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The pickup truck was at first only popular with farmers, tradespeople, and those who needed a sturdy vehicle that could handle the demands of their professions. Over the years, pickup trucks gained widespread popularity and became the vehicle of choice for many families and individuals. To cater to a now diverse market, vehicle manufacturers designed newer, more versatile trucks that can accommodate more passengers and cargo. 

Even though vehicle manufacturers have different names for their truck cab sizes, pickup trucks can be divided into three broad categories according to their cab configurations. These are the extended cab, crew cab, and regular cab. If you’re looking to buy a new truck, you’ll want to know which cab style suits your needs. In this guide, we’ll try to break down each cab style’s features, advantages, and disadvantages to help you decide.

pickup truck cabs
Pickup trucks can be divided into three broad categories according to their cab configurations: regular cab, extended cab, and crew cab.

What Is a Regular Cab Pickup Truck?

A regular cab truck, also called a standard cab, is the best choice for those who don’t plan on transporting more than two people at a time. It’s also a great work vehicle because of its towing and hauling capabilities.

What Is an Extended Cab Pickup Truck?

The extended cab provides a safe storage space for fragile items, such as books, pottery, and electronics with its second row of seats that also acts as a storage or cargo space. This style is great if you want a personal or family vehicle with extra space for more passengers or cargo inside the cab itself. An extended cab truck is also perfect for people looking for a larger vehicle but don’t want an SUV or minivan. 

What Is a Crew Cab Truck?

Crew cab trucks are larger than both extended and regular cab trucks. In fact, they can comfortably seat up to five or six people. Because of their extra seating space and size, crew cabs are more expensive than regular and extended cab trucks. 

crew cab
Crew cab trucks are larger than both extended and regular cab trucks, and can comfortably seat up to five or six people.

Features of an Extended Cab vs. Crew Cab vs. Regular Cab 

While extended, crew, and regular cabs are broad categories, there are a few features that are commonly found in these types of trucks. Here’s a quick rundown of each cab type’s features:

Regular Cab Extended Cab Crew Cab
Row of Seats 1 row 2 rows 2 rows
Seating Capacity 2-3 people 5-6 people 5-6 people
Doors/Accessibility 2 full-sized doors 2 full-sized doors
(+2 suicide doors)
4 full-sized doors
Windows 2 main windows and
1 rear window
2 main windows and
1 rear window
(+2 small windows)
4 main windows and
1 rear window
Extra Seats No Yes Yes
Extra Storage No Yes Yes

Which Truck Cab Type Should I Buy?

If you’re planning on buying an extended cab, crew cab, or a regular cab truck, you need to consider your needs and examine the advantages and disadvantages of each cab type. Here’s a list of each cab configuration’s pros and cons:

regular cab
A regular cab truck is also called a standard cab.

Regular Cab

Regular cab trucks are excellent work trucks that can seat up to three people. The passenger cabin doesn’t take up too much space, so one can maximize the use of the entire truck bed for equipment, tools, and other important things. Regular cab trucks are also known for the comfortable amount of headroom and legroom they have. Overall, regular cabs are perfect for tradespeople, single drivers, and young couples. 

Unfortunately, regular cab trucks can only accommodate a limited number of passengers. In addition, if you have fragile items that can’t be placed in the truck bed, you might not be able to store them inside the cab, especially if you already have a couple of passengers in the truck with you.

Extended Cab

As previously mentioned, extended cab trucks provide extra space for fragile items and can seat more people than regular cab trucks. This makes extended cabs more versatile and flexible than regular cabs. They also come in a variety of bed sizes and are typically more affordable than crew cabs.

On the downside, the second row of seats on extended cabs can only be accessed by folding down the front seats, unless they come with their own suicide doors. Accessibility can be a problem for other passengers.

extended truck cab
An extended cab truck is also perfect for people looking for a larger vehicle but don’t want an SUV or minivan. 

Crew Cab

Crew cabs are the largest among the three cab types and can seat up to five or six people. This makes them the most comfortable vehicle choice for families and people who regularly transport several people. In some cases, larger crew cabs can sometimes have extra space behind the second row of seats for additional cargo.

However, despite these advantages, crew cab trucks are typically more expensive than extended cab and regular cab trucks. They also generally have shorter beds.

Aside from your transportation and space needs, budget is also a huge factor in choosing a truck cab style. If you’re looking for a workhorse truck, regular cabs are your best choice. If you want a truck that can transport you and your family on the day to day, a crew cab will work just fine. If you want the best of both worlds—large, versatile cab space and a variety of truck bed options—then the extended cab is your best choice.

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