It’s come to my attention that readers love extended cab trucks. I do, too, but not as much as single cabs since the most useful truck for cargo is a single cab long bed. Though, I admit that extended cabs are great. Let’s not forget the first-generation Raptor — back when it was called the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor — had an extended cab, which is the closest we’ll ever get to a single cab version.
Not only did the original Raptor have a gnarly 5.4-liter V8, it was also available as a SuperCab that had additional doors to access the small backseat. It was not quite as small as the cute couple of seats found in previous Ford Rangers, but neither was it as ungainly as the backseat of a SuperCrew, or double cab truck.
Single cab long bed trucks simply satisfy the platonic ideal of a truck. Or forget platonic if you like, because these machines are the most practical for cargo. But OK, vehicles have different uses for different people and sometimes a single cab long bed is not the best fit. In certain situations, another configuration is useful. Maybe it involves a short bed. Maybe it also involves a slightly longer cab.
But unlike crew cabs, extended cabs are still a configuration I’d call useful for truck things, not just for hauling family. And that’s mostly down to the jumper seats or small benches in the back, which are fun to ride in when you’re a kid but are not really suitable for most passengers over 12 years old.
Still, I appreciate extended cabs because they offer a place for gear that’s out of the way while sheltered from the elements. Like a cubbyhole for stuff, which doesn’t change the character of a truck’s design, just extends it. Anything bigger is a compromise.
Pickup buyers in America have accepted the compromise, obviously. Four-door trucks are perennial bestsellers, beating out sedans. But most trucks in the U.S. are family cars first, cargo vehicles second. The gnarliest trucks remain single cabs and extended cabs, like the original Raptor, which, despite its shorter bed, paired a big V8 with a relatively smaller truck than the Raptor we know today.
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