The small pickup truck market is reviving. After 2018 – a year of the full-size segment and 2019 is going to be stolen by heavy-duty class, from 2020 we will see more from the smallest tier. Existing models are already preparing changes. Well, we can say that trigger was a comeback of the Ford Ranger. Now, with the major company in the game, all others want the share of the market. As one of the leading truck makers, FCA will develop its vehicle. Yes, there is Jeep Gladiator, a brand-new pickup. But, the company needs more like a 2020 Dodge Dakota.
This pickup truck will be a rebadged version of the Fiat Fullback. This model is not available in the US, but it is very popular in other markets. Well, it reminds buyers on American pickups. Now, the shell of the Fullback and the heart of Jeep Gladiator could make the perfect combination to fight Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado, and Toyota Tacoma. Also, with class-leading numbers, Scrambler could be the high-end offer, while Dakota is about to be the entry-level version.
2020 Dodge Dakota Platform
There are a lot of rumors about the 2020 Dodge Dakota. Well, no official word is coming from the company. On the other hand, some speculations are claiming they found some clues from leaking sources. The new truck will definitely take the place in the mid-size segment. But, with the latest information from the SUV segment, we are wondering if the new Dakota could be built on the unibody platform?
Well, Dodge Durango is heading into the new generation. The SUV will use body-on-frame architecture from 2021. It will leave more space for Jeep Grand Cherokee. Dodge Dakota 2020 could use the same concept and become the second sporty-oriented pickup in the US market, after Honda Ridgeline.
Well, the BoF truck is already there. The 2020 Jeep Scrambler would be the one that is using such a platform. Making another pickup with the same architecture, but with a different body, makes no difference. Well, GM is doing that with its twins (Chevy and GMC trucks and SUVs). So, 2020 Dodge Dakota could be nearly the same truck as the Scrambler, but with different look and badging. But, the platform and all major parts are going to be the same.
2020 Dodge Dakota Engines
The new Scrambler is going to use petrol and diesel engines. The gasoline one is a 3.6-liter Pentastar unit with an output of 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The mill sends power to either 6-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic transmission (buyer’s choice). The most important detail is towing capacity. The petrol unit is good for 7,000 pounds. It is on par with Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado with a V6 engine. But, it is still 700 pounds behind Colorado’s diesel version.
It is not likely to see the 2020 Dodge Dakota with a diesel engine. Its stablemate, Jeep Scrambler will use the same unit a Ram 1500 diesel is exploiting. It is n EcoDiesel turbo engine with the capability to create 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. This is too much for a mid-size segment.
The new Dakota could rather turn to some four-cylinder engine. By that, the price will be lower and the truck would make an easier breakthrough on the market. Finally, it is cheaper for maintenance. On the other hand, towing capacity will drop and 2020 Dakota won’t go after the off-road version that will fight Chevy Colorado ZR2, Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, and Ford Ranger Raptor pickups.
Even if engineers opt for a smaller diesel unit, the 2020 Dodge Dakota won’t be able to reach 7,700 pounds of towing capacity. However, a 2.2-liter four-pot could bring advantages of the diesel configuration. The engine is not going to boost only towing capability, but also the fuel economy. So, a 200 hp and 330 lb-ft rated unit could be an interesting addition for the Dodge Dakota 2020.
2020 Dodge Dakota Configurations
The upcoming 2020 Dodge Dakota will get similar options as its closest siblings – Fiat Fullback and Jeep Gladiator. Well, the Fullback is available only in a four-door version. Gladiator has the same layout, but we are sure that Jeep is going to update the offer with a two-door model. What’s more, buyers will choose between standard and extended bed. Gladiator is offering a convertible top, and there is no way for Dodge Dakota to get anything similar anywhere among trim levels.
The infotainment system is going to be a highlight of the interior. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard for Gladiator. So, why these services wouldn’t be there for 2020 Dodge Dakota? Furthermore, the infotainment also offers voice commands, and upper trim levels will have navigation and premium audio. A touchscreen display and multi-functional steering wheel are the places where most commands are coming from.
Features such as rear-view camera and leather seats are optional. These will be available at higher trim levels. Power seats with cooling, fog lamps, and other upgrades are available above the base models.
2020 Dodge Dakota Expectations and Price
If the 2020 Dodge Dakota gets a four-cylinder engine, its price is not going to be between $20,000 and $22,000. That will make Dakota one of the cheapest trucks in the market, right after Nissan Frontier. Whatsoever, this is clearly not going to be the main choice of any buyer. Truckers love power and towing capacity. That means the V6 model will be the more popular unit. In this case, the price will start closer to $27,000.
The main question now, with the Jeep truck in the market, is who is going to buy the 2020 Dodge Dakota? Well, Gladiator is a powerful truck and it is offering only V6 and turbodiesel engines. So, Dakota is going to be the downsized version in the mid-size segment. With a lower price, it will definitely attract more buyers. This truck used to be pretty popular, but the economic crisis didn’t spare it. Right after the discontinuation in 2011 fans started to ask about the return, and it seems like the time has finally arrived.