Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) competes successfully in the thriving U.S. pickup-truck market with its Ram brand, spun off from Dodge in 2010. Until last year, however, FCA offered nothing in the midsize segment, having discontinued the Dakota after the 2011 model year. Four years later, General Motors brought out a much-improved Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, and Ford reintroduced the Ranger in 2019. Honda, Nissan and Toyota, meanwhile, were producing the Ridgeline, Frontier and Tacoma, respectively. FCA judged it was time to make a splash in the midsize-truck sector.
And what a splash it was. Rather than taking on the Colorado, Ranger and the rest with a revived Dakota, FCA looked to its Jeep brand. Jeep had built midsize pickup trucks under various nameplates and designs from the mid-1940s until 1985, when the last Comanche — based on the old Cherokee — rolled off the assembly line.