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You Can’t Buy a Single Cab Midsize Truck Anymore

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.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Single cabs are a big compromise for small trucks. My first vehicle was a 1993 Mazda B2200 and I tried very hard to find an extended cab before giving up and buying a single cab/short bed.

    The interior space in a small/medium single cab truck is basically just enough for 2-3 people and whatever you can jam in the glovebox or under the bench seat. When you have an extended cab, you have a lot more interior storage that’s more secure than the bed, making it attractive for consumers and business owners because they can store high value items in the cab rather than in the bed.
    Modern mid size pickups only need two cab sizes: 2 door/2 passenger extended cab with maybe 12″ of extra space behind the seats for storage, and then a full 4 door/5 passenger crew cab.
  2. I get it from a business standpoint.  There’s not a market for midsize two door pickups.  Corporate customers have too many other options with fullsize pickups and the better “city” vans that are available now.  

    I personally love the idea of a two door fullsize pickup but I also like my new Honda Accord so I’m not in the mass market.
    I still find it odd that Jeep wouldn’t make a 2 door Gladiator.  Feels like that would have fit on one of the Wrangler wheel bases without much extra engineering.  I mean we all know the two door Wrangler isn’t the volume seller that the 4 door is but they offer it for the purists.  Seems like they would offer  a low volume model for the purists.  That might be the wrinkle, maybe the Gladiator isn’t aimed at Jeep purists.

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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