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Pickup trucks used to be so simple; there was a cab with two seats or a bench, and a bed. Gradually, the uses for pickup trucks increased, and car manufacturers started making pickup trucks bigger and with more versatility. Now you can get pickup trucks in a range of sizes, including different cab sizes as well as bed sizes. What do all the names mean? What is the difference between an extended cab and a crew cab, and how do you know which one is right for you?

A black 2022 Toyota Tundra with an extended cab parked at a desert.
2022 Toyota Tundra extended cab | Toyota

What is an extended cab?

Extended cabs are, as the name suggests, larger than a standard cab. Extended cabs do have seats behind the driver and passenger front seats, but they’re not as easily as accessible as in a larger truck. In an extended cab, you can reach the extra seating by moving the front seats forward. 

Some extended cabs do have ‘rear’ doors which allow access to those back seats. These are smaller doors which Car and Driver says are called ‘suicide doors.’ They say that pickup trucks with these kinds of seats are good for families who don’t want an SUV or a minivan.

The other benefit of a pickup truck with an extended cab is that you can carry valuable things in the cab. If you don’t want to put something in the bed of a truck, you have the option of transporting it safely in the cab of your pickup truck. 

What is a crew cab?

A crew cab is similar to an extended cab in the sense that they are both larger versions of a traditional pickup truck. The difference between an extended cab and a crew cab pickup is that a crew cab is even larger. 

A crew cab can seat up to six people, depending on the configuration of your truck. Crew cab trucks tend to have four full doors, rather than the smaller doors of an extended cab. There is often also more legroom and cabin space. A crew cab pickup is longer than an extended cab truck, and it’s much longer than a traditional pickup. As you might expect, a crew cab is generally more expensive than an extended cab pickup. 

What’s better, a crew cab or extended cab?

Whether an extended cab or a crew cab pickup is better depends on your needs. An extended cab can fit a family and tote some important things that you don’t want to put in the bed of your truck. A crew cab can do this as well, but it offers more space, which may be desirable if it’s going to be your family’s primary mode of transportation.

A crew cab pickup may also be a better choice for you if ou plan on regularly accessing the rear seats. Having four full doors instead of just two doors or two regular doors and two smaller doors can mean that it’s easier to get into the back seats. If you’ll be using the back seat often, you might prefer the flexibility that a crew cab offers. 

Of course the pickup truck that you ultimately choose will also probably depend partly on your budget. When choosing between an extended cab and a crew cab pickup, you should consider your needs as well as budget. Although the extended cab is more versatile than a regular pickup, the crew cab gives you even more options. Either of these types of pickups could work, depending on your specific situation. 


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