What Is a Crew Cab?

Wondering what sets a crew cab truck apart? Learn why it's more than just having four doors.


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You decided on a full size truck and now comes the question: what is a crew cab? If you're asking this question, then you are in the market for a larger truck with more space, seating, and storage than any of the other options. It is also likely that you're looking for more premium features on the interior of your vehicle. Let's look deeper at what a crew cab is, glance at the differences between double cab vs crew cab, and discuss how the space is configured.


What is a Crew Cab?

Simply defined, a crew cab truck is the largest vehicle in the truck segment with four doors and two rows of seating. Designed to seat up to six passengers comfortably, the crew cab truck was first created by International Harvester in 1957 with their Travelette. While much smaller than the pickup trucks that we see today, it laid the groundwork for one of the fastest growing segments in the auto industry.

Defining Characteristics of a Crew Cab

A larger, heavier truck than previously created options, the crew cab was designed with interior space in mind, and that trend continues into the modern era of truck design. Currently the most luxuriously appointed in the truck space, these versatile trucks have become one of the most popular sizes of trucks on the market today pulling multiple duties as work truck, play truck, family hauler, and daily driver. That being said, there are a few key differences between a crew cab and a traditional double cab — including space, door, and bed configurations.

Here are some quick tips that help you tell if the truck you're looking at is a true crew cab, or just a double cab:

  • While both are four-door truck options, in a crew cab, the rear doors are full-sized, while in a double cab, the rear doors a few inches narrower
  • The rear seating area in the crew cab is larger. Typically, you will find over 40 inches of leg space in the rear while in the next smaller size truck you get around 30. For instance, the 2022 Toyota Tundra has approximately 42-inches of rear leg space, while the 2022 Tacoma has just under 32-inches
  • Also, in the crew cab, the bed area is a couple of feet smaller than the double cab's bed area, though some manufacturers are coming out with heavy duty crew cabs that have extended beds.


Notable Benefits of a Crew Cab

The more generous space allows for ease of entry and accessibility. All passengers can enter the vehicle at the same time due to the placement and size of the front-hinged, conventionally opening doors. Many new models have easily accessible LATCH anchors for ease of connecting child safety seats and with the added size make the crew cab another smart vehicle option for families.

In the crew cab, unlike some of the smaller sized trucks, you can also expect that the rear passenger comfort and convenience features to be nearly equal to those offered for front row passengers. Minus the fully reclining seats, you can still expect premium textiles, heating and cooling rear seating, rear climate control with targeted air vents, underseat storage, at least two charging ports or a 12-volt outlet and dedicated cupholders.

Interior leg space and light interior cargo storage is at a premium, and as a result, the actual bed length of the truck tends to be smaller than its more compact counterparts. The shorter bed length does not diminish the towing capacity though—these generously sized trucks can still happily tow your RV or boat with ease.

What's in a name?

Each of the major truck manufacturers in America have a version of the crew cab in their current offers, but since there is no uniform naming convention, it can be confusing to determine which vehicles are crew cabs. Nissan calls their crew cab options in the Frontier and Titan "crew cab." GMC also calls their crew cab options in the Sierra and the Canyon "crew cab." Toyota's crew cab option is available on the Tundra and is called Crew Max. Ford's F-150 is a crew cab and it's called SuperCrew, while Ram Trucks calls theirs MegaCab. Honda's Ridgeline is a crew cab, but uses no naming convention to designate it as such.

If you are seeking a crew cab truck, there are a variety of options to choose from. Ranging in price, interior design, tow capacity, seating options and comfort features, there is a crew cab option that fits your needs and budget.

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Teia Collier
Native Texan with a love for people, auto, beautiful design and a grand adventure, Teia Collier is an award-winning writer based in the Dallas area. With a background in education, civic service, and public policy, she loves to discover the why behind a thing and to connect people with the best resources to make their lives better. Collier is also a mom of three, addicted to coffee, and the incoming president of the Texas Auto Writers Association.