Dodge hasn’t built a midsize truck in over a decade, ceding the market almost entirely to the Toyota Tacoma. Now Ford’s back with the Ranger and compact Maverick. GM’s got the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon twins. Stellantis has taken noticed and is reportedly considering showing a new midsize truck model to dealers early next year. But what could it be?
Our clues come from this Automotive News piece, which doesn’t go in much for speculation but does provide a few helpful hints:
Randy Dye, chairman of the Stellantis National Dealer Council, said a smaller Ram entry couldn’t just be a shrunken version of the 1500. He thinks the audience for a midsize truck would be younger and have different expectations.
Ok, so not a tiny Ram 1500.
A new midsize Ram “would be a little more youthful version of our truck,” Dye said. “Obviously, there’s going to be some luxury associated with it. I think it’s going to be more about being sporty and being youthful.”
The article makes it clear that the Jeep Gladiator will remain the Jeep Gladiator, so a rebadged version of that is probably off the table. What are some of the best options? Here’s what I’m thinking makes the most sense.
Just Build A Version Of The Mitsubishi L200/Triton
Throughout its long history, the Dodge midsize truck has pretty much always been associated with Mitsubishi in some form. In the ’70s and ’80s the Dodge D-50 and Plymouth Arrow were based on the Mitsubishi L200 platform. The most recent Dakota was based on the Dodge Durango and spawned a US-only version called the Mitsubishi Raider (A name used before that for the Mitsubishi-based Dodge SUV).
The most recent Mitsubishi midsizer was actually co-developed by then-Fiat Chrysler and sold in some markets as the Ram 1200. It makes a lot of sense to just continue this and build a US-spec version of the same platform. This is essentially what Ford and GM did initially in reworking the global models (mostly Thai) for the United States.
Because of the Chicken Tax, the trucks would likely have to be built somewhere in North America, but Chrysler has options.
Just Build A Version Of The Ram 700 Subcompact
The Ram 700 looks fantastic. It’s based on the global Fiat Strada platform and it’s one of the most thoughtful and attractive designs to come out of Italy in a while. I love it. They already sell the thing in Mexico so it’s not a stretch to think of Stellantis shifting production there to serve all of North America.
This is barely a midsizer and may be considered more of a minitruck in the vein of the Ford Maverick. If this were to be brought to the United States the biggest issue to overcome would not be its size (it’s 176 inches long, which is about a foot shorter than either the Santa Cruz or Maverick), though that’s worth noting. The issue is power. Should they sell a truck in Texas that only has 86 horsepower? Absolutely. Will they? Absolutely not.
This is the kind of truck autojournalists beg for and I’d cheer for it, though I don’t see it happening.
Build Something From Scratch On The Grand Cherokee Platform
The fifth-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, known as the WL, is an attractive platform for building a larger-than-Fiat truck. A two-door mini Ram would be awesome, but most trucks these days are four-door affairs. The Jeep comes with a lot of power options that are consistent with Ram’s usual offerings and is truck-y enough.
And don’t forget, the Grand Cherokee is built here in the United States so there are no tariff concerns.
What Are Your Ideas?
Stellantis has options. A lot of options. A Peugeot-based truck? Why not! I’d love to hear what you think below.
All photos Stellantis/Mitsubishi