When searching for a new truck, there are countless features, trim levels, and customizations to consider in your purchase. Towing capacity, fuel economy rating, engine output, and price are all considerations when purchasing. However, among the most important to consider is the cab size and cab style of the truck. While manufacturers utilize different names of cab sizes to set themselves apart, you are most likely to encounter the choice of crew cab, extended cab, or regular cab.
Choosing the right cab size for you all depends on your daily usage. Do you have a large family that needs transportation around town? Perhaps you are looking for a plain work truck to get the job done. No matter your usage needs, there is a cab size to suit all. Each cab style offers its unique positives and negatives. This article explains each cab configuration and covers the pros and cons of each cab style.
What is a Crew Cab?
Pickup trucks outfitted in the crew cab configuration are among the largest trucks in the full-size truck class. With size comes comfort, and most crew cab configured trucks are also among some of the highest trim levels offered by truck manufacturers. A crew cab truck offers four doors and two entire rows of seating. Crew cab pickup trucks can also be identified by having a shorter bed size than other trucks. The majority of the space provided by the truck is prioritized in making the cabin spacious and comfortable.
Examples of crew cab trucks that can be purchased new or used today are the Ram 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, GMC Canyon, Nissan Titan, Nissan Frontier, Chevy Colorado, and Chevy Silverado.
Advantages of Crew Cab
Crew cab configured pickup trucks are among the most common truck configurations on the market. Finding one that suits your needs at your local dealership is made more accessible. The crew cab configuration allows for more space and upscale amenities over other cab variants. Modern trucks are functional and comfortable, offering more of a car-like feel within the cabin, offering similar comfort and amenities. The crew cab configuration provides the most legroom and headroom of all the cab choices. The Ram 1500 is one of the highest-ranking trucks in today's market. A large portion of its rank is due to its luxurious interior.
Accessibility is a strong suit for the crew cab configuration. The rear doors provide easy access to the rear seats. Other cab configurations only offer rear-seat access through the front door, making it cumbersome to fit into the back seat. While the crew cab offers the most interior space of the cab configurations, the rear seats are generally smaller than the front row seats making it comfortable for children but not for adults on long journeys. Some crew cab trucks offer a functional folding rear row of seating, providing an area for cargo, groceries, or other items you do not want to place in the truck's bed.
Disadvantages of Crew Cab
While luxurious interiors and comfort are a significant perk for crew cab trucks, the larger cabin detracts overall length from the truck's bed. Regular cab trucks offer a truck bed of eight feet, while the crew cab typically only offers five feet. If you regularly utilize truck bed space for various items or outings, you would be better off with a cab configuration that provides the entire eight feet of truck bed length.
Luxurious interiors offering comfort and space also have a heftier price tag than other cab configured trucks. The crew cab is a bit more pricey compared to different truck configurations. Some truck manufacturers, such as Chevrolet, will not offer their highest trim levels without the crew cab configuration. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country can only be had in the crew cab configuration. More interior amenities and infotainment equipment make crew cab trucks heavier than other cab configurations, which means you burn more fuel when traveling.
Since crew cab trucks offer current infotainment and technology, they are more likely to retain a higher resell value than other cab configured trucks. New active safety systems and driver assistance features increase truck value. Still, the cab size can also expose the driver to a larger blind spot area.+
What is an Extended Cab?
Extended cab trucks are known as quad cabs by Dodge and king cabs by other truck manufacturers. The extended cab is the smaller option between the slightly larger double cab truck and the max capacity crew cab truck options. Extended cab trucks offer ample seating behind the first row. The back seats are accessible through a small rear door or sliding the front seats forward. The rear door makes getting in and out of an extended cab easier for the rear passengers by offering a hinge that swings in the opposite direction from the front doors.
Extended cabs offer either a bench seat or jump seats for the rear passengers. The backseat of an extended cab is not as comfortable as either the double cab or crew cab but offers just enough space to haul one or two more people. The extended cab variant essentially supersizes a regular cab truck adding practicality. While the rear seating is uncomfortable for adults, an extended cab could be an excellent option for consumers who would use the second row of seating for storage or bringing a pet along.
Examples of extended cab trucks are the Chevrolet Colorado, Ram 1500, and GMC Sierra 1500. Manufacturers that offer extended cab trucks but name them differently are the Ford F-150 Supercab or super crew, Toyota Tacoma access cab, and the Nissan Frontier King cab.
Advantages of an Extended Cab
The extended cab pickup truck offers versatility to transport families and haul and store things. Due to its cab size, extended cab trucks are offered with all bed sizes, including a long bed at eight feet long, a standard bed at six feet five inches long, and a short bed at five feet eight inches long. Having extra space for passengers and the choice of bed configuration makes the extended cab unique.
Extended cabs are generally less expensive than crew cab trucks making them more readily available to consumers on a limited budget. If you seek an extended cab truck, but they all fall beyond your budget, consider finding a used truck in the extended cab variation instead. Extended cabs can also be found in either two-door, three-door, or four-door configurations adding to their unique design.
Disadvantages of an Extended Cab
Extended cab trucks offer less cargo space than the crew cab configuration but more than the regular cab. The back windows on an extended cab are smaller than the back windows found in a crew cab truck, making it difficult for the driver to view their blind spot. The rear seats in an extended cab are cramped and not built for long drives or even the average size adult.
Consider your daily usage when debating what type of cab you want on your next truck. You want to be comfortable in any new truck you purchase and ensure it will work as hard as you need it to. Extended cabs are great trucks to test drive as they fall in the middle between regular cabs and crew cabs. Extended cabs are neither as luxurious as crew cabs nor as hardcore work trucks as regular cabs.
What is a Regular Cab?
The regular cab pickup truck, better known as the "standard cab," is the smallest cab size in the pickup truck segment. All manufacturers base their crew cab and extended cab variants on the regular cab. There are no bed or cab size additions, and the regular cab offers just two doors. Passenger space is minimal, with only one row of seating that only seats two to three passengers depending on the front seat style. Regular cabs offer either a bench seat or bucket seat style front row and are an excellent choice for single drivers, young couples without children, or best used as a work truck.
Manufacturers generally only offer the regular cab on lower limited trim levels. At the same time, some manufactures have gotten rid of regular cabs altogether, such as those found with the Toyota Tundra; companies like Chevrolet continue to offer them on their flagship Silverado 1500 models.
Advantages of a Regular Cab
Regular cab pickup trucks offer the lowest entry-level pricing of all the cab styles across all manufacturers. Regular cabs are typically outfitted with a standard length cargo bed but can be equipped with any truck bed. With only a front row of seating available, the regular cab takes advantage of this space by providing ample legroom and headroom for the driver and passenger. The regular cab pickup trucks also offer great towing capacity and hauling capability. While the crew cab configuration may be the most popular choice for consumers in the market for a truck, the regular cab offers an excellent format for those utilizing it as a work truck. Regular cab trucks tend to be slightly lighter than their extended cab or crew cab counterparts, offering a slightly better fuel economy ratio.
Disadvantages of a Regular Cab
The regular cab size is the smallest cab size available on any pickup truck. Space is minimal, and there is no rear seating. The regular cab is equipped with only two doors with the rear window directly behind the driver and passenger. Regular cab trucks are more difficult to find, either new or used. Due to the automotive market's increase of interest in the extended and crew cab configurations, manufactures have limited or wholly discontinued regular cab trucks.
Understanding what cab style suits you best is essential before you purchase your next truck, whether you are buying new or used. Below are some of the main differences outlined in this article between crew cab, extended cab, and regular cab pickup trucks.
Crew cabs are more extended and broader than other cab styles.
Crew cabs are designed to transport families and other family-related toys, including boats, RVs, and four-wheelers.
Crew cabs offer the best in interior cabin luxury and comfort but are generally equipped with a smaller truck bed
Extended cabs provide two rows of seating with three seats each, offering more interior room for passenger comfort
Extended cabs are compatible with all truck bed sizes
Extended cabs are offered with three different door configurations providing a bespoke design
Regular cabs have no back doors and no rear seating
Regular cabs are limited in space but provide a comfortable ride for driver and single passenger
Regular-cab models generally do not have additional windows, only the windshield, door windows, and rear cab windows.
When deciding which cab style is best for you, first determine your daily usage. If you have a large family and will eventually need the space to haul passengers, crew cab or extended cab trucks are what you need. If you are looking for a truck that can perform work tasks and wrap you in comfort while driving, the crew cab configuration is best.