Is the Regular Cab Pickup Doomed?

Toyota Tundra Sport Regular Cab

By Tim Esterdahl

For the past several years, truck manufacturers have been adding more double and crew cab pickups to their build orders. They say customer demand is behind this increase, but could a combination of factors — the most important of which is pending federal corporate average fuel economy regulations — ultimately cause the regular cab pickup to disappear? It could, and here's how.

Related: More Fuel Economy News

First, understand that the newest set of fuel economy regulations — set to have a major effect in 2017 — penalize truck manufacturers for selling short wheelbase versions of full-size trucks. The reason? The newest regulations are based on a vehicle's "footprint," which is calculated as the square footage between all four wheels.

To figure out a truck's footprint, take the track in inches (width from wheel center to wheel center), multiply it by the wheelbase in inches, then divide by 144 and you've got square footage. Here's a chart that shows the square footage for a handful of 2013 models, sorted by footprint.

Vehicle Footprint Calculation

As you can see, regular cabs jump to the top of the list, as they have the smallest footprints. This is bad for their future because fuel economy targets are based on this figure, and they're proportional. For example, a Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab with a footprint of 46.4 square feet must achieve 32.8 mpg in 2017, and 45.4 mpg by 2025. A Tacoma Double Cab with a 6-foot box, on the other hand, needs to achieve just 26.4 mpg in 2017 and 35.5 mpg by 2025.

That difference of 10 or more mpg by 2025 is huge in the truck world. A regular cab is a little bit smaller and lighter than a double cab, so it should do a little better in terms of mileage, but not 25 to 28 percent better.

Whether looking at a regular cab short-box Ford F-150 or regular cab short-box Toyota Tundra, the story is the same: A full-size short-box regular cab has to get from 8 to 13 percent better fuel economy than a double cab or crew cab version of the same truck. And if it doesn't? Every regular cab sale hurts a manufacturer's fleet fuel economy rating, to the point where the truck's manufacturer will owe millions in fines to the government.

In other words, that becomes an incentive to stop building short-box regular cab trucks before the 2017 model year.

The Case for Regular Cabs: Not So Good

Set aside the new fuel economy rules and consider the following:

Regular cab trucks really aren't any cheaper to design or manufacture than extended cabs. Need proof? pegs the MSRP of a new 2013 two-wheel-drive Double Cab Toyota Tundra at $28,805. A 2013 two-wheel-drive Regular Cab Toyota Tundra (8-foot bed & 4.0L V-6) is $26,450 (prices include destination). That's just over $2,000 for the extra doors, sheetmetal, a V-8 and back seats. And that doesn't include the many incentives that could bring that number much closer together. 

The problem here is that building a limited number of regular cabs is costly, as it reduces the efficiency of the production line when the line has to support multiple versions of the same vehicle. Truck makers also have to design and manufacture special parts just for the regular cab — and that's not cheap. While Toyota lists the MSRP of the regular cab Tundra as roughly $1,900 lower than the double cab, it doesn't offer the same kind of incentive money on the regular cab because regular cabs aren't any cheaper to build.

About 90 percent of truck buyers opt for double cabs or crews. This is why Nissan decided against building a regular cab Titan from the beginning, and why it dropped the regular cab Frontier in 2002.

Regular Cab Pickup Specs By Manufacturer

Oddly, the short box is popular, which brings us back to the new fuel economy rules. Taking a quick survey of all the 2008 Ford F-150 regular cabs currently listed on (255 total), only 25 of them are long boxes. While this isn't the most scientific survey (we've heard the take rate on a long box could be as high as 50 percent if you include commercial fleet sales), one can assume that consumers prefer the short-box regular cab over the long-box by a large margin. But if it isn't feasible for truck makers to build short-box pickups because of fuel-economy rules, what happens then?

Prediction: Enjoy the Regular Cab While You Can

There are plenty of reasons to believe that manufacturers will get rid of or severely reduce their half-ton regular cab offerings before the 2017 model year. In fact, it could happen sooner.

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Toyota could be first since it doesn't do a lot of fleet business, and a lot of regular cabs are fleet trucks. Ram would likely be the next to drop the regular cab, as it is going to struggle to hit CAFE requirements this year, let alone in 2017. However, it probably won't happen for Ram until 2017 or 2018 when an updated model arrives.

Ford and GM will probably keep building regular cab trucks, but buying a short-box regular cab Ford or GM truck is going to be hard by 2020. It isn't that much of a stretch to say these trucks could be more expensive than double cabs, likely requiring a special order, and they might only be offered because there's a commercial need for them.

Will you miss the regular cab?

2007 Toyota Tundra Regular Cab

Tim Esterdahl grew up in Michigan surrounded by the automotive industry and has been writing about trucks for several years. He is currently an associate editor at and



@David-No problem. The discussion was just getting bogged down with it. There are many guys that are aging baby boomers such as I and yes I realize there will be a time that I will not be able to drive. I don't mind not being able to drive as much as being limited to where I can go. That is a while off into the future and I will deal with that when it comes. In reality the single cab truck will become extinct just as other types of vehicles. Government regulations and changing vehicle preferences will make this a reality. I myself will probably never go back to a single cab, but others will miss them.

These trucks seem real sporty for me. Probably the "coupes of trucks". The truck I got was not a hand-me-down but a starter. So far, I'm happy and it gets a ton of attention even though it only has an exhaust. Just need to figure out what to do to make the Hemi cool from the inside...

My question, why in the he** are we tolerating this government madness? The problem is not the pickup or any configuration thereof, it is this absolutely MAD government agency and no balls by our representatives - or ultimately the people that voted them in - to stand up and say ENOUGH!


Paul and Jim sound like the same guy. They probably are the same guys who pretend to be oxi's fan club just to piss people off.
On that note, DenverMike is still fixated on calling down small trucks with the cheapskate line. He also is playing the Toyota card to rile the troops and discredit the author. This story does confirm Big Al's assertions that rules favour big trucks. I await DenverMike's spin.
If anything, these rules will force upsizing of small trucks or at least ditching any short wheel base. A 4 banger should be able to meet the rules so I doubt there will be a big upheaval.

I can see the lighter car based CUVs replacing SUV's with a similar footprint. I believe that CUV's are classified the same as SUV's.

Well this sucks. One thing Ive always thought about the GM twins (which usually isnt much) is that they looked good as a single cab.

To all you clowns that blame the government for the disappearing regular cab truck. You sure make the statement " YOU CANNOT FIX STUPID" so true today.

The regular cab, short box is my favorite truck configuration. When I went truck shopping in 2004 and 2010, that's the style I bought both times. I'm very happy with my current Dodge Ram R/T. I'll continue to be a customer of regular cab/short box trucks as long as they are available.

Nothing like the death of what has brought us all such wonderful things CAPITALISM nothing kills companies, jobs, and well beings more than extensive gov't intervention

@Lou - It seems CAFE had right idea at the start, after all, little trucks should get much better MPG that full-size. Not similar MPG. CAFE took it too far and obviously doesn't understand fuel efficiency of V8 full-size compared to the fuel 'inefficiency' of mid-size.

I agree mid-size should get a break, but they at the same time, they've had a break. Up till recently that is. Everything that shaped the "Light Truck" market up til now was natural selection (at the point-of-sale), plain and simple.

You're confusing what will shape the future market with happened in the past. What happened is mid-size truck had every opportunity to succeed in the US as CAFE made absolutely no legal or regulatory distinction between mid-size and full-size or any-size (after 1991). This is why compacts grew to mid-size and continued to bloated into what we have today.

BAFO drones on about past regulations that supposedly "killed" mid-size trucks. Future regulations had nothing to do with past regulations that actually favoured mid-size trucks.

Still, that irrational 37 EPA MPG by 2025 applies to the footprint of no current pickups. It's for a footprint of 41.0 sqft or smaller (trucks). The current Tacoma Access cab is at 54.0 sqft and the biggest Tacoma is at 61.7. The regular cab Tacoma will be dead soon enough.

@DenverMike to UAW Rep
How do you feel now preaching all of that UAW propaganda now?

How are you UAW guys going to explain, this is what we have done to your pickups, becasue we are greedy, and brain dead.

It seems you are full of it mate. Been to Spain lately?

You and your UAW marketeers can multi post this one too.

The funny thing about all of this is you can still export your trucks to Australia that you will not be able to sell in the US for much longer.

There is talk here of making a 6.2 supercharged Maloo. That will kick butt.

I think maybe the rest of the world might have iddy biddy midsizers, but at least they will be affordable for the average bloke.

I was hoping sanity would prevail with the UAW, manufacturers and government etc. Apparently not.

@DenverMike - Interesting spin. CAFE has always favoured larger vehicles. It was deliberately configured that way to protect the USA auto industry. That has contributed directly and indirectly to the contracture of the small truck market.

How does one argue against the above evidence? Maybe I should retract that question since you already have done so.
TTAC had a story about CAFE rules and they went on to explain how those rules have affected small trucks and car based wagons.

Here is another link showing that CAFE favours larger vehicles and has raised complaints from companies that make smaller vehicles (Asian brands).

Spin away but CAFE does favour larger less efficient brands.

@DenverMike - since you keep floating the cheapskate fleet buyer line I'll put that one to rest as well.
These are 2012 stats pulled from this site's data.
Fleet sales (% of fleet sales compared to total sales):
Tundra 4%
Tacoma 5%
Sierra 6%
Frontier 9%
Ram 12%
Chevy 14%
F150 19%
Looks like the bigger heavier more expensive 1/2 ton trucks are the fleet queens.

No one buys reg cabs other than companies or people with no kids or no friends.
Case in point - I looked at the inventory of the biggest Ford dealer in my region. They had 140 1/2 tons on the books. 110 were Supercrew (all 4x4), 20 were extended cabs (all 4x4), and 10 reg cabs. 4 were base model plane rock bottom 4x2 trucks. The other 6 were mid level trim 4x4's.

Last time I was at my local Toyota dealer, they had 1 plane jane ext cab 4x2. They had at least 12 DoubleCab 4x4 Tacoma's of which 8 were TRD packaged. The other 4 were SR5 packaged.

Maybe we should call you DenverSpin?

Big Al from Oz
"There is talk here of making a 6.2 supercharged Maloo. That will kick butt."

They already do aftermarket, but go like the wind.

All I can relay to you is if you put together all of my comments together since I've been posting on PUTC and edit it, it would make a great piece for the WSJ and your UAW newspaper/website.

I have researched significantly and can't find any information to support your UAW's views.

DenverMike, I have debated you for a long time and you have to be one of the most insincere people I have encountered. Integrity, WTF is that you ask.

Do all union activist lie and spin?

Multipost this one too DenverMike aka Tom Lemon.

By the way amigo, Spain makes a great pickup. Did you know that? Nissan Navara V6 diesel. Well over 400ftlb of torque.

@Jeff S
It appears DenverMike tells untruths, he is only winding you up. He wants to deflect was this topic is about.

Remember that's his trade mark.

He also uses many names.

@Lou - "Always"? "Always favoured larger vehicles"?? Got links? You keep taking about "future" CAFE regulations that do favour larger vehicle in the future and I've never disputed that. You talk about the future like it had any control over what happened int the past. Your links only spell out future regs with no mention of current or past regs.

CAFE had absolutely nothing to do with the demise of mini and mid-size trucks. They were a fad, plain and simple, like the custom vans that came and went before them. Fads come and go and governments have absolutely zero say on what's cool and what's not. Here's what CAFE did do and it was a major advantage to mid-size trucks:

Since the early '90s CAFE lumped all trucks (compact trucks, mini-trucks, mid-size, vans, SUVs, full-size) in to the exact same "Light Truck" classification/exemption. How exactly were full-size trucks "favoured"? The were all 'one' and the 'same', as far as CAFE was concerned. CAFE opened the door for compact trucks to become the bloated mid-size crew cabs with 6 ft beds that we have today.

"The Gas Guzzler Tax applies only to vehicles classified as cars, as opposed to light trucks. Since 1991, cars with a combined fuel economy rating under 22.5 mpg-US (10.5 L/100 km; 27.0 mpg-imp) miles per gallon have been subject to the tax. Light trucks, which includes virtually all sport-utility vehicles, pickup trucks and vans, are not subject to the tax."

The CAFE MPG schedule/requirements, for mid-size trucks would be darn close to full-size trucks anyways as mid-size keep growing so I don't get why anyone is complaining. That "37 MPG by 2025" is for trucks that haven't existed in decades. They also died long before these "future" rules existed.

Bigger mid-size trucks, to say, the size of '80s full-size, are what consumers want anyways. They're headed that way, for sure. Besides, full-size trucks haul more material in less trips back and going forth. Full-size work trucks are required to be bigger and heavier and obviously going to drink more fuel. So why shouldn't their requirements be different than smaller trucks? Why should they be the same? Is it because they get currently get the same MPG?

Fleet buyers aren't the only cheapskates. Commuters looking for the cheapest A to B car cross shop mid-size trucks with Sentras, Civics, Corollas, Focus' etc. Mid-size trucks are actually cheaper with rebate. High school grads get these strippers as gifts from grand parent that also buy them for themselves. Cheapskates are absolutely everywhere even in the best economies. Are you kidding? About all my friends drove stripper regular cab min-trucks during and after high school years. We'd just pile into the cab and dealt with it. And not everyone is having kids. If they do they have just one. I dated a chick that preferred the reg cab Tacoma because her toddler got to ride in the front seat.

Exactly. Dealer hate keeping strippers on hand and even hide them. I worked at a Toyota dealer, straight out of high school. They would advertise the cheap stripper reg cab at a huge discount as a 'bait and switch'. The couldn't stop people from ordering reg cabs though. And boy did they.

Orkin and other fleet buyers formerly fans of Ford Rangers are going to throw off Toyota's fleet % at the end of the year. About every auto part store in my area deliver parts in Rangers and Tacomas. That has to be true of most industries running base strippers.

So, DenverMike
What's your answer to this one. Please provide links.

Additionally, the Department of Transportation set the first round of CAFE standards for light trucks (i.e., pickups, minivans, and SUVs) beginning with MY 1978.

DenverMike if your 'view' or 'opinion' is that none of the technical barriers and chicken tax has had an impact on the pickup truck market in the US,

do you support the removal of the barriers and taxes that I think are distorting the pickup truck market.

Yes or No.

This is a 'yes' or 'no' response, not some response to deflect my question.


Should CAFE, design regs, Chicken Tax be removed?

DenverMike, YES or NO.

These old geezer comments are bullshit and are not needed, not all regular owners are old!

I was born during the Regan admin, I have a full time job and also run a small property management company on the side. I need a r/c 8 ft to make money . In fact Iam typing this on my I pad.

I only have a small family , and if want to cruise around with buddy's or need a people mover I use my wife's Tahoe . I don't need another Tahoe with a bed !

IMHO the regular is the best looking truck period , good day sir !

The fact the regular cabs could be extinct due to political reasons and CAFE boils my blood , this country is turning into a bunch of little Pansy's ! The r/c is the truck that makes people money and drives the building / construction world !

@Lou & Big Al--Not everyone who buys a stripped down truck is a cheapskate like Denver Mike says. Some people would rather buy an inexpensive car or truck every few years and not have to deal with the maintenance issues. Why pay 30 to 40k for a vehicle to commute back and forth to work, run errands, or do weekend pickups at the Home Depot. Yes I will pay 30 to 40k for a nicer vehicle to travel in but I am going to keep it for a while. But getting back to the topic at hand is that some customers actually prefer a single cab pickup and will spend the money to buy well equipped ones. Denver Mike is fixated on smaller vehicles. I don't particularily have a need for larger cars and trucks but I will not fixate on them. What a manufacturer chooses to make or not make is their business and if I want a particular type of vehicle I will buy from the manufacturer that makes the product closest to what I want. I am willing to compromise but to say the only compromise is full size is not a compromise. I can compromise to a extended cab if no regular cabs are available , but if you ask someone to compromise to a crew cab that wants a regular cab that is not really a compromise. Limited colors in interiors and exteriors and limited trim levels are compromises I can live with as well. I don't expect a vehicle to be a custom vehicle to meet every option that I want or don't want but size is not an option. You can compromise so much that you can get a vehicle that you really don't need or want. Everyone is different. I will not tell you what you should drive because your needs and wants are different than mine. After all this is a free country.

@ Jeff I agree, we buy 2500HD regular cab long beds for our farm trucks. They are the stripped down W/T with vinyl flooring (honestly I prefer this to carpet). When we get dents and dings we don't cringe, we only dented a 25k work truck, instead of a 50k crew cab loaded pickup.

We do have 2 loaded crew cab trucks also (these are half tons); these are mainly personal vehicles, and backups for if our regular cab long beds are out of commission for some reason.

Also to add, regular cab long bed trucks usually have the highest payload, I know the crew cabs have nearly ~1,000-2,000 less payload compared to the regular cab long bed 3/4 HD trucks.

Would somebody give me an acceptible definition of "Geezer"?

Is it someone 50 years old? 60? Maybe 70?

You do realize that some of the best drivers in the world are in their 50s and 60s.

Maybe you're trying to relate to their mental capacities? Heh, I see people in their thirties who can't drive a straight line down the freeway. In fact, I saw one such driver panic because they got cut off and completely spun their car in the middle of the freeway. I'm only happy it wasn't rush hour, nobody hit them as they spun. Then I see these people doing stupid things that cause far more damage than a mere spin--three, four, even more cars involved in one person's stupidity and Oh-so-often it's somebody in a Road Whale™ at the front, thinking that because they're so big everyone else will get out of their way.

So exactly what is a "Geezer", hmmm?

You know, we could make this really, really simple.

All vehicles over a certain empty weight--call it 4,000 pounds, must be classed as commercial, registered as commercial and the operator must have a Commercial driver's license. These vehicle can continue to grow as they wish, but they will be mileage taxed at a commercial rate as compared to privately-owned vehicles which are much lighter and smaller.

Now, you want to own a pickup truck? The half-ton would still work--but would need to weigh less than 4,000 pounds empty.

I know it doesn't make sense to many of you who feel you just have to have the biggest and baddest--but then, you're already willing to pay the price of a luxury car for your truck so you really don't care how much it costs you to keep it fueled and maintained.

@John--You brought up a valid point about payload. The payload is going to be greater for a regular cab truck over an extended cab and crew cab. The longer the cab and more passenger capacity the lower the payload. At the very least offer the single cab with the 3/4 ton and the long bed. Vinyl flooring and vinyl seats serve a purpose in a work truck in that they are easier to keep clean. It is getting harder to buy a stripped down single cab or even larger cab work trucks unless you order one. Many of the guys on this site do not use their trucks for hard dirty work so they do not see the need for a basic HD truck. Living on a farm and spending time on a farm it is hard to keep a work truck clean and you get dents and dings on them. Why buy a King Ranch for dirty work and get the interior and outside dirty. That is one reason my grandfather who was a farmer had a basic stripped down pickup for the farm and a big 4 door sedan loaded for traveling, going to meetings, and going to church. Today he would probably have a loaded down crew cab for his nice vehicle but over 40 years ago optioned trucks were rare.

D W FIELDS=That!s way to simple no politician would agree because your idea has no loop holes.

There has been alot of talk about people buying short bed extended and crew cab trucks as suvs with a bed, and there is a few reasons that make sense to alot of people such as my self. First there are fewer options for true SUVs than there where 10 years ago, the only remaining ones are the Sububurban Family (Tahoe, Yukon, Escelade, Avalanche) the Expidition Family (regualr and EL), Sequoia, 4Runner, land cruiser, xterra, wrangler, and libery (last model year). these have all become significantly more expensive than the pickups they are based on a base suburban and expidition el starts at 43k thats the same a ford raptor which has a 6.2l v8 and leather seats. While many people who need 4-5 seats and cargo space used to by SUVs pickup trucks are significantly more affordable and have many incentives, people who want the suv room but not a truck switched to cross overs others switched to crew pickups bc they still needed the performance but the lower costs.

The argument at hand is only relevant for short box/reg cab compacts and mid-sizers.

@ redbloodedxy: Truer words have seldom been spoken. To anyone who is worried that the regular cab is being phased out entirely, put yourselves at ease.
Regular cab longbeds have identical footprints to extended cab medium-beds and crew cab shortbeds because they have the same wheelbase (except for'd think they would've gotten the memo by now!) So they'll only be expected to put out the same MPGs as the others.

As far as mid-sizers go, well, sorry guys, but thanks to our overly legalistic society, you can't use them for "serious work" like you can in say, Europe, South America, or Australia. (I left out Asia and Africa because what few regulations they have there are disregarded anyway, except in Japan. I've been there, and rules are Serious Business.) If you want to tow more than 7000 lbs., you have to upgrade to a bloated monster of a full-size truck, and if you don't, you're apparently the most evil, hard-bitten, criminal scum there is.

Ain't life grand?

To say regular cabs really aren't any cheaper to assemble is a rather ignorant statement.

Let's see, it takes more hinges, seals, glass, and the assembly to lower/raise the glass, be it electric windows or manual. Then there is door handles, sensors that are required for safety to tell you that a door is open, lock assemblys, and the rods. Oh, and yes, second row seating such as a double cab Tundra has two more air bags. Oh, of course the price of the back seat itself.

If we were comparing it to a single cab of the same wheelbase, there would just be a little more sheetmetal needed for the longer bed.

If we were comparing regular cab shortbox to say double cab now the frame is shorter, so is the driveshaft, and the brake lines, cables, and wiring assembly.

This will lead us to use direct injection, turbos on gassers, and diesel. Yeah, they will get great mileage with that v-6 turbos, too bad as they get older and the cost to maintain goes up, people will just say "Ah &*#@ it, I aint gonna spend that much to fix it", and the lives of these will be shorter. $165 oxygen sensors on ecoboosts, the price of turbos, and plus now the price to rework a head will be outragous.

Diesel? That's the great answer, atleast Big Al and whatever other name he goes by on here says.

But he will keep telling us the price of diesel will go down (while he says in another post they need to raise fuel prices to pay for this that and the other, and the raising of fuel costs will also raise everything else. DUH!)

And he wont commit directly about the emmisions on these diesels getting higher, and the fact you wount get as many miles on todays diesel (both fuel mileage and how long the vehicle lasts.) Or the fact you need DEF, atleast here, in most diesels, maybe not in some other countrys with lesser smog requirements. Nor does he commit when we ask if diesel is the great fuel for people running short distances, that don't work their vehicle very hard, or people in really cold envirements that must plug in their block/oil pan heater.

Diesel is great for alot of people, but not everybody.

Oh, how about the extra cost to maintain those vehicles? He won't comment probably, because he trades his off, lets somebody else worry about it.

But the government wants you to keep buying cars/trucks more often.

This is just more of our goverments idiocy! realy trucks only have four doors!! when was the last time you saw a dumptruck with more than two doors? or a tractor-trailer with more than two doors? or a cement mixer with more than two doors? all you need the extra doors for is people, and if that is the case get an SUV!! but if you need to haul? get a reg cab pickup truck! I myself will always own one, and if there is any truth to this, I will buy the last truck with a reg cab from any manuf. and I feel so strongly about this, I would go so far as to buy an import if need be, and we all know the only import in America, with a reg cab full size truck is Toyota!!! and from me that is saying something! Yes I do own a ext cab truck, but that is because there are times I do need to haul more than two people, AND a motorcycle, with my camper trailer, but I will always own a reg cab truck!

@TRX-4 Tom --In truth I can see you point about extra door hinges, more sheet metal, and more sensors. The engines and drivetrains will outlast the body, electrics, and sensors. Anyone who has have electrical issues knows that they can be hard to track down and expensive. Vehicles are becoming more like PCs, after a while they just are not worth the cost to fix. I would question the cost of turbos as the vehicles age. I hope I am wrong?

@TRX4-Tom: Ok, much of that last rant makes real sense. Congratulations.

If a truck is meant to be a working vehicle, with very limited exceptions that means one or two people to do the work and enough load capacity to carry the tools and materials to perform the task. As such, the crew cab is an exception to the rule and shouldn't be the rule itself. As you noted, every rig you mentioned falls under the Commercial classes at either medium or heavy capacity. Even light trucks such as those used by pest control, plumbing, locksmithing, farriers and others typically only carry one occupant, so even the current regular cab could be cut to allow for even more load capacity.

Or, you could go with a Front-Control with a longer box even on a standard chassis.

If you expect to carry a total of four, five or six occupants, odds are you really don't need the open bed, at which point a Suburban should be more than enough truck that still can carry the tools necessary and can easily pull a utility trailer with much more weight and volume capacity than any four-door pickup. This also means that certain more expensive tools can be carried under lock and key, reducing the risk of outright theft from the truck. To be quite honest, even landscapers would find it hard to carry enough mulch and/or plantings in the bed of a crew-cab truck for most clients.

That said, you are at least somewhat wrong about diesels. Chevrolet is already adding a diesel engine to the Cruze mid-size car and claiming as much as 38mpg or 700 miles in ten hours on a single tank of fuel. That's a several mpg bonus over the gas Cruze and for me would let me make my annual drive to my parents' home on a single tank each way, which even at $4/gallon would save me roughly $50 each way for other purposes. Slowing down by even 5mph could stretch that mileage even farther.

That also means that a smaller pickup truck with a similarly-sized diesel could offer well over 30mpg and still carry similar half-ton loads without sacrificing above 20mpg economy--something not yet available for any full-sized truck and not likely to become available UNTIL diesel gets installed. Granted, I'm not a fan of $4/gallon for diesel when gas is around $3.30, but it still means you can go farther on a single tank of fuel even if the overall fuel price ends up identical. I, for one, am not a fan of 'range anxiety' and I've had enough of it with every car I've owned. Look at it this way, at 20mpg, my 32gallon capacity in my F-150 long bed would carry me roughly 640 miles--unloaded. That same truck with a small diesel offering the same relative horsepower and torque could push me to 800 miles.

Why are diesel pickups doing so poorly today? Gross overkill on HP and Torque (which is why they're installed in HDs and almost never in half-tons) and the hop-heads who turbo that to even higher numbers just to show off their Road Whales™.

Jeff S= I also have doubts about the turbos along with the entire engine.They are taking 4 & 6 cylinders trying to pump them up to HP of the 8.Small race car engines in family cars & trucks how long will they hold up?

@Papa Jim: I see you fell for Mitt Romneys suggesting that all Jeeps would be built in in China, but like I told you, they want to build Jeeps in China for China, because they don't have the plant that Daimler screwed them out of in China.

Keep on spreading mis information tho!

That being said, I wouldn't mind a shortbed regular cab, I could make do, but the center seats sit up higher now, and between that and the hump in the middle being higher, and the dash closer to the passengers (all of them) hard to sit three comfortablly like we did in the day. So I will continue you on with my quadcab that allows me a 6'4" bed, and if I have stuff I am moving I don't want to be amongst dirty car parts, it can go in the back. My dog likes the back as well, since I have a folding flat platform so she can lay on it, as opposed to putting the dog in the bed.

We used to have club cabs that you can actually put something in like your bag of clothes, so it didn't need to be in the bed, but yet wasn't for people.

I'm nostalgic for the good old times and I love regular cab long box pickup trucks ! best looking pickups !

I think the extended cab with the 6 1/2' bed look the best, altough not the new one like Ram with front hinged doors that look like crew cabs but worse and now Chevy is doing it.

@DenverMike - interesting spin. I am talking past, present and future. It looks like you have chose to focus on current "future" regulations because there is irrefutable evidence. There are plenty of sources out there that talk about past regulations. As pointed out, CAFE rules have been around since the 70s. Domestics focused on SUVs because they were classified as trucks. They handed the car market to the Japanese because of high profit SUVs. SUV's indirectly affected small truck sales since they could do the same job as a compacts but carry more people. We can banter back and forth but like a beaver trying to patch a leaky dam in a rainstorm, I doubt that I can keep up to all of the new leaks you chose to spring in your big truck headwater.

My friend, Tom, maybe you'd like to read a story from before the election where Bloomberg found that Fiat is now investigating moving Chrysler production to Italy, including Jeeps (for export to the US). Guess Romney's point wasn't too far off the mark now is it.

AP Hides Fiat's Plans to Manufacture Jeeps for North American Market in Italy

By Tom Blumer | October 30, 2012 | 15:47

Yesterday, Bloomberg News reported that Fiat "is considering building Chrysler models in Italy, including Jeeps, for export to North America." Today, that news became real when company CEO Sergio Marchnionne announced, in Bloomberg's words (in paragraph 6, subtitled "Italy's Jeep"), that it will "build a small Jeep in Italy for export beginning in 2014 ... a new model for Europe and the U.S. that isn’t currently in production."

Of course, today's Bloomberg report led with Marchionne's clever denial about the company's plans for manufacturing in China: "Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China." No, he has instead set the stage for newer Jeep models exported to the U.S. to gradually supplant older models made in the U.S. over several years. This should be an embarrassment to those who engineered the Obama administration's bailout of Chrysler in 2009, ripping off secured creditors in the bankruptcy process and thereby giving Fiat a larger initial share of the company than it deserved. But don't worry, Colleen Barry at the Associated Press is there with vague language to ensure that this news doesn't become general knowledge (bold is mine):

Read more:

@ TRX-4 Tom: I think what you're thinking of is a "mini-extended cab," like what Datsun had in the late 70's and Toyota in the mid-80's. They were essentially six inches of extra cab, just enough to stuff a Thermos or a jacket back there on a cold day, or maybe tilt the seat back to better fit us "husky" Americans :).

The Club Cab, which was introduced in '74, wasn't originally intended for (or advertised as) passenger space; two center-facing jump seats were optional equipment.

When I was young, our family had a '77 Ford F-250 Ranger SuperCab (which was 4 inches longer than Dodge's Club Cab) with jump seats; that was fun on long trips because my sister and I sat across from each other with a cooler in the middle as our card table.

Newer extended cabs are definitely more comfortable, but not nearly as fun, I think. Of course, that's probably true of all vehicles...

@ Mike: Looks aside, an extended cab-6.5 foot bed is probably the most practical combo, at least on a half-ton pickup, because it can fit five or even six people in reasonable comfort, while having about as much cargo capacity as a long bed with the tailgate down and a bed extender, all while being no longer or more difficult to park than a "standard" RC/LB pickup.

This should be an embarrassment to those who engineered the Obama administration's bailout of Chrysler in 2009, ripping off secured creditors in the bankruptcy process and thereby giving Fiat a larger initial share of the company than it deserved. But don't worry, Colleen Barry at the Associated Press (and the Ram fans at PUTC) are there with vague language to ensure that this news doesn't become general knowledge.

CAFE has a greater chance of being repealed in 2016 before regular cabs ever go away. This article comes from the fanboys jumping to conclusions at Turdra Headquarters who are anti-fleet sales.

@DWFields: and once and awhile you make sense as well, congrats to you!

I don't want any Suburban; you wouldn't put an engine in the back of one, now would you? It would be rather hard to put it there, right? Would you go to the scrapeyard to dump off scrapmetal with a load in the back would you? Oh sure, you could, but it would tear up/dirty up the interior, and who wants all that stuff that can roll forward in a wreck?

I made a trip to Washington/Colorado for a racecar and parts. The quadcab worked out just right, as I was able to have my computer, my clothes, my cooler all inside the cab. Even had enough room for a speaker/amp that was atleast 20" x 20" by 24" tall, that I was stopping to get in Boise Idaho to take back to Arkansas. I wouldn't want it in the back with car parts, so there was enough room in the cab.

If I had some Suburben then I would have had a couple engine blocks, manual transmissions, cylinder heads, clutch combos, axles, and intake manifolds,etc. in the back, seeing as how the car trailer had the racecar itself, two doors, two fenders, and 6 extra wheels already on it.

The idea to just get a utility trailer aint great. I have a car trailer I can use if need be, if something is so large, but there are no sides on it. But to get one just for the sake of what a fullsize pickup means to register yet another thing, and the upkeep on it as well.

Oh, just get a utillity trailer if you drive near an area where there are tolls? Only if you want to be charged for more axles.

I have no need for a Suburban, I don't have a big family, and I don't carry that many tools. Just a standard 18" x 10" by 12" toolbox an a floorjack work alot of the time.

Pretty sure I don't want my air compressor and generator in the vehicle with me.

I do totally agree we don't all need 650 or 800 foot pounds of torque in a diesel truck. Some might, like my friend who pulls a competition pulling tractor, or those that pull really heavy trailers.

I would be okay with 500 ft pounds, I don't plan to tow near that heavy. Atleast you can still get a six speed manual from Ram with a diesel. But I don't need even the 650 ft pounds. Maybe we need more choices/engine options?

You talk of 38 a MPG Cruze, if that were the best, I would be ashamed. Hell a Dart can get 41 MPG on the 1.4 turbo Aero model. But that number is 46 I believe for the diesel Cruze. So, pay you more money, and get the more expensive diesel engine, and then keep paying more at the pump. Oh, does it require DEF? Have you ever prsed a diesel starter? I get the idea you haven't?

You want the same power you have now and 25 MPG from a truck? That isn't hard, seeing as how you only have maybe 185 hp and 270 ft pound torque, which is about the same torque as the V-6 Ram, and les horsepower. It gets 25 mpg, but again because it might be 4-5 inhes longer then your truck, you call it a road whale.

Hey man, they make Tacomas and Frontiers. Not our fault they barely get 20 mpg with a v-6, because Toyota and Nissan would rather concentrate on other things.
Man, you act so scared of big vehichles.

@Dave: The vague language is all in your park; implying that ALL Jeep models and Chrysler products will be built in Italy. That's nothing less than diversion and scare tactics.

Never, at any time, has anyone at Fiat/Chrysler said they would "Move production" but rather "build new vehicles (meaning new models like the Fiat Panda as a Jeep) for US sales." Such a vehicle could flat replace the already-despised Compass as the entry-level Jeep SUV.

Go ahead and spout your anti-government arguments; all they do is confirm the invalidity of your discussion.

@Dave: Bloomberg said that, not the boss. They re putting words in his mouth.

He addresed the comments.

I can just see it now "somebody on said this, it must be true!"

But here, if he is so intent to just manufacture in Italy, why would he plan on spending 240 milion in Detriot?

It's funny the crap you Ford and GM boys come up with because you don't like competition!

Fiat will be building Chrysler/Jeep/Ram vehicles in Italy in the near future when Fiat gains 100% ownership of the company in 2014.

April 9, 2013

Fiat, the Italian carmaker that controls Chrysler Group, said it has enough resources already to buy the remaining stake in the unit from the union health care trust fund, and won't sell new shares to finance a transaction.

A U.S. court will rule by the end of June on the amount Fiat must pay the UAW retiree fund for part of its holding, Marchionne said today.

What a beautiful truck. CLASS LEADING fuel economy. 3 brand new engines. Big towing numbers. Fully struted tailgate. Vastly improved interiors. I hope to own one someday.

I can't see Rams being built outside of the NAFTA region.

I can forsee other commercial vehicles being built and imported down the track when the chicken tax is removed and the US is UNECE compliant.

As for the pickup and the CAFE footprint, well I will stick to my past storyline. It will kill what you guys have known pickups to be. Single cabs and twin cabs with our midsize diesels looks to be in your future as well.

If twin cabs are the main pickup of the future then the Big 3 will use them as SUVs more so than work trucks.

The work trucks will be flat bed Transits, Ducato's etc.

I do think the government is regulating your pickups a bit to much. Protectionism isn't a good way to manage, eventually you will run out of short term gains and everyone will lose out.

Whatever you think there Greg.I'm sure they will but it would probably be something that is not being built currently (a new line) or something that they would be sending to Europe. Do you really think they would build 1/2 ton, 2500, 3500,and Chassis cabs there?

But then again Greg, you are merly a troll, and you fit real well into the last line I told Dave!

You can't hardly make one point. You are just here to start hype. One comment, and you can't even talk about the topic. You are weak.

I suggest you sit back and watch Ram outsell GM in the next few months, and then comment. You will probably be crying in your beer. Oh, you will just make up more s#!+!

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