Home » Which Of These Should Be Ram’s New Midsize Pickup?

Which Of These Should Be Ram’s New Midsize Pickup?

Raml200

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

Raml200orangeThroughout 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

RamfiatThe 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

Jeep TruckThe 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

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit

74 Responses

  1. I’m going to be “that guy” and go out on a limb and posit that Dodge won’t actually build one. No matter what segment they go for (Maverick/Santa Cruz or Ranger/Colorado/Tacoma spaces), they’ll be entering into crowded waters for the number of prospective buyers exist within those segments. Yessss, Ford is having trouble building enough Maverick’s to meet demand, but that’s due in large part to the still existent parts shortages. Santa Cruz sells ok, but isn’t lighting the market on fire. Dodge- as a brand, can not afford to take any more L’s. They certainly can’t afford to completely design a new build, and of all the options shown above that are likely to be enhanced for our American tastes and styles, they’re rather underwhelming options.

    I don’t personally see anything coming from Dodge any time soon for this area of the market. Also, I’d be amazed if Dodge and/or Ram is still a brand in 10 years. The writing has been on the wall for a long time that they’re on SUUUUPER shaky ground, and the fact that they’re not jumping on clear opportunities to bring something- anything, to market in a new segment is a telling sign that management knows that there’s no point.

    1. Posting 2 days after the fact because I still had this window open on my work PC.

      You’re not wrong about them probably not building one. They’ve been sitting on the Rampage trademark since 2017, lots of concept art, but no physical model much less something they’re willing to sell within the States.
      That said, I do think there’s a market. The 3-4 ford dealers around me refuse to stock any Maverick’s, preferring the F-150 for its high margins. Tacoma’s are slightly easier to find, but from what I’ve heard you still get nudged towards the Tundra. I think there’s a segment of young professionals fresh out of college or trade school that want/need a truck but don’t want a 50k truck. There just needs to be a company willing to target them.

  2. For it to sell and compete with the Ford Maverick, it cannot be based on the Grand Cherokee or the Mitsu L200… being based on either of those would make it too big and expensive and not be much more fuel efficient than a base V6 Ram 1500.

    Also, the Ram 700 won’t cut it either as it’s an old design on an outdated platform

    No… what is needed is a pickup truck based on one of their new/current small car platforms… just like how the Maverick is based on the C2 platform that underpins the Escape and Focus.

    So in the Stellantis world, the best choice would be the platform that the Jeep Compass, Alfa Toenail and Dodge Hornet is based on:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCCS_platform#Small_Wide_4%C3%974_LWB

    And I say make it a 4 door small bed truck like the Maverick, with the mild hybrid the standard powertrain and a more powerful full plug-in hybrid optional. For the top end model, use a derivative of the 4xe system used on other Jeeps.

    Plus that platform and those powertrains have been around for a few years and have been produced in volume… which means the development costs have been at least partially amortized. And that’s important if we want Ram’s small-to-midsize truck to be *affordable* like the Maverick.

    And it should get meaningfully better fuel economy than a Ram 1500.

Leave a Reply