A TFL reader reached out saying we should call out Ford, GM and other automakers for killing regular cab midsize trucks in the U.S.
The latest crop of midsize trucks is emerging, with Ford and General Motors the first to strike with their new Ranger and Colorado/Canyon, respectively. One particular TFLtruck reader voiced his dismay, though, at the fact that neither of these trucks seem to have an extended cab version in the works for the U.S. market. For reference, the truck shown above is an Australian-spec Ford Ranger in base configuration, but rumor has it this will not translate into a 2024 model you’ll be able to buy from an American Ford dealer. From here on out, it appears, you can buy a crew cab or nothing at all.
So, what gives? Here is what our friend Craig had to say on the matter (slightly updated for formatting purposes):
“TFL and other media outlets should be telling Ford and GM loud and clear. The midsize market wants extended/SuperCab truck versions.
No 2023 Colorado/Canyon extended cab. Rumor is 2024 Ranger will only be a SuperCrew as well. Everyone is following the poor choice made by Jeep. Or worse, trying to produce Ridgelines!
So, smaller truck buyers are forced to consider barebones full-size monsters with a regular cab…it’s crazy! Bigger is NOT better. Even the 2017 Colorado midsize extended cab is as big as the ’90s regular cab full-size trucks. And these 4-door (no bed space) new midsizers are a joke on the name pickup truck.”
My thoughts: Most of you guys *don’t* want extended cab trucks.
First off, big thanks for sending in your email. If you guys would like to reach out with other questions or comments, please feel free to shoot us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second, I’ll risk getting flamed here to offer my response to that take on midsize trucks: No, most of you don’t want extended cabs.
That’s not to say I don’t completely understand and even personally agree with where Craig is coming from. To my mind, more choice in the truck market is always a great thing, and folks who don’t want or need the extra interior space should be able to opt for a shorter cab and longer bed.
Trouble is, I approach this argument the same way I do arguments for more manual transmissions over on TFLcar.com. Plenty of folks say they want manual transmissions, but relatively few actually follow through and buy them. Now, you could put forth the chicken-and-egg argument that people buy crew cabs because they have no other option. To some extent, though, perhaps it comes down to a stone-cold calculation that enough people didn’t buy the regular cab/extended cab trucks when they were offered.
Keep in mind, we’re talking about major automakers here whose driving motivation — as with any business — is to turn as much profit as possible. You do yield higher profit margins by funneling people into more expensive crew cab trucks, granted, but if there is strong enough demand for a certain type of vehicle, automakers may bend to enough voices throwing enough cash around. Some company fleets, for example, order regular cab half-ton and heavy-duty trucks.
But regular, retail buyers? Not so much, at least based on the anecdotal evidence. A huge number of people buy trucks as everyday drivers, and as such want a Swiss Army Knife. They want a truck that can do everything: Drive to work, take the kids to school or the family on vacation, haul your gear (or supplies to a job site), go off-road if it’s a 4×4 and tow whatever you plan on bringing along. Put all those factors into the business model, and you wind up with what we have: Crew cab trucks.
Sad for some, but true?
Again, that’s just my take on the situation. I have many folks reach out saying they want a row-your-own option for their next car. But you know what? The vast majority of American buyers don’t, and in the calculus of mass production, automakers have largely decided that the few who do aren’t worth the significant investment it takes to cater to their wants. On the whole, you guys don’t buy them, so it doesn’t make financial sense for the manufacturers to develop and build them.
You may want an extended cab or regular cab midsize truck, but unless thousands of folks here loudly agree with that, I don’t think Ford or GM or any other automaker will move on a swivel to make it happen.
Still, I thought this was an interesting question and wanted to open up a forum for you guys to voice your opinions. If you think I’m being a complete idiot here, that’s fine. I do actually like the Honda Ridgeline, for what that’s worth. For the sake of choice (and price), I sort of hope I am wrong on this one.
I had to work back through our archive to find the sort of smaller, midsize truck in question, and it’s the now-defunct D40 Nissan Frontier. You can still get the new D41 Frontier as an extended cab, though!