If you are in the market for a pickup truck, you know there are a multitude of configuration options that you need to choose from.
You must decide what engine you want, whether four-wheel drive is a must and you need to pick a bed size. You also need to know what size cab you are looking for, which leads you to ask – what’s the difference between an extended cab and crew cab pickup truck?
The extended cab and crew cab trucks vary by capacity, size, and size of the doors they have. There are also different bed options for each type of cab. Finally, the prices of the two trucks are going to vary slightly, with the extended cab generally being slightly cheaper.
In this guide, we evaluate the two truck bed configurations to help you decide which one is best for you. We also look at what the regular or standard cab has to offer.
What is an Extended Cab Truck?
The extended cab truck provides a midsize interior. It’s larger than the regular cab because it has another row of seats in the back. However, the extended cab is smaller than the crew cab and often doesn’t have full-size rear doors.
Most of the top brands offer the extended cab option. You can find this configuration with your favorite Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Chevy Silverado and more.
What is a Crew Cab Truck?
The crew cab truck provides the largest interior available. It’s a four-door truck with a full backseat. These trucks are designed for getting a job done but also ensure that there’s room for everyone to be comfortable.
As with the extended cab, you will find all of the top manufacturers offering a crew cab model. In fact, this is the most popular configuration.
Differences Between Extended vs. Crew Cab
The extended cab tends to be the midsize option between the regular and crew cab models. The interior is larger than the regular cab, but it is smaller than the crew. In general, the crew cab provides the largest interior you can find among the pickup truck lineup.
With that said, you must know that the extended cab isn’t always smaller overall than the crew cab. The total size depends on what cab is chosen combined with what bed is used. In some cases, the extended cab could be larger overall than the crew cab if a bigger bed is chosen.
Inside the extended cab truck, you will find a front and a back seat. Both of these generally have three seats, although the front may only hold two. Additionally, the crew cab model will feature two full rows with a capacity to hold up to six.
The difference between the two is how much room the passengers have. With the extended cab truck, there is a back seat, but it isn’t quite as roomy as the one found in a crew cab truck. If you are going to have a lot of regular passengers in your truck, you might do them a favor with the crew cab model instead.
The door configuration between the two trucks is different. With the extended cab truck, you will have a way to get to the back seat, but it won’t be through full-size doors. In some cases, you will need to fold down the front seats to access the back, while others have smaller suicide doors for quick access. However, there are a few models with larger back doors, although they still won’t be as large as those with a crew cab truck.
The crew cab truck includes full-size front and back doors. However, some of the doors can open opposite of the front doors.
The extended cab truck is going to have a smaller interior than the crew cab. If you put the same truck bed on it, the overall size will also be shorter. However, many companies will offer larger bed options with the smaller cab, giving you more capability for hauling. Most automakers assume that if you aren’t worried about passenger space, you are likely using the truck for work purposes.
Crew cabs feature the largest interior size. For this reason, most automakers offer the smaller truck bed sizes with this configuration. If you are focused on interior room for your passengers, it’s less likely that you are concerned with having a big bed for work purposes. Most automakers don’t offer the largest truck bed size with the crew cab simply because it would make the pickup too long overall. An excessively long pickup is hard to drive and maneuver.
In some cases, you can end up with a longer extended cab truck than a crew cab. It all depends on what size truck bed is chosen.
The extended cab is going to cost more than the regular cab, but it should be cheaper than the crew cab. However, the price depends on the options chosen, trim picked and the size of the truck bed. You could easily create a more expensive extended cab truck than the crew cab if you load it down with all of the options.
On the other hand, if you are merely shopping by price, you will be able to keep the price lower by starting with an extended cab configuration. Without the extra interior room and full-size doors, you can reduce the cost as much as possible.
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What is a Regular Cab?
The other option available with some trucks is to choose a regular cab configuration. This standard cab is the smallest interior option of all three. There are only two doors and you will find a front seat. There’s no back seat to hold passengers, so the capacity normally only reaches a maximum of three people.
The regular cab is normally only offered in the lower trim levels, while some manufacturers have chosen to get rid of the option entirely. However, the regular cab truck can almost always be outfitted with the largest bed size provided by the automaker, allowing for more hauling capability.
Regular Cab Advantages
The regular cab truck is going to be the lowest price when compared apples-to-apples. If you need to get tough jobs done but are limited on cash, you might opt for the regular cab. Because it only has one row of seats in the cab, it can include the largest truck bed possible without creating difficulty driving or maneuvering.
The regular cab truck also tends to offer the best payload ratings because there is less weight from the cab. If you are planning to haul heavy items, you might want to choose this configuration. The lighter weight can also increase fuel economy numbers when you aren’t hauling goods.
Regular Cab Disadvantages
The biggest disadvantage to having a regular cab truck is the lack of interior space. If you are only using it for work, this might not be a problem for you. Otherwise, the cramped interior and lack of a back seat can create problems if you want to take people with you.
It can also be difficult to find a regular cab truck, with automakers starting to move away from them. If you want the best balance between capability and passenger room, the extended cab might be a better option for you.