentastar V6 engine like in Ram trucks. The gearbox is likely to be 9-speed ZF automatic without any choice.

2018 Dodge Dakota Release date and price

For Dodge Dakota 2018 release date, we could name Q2 2018, or further. The price should be lower than for Ridgeline for winning a competition. In Brazil, the car costs 28 thousands USD for basic trim, while the US car might be around $25,000 for initial trim.

Reasons why it won’t be released

But why FCA could decide to bring Dakota back? There is already a good choice of Ram trucks to almost any customer. What is more, mid-size pickup trucks (especially unibody ones) are not so popular – that is why many manufacturers, like Ford with its Ranger, ceased the US-sales.
Another reason is economical. FCA and Chrysler/Dodge, in particular, has a tough time, with the sales declining. That is why they discontinued compact cars, such as Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200.

Introduction of all-new niche car (or import it from Brazil) might cause more economic troubles to the manufacturer.

One more reason is rumors about all-new Jeep Wrangler-based pickup, which is promised to be released pretty soon. Jeep has a way better reputation, a huge army of fans, so future Gladiator (or simply Wrangler pickup) could be way more successful that probable 2018 Dodge Dakota.

One way or another, we will see in the future.

What’s Hot