Best Trucks By Cab Size [Ranked for 2021]
John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. John’s focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of an academic team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. His was the role of the battery thermal control designer. After earning his engineering degree, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University. For 20 years, he applied his engineering and sales talents in the worlds of semiconductor manufacturing, biopharmaceutical production, and automotive electronics supply chain. Always a writer, John has published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008 he retired from that career and dedicated himself to chasing his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to online publications such as Car Talk, John’s work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers, and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites.
Pickup trucks come in all shapes and sizes. Decoding the lingo of truck configurations is no small task, but we can help.
In this overview, we will break down the best trucks according to three common cab styles: single, double, and crew
Check out our full list of the best trucks here >>
Table of Contents
Best Trucks By Cab Size
|Model | Cab||Seating|
Front and Rear
|Rear Seat Legroom||Rear Seat Headroom||2021 J.D. Power IQS Score
(lower is better)
|Ford F-150 | Single|
|GMC Sierra 1500 | Double|
|Toyota Tacoma | Double|
|Ram 1500 | Crew|
|Nissan Frontier | Crew|
Best Single Cab Truck
Single Cab: Trucks with just two doors. Ford calls it the Regular Cab.
Our choice for the best single cab pickup is the Ford F-150 Regular cab. This two-door truck seats three across its front bench seat.
We feel that Ford has defined itself as the defacto work truck, and two-door trucks are all about work since family buyers will always opt for a four-door truck.
Ford takes the Regular cab seriously, offering four engine choices, and either rear or four-wheel-drive. Those seeking a work truck with just two doors will find Ford has what they are looking for.
See all our picks for the best single cab trucks »
Best Double Cab Truck
Double Cab: Trucks smaller than crew cabs that have two full-size doors and then two rear "doors", but may not be complete doors or full-size doors.
Partly by attrition, we have chosen the GMC Sierra 1500 Double cab as the king of this smaller hill.
Our opinion is that a buyer looking at double cabs is interested in a truck with reduced dimensions. Otherwise, why not opt for a crew cab?
The GM line offers this size choice, and GMC is the premium line of GM’s two truck brands.
Those seeking a double cab midsize pickup should consider the legendary Toyota Tacoma.
Toyota’s five-passenger double cab is the larger of its two-cabin styles. The four-passenger access cab is smaller. The Tacoma is respected for its durability, reliability, and great resale value. It is also the top-selling midsize truck by a country mile.
For those not worried much about interior space, it is good to keep in mind that Toyota’s Tacoma double cab is nearly the same size as Nissan’s Frontier crew cab inside.
See all our picks for the best double cab trucks »
Best Crew Cab Truck
Crew Cab: Trucks that have two full doors on each side. A.k.a. “Four-door trucks". Among brands that offer both double and crew cab options, the crew cab is the bigger of the two.
The Ram 1500 full-size line of trucks offers two crew cab truck styles. The first is called crew cab, and Ram also offers a slightly more compact version called the quad cab. Either is a fine choice. Ram offers the best infotainment system in trucks and has a reputation for offering the most comfortable ride of all full-size trucks.
Couple that with a huge array of extreme special editions such as the 702 hp TRX, and the Ram line is hard to ignore. Ram is also on the rise in terms of quality, as its top-place ranking in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study proves.
Nissan Frontier Crew Cab
In the midsize truck market, there are now many great options from which to choose. The all-new Nissan Frontier impressed us in real-world driving with its combination of refinement and old-school body on frame chassis.
The Frontier isn’t always the specification page champion in this segment, and it's Pro 4X is not the most extreme off-roader, but it sure does offer a great balance of pretty much everything a truck buyer in the midsize segment could ask for.
And one of those things is a crew cab that is a bit more spacious than Toyota’s Tacoma double cab.
See all our picks for the best crew cab trucks »
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a double cab truck and a crew cab?
Size. Generally, the crew cab is the largest of the given cabin offerings in a truck line. It can fit “the entire crew” of six.
Where do the Toyota Access Cab and Nissan King Cab fit into the mix?
Toyota’s Tacoma access cab and Nissan’s Frontier king cab are smaller versions of the midsize trucks offered. The access cab and king cab both seat four passengers rather than five.
What is the difference between the Ram Crew and Quad Cabs?
Ram offers two trucks with similar interior dimensions. The crew cab is the larger of the options.
Do truck makers still offer two-door trucks?
Yes, they do. For example, Ford’s Single Cab F-150 seats three and is a full line product with many trim choices.