Last month, I was at the launch of the Jeep Gladiator, and the car journalists were doing the typical thing where they reminisce about how they liked the car market better how it “used to be,” before computers and automatic transmissions and, probably, unleaded fuel.
One of the complaints was about how extended- and crew cab pickup trucks have really taken off, and how some wished regular cab trucks would return. There were many questions for the Jeep people on hand about why Jeep had decided not to offer a single-cab variant of the Gladiator, and why it absolutely had to be a four door. The Jeep PR people graciously answered these questions by noting how 4-door trucks are a huge percentage of the market, but I’ve recently discovered a different answer: because single cab trucks no longer exist.
That’s a fact. You can no longer buy a midsize truck in a single cab configuration. Right now, there are six midsize trucks on the market — the Chevrolet Colorado, the Ford Ranger, the GMC Canyon, the Honda Ridgeline, the Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma, with the Gladiator on its way. And if you go on all of their online configurators, you will find that not one of them has any cab design smaller than an extended cab.
Now, admittedly, Jeep could’ve theoretically offered the Gladiator in an extended cab configuration, and not just a crew cab — but that’s not what the purists were complaining about. They wanted a single cab. The only problem, however, is that single cab midsize trucks literally do not exist anymore — and it would’ve been foolish for Jeep to chase after a market segment that other automakers have clearly decided isn’t worth pursuing.
So, the next time you see a Gladiator and you wonder to yourself why they didn’t make a single-cab version, remember that it isn’t just Jeep who made this decision — it’s every single midsize truck on the market today.