The pick-up market is booming

The past few years a significant breakthrough into the pick-up market by makes better known for their saloon and city cars. This is a sign of the transition to new, more family-friendly uses for pick-ups and a new type of client.

Whatever make you are considering to buy, the variety of cab styles available can be confusing. In this article we will therefore explain the main differences between each of the cab styles currently available.

Different types of pick-up cab styles

The pick-up is a vehicle consisting of a chassis, a cabin and a bed and is commonly available in 3 versions:

· Simple or Single cab: 2 doors and 2 seats

· Extended cab: 2 doors or 2 doors + 2 "suicide" doors and 4 seats

· Double cab: 4 doors and 5 seats

Simple or single cab

This style is not offered by all makes of pick-up. These versions generally have a slightly shorter overall length since most of the space that the rear seats would occupy is used for a greater load length. It is also very often characterized by basic bodywork (plain plastic bumpers, steel rims and an absence of chrome or other styling features), lower spec (especially in terms latest technologies) but with practical options such as flatbed or tipper beds Some manufacturers also offer this kind of style on two-wheel drive vehicles.

Most manufacturers use basically the same terms to describe their models:

Land Rover: Single cab (Defender)
Simple Cab for most other makes. 

Extended cab (also known as Xtracan or King cab)

Two doors style, but with extra rear seats, ideal for short distance trips. More popular for the non-trade driver market, this style often features all the comfort, safety equipment and other options offered by the manufacturer.

Different brands use different names to describe this variant:

Fiat : Extended cab (Full back)

Ford : Super Cab (Ranger)

Isuzu : Space Cab (D-max)

Mitsubishi : Club Cab (L200)

Nissan : King Cab (Navara)

Toyota : Xtra Cab (Hilux)

Double cab

This is the 4 door variation with enough space to seat 5 people. Featuring all the comfort and safety equipment and all the options offered by the manufacturer, the vehicle is not longer than a simple cabin - the pick-up bed is just shorter.

Different brands use different names to describe this double cab variant:

Fiat : Double Cab (Full back)

Ford : Double Cab (Ranger)

Isuzu : Crew Cab (D-max)

Mitsubishi : Double Cab (L200)

Nissan : Double Cab (Navara)

Land Rover : Dual Cab (Defender)

Toyota : Double Cab (Hilux)

Volkswagen : Double Cab (Amarok)

American pick-ups

For American pick-ups, the lengths of cabin and beds can vary on the same vehicle model. Example below: double cabin with a long bed.

Extra information

Independent rear wheels or a solid axle?

Again, it's all depends on how you are going to use your pick-up.
Pick-ups are perfect for driving in extreme conditions, on rough or awkward terrain. The suspension plays a major role of course as does the configuration of the rear axle.

Some pick-ups have independent rear wheels, offering flexibility and maneuverability. This is the case for Nissan, Mercedes and even Renault. Others have a rigid rear axle to tow and load heavier loads. This category includes Isuzu, Fiat, Toyota and Mitsubishi pick-ups.

Trade & professional use

The pick-up has become a work tool in its own right, the vehicle par excellence for professionals (craftsmen, farmers, building contractors, foresters, equestrian clubs, etc.) who are attracted by its load and towing capacities, driveability and fuel consumption.

These pick-ups have to be robust and resistant to withstand, for example,  the sometimes difficult everyday rigours of a building site.

The pick-up bed is one of the prime considerations - it needs to be resistant to shocks and loads. Options include removeable bedliner, drawers and storage systems.  Be careful however with height, which sometimes does not facilitate handling. This is the case for example of the Ford Ranger or the Toyota Hilux which go up to 1.86 m overall height.

Why choose a pick-up rather than just a vehicle with a big boot?

Ask yourself this question. How many times have you said to yourself, "It doesn't fit in the boot?" When was the last time you played Tetris with your furniture boxes? Do you remember those tricky holiday dilemmas when you had to choose between suitcases or bikes? With a pick-up you can load: 

. furniture to save on delivery costs

. wood for the fireplace or the tiles and new bath for your new bathroom

. the odds and ends to go to the rubbish recycle center

. bikes or quad

. holiday equipment

. etc ...

However, be careful not to forget that the pick-up bed will have to serve as your boot would on a daily basis. Always keep in mind the importance of accessibility (height adapted to your size, drop sides or tailgate not too heavy to handle, etc) so you can enjoy all the benefits without putting your back out of action!

Other points to consider:

. interior comfort (material, heated seats, folding seats, etc.)

. electronic equipment equivalent to that of a sedan: touch screen, GPS, radar and reversing camera are very practical when parking your pick-up

. the space in the rear cabin, for example: the Isuzu D-max stands out with an extra 12 cm, a detail that will be appreciated by your longer legged passengers!

. good soundproofing of the passenger compartment

. suitable suspension set-up but also driving aids like hill start, cruise control downhill ...

. good handling (especially important for urban driving)

Pick-up equipment & accessories

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Please note: Euro4x4parts publishes this information to help its customers, but cannot be held responsible for the advice given here and their consequences when used.