What Is a Double Cab Truck?

Toyota Tundra
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Double Cab is the term Toyota uses to describe its four-door pickup trucks. Toyota has an excellent reason to coin a unique name for what most companies call a Crew Cab; they invented the concept back in 1962. The mainstay of modern American roads first appeared as a version of the Toyota Stout pickup in Japan, alongside a wider-bodied competitor made by Hino called the Briska.

Toyota’s 4-door pickup heritage continues today in the midsized Tacoma and full-size Tundra. Like the term Double Cab, Toyota treats their 4-door trucks differently than the rest of the competition.

Full-Size Pickup Trucks

A full-size pickup is about utility first and foremost. Even in the modern era of luxurious trucks that rival luxury cars and SUVs in terms of refinement and accouterments, it’s expected that the bed will be able to be stuffed and the hitch challenged by heavy tows. Toyota’s Double Cab Tundra begins with a 4.6-liter V6 engine that develops 310 hp and 327 lb.-ft. of torque. Regular (2-door, 3-passenger) cab Tundras start with the more powerful 5.7-liter V8 that churns out 381 hp and 401 lb.-ft. of torque. Why? Every other manufacturer starts a 4-door full-size pickup with their middle or strongest engine, but their base engines are V6s. Toyota doesn’t have a V6 offering for the Tundra, so it starts with an adequate V8. A little more unusual, the Tundra Double Cab can be ordered in the manufacturer’s base trim: SR.

In step with modern expectations for creature comforts in a “passenger pickup”, full-size pickup models equipped with a four-door cab are generally not available in entry-level, basic trims. A full-size pickup buyer that’s looking into a four-door truck is more likely to expect a higher price for something that doubles as a workhorse and a family hauler, and competing pickups become four-door models at higher trim levels. If you’re regularly shuttling work crews in your truck and you’re looking for a value-oriented machine, the Tundra is worth a look. The same goes for families that need full-size utility without the extra expense of cushy options. 

Mid-Size Pickup Trucks

At the other end of the spectrum is the midsize pickup market, fueled by a new influx of people looking for the occasional and moderate utility of an SUV or wagon with the refinement of a daily driver. Before the arrival of GM’s Colorado and Canyon pickups, the midsize pickup market was waning. Ford’s Ranger and Dodge’s Dakota abandoned the contracting segment, leaving Nissan and Toyota to duke it out. Toyota’s approach to midsize truck domination mirrored its full-size approach, offering 4-door everyday practicality at a value price point and a premium price point. Like its current competition, the Double Cab Tacoma can still be outfitted with the most affordable engine option and dressed in the least expensive trim level available. A strong reputation for off-road prowess powers the Tacoma’s much higher-priced trim levels, exemplified by the TRD Pro. 

Edited by Jonathan Gromer