Ford vs. Chevy: Reg Cabs Show Staying Power

  2013 Ram 1500 R:T

Ford photos from KGP Photography / Chevy photos from Chris Doane Photography

With the vast majority of half-ton pickup trucks sold in the U.S.sporting four full-sized doors and even the government conspiring against them, you'd think the base-model standard cabs would twindle to the point of extinction. Not so; in fact, they are still a popular choice, especially for big fleet buyers. However, with the spotting of a 2013 Ram 1500 R/T a while back, news from Ford that it will have a 2014 Ford Tremor sport truck in regular-cab configuration, and rumors about a sport-truck-themed performance package slated for the new Chevrolet Silverado 1500, we may start seeing regular-cab numbers climbing in the near future.

For now, depending on which truck maker you're talking about, the numbers hover just less than 10 percent of the total production mix. Clearly that's enough for manufacturers to keep making a good profit with them. Although there have been rumors that the segment-leading Toyota Tacoma might ditch the regular-cab option, our guess is that the half-ton market will keep them around for quite a while.

Our spy photographers are seeing quite a few early production models, as well as pre-production test units, all over the place. That makes us happy because that means there's still hope of keeping entry-level pricing for a new pickup within reach of most buyers.

We happen to get an early look at a testing regular cab shortbed new Silverado (oddly, with towing mirrors but without a trailer hitch) and a longbed 2015 F-150 near the same time so we thought we'd pass them onto you. Additionally, we found this Toyota Tundra rendering from the folks at and thought it was interesting as well. You can bet that at some point down the road, if it's at all possible, we'll be doing a regular cab, big-torque V-8, shortbed shootout. 

2014 SilvyRegCabShBox_cdauto_8613_5 II
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F-150RegCab.b01.KGP II

2014 SilvyRegCabShBox_cdauto_8613_8 II
F-150RegCab.b11 II

2014-toyota-tundra-pickup-regular-cab-rendering II



My favorite truck of all time is a regular cab, long bed 4x4 or 4x2!

I thought Toyota did away with the RCSB Tundra for 2014? I would think hemi lol might want to clear that up because I have been hearing that on some Tundra forums.

@ Old GM guy
I'm with ya!

Does anyone else notice the different rear shock position on the F150? Appears to have changed- similar to that I the Tacomas setup.

@AD - The RCSB Tundra will remain, but the RCSB Tacoma will be gone after '14 and is already gone from Canada. The RCSB Frontier hasn't existed in North America for almost a decade. The RCSB Titan never existed.

Despite the low profit margin of RCSBs, 'Big 3' full-size trucks sell plenty of loaded, high end crew cabs to make up for base strippers and cheapskates like me. RCSB base strippers could be around 5% of full-size trucks and up to 50% of mid-size trucks.

Nissan got out of the RCSB circus and can hardly sell a truck because of it. The Nissan Hard Body was the #1 small truck at one point before they cancelled the RCSB. And the Tacoma went from the #24 best selling vehicle in the US to #62 in Canada from the missing RCSB.

In the small truck game, you either lose or you lose.

It don't matter what FURD does cause they still sell the BIGGEST pile of Sh*(t!! of all time.

I agree with the comments above. The regular cab long bed truck is THE BEST LOOKING OVERALL TRUCK.

I also want to mention one other thing before I end this post. THE FORD GIRLY GIRLS NEED TO SHUT THEIR PIE HOLES. Based on what I see above, the Ferd F-One-Chitty doesn't look any different to me compared to the current generation. I've heard you GIRLY GIRLS FLAPPING YOU JAWS FOR LONG ENOUGH about the Silverado looking exactly like the previous generation. Some people have nothing better to do than B&TCH. Get a life girly girls.

Stupid move financially in terms of cost of production.
They must sell enough to at least break even or the bean counters wouldn't allow it. Still, it diverts resources that could be used to improve the more profitable extracabs and crew cabs.

I really miss my previous 2 Chevy's with the ext. cab and 8ft. bed. I now drive a weenie bed truck like the rest of you. Seems every time I need to haul something that 6.5 bed won't hold it and now Chevy has discontinued it. Trucks are becoming more like cars everyday. Nothing but people haulers. Might have to go back to a reg. cab. Oh, I don't care for Ford's so I don't have much choice.

We don't get the SWB single cabs in Australia, we used have a few 30 years ago.

But, here single cabs are much the same as in the US, most of our's are dual cabs. Over 80% are 4x4 as well.

Also, more and more are being used as SUVs here, I can see the day when we will get 'low load capacity' utes that will carry less than 2 000lbs. VW Amarok already has an option to have low spring set utes.

Like you guys in the States our pickups are becoming SUVs with a bed. The original work aspect of the ute has died except for a very few sold as a proportion of total sales numbers.

It will be interesting to see in a decade where these types of vehicles will be, even in Australia.

I can see single cabs disappearing, the pickup/ute has become a SUV. I'm referring to 1/2 ton pickups and midsizers

That ford looks like a big shoe box with 4 wheels. Luckily they still have time to make changes.

that Chevy truck looks like it's going to tip forward. I like the looks of the ford real leveled.
But I can't take my eyes off the tundra. I like the tundra a lot.

I see Atlas all over the next gen f150. Just look at the way the bed curves up towards the top and carry's through to the front fender. The front fenders and hood look to be inspired by the Atlas as well.

It just Pisses me off that none of them are offered with a manual transmission anymore.

My dream truck right now Would be any of the big three half tons. but I will take a Chevrolet 4x4 standard cab long bed with a manual transmission. how real work truck should be everything manual. just my 2 cents.

wow a lot of hate for ford. Sore losers. Crying about being outsold by an ancient truck. Chevy is already eating ford's dust. Doesn't look good for them in 2014 if the next f-150 is anything near as popular as the atlas concept. There is no need to change the f-150 much as it continues to increase market share and gain even more of a sales lead over gm/ram. The reason we are disappointed the chevy looks so similar is because it desperately needed to do something different to stop the bleeding of it's market share and catch back up to ford. It would be stupid to change the f-150 too much as it is still the most-liked design overall even with newer ram and chevy trucks.

Industry has proven over and again that bean counters don't know how to run a business; that's why so many companies have gone bankrupt over the years.

They need to ignore market polling; the people they're talking to simply don't know what they really want. Not one truck in the images above catch my interest EXCEPT the Toyota.

The side pic of the Silverado makes that truck look nasty, what is up with square wheel wells that are just big enough for a stock tire... and they're probably 235's! GM needs to fire their designers and get some new ones...... although the new head light on the F150 looks to be an ugly configuration.... what's with Ford and their ugly grills lately!?? And the Tundra, I can't stand the Tundra....but that black one doesn't look bad... I'm shocked that I would say that!! LOL I think it's funny that the Titan never gets invited to parties..... what's with all the hate toward the Titan......other than it doesn't sell!!

The Singla Cabs seem to have very short beds. Are they 7foot plus or much shorter?

@ Karl and everyone

ram is the only one to offer a regular cab long bed with a manual transmisson. only on 2500s though. and only with a cummins as well. the funny thing about ram hds is that they offer a manual transmisson on a motor that is limited by it but the hemi's are begging for a manual transmisson. especially considering that they are supposed to be the price cutters. i don't understand why ram just wont make the aisin the only transmisson with the cummins; industrial motor with industrial transmisson. they should make the 6.4 hemi the base motor (quit the 5.7 in the 2500s) with a 6 tremec from the challenger redone for hd truck use or a 7 manual from spicer or something else manual and have the 8 speed as the auto transmisson for the hemi. furthermore will chrysler build the 8 speeds for v8s/vm motori by next year or will zf still make them and if they do will they get the revised parking brake like the pentastar and if they do will the hds then get the 8 speed? but yeah Karl i would love to have a ram 2500 regular cab long beg 4x4 outdoorsman (or power wagon if they made it) 6.4 dual alternator with a six or seven speed manual and 4.10 or 4.56 gears (if avaliable with outdoorsman) and ram box. oh yeah the orginal power wagon was a regular cab long bed hd like ram still has but the power wagon isn't even an option on it (the very thing a power wagon originally was). if the power wagon is an "enthusiast" ride then it should be on a more versitle truck instead of a family hauler. the new power wagon is nice and some capability, but could have more with less doors.

For the guys complaining about the rake angle of the Chevy - - the reason for the rake angle is such that when the truck is loaded to GVWR that it has a near zero rake angle, but still positive. It's all about loaded attitude and customer perception of the vehicle. Ram does the same thing. The truck remains looking strong when loaded. Whereas, with Ford's F-150 and Super Duties, their more level stance leaves them tail dragging with their headlights pointing into outer space when loaded or towing a trailer.

On the subject of the different rear shock configuration on the F-150 that someone brought up - - I presume the reason for the one shock pointing rearward is to reduce power hop that the F-150 struggles with when on loose surface or wet roads. I previously owned a current generation F-150, and with the forward shock configuration, the truck power hopped badly. The reason why the shocks were originally pointed vehicle forwards is for improved ride. Essentially, it reduces the truck's tendency for beaming.

i clearly don't understand why we can't get manual transmissons anymore on full size trucks, it is just a shame. a ram reg cab power wagon six speed hemi or a ram 1500 srt 8 with six speed and hemi would be nice. a diesel really doesn't even need a manual considering the rpm range (you would do more shifting with smaller rpm ranges) and you really want to ring out a gasser over a diesel right? just my opinion, but glad to hear what yall think. i think the tremor should be six speed as well. and if the corvette and porsches can get 7 speed manuals then a truck should as well (look at big rigs). a gen V small block with a six or seven speed would be bad ass as well.

@Robert Ryan, the Chevy pictured appears to have a 6.5' bed, the Ford appears to have an 8' bed, and the Tundra appears to have a 5.5' bed. Traditionally, crew cabs compromised on bed length so as to not make the overall truck too long, but it appears they give you an option for most of the bed lengths with any cab configuration now - with some limitations. So now you have short bed single cabs and long bed crew cabs. Though in the half-ton segment, crew cabs with 6.5' beds are considered "long" as 8' crew cabs are still non-existent. In the heavy duty trucks, 5.5' beds are non existent, so 6.5' is considered "short." I believe Ford and Toyota are the only ones to offer 8' beds in half-ton models, but only on single and double/supercab configuration.

@ Robert Ryan

regular cab
short bed (does not exist)
standard bed
long bed (2500s have this only on regular cabs)

extended cab
short bed (only on raptors)
standard bed
long bed(ford my have long bed for 2015 but gm and ram have quit this option on 1500s)

crew cab
short bed
standard bed (newly avaliable for gm and ram on 1500s)
long bed (only on 2500s on up)

i think bed lengths are 5 foot 8 inches, 6 foot 3 inches, 8 foot.

100% on the - make trucks with manual again. I think the sitting positions on new trucks are not conducive for column shifting. But that could be so remedied with on the floor again the way it should be anyway. Throw in the single cab with the right wheels and stance, and the right exhaust. Now, you have pickup trucks the way they were meant to be.

For your info, I have a 2006 Ram 2500 with a 5.9 cummins and a manual transmission. I have chipped it out and modified it from day one and it now has 175,000 miles with no trans troubles or anything. I do not see how you can say that a cummins is limited by the manual transmission. And it sure isn't weak either.

@ ME

gm and ford have a problem with too many wheel and tire options in my opinion. ram currently has 265/70-17, 275/60-20, and i think 285/50-22 (or something for this one) for sport r/t's. imo why cant gm and ford just have a 265/70-18 as the only 18 IF they have to have an 18. 17s for classic looks and LT tires and 20s for style; that is the way it should be imo. and 245/70-17s that gm uses are too small (those could be 265/70-17s and the fenders are playing tricks on your eyes in the picture). i think this is why gm has the best fuel economy though. their 18s are like 265/65-18 though, 5 percent more is about 2 more inches ride height roughly and would make the new z71 i saw at the dealership look a little better. gm and ford use 275/55-20s while ram uses 275/60-20s. i dont know why gm and ford just dont use the biggest normal sizes like ram does as it makes the trucks look better and simplifies tire sizes and computer calibration for transmissons for oems.

@ 06 Manual

what i mean is the manual can only handle so much torque (i am assuming as the H.O. Cummins nowdays is on the automatic instead of the manual as it used to be). and i am not knocking a Cummins and i prefer them first as well. and i dont doubt you either. it is just for some reason the manual transmisson can't be hooked up to the 6.7 H.O. with 385 hp and 850 lb-ft or torque. i guess engineers don't want to have to find a supplier but i bet a spicer 7 would work as last i checked ford uses a spicer 7 speed with a cummins in 650s and 750s trucks. i could be wrong but someone will let me know if i am lol just saying i thought i read that somewhere.

@ 06 Manual

btw, what is the highest rpm you have turned your cummins. if you chipped it did you turn off the rev limiter? i have always wondered how many rpms a cummins can acutally take before something happens, 4 grand maybe?

@Alex - I was looking at specs on the Chevy HD's and they consider the 6.5 box as standard and 8 ft optional. I don't recall Ford having a similar distinction on their HD's.

@Josh - which brand are you talking about?

- f150 has 5.5 (5 ft 6 in.) , 6.5 (6 ft 6in) and 8 ft.
- HD is 6.7 (6 ft 8 in) or 8 ft.

- 1500 has 5.7 (5 ft 8 in) or 6.4 (6ft 5 in) listed for the 2014's. They will come out later with 8 ft models.
- HD 6.5 (6 ft 6in) or 8 ft.

- 1500 has 5.6 (5ft 7 in), 6.3 (6 ft 4 in), 8ft
- HD has 6.3 (6 ft 4 in) or 8.2 (8ft 2 in)

- 6.5 (6 ft 6 in) 0r 8.1 (6 ft 1 in)

@ 06 manual

i want a manual transmisson something so bad if someone offered to trade a 4.7 with the getrag 6 speed, srt 10 with the tremec 6 speed (i think it was tremec) or a cummins with the six speed whatever brand it is i would give up my 2004 dodge ram 1500 slt sport reg cab standard bed 2wd with hemi 545rfe 3.92 anti-spin 9.25''. it is about as fast as silverado ss but a lightning or srt 10 will smoke me. :) btw i would not take a 3.7 even if it had the getrag 6 speed (i like an inline 6, but i hate v6s, especially weak ones.) I4s, I6s, V8s, V12s are naturally balanced I3s, I5s, V6s, V10s are not.

@ Lou

ok, disregard what i said about bed length numbers lol. but the part about short, standard and long is true. short beds are only on crew cabs and extended cab raptors. (i know it isn't called extended cab with ford but u know what i mean). standard beds are the shortest bed on regular cabs. long beds are not avaliable on crew cab 1500s and ram and gm no longer offer them on 1500 extended cabs.


@ Josh: Thanks for the info regarding the cab-and-bed configs. To add to it, I would just say that the short and standard bed lengths are slightly different between manufacturers. All the standard beds seem to be 6 feet, 6 inches, except Super Duties, which are 6'9" (6.75', same as all Styleside F-Series from 1973-96).

Also, I would add that non-Raptor F-150 SuperCabs were available with the short (5.5') box on a 133" wheelbase for all five years of the eleventh generation (2004-08) and the first of Gen 12 (2009), only on STX, XLT, FX2/4, and Lariat. Furthermore, Chevys/GMCs were also available as an extended cab-"shorty" bed from '04 to '07, the first year of the GMT900's. Looks pretty weird in any of the brands, IMO.

@ Manual Transexual

it depends on what segment you are looking at.

@ Lou and Josh: Dangit, it looks like I was a little slow on the draw getting my info out there. Oh well, it's good that more than one of us knows what he's actually doing here.

imo, extended cab short beds are ugly, extended cab long beds are ugly and extended cabs completely are pointless considering gm and ram extended cabs are just shorter crew cabs now. in fact these recent articles about regular cabs going away are ridiculous (on full size trucks). if any cab is going away it should be the extended cab. besides the saturn ion, how many extended cab cars have you seen in the past 10 years? 2 or 4 doors is the way to go, and imo gm recently switching extended cabs to front henged doors is a subtle way of nudging you into a crew cab to get ready for the future when imo extended cabs will disappear instead of regular cabs that have to stay for industrial use etc. btw, extended cabs come in one bed length for the most part (raptor has short bed) standard length/medium length. regular cab full size could be limited to fleets one day and all we might have is crew cab short and standard small/midsize trucks and crew cab short and standard 1/2 tons and 3/4 tons with standard and long and 1 tons long. extended cabs will disappear imo, ram doesn't make an extended cab (quad cab) 2500 on up anymore. i know crew is middle cab with mega cab top dog but still isn't the same.

@Lou @ Josh and @Alex,
Thanks for the replies.

Josh, I think your right as far as the extended cabs should just go away. Extended cabs are becoming crew cabs now, and with four doors you might as well just get the full size four door if your going to have four doors anyway. I still think Extended cabs look good though, I think they look more sporty at least in the old school form with the clam shell doors as it still looks like a two door coupe.

Also, if they get rid of the extended cabs maybe the manufactures could bring the prices down on crew cabs down to extended cab prices. Does it Cost Ram any more to make a four door quad cab V.S. a four door crew cab? I doubt it as it still has all the same hardware and the truck is still the same length yet Ram and GM are charging like 3 grand more to go to a crew cab from a quad cab.

I have a regular cab/short box 2013 F150 STX that replaced the old Ranger.
It has a large enough area behind the seats for groceries, camping gear, etc. Went with that configuration to fit in the garage and manoeuvrability.
Happy with it.

I can handle a standard cab--though I admit I prefer a long bed with it. Honestly, a standard cab just oozes the "work truck" pheromones, saying that it's capable of almost anything you want to throw at it.

My view of extended cab is to add 12"-18" behind the seat, really too short to carry any passengers comfortably but offering decent lockable storage for gear you simply don't want to leave out in the open bed. Primarily, I'd be using it to carry my tools and tie-down gear, but the 'bench' at least makes it possible to carry a decent-sized dog inside or a couple of young children. It's still not intended to be a "family car". Take the standard-cab's 8' bed and cut it by the added length of the cab. This should give you a roughly 7' bed which is still quite capable for most loads, though you may need to drop the tailgate for lumber and some other cargo.

The crew cab, to me, is useless--with limited exceptions. Yes, it's very helpful when you literally do have to take your work crew with you--such as track maintenance on the railroad or line crews for different utilities. The drawback is that such a truck, while maybe needing a long bed, will only garner a short bed; lucky to get 6' in most cases. In all cases this keeps the trucks' overall length about the same at roughly 18'--still able to fit in most garages (supposedly). Unfortunately this is no longer true.

By the descriptions above, I already see wasted money in every brand mentioned except Toyota. GM, Ford and Ram each have no less than three different bed sizes of which at least one pair is no more than 4" shorter or longer than the other with the 8' being the only "standard". If you want three differently-sized beds, make sense by having each one a full foot away from the next nearest size. It not only makes logical sense, it makes practical sense. It would also make economical sense for the manufacturer; reducing duplicated costs and possible assembly errors as it's not that easy to tell beds that are only 2" difference apart from each other in the typical assembly layout. One fitment error could throw the whole line off for hours.

Hooray for regular cabs. An 8 foot bed is a very nice thing to have-but 8 feet attached to an extended cab?? No thanks. Too long for where I have to go.

The Tundra has the best regular cab in the industry-if I recall correctly, they sized the storage area to carry five gallon paint or sealant containers. Good idea.

GM has the worst-I owned a Silverado RCLB for 12 miserable months in 2008-09. I could not store anything behind the seat. I hope the 2014's are better but the photo does not indicate that. The breakpoint was the Eaton rear axle-would lock up for no reason scrape rubber on one side.

Every day I see Super Crews with a box on their 5.5' bed-and less than 4 feet of clear load bed. I always wonder, why did they bother with a pickup?

@Vulpine - in actual fact, if you want a secure place to lock your gear, the cab is one of the worst places to put anything of value. The first time I took a vehicle extrication course, I was amazed at how pathetically easy it is to break a side window. A storage box with armoured lock that is attached to the box or to the cab is the most secure way to go. I've had truck cabs B&E'd several times in my life but I've never (knock on wood) had anything stolen from my galvanized steel dry box.

I am more inclined to agree with some of the other posters. Why have an extended cab when they make a crewcab?

I suspect that due to EPA/Emission ratings we will see regular cabs get replaced by extended cab trucks.

OK I understand sorry, I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page, I understand what you are saying now.

I have removed the rev limiter but I have not taken it up to 4 grand before. I would be hesitant to rev one that high as they are really not made for that, but I can't say anything intelligent on it as I have never tried it!

I love the manual personally, but it can be a pain in the rear in traffic lights in urban areas. But the sound with a straight pipe is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!

Love regular cab long box chevys, or Fords, they are an antidote to today's cars, al the same ugly soaps on 4 wheels.

The RCSB 1/2 ton is an incredible good deal. Especially if you can get it with a V8 and under $20K. What the heck else, in the car world, can you get that compares for the same scratch?

The RCSB Tacoma is also an incredible good deal. I can't believe it's still available. Someone has to be taking a loss on it. A V6 option, manual trans RCSB Taco would have been insane. I mean a 300+ HP V6.

Still, the SuperCab and 6.5' bed is always my 1st choice for the daily grind, travel, home projects and recreation. Perfect. The SC and 6.5' bed also have the right proportions, aesthetically speaking. The clamshell, pillarless doors are perfect for loading yourself and kids, dogs, power tools, groceries, gear, in 1 swoop without the doors getting in the way. I'm starting to see crew cabs converted to clamshell/suicide doors for the same reasons.

I hope to never see the extended cabs die. Unfortunately, they appear to be going to mostly crew cabs... which historically resulted in less box realty. No thanks, give me an extended cab any day.

First off, Lou, I wouldn't buy a crew cab. Even if that were the only style available and I absolutely needed one, I wouldn't buy it; I'd rent for the purpose and take it back as soon as I was finished with it. I Simply Do Not Need Four Doors.

This also means that I have absolutely no interest in the newer Rams--though I like their overall styling. But because their extended cab has two conventional-looking back doors, it's uglier than the crew cab, and that's saying something. From what I can tell so far, only Ford is keeping that back pair of doors subdued--so they aren't as obvious as doors. BUT, I don't trust Ford's quality. GM seems to be following RAM with making their half-doors LOOK like full-sized doors.

As to your comment about security--hey, my Jeep has canvas; it's even easier to break into. However, if the thief can't SEE anything, why waste the time and effort to break in and also take the chance at getting caught breaking in for no payoff? I mean, really; only a thief who KNOWS something is in the truck worth grabbing is going to break in. That outside tool box cuts into your cargo space and has tempted more than one thief to break in--expecting to find expensive tools in that box. More than once over the years I've lived where I do now have I heard of whole diamond-plate tool boxes getting taken right out of the truck whole. The locks on some of those boxes are worse than the door locks of the truck itself.

@Vulpine - you missed the "A storage box with armoured lock" part or more specifically armoured lock. You also missed the "attached to the box or to the cab" part ;) Just giving you a hard time on that one.

You have said many times that you don't need a big truck and its just you and your wife IIRC, in that case, a crew cab is overkill. In my position, a crerwcab is the only viable option short of a Tahoe or Suburban.

AD & Denver Mike- the RCSB config is absent in the 2014 brochure. For RC it only lists LB availability. The truck in the picture has the Limited Grill, which while its by far the least offensive, isn't available on a RC.
@Big from Oz- what we seem to be losing here are any options for higher payload capacity. Used to be you could opt for a few hundred pounds extra. The ratings especially on our 1.2ton crews are pitiful, save the high capacity option on the F150. If you load up you basic "tow a house" crew cab with 4 guys, each with a large duffel bag, you're left with MAYBE 500# load capacity, if the truck has no ad-ons whatsoever. Subtract another couple hundred for some tools, an aftermarket shrub-guard and a bed cover, and you're left with only 300# for tongue weight=3000# trailer. WTF? Guideline should be at least to have an AVAILABLE suspension that leaves you with 1000# of bed load WITH a full load of passengers.
@RR- an American "standard" bed is around 6.5ft (1.95m). The Short Box size that comes with most crew cabs is about a foot less than that, while proper long beds are allways just over 8ft (2.4m) so building materials will lay flat.
@Josh- because of the low take rate of manual transmissions, they are no longer a cost-cutting option. When 4speed autos were the standard, the extra gears of a 5-6 speed manual was a power advantage. With 6speed autos featuring tow-haul programming, they really do work better all around than a manual trans in a truck. The SRT10 Ram was horrible to drive, because the shifts were damn near impossible to get off quickly. the same truck with a well-tunes 6speed auto would have been better.

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