10 Ways The New Ram Dakota Could Outclass The Toyota Tacoma (2024)

The 2020s have seen a few fallen icons like the Ford Bronco, Chevy Blazer and Toyota Supra make a welcome comeback. Dodge discontinued the Dakota in 2011 before Ram became an independent brand. However, the Dakota continues to enjoy a revered status among many pickup truck enthusiasts, making it a prime candidate for revival. Now, rumors of the Ram Dakota's return have been circulating for a while, and Stellantis intends to introduce a fresh midsize truck into Ram's growing line-up.

Ram debuted with the Ram 1500, which has remained a tremendous success in the full-size truck segment. Ram has revealed the 2024 Rampage for the Brazilian market, but they have not officially announced the Dakota. Reviving the classic Dakota nameplate as a smaller Ram 1500 for the American market will capitalize on its popularity and offer Stellantis a capable entry into the resurging midsize truck segment with increasingly popular rivals like the Hyundai Santa Cruz and the Ford Maverick. But, if or when the Dakota finally shows up, it will face off with the newly revitalized 2024 Toyota Tacoma, currently the best-selling midsize pickup. Here's how Ram can ensure the Dakota outclasses the new Toyota Tacoma.

We have assembled a list of ways the speculated Ram Dakota truck can outclass the Toyota Tacoma and added interesting data using information from reputable sources, including Ram Trucks, Motor Trend, EPA, and Consumer Reports.

10 The New Dakota Will Outshine The Tacoma With Enhanced Off-Road Equipment

The all-new Tacoma brings many new goodies with design elements from the bigger Toyota Tundra and Sequoia siblings. Buyers will also have access to eight trims, including the TRD Off-Road and Trailhunter, which come ready for serious trail-hunting expeditions.

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A new Dakota should offer a trim, highly equipped for off-road adventures to usurp the Tacoma. Ram could offer features like superior ground clearance, better approach and departure angles, advanced adaptive suspensions, and specialized tires. Also, basing the Dakota on the Jeep Gladiator platform could give it a competitive edge off the beaten path against the Tacoma.

Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road Trim Specs

  • 11 inches of Ground clearance
  • 33.8-degree approach and 23.5-degree break over, and 25.7 departure angles
  • TRD wheels With optional 33-inch tires
  • Skid plates
  • Rear Locking differential
  • Multi-Terrain Select
  • Bilstein shocks

9 The New Dakota Should Offer More Powerful Engine Options Than The Tacoma

10 Ways The New Ram Dakota Could Outclass The Toyota Tacoma (1)

In light of new emission regulations, Toyota ditches the 3.5-liter V6 engine for the new Tacoma and uses a turbo four-cylinder hybrid engine. The i-FORCE MAX hybrid combines the power of a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with an eight-speed transmission, integrating a 48-hp electric motor.

The Tacoma outputs 326 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque, almost doubling the current Tacoma's V6 engine. Ram can grab the lead over Toyota by offering the Dakota with Stellantis' new high-output Hurricane motor as one of the powertrain options. The 3-liter twin-turbo straight-six engine achieves a V8 rivaling output of 510 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque.

Range-Topping Engine Specs

Tacoma Pro


i-FORCE MAX 2.4-liter cylinder hybrid


326 hp


465 lb-ft

8 The New Ram Dakota Should Feature A More Spacious Cabin

10 Ways The New Ram Dakota Could Outclass The Toyota Tacoma (2)

Full-size pickup trucks, such as the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500, and GMC Sierra, typically provide ample interior space for front and rear passengers, with comfortable seating and generous legroom and headroom. Midsize trucks might have slightly less space than their full-size counterparts, but still provide reasonably spacious cabins.

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Modern midsize trucks have significantly improved cabin design and space utilization, offering comfortable seating and adequate room for passengers. So, through innovative design, the Dakota can provide a more spacious cabin feel with clever storage cubbies and carry-on space inside.

7 The New Dakota Can Beat The Tacoma If It Offers Better Payload Capacity

10 Ways The New Ram Dakota Could Outclass The Toyota Tacoma (3)

Several pickup trucks offer clever cargo bed designs that provide innovative and convenient features to enhance storage and functionality. The Honda Ridgeline stands out with its unique dual-action tailgate. It can swing open to the side like a door or fold down like a conventional tailgate, providing easier access to the bed and facilitating loading and unloading.

Ram can offer the Dakota with the optional RamBox cargo management system provided with the Ram 1500. It offers integrated, lockable storage compartments built into the sides of the truck bed. Also, they can try to provide more payload capacity than the 1,685 lbs offered by the Tacoma.

Tacoma Cargo Bed And Payload Figures

Bed Options

5-foot or 6ft-2-inches

Maximum Payload Capacity

1,685 lbs

Notable Bed Features

Composite bed liner, power-folding tailgate, a deck rail with adjustable tie-down points

6 The New Dakota Should Offer Better Towing Capacity

The ability of a vehicle to pull or haul a trailer, boat, camper, or other heavy loads is one of the primary purposes for which many people buy a truck. It allows them to transport various types of cargo and use it for work or outdoor recreation. The type of engine of the truck and towing equipment package dictates the size of load a truck can haul. Toyota claims the 2024 Tacoma can tow up to 6,500 lbs with the gas i-Force engine.

The Tacoma falls behind other midsize trucks like the Jeep Gladiator, Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, and the Dakota can capitalize on this by providing class-leading towing capacity.

Midsize Trucks Towing Capacity

2023 Honda Ridgeline

5,000 lbs

2023 Nissan Frontier

6,720 lbs

2023 Ford Ranger

7,500 lbs

2023 Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon

7,700 lbs

2023 Jeep Gladiator

7,700 lbs

2024 Toyota Tacoma

6,500 lbs

5 The New Dakota Will Surpass The Tacoma With Cutting-Edge Tech Features

10 Ways The New Ram Dakota Could Outclass The Toyota Tacoma (4)

The automotive industry is one of the most progressive in terms of technology, and these advancements have infiltrated every segment, including pickup trucks, which traditionally favored a bare and utilitarian approach. Modern trucks come equipped with a wide range of advanced technology, enhancing convenience, safety, and overall driving experience. The 2024 Tacoma comes standard with many safety and assistive technology like the Toyota Safety Sense 3.0. The Dakota could borrow from its Ram 1500 sibling, which features an impressive array of technology and safety features.

Toyota Tacoma Standard Safety Features Which The Dakota Can Improve Upon

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Lane Tracing and Road Sign Assists
  • Automatic high beams
  • Proactive Driving Assist (optional)

4 The New Dakota Should Offer More Interior Comfort And Luxury

10 Ways The New Ram Dakota Could Outclass The Toyota Tacoma (5)

Many people speculate that the Dakota will bring features not offered elsewhere in the midsize truck market but available in the more expensive full-size trucks like the Ram 1500. Ram should offer the Dakota with several trim levels from the basic to off-road focused and range-topping models, providing an unmatched level of luxury that outclasses the GMC Canyon in the segment.

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Toyota will offer the Tacoma with seats that incorporate a shock absorber system to stabilize the driver's view, improve driver focus comfort, and reduce fatigue, which now leaves the ball in Ram's court to do one better.

3 The New Dakota Should Offer A Wider Ranger Of Customization Options

10 Ways The New Ram Dakota Could Outclass The Toyota Tacoma (6)

Customization options allow room for tailored functionality, individual style and expression, improved performance, enhanced comfort and convenience and adaptability to changing needs. While the Tacoma has up to eight trim levels and endless customization options, it only offers two powertrain options. Ram has a history of providing many personalization options for their vehicles, and the Dakota could follow suit and beat the Tacoma by offering a wider range of powertrain options, from the frugal to the powerful.

2 The New Dakota Could Beat The Tacoma If It Proves More Fuel Efficient

Toyota's downgrade to inline-four engines will likely improve on the 18 mpg combined from the current V6-powered model with a manual transmission. The new hybrid motor has already seen application in the Lexus RX500h, providing 27 mpg combined, and the Tacoma will return similar figures. This leaves the Dakota with the enormous task of offering better gas mileage on the Tacoma.

The best possible outcome is offering a less powerful but frugal engine option for buyers who aren't too keen on the high performance of a Hurricane motor. For instance, they could deploy a version of the Stellantis 1.6-liter inline-four turbocharged unit that is currently in development.

Midsize Trucks Combined Fuel Economy

2023 GMC Canyon

22 mpg

Honda Ridgeline

21 mpg

Jeep Gladiator

24 mpg

Hyundai Santa Fe

24 mpg

1 The New Dakota Should Offer More Competitive Pricing Than The Tacoma

10 Ways The New Ram Dakota Could Outclass The Toyota Tacoma (7)

Price is a significant factor for many people when buying cars and can often be a deal-breaker. Midsize trucks have an advantage in this regard, because they offer a more affordable option to their full-size siblings. If Ram manages to offer the Dakota at a competitive starting price point compared to the Tacoma, it could attract customers looking for a capable midsize truck but are conscious of their budget.

Midsize Pickup Truck Starting MSRP

2024 Toyota Tacoma

$28,000 est.

2023 Hyundai Santa Fe


2023 Honda Ridgeline


2023 GMC Canyon


2023 Jeep Gladiator


10 Ways The New Ram Dakota Could Outclass The Toyota Tacoma (2024)


Why are Rams the best trucks? ›

With its comfortable interior, convenient options, exceptional capability, and advanced technology, it's easy to see why the Ram 1500 offers more value than ever before.

Will there be a 2024 Ram Dakota? ›

The 2024 Ram Dakota is making a comeback! Just like the Dodge Dakota of yore, this all-new model will be a midsize truck.

Is Ram the number one truck? ›

November 17, 2022 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - U.S. News & World Report has named the Ram brand the Best Truck Brand for 2023, led by the most awarded truck ever – the Ram 1500. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Ram brand has earned this prestigious award.

Which truck is the longest lasting? ›

RankModel% Chance of Lasting 250,000+ Miles
1Ford F-350 Super Duty49.1%
2Toyota Tundra47.9%
3Ford F-250 Super Duty43.6%
4Toyota Tacoma41.7%
6 more rows
Mar 21, 2024

Do RAM trucks break down a lot? ›

Ram Trucks are reliable because they are built to be tough. They're made with a rigid frame, body panels and suspension that can handle the harsh conditions of off-road driving. Ram Trucks are also known for their durability, which is why many owner reviews praise the truck's reliability and longevity.

How much will the Ram Dakota cost? ›

Ram hasn't announced any details about the upcoming Dakota, but we expect it to be competitively priced, perhaps starting around $26,000. A 2024 Ram Dakota is looking increasingly likely! But we have to wait until we hear the official word from Ram before we know for sure when this midsize truck will hit the streets.

What is the gas mileage on a 2024 Ram Dakota? ›

Combined with 2WD and an eight-speed automatic transmission, this engine can deliver an EPA-estimated 20/25 MPG (City/Highway). With 4WD, it has an EPA-estimated MPG of 19/24 (City/Highway).

Why did Ram discontinue the Dakota? ›

The Dodge Dakota actually existed for two years after the transition as the Ram Dakota before being finally axed without a replacement in 2011 due to dwindling sales, lack of development of anything resembling a replacement (the closest we maybe got was the 2006 Rampage concept truck), and a toughening business case.

Are Ram trucks better than Fords? ›

Both the 2024 Ram 1500 and 2023 Ford F-150 are exceptionally comfortable full-size pickups, but the edge goes to the Ram. It has a larger second row for backseat occupant comfort, and it rides less harshly than the F-150 does. The Ram also offers nicer touchpoints and materials in its lower trims.

What is the #1 truck brand? ›

Ford F-

How long do Tacoma V6 engines last? ›

How many miles/kilometers does this usually happen at? With proper care and regular maintenance, it is not uncommon for a Toyota Tacoma engine to last well over 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) or more. Some Tacoma owners said their engines lasting even beyond 300,000 miles (480,000 kilometers) with no major issues.

Will the 2024 Tacoma be bigger? ›

Truck Build and Bed Sizes

The 2023 Tacoma beds are made with high-strength materials. For 2024, there's a bigger bed with a lighter aluminum tailgate. It's 7-percent bigger overall, allowing you to tuck much more under the tonneau cover. As before, 2024 Toyota Tacomas are either 5-foot or 6-foot varieties.

What engine is confirmed for the 2024 Tacoma? ›

Tacoma will provide customers with two robust and efficient powertrain options; both use a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Most grades will offer up to 278 horsepower and 317 lb. -ft. of torque when paired with the new eight-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with intelligence (ECT-i).

What is special about Rams? ›

The power and strength of rams are often depicted in nature films where they are seen butting heads in duels of strength. The horns of the ram are weapons, a form of defense and a status symbol. They grow throughout the life of the animal, eventually forming a full curl or spiral.

What is RAM trucks known for? ›

These trucks are known for their tough, durable design, advanced technology, and powerful performance, making them a favorite among truck enthusiasts and commercial users alike. Ram Trucks has a long and proud history of building rugged, dependable trucks that have become a staple of the American automotive industry.

Why Ram is better than Ford? ›

Both the 2024 Ram 1500 and 2023 Ford F-150 are exceptionally comfortable full-size pickups, but the edge goes to the Ram. It has a larger second row for backseat occupant comfort, and it rides less harshly than the F-150 does. The Ram also offers nicer touchpoints and materials in its lower trims.

Is the Dodge Ram a good truck to buy? ›

The Ram 1500 ranked third among large light-duty pickups in the J.D. Power 2021 Vehicle Dependability Study, while the F-150 did not make the list. Although the Ram 1500 can be more expensive than the Ford-150, it has numerous comfort and safety features that are included and the Ford F-150 doesn't.


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