What are the differences in pickup cockpits?
One of the really cool things about pickup trucks is the wide variety of brands and models (past and present) that are currently on the road, or even parked in garages and barns, waiting to become project builds.
Trucks vary in size, drivetrain, suspension, levels of capability, and many other qualities. However, one component—the cab—is something that, despite being available in four styles, is unanimously common to all pickups.
"Cab" is the short-form term for a truck's cabin or interior area, which includes seating and vehicle controls for the driver, as well as passenger seats and occasionally area for storage. It's the Command Center, so to speak. The point from which a rig is typically operated, and where whatever creature comforts it has are enjoyed.
We have often heard people ask what the differences are between truck cabs. Well, the configuration possibilities actually are very simple. Regular/Standard, Extended, Double, and Crew, are the four basic cab setups, which, from a passenger-capacity perspective, escalate in size from small to large. Although we open this report with a shot of a radical custom Toyota, multi-door (more than four) trucks are not included in this rundown.
The names manufacturers give these rigs is the main cause for confusion (especially where Quad cab is a style, yet Ram uses Quad cab for its Extended-, and Crew-cab trucks). This quick breakdown pickup truck cabs, with photos, will help you better understand the differences.
Pickup Truck Cabs
The OG of pickup cabs! Standard ("Regular" in late-model parlance) cabs are the two-door cockpits that date back 1896, the year Gottleib Daimler's first truck was introduced to the world. In addition to a driver, and provided there is seating to support it, regular-cab rigs typically can accommodate two additional passengers. Other than a glovebox, the small area behind the seatback is the only storage space available in a regular cab.
Today, people are quick to call four-door pickup trucks "crew cab." As we explain elsewhere in this report, the tag does not apply to all of them, especially when Extended-cab rigs must be considered. Extended cabs do have four doors. However, their back doors are rear-hinged (like "suicide doors" on an old Lincoln Continental), and open backwards...after the door in front of it is opened. Extended-cab pickups have very limited seating/storage behind the driver/front-passenger area. It's OK for small children, but most adults probably can't sustain taking a long ride in the rear section of an extended cab.
Here are manufacturers' names for popular Extended-cab pickup trucks:
GM: Double Cab, Extended Cab
Dodge Ram: Quad Cab
Nissan: King Cab
Toyota: Access Cab/Tacoma, Double Cab/Tundra
This is a style where the naming tends to get confused. Double cabs are sometimes called Quad cabs. GM calls its Extended-cab rigs Double cabs. For this instance, a "Double cab" is a truck that seats six people, and actually has four doors that open normally. However, the rear doors typically are smaller than the truck's front doors. A Double-cab's interior space is greatly improved over an Extended cab's, yet the truck's overall length remains the same.
Here are manufacturers' names for popular Double-cab pickup trucks:
Toyota: Double Cab
The biggest cab confusion comes in this area, as Crew cabs and Quad cabs seem to always be referred to incorrectly (especially for Ram rigs). Yes, the two are nearly identical and both seat six. But, rear doors are larger (full size) on Crew cabs, and there is more space in the rear-passenger area.
Here are manufacturers' names for popular Crew-cab pickup trucks:
Ram: Quad Cab
Nissan: Crew Cab
Toyota: Double Cab/Tacoma, CrewMax/Tundra
Gargantuan Crew-cab pickups are referred to as Extended Crew cabs. Ram currently offers this style, the Mega Cab, which features a super-sized interior, and additional storage behind the rear seats.
Extended Crew Cab