Looking for a truck? If you haven't already selected the pickup you want, you may be confused about which style and size is right for you. So we've listed a few helpful tips about choosing a cab size to make things easier when buying a truck.

The Three Choices 

It's first important to explain the three common cab choices available on many modern trucks. The most basic is called "regular cab," and it usually consists of two or three seats in one single row. There's no rear seat and no rear doors, and typically the truck's window comes right behind the seats. 

There are also two larger cab varieties. Most trucks offer an "extended cab" configuration, which boasts smaller seats in back and, in many cases, small doors behind the front doors that open to provide rear-seat access. The most expensive -- and most practical -- variety is called "crew cab," which offers four full-sized doors and two rows of seats. 

Regular Cab Limitations 

Each of the three pickup cab styles has various pros and cons. The regular cab style, for example, is the least expensive of the three, but it comes at the price of practicality. Can you be sure you'll never want to carry someone else in your truck? As pickups are being used less often on farms and in rural areas, and more commonly as daily drivers in towns and cities, most shoppers want extra seats just in case. So only opt for regular cab if you're a commercial shopper or planning to own your truck for a long time. Extended and crew cab body styles will be favored when it comes time to sell. 

Extended vs. Crew 

If you're looking for a truck that can seat the whole family, you'll want to go with an extended cab or crew cab model. But how do you decide which is best? 

One thing to consider is how big you want your truck to be. Many pickups don't offer their longest bed in crew cab guise, as most crew cab shoppers aren't looking for the practicality of a huge bed. Trucks that offer both a crew cab and a full-size bed are extremely long and, as a result, hard to maneuver. 

Once you've considered size, the next important question is just how often your family and friends will be riding with you. Back seats aren't huge in most extended cab pickups, which means you may want to consider a crew cab if you have passengers frequently. If you're only getting a larger cab for some enclosed storage space, an extended cab will likely work just fine. 

You'll also want to consider a truck's cost. Extended cab pickups are often several thousand dollars less expensive than crew cab models. But it's not all about the upfront cost, as crew cabs will likely have better resale value. The result is that a little more money spent initially may result in a little more cash in your pocket when the time comes to sell. 

Test Drive 

While our advice is intended to provide general help to shoppers interested in buying a truck, you may find your own experiences are a little different. For example, you may find an extended cab truck has just enough space for your family and friends, or that a crew cab with incentives isn't any more expensive than an extended cab. That's why we recommend test-driving the model you want and searching for the best deals before signing the papers on any new truck.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

Related Articles & Car Reviews

Find Cars for sale near you:

Research by Vehicle Type

  • Commercial
  • Convertible
  • Coupe
  • Hatchback
  • Hybrid
  • Luxury
  • Sedan
  • SUV
  • Truck
  • Van/Minivan
  • Wagon

Shopping Tools