2018 Dodge Dakota: The Dodge Is Back
In 2000, Dodge sold 177,395 Dakota’s for the year, move forward to 2011 and just 12,156 left the showrooms – the market didn’t just shrink, the bottom fell out.
What makes Dodge feel that the time is right to bring it back? For a start, America loves a truck, always has, always will, but with everyone leaning toward protecting the environment, the smaller trucks are finding favor again – people want the practicality of a truck, without the gas-guzzling nature of V8 monster that could tow the world and still have room in the cargo-bay.
2018 Dodge Dakota: Fact-VS-Fiction
|Contents||Truth be told, little official information exists about the new Dakota – we don’t mean about the specs, but whether the truck is actually going to make it to production. Industry insiders tell us that it will, and if speculation is anything to go-by, it would be a popular move for Dodge – we also feel that the time is right for a comeback.
However, Dodge do need to make it sensible – the original Dakota was the first midsize pickup to offer a V8 engine choice – we definitely don’t need that nowadays.
Also, despite being classed as midsize, it was always bigger than its competition like the Ford Ranger and Chevrolet S-10. When (if?) it comes back, the designers should take a lesson from some of their counterparts at other manufacturers like Honda; smaller doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Speaking of smaller; many sites are quoting that the new 2018 Dakota will be listing for ‘around the $60,000 mark’ – this is nonsense.
When it was last produced, it listed between $23,210 - $33,635, but that was a few years ago. Given that it’s going to be going head-to-head with the likes of the Honda Ridgeline ($30,415), the price is going to have to compete, this means a price in the region of $30,000 – half of what is being claimed by these other ‘expert’ sites.
Again, there’s plenty of speculation regarding the power-train; diesel, V8, 5-speed manual transmission … about the only thing that seems to be somewhere near the truth is that we’ll have (at least) a 3.7 liter V6 engine. We’d expect to see power levels in the region of 240 BHP and a multi-speed automatic transmission fitted – it’s the only viable method of encouraging good gas mileage, and that is super-important – not just to the buyers, but to the legislators as well.
Forget about 5-speed manual transmission – never gonna happen.
We have also heard a whisper that there may be some sort of hybrid technology being introduced a little further in to the production schedule, but we haven’t been able to confirm that – whether it’s true remains to be seen, but it would make sense for Dodge to incorporate a hybrid in to the line-up.
2018 Dodge Dakota Style Conscious
We also know that the bodywork will have some form of aerodynamic styling. Admittedly, a truck will never have the drag-coefficient of a Bugatti Veyron, but every manufacturer needs to improve their overall gas mileage, as a commercial car-maker.
Even putting legislation aside, with a hotly contested segment, why would you choose something that only returned sub 20’s in the miles-per-gallon department? You wouldn’t.
The interior is going to be well-appointed and spacious. Dodge need to create a ‘want’ for the new Dakota – yes, the market is recovering, but for those that stuck at it, they already have the market covered – Dodge need to take sales away from another manufacturer, which is never an easy thing to do.
It’s expected that the base, entry-level model will be pretty utilitarian on the inside – not all fancy leather and wood trimmings, but those options will be available as extras – we know that there will be at least three different trims available.
Expect to see the usual array of technology (depending on trim or budget): adaptive cruise control, pre-collision, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear-view camera, maybe even automatic emergency braking – like we said – Dodge need to take customers from other brands, expect to see the Dakota being offered with plenty of toys.
Despite Dodge remaining very tight-lipped about the new 2018 Dodge Dakota, we think that it’s going to debut at one of the larger auto shows this year – mid-year is likely and gives Dodge time to hit the showrooms in time for 2018.
Expect a national roll-out in the fourth-quarter of 2017, just in time to make it as a 2018 Model Year.