By on June 23, 2017

2014 Toyota Tundra Exterior-016

Now that pickup trucks have graduated from the role of farm and construction site conveyance to family hauler, space and seating have become as important as bed length and payload capacity. Not surprisingly, regular cab pickups and even extended-cab models have become a scarce sight on local roads.

Ram, Toyota and General Motors have since turned their extended cab full-sizers into front-hinged, almost-crew-cab four-doors, leaving Ford and Nissan with the only clamshell layouts in the business. As for regular cabs, who even thinks of those? Not many. So few, in fact, that Toyota beancounters decided to drop the axe.

Yup, there’ll be no regular cab Tundra when the refreshed 2018 models arrive in late summer. Are you sad?

Our guess is a resounding “no.”

Indeed, the Tundra regular cab proved so unpopular, its death means next to nothing for volume. It’s passing barely registers a mention. Toyota would much rather have brand loyalists know about its new TRD Sport trim, which will tempt buyers with an upgraded suspension and revamped looks.

“The heavy consumer demand for the Tundra CrewMax and Double Cab configurations … created low volume demand for the Regular Cab,” said Toyota spokesman Sam Butto, speaking to My San Antonio.

While domestic regular cab take rates, spurred by traditional fleet buyers, amount to the high single digits, Toyotas aren’t regularly seen parked in public works lots. Thus, the Tundra’s regular cab take rate was far, far less than that of Ford’s F-150, Chevrolet’s Silverado, or Ram’s 1500. Miniscule, in fact.

According to Ivan Drury, senior analyst for Edmunds, the Tundra’s take rate fell below the 1 percent mark. Actually, it’s less than halfway to the 1 percent mark. A Toyota source told PickupTrucks.com that over the first five months of 2017, just 0.4 percent of Tundras sold in the U.S. left the lot with two doors.

That means of 43,809 Tundras sold between New Year’s Day and May 31st, roughly 175 were regular cab models. While Nissan decided to build a “single cab” model of its redesigned Titan, it makes you wonder how long that variant will last. The same goes for models offered by the Detroit Three.

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41 Comments on “Toyota Drops the Incredibly Unpopular Regular Cab Tundra for 2018...”


  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I don’t recall the last time I saw a regular cab Tundra. With the exception of work fleets, regular cab trucks are the domain of young single guys or older empty-nesters.

  • avatar
    whynot

    One of my neighbors has a regular cab Tundra (with a short bed). It is one of the oddest looking trucks out there, the styling was clearly meant for larger trucks.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    I’ve only ever seen three or four single-cab Tundras throughout the entire decade of this model’s production. The way the window is shaped on the extended cab, it looks like that was the intended default configuration. The lines flow quite well in that size, as a matter of fact.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I wonder if regular cab sales would improve if manufacturers offered them in anything besides the lowest one or two trims. For example, I don’t think it’s possible to get leather or heated seats in any regular cab model, 1/2 ton or HD. The sport trucks of the 90s-00s that were mostly regular cabs have all gone away too.

    Of course, the companies will never change since people looking for features are forced into an even more expensive and profitable crew cab. I doubt there’s a huge market but I personally wouldn’t mind a bit more luxury in a work truck without needing a 22 foot long behemoth.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      If options were what was holding sales back we would see closer parity in sales between the regular cabs and the lower trim levels of the larger trucks. Obviously automakers would get more regular cab sales if they offered more versions, but it is not worth the increase in production complexity.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        But aren’t most of the wiring harnesses already there, and aren’t things like leather seats versus cloth a matter of what you’re bolting in?

        Not everything is that simple – I get it. Basing on a focus group of one, one of the main reasons I didn’t buy a Mazda6 5-door in 2005 is I couldn’t get key options I wanted in a manual transmission version.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        Even this is not necessarily true since there are options within trim levels that are only available in bigger cabs. Heated power seats are available in an F250 XLT extended or crew cab, but not an XLT regular cab. Ram is the same way with SLT trim. GM has a leather seat package for LT/SLE but only available in bigger cabs. Etc.

        There’s a similar steep drop off in option and trim availability between extended and crew cabs.

    • 0 avatar
      kkop

      I love my Ram Regular Cab, but true – I don’t think any trim has leather seats. Other than that though you can get just about anything as far as engine and option packages.

      Manufacturers (Ram anyway) seem to try to use the Regular Cabs as gateway drugs: get younger people in with inexpensive, but fun trims: 5.7 Hemi with blacked out exterior, LED headlights, Satellite Radio, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “I wonder if regular cab sales would improve if manufacturers offered them in anything besides the lowest one or two trims”

      no it wouldn’t. two-seat vehicles have no mainstream appeal.

    • 0 avatar
      Carilloskis

      Ford had the tremor in 2014 that was heavily optioned fx4/ fx2 with mac sport appearance group nice leather seats etc. and it flopped. Most of us want the larger cabs. I have the extended cab raptor and my next truck will be a crew cab. I think the regular cabs are going the way of The dodo because they lack interior cargo space and people used to ride in beds of pickup trucks. Growing up in the 90s that was not an unusual sight to see people riding in the bed of a truck on the highway. Now laws frown on it and we have crew cab trucks almost as standard.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Should read:

    Toyota Drops the Incredibly Unpopular Tundra for 2018 to make way for Tacoma Production

    • 0 avatar
      CaddyDaddy

      …….. when I read the headline, my brain auto filled that Tundra production will cease in 2018. I thought, well they finally admitted that rather than paint a new face on old bones like they did with the Tacoma, they just killed the platform.

      I know 5 truck owners who did the Tundra thing 7-9 years ago and nothing wrong with the truck, just wanted something different after 150K – 200K miles. They went to the Toyota dealership and test drove the same truck they drove into the dealership to trade. They were disappointed and all went back to bow tie or blue oval. The market has moved way past the Tundra.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      … what?

      Per GCBC, last year Toyota sold 115,489 Tundras (43809 YTD 2017).

      They sold 191,631 Tacomas last year (78,153 YTD). Are they really supply constrained there? I don’t know how to find their day-supply of inventory, but the first local dealer I found has *29* Tacos on the lot, so presumably not?

      “Incredibly unpopular” and “115,000 units” seems a bit much.

      (The only way to call the Tundra “incredibly unpopular” is to class it with the F-150 … but under that logic, we’d have to cancel the Tacoma, too, since Ford still sells 4 times as many F-150s as Toyota does Tacomas.)

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        “(The only way to call the Tundra “incredibly unpopular” is to class it with the F-150…”

        While 115K units is OK (to great) for cars, BOF trucks are totally different animals. There’s too many variations (if done right), too much labor and a logistical, assembly bottleneck.

        Extremely high volume is key here. The Big 3 make it look easy with obscene fullsize pickup profits. Toyota couldn’t sell the Tundra without fullsize Toyota SUVs and a shared assembly line with Tacomas. Same goes or Nissan and its Titan (failure).

        For GM and Ford, their fullsize SUV sales are icing on the cake. Toyota and Nissan limit choices on their fullsize pickups to save costs, although that costs them untold “sales”. They’re $crewed either way.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Toyota distributes vehicles to regional distributors. Las Vegas happens to be in the “Denver Region”. The Denver region hasn’t received any regular-cab Tundras in years.

    If you punch in my ZIP code to Toyota’s website, it doesn’t even show that a regular-cab Tundra exists.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      The only regions that still have private distributors are the southeast (Southeast Toyota Distributors LLC, in Jacksonville, FL), and the western Gulf states (Gulf States Toyota, based in Houston). The rest of the distributors were bought out years ago, absorbed by Toyota Motor Sales USA.

  • avatar
    zip89123

    It’s an overpriced unpowered pig, so of course they don’t sell.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      And yet the big-cab ones do, to the tune of over 100,000 units a year.

      Presumably they cost *more* and have the same powerplant with more weight.

      Yet! People buy them?

  • avatar
    wintermutt

    For those whose garages cannot handle a long truck, this may be the end of Tundras for us. I bet if they offered the crew max rear window slider in the single cab they would have sold more. It really is unfair given the more options in the crew max.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Toyota dropped the RCSB years ago, the long bed is as garage unfriendly as every other half ton.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      They would have sold more.

      Maybe a .75% take rate instead of <.5%.

      Thus why they did not.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      I always love this. On the one hand among the commenters here, we lament the loss of simple work trucks and talk of the tacky chrome and other luxury items that take away from the “truckiness”. Then we gripe it won’t fit in the garage. It is a freaking truck, park it in the driveway. And don’t give me the cold snow crap…my Miata wintered outside in upstate NY and it and I are both still here.

  • avatar
    joeydimes

    I remember seeing one in a Home Depot parking lot one day. I was so struck by the odd appearance and the fact that I didn’t know they existed I snapped a photo to send to my brother.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    A saw one about a week ago but in 10 years I could count on one hand the number of Tundra regular cabs that I have seen on the road.

    I can understand why Toyota will discontinue the regular cab Tundra. Tundra is not a large seller and it would be better for Toyota to increase Tacoma production at the expense of making less Tundras. Make just enough Tundras to sell especially since Toyota does not offer rebates for the most part. I think it is a waste of resources for Toyota to redesign the Tundra because they will not get a lot more sales and the tool and dye cost has since been paid for. Better to spend the money on redesigned suvs and crossovers where Toyota seems to be in the top 5. Nissan is not doing that well with the redesigned Titan even though it is a very competitive product.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Ford GM and Ram “regular cabs” are also a tiny fraction of total pickup sales. They just sell crapton of trucks. Percentage-wise it helps that Ford/GM/Ram have healthy “fleet sales” that often prefer/demand regular cabs.

      Even for Ford, RCSB F-150s (especially complete strippers, 2wd) have to be “loss leaders” But Ford/GM/Ram can absorb the loss. Toyota can’t.

      But no doubt RCSBs help sell their bigger, more luxo, assembly line “brothers”. They lure customers on to the sales lot, the ones there are “sold”, and they’re hit with the “upsell”. Or if they do buy the RCSB and become loyal to Ford, they’ll come back with more money and better credit.

      Fleets also tend to buy a variety of “cabs”, for hourly employees (grunts) to supervisors/owners/partners, including Platinums/Limiteds.

      It’d be super silly to go with one brand for the RCSBs and a different brand or the crew cabs etc. I know it seems shocking to Toyota and Nissan, but “fleet buyers” also buy luxo, high end pickups, thus $crewing themselves again!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Noooo I was just going to buy one, never.

    How about Tacoma?

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This is not unexpected since 75% of pickups are hauling air.

    Extra cabs are also more versatile if you don’t require the rear seat for your 1.8 kids.

    What would be nice is the 4.5 V8 diesel from the midsize 79 Series ute and 200 Series as an option in the Tundra.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Toyota isn’t stupid. What happened with the Ram diesel 3.0? What DIDN’T happen with the Cummins Titan??

      But I’ll help you out since you seem confused. Read your “source” again. It’s around 75% of *trucks* that “haul air”. Listen to the next part carefully… “Trucks” as they’re referred to, includes “pickups” but also in includes PT Cruisers to CUVs, and of course vans, minivans and SUVs.

      Another clue is the biggest selling “pickups” have around 40% fleet sales alone.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        Yes because someone has to be at Max payload 100 percent of the time to justify a truck. My truck gets “trucked” probably a week out of every month nowadays with a few extra days tossed in during the summer pulling boats and a 5000 pound RV. The rest of the time it is a very comfy 22mpg or so daily driver. That is the beauty of the modern pickup…there is no more versitile vehicle out there. Yes I could own a commuter vehicle and a separate truck (the travel trailer negates the wagon and trailer bull that gets bantered on here), but it would cost more in maintenance, insurance, and headache than my current arrangement.

  • avatar

    I had 2 neighbors with them. One a long bed with lift and full dessert race look with spare in the bed and lots of driving lights. The other a bright blue short bed with a cap. It looked much better with the color matched snug top then without. He ended up taking it for a double cab Tacoma.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Even fleet users nowadays want extended cabs, for the inside storage space. Speaking of the Tundra, they’re getting just another refresh for 2018? They’ve been building the same truck since 2007, with somewhat of a reskin for 2014 (plus a new interior). I guess they’re content with sales that lag way behind Ford, Chevy/GMC, and RAM?

  • avatar
    Kevin Young

    Two Rare Regular Cab Toyota Trucks

    I had searched high and low for a 5.7L 6 speed RWD SR5 RCSB at a reasonable price, it seems everybody is asking a high price for them. Anyway, I finally found what I was looking for last weekend… my new to me 2007 RCSB is parked right next to my 2002 4.7L 4 speed 4WD SR5 RCLB.

    Does anyone have Regular cab Tundra production numbers that they can share?

  • avatar

    And ever since Toyota decided not to offer the RC in North America, the regular cab Tundra has become increasingly popular.

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