Crew Cab versus Extended Cab

by Cam MerrittUpdated July 11, 2023
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When considering a pickup truck, it's important to understand the differences between various cab styles. Full-size and compact pickup models often offer rear-seat options with different configurations. This article focuses on the distinctions between crew cab trucks and extended cab trucks, highlighting their identification, size, appearance, seating capacity, and considerations for bed sizes. By understanding these factors, buyers can make informed decisions when selecting the most suitable cab style for their needs.

Identification of Cab Styles

Truck manufacturers utilize different terminology to describe their cab styles. Chevrolet uses "extended cab" and "crew cab" for the Silverado, while Dodge refers to the shorter version as "quad cab" and the longer version as "crew cab." Ford employs "SuperCab" for the shorter variant and "SuperCrew" for the longer version of the F-150. Toyota uses "double cab" for the short version and "CrewMax" for the long version of the Tundra. Nissan offers the Frontier exclusively with rear seats, using "king cab" for the short variant and "crew cab" for the long variant.

Note:‌ Rear-seat pickups usually come in two cab sizes, a short version and a long version. In the Chevy Silverado, the shorter cab is the extended cab, while the crew cab is the full-size option. The Dodge Ram uses the term “quad cab” to refer to its short version and “crew cab” for the longer version. The Ford F-150's shorter version is the “SuperCab” and the long version is the “SuperCrew.” On the Toyota Tundra, it's “double cab” for the short and “CrewMax” for the long. The Nissan Frontier is unusual in that it's available only with a rear seat; there's no regular cab. The Frontier's short version is the “king cab,” and the long is the “crew cab.”

Size and Passenger Room

The primary distinction between an extended cab and a crew cab lies in the amount of space available for rear-seat passengers. For example, the 2010 Silverado 1500 offered 41.3 inches of legroom for front-seat passengers, while the extended cab provided only 34.3 inches. In contrast, the crew cab offered a more spacious 38.7 inches. Similarly, the Ford F-150's SuperCab provided 33.7 inches of legroom in the back seat, while the SuperCrew boasted 43.5 inches for rear passengers, surpassing even the driver's legroom.

Appearance and Design

Looking at a Silverado Extended Cab pickup and a crew cab pickup next to each other, it's easy to tell one from the other. The crew cab is visibly longer, while the rear doors of a crew cab closely resemble the front doors, opening in the same direction. On the other hand, extended cab trucks feature smaller rear doors hinged at the rear, opening in the opposite direction. Other truck models may have front-hinged doors but remain smaller in size.

Capacity and Truck Bed Sizes

Truck manufacturers typically specify the same seating capacity for both long and short rear-seat cabs, which is often six people. However, opting for a longer cab style may lead to a reduction in bed size. For instance, the Chevrolet Silverado extended cab model and base model offer 6.5-foot or 8-foot beds, while the crew cab variant features a smaller 5.75-foot bed. Similarly, the Ram quad cab includes a standard 6-foot-4-inch bed, but the crew cab version offers a shorter 5-foot-7-inch bed.

Considerations for Work Trucks and Towing Capacity

When selecting a cab style, it's essential to consider its impact on the truck’s overall dimensions, towing capacity and truck bed utilization, especially for work-related purposes. Regular cab trucks provide a single row of seating and prioritize maximum truck bed space, making them ideal for hauling cargo. Crew cab and extended cab pickup trucks, on the other hand, offer additional seating in the second row, sacrificing some truck bed length but providing versatility for carrying both passengers and cargo.

Note:‌ Longer cab configurations may require sacrificing bed space due to design constraints. It's essential to assess individual needs, such as towing requirements and cargo capacity, to make an informed decision about the ideal cab style.

Differentiating between crew cab and extended cab trucks involves understanding their size, passenger room, appearance, seating capacity, and impact on bed sizes. By considering factors like towing needs, headroom, and cargo space requirements, buyers can select the most suitable cab style. Visiting a reputable dealership and exploring various models, such as the GMC Sierra, Ram 1500, or Toyota Tacoma, will provide further insights into standard cab, extended cab, and crew cab configurations. By making an informed choice, customers can acquire a new truck that meets their specific preferences and work-related demands.

Video: Extended versus Crew Cab

Helpful comments from the video:

  • Thanks for the informative review of cab sizes in terms of leg room!
  • Excellent explanation aptly shown for the full cab range.
  • This video was extremely helpful. Great job.

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