Is the CrewMax a Mega Cab killer? Yes and no. A quick look at the specs reveal that the CrewMax is potentially superior to the Mega Cab 1500 in key areas (not including rear passenger space, bed size, payload), presuming they are both equipped with a 5.7L V-8. But the Mega Cab is, a 2500 or 3500 at heart when properly equipped with a Cummins and proper suspension, while the CrewMax plays only in the 1/2-ton space and has no diesel egine available. So, in reality, the Mega Cab 1500 is probably appealing to a dwindling supply of appearance buyers, while the more practical-minded are probably going for the 3/4- or 1-ton.
Interestingly, Dodge seems to be downplaying the 1500 Mega Cab on its website, but making it a more obvious choice on the 2500 and 3500 web pages. This tracks with our own impressions of the Mega Cab that it doesn't really come into its own until it has a diesel clattering under its hood and those heavy duty springs bouncing under the bed.
Dodge designed the Mega Cab at a time when research pointed to increasing demand for crew cab configurations. The staff here at Truckin' has driven Hemi- and Cummins-powered versions of that truck, and we feel that Dodge hit the mark as far as passenger space. Unfortunately, fuel prices soared and the desire for the bigger-is-better pickup correspondingly tanked. We considered parking the Hemi as soon as fill ups reached the $100 mark.
Curious to see how the factory specs for the Mega Cab 1500 and the CrewMax compare? Check this out (specs presume 5.7L engines and 4WD):
Cargo Bed Size: Mega Cab's bed is almost a foot longer. Measurements are of cargo bed floor, lengthwise and between the wheels.
Mega Cab, 76.3x51 inches.
CrewMax, 66.7x50 inches.
Passenger Space: Mega Cab offers more overall passenger space thanks to almost a foot more rear legroom. CrewMax has slightly more front leg and headroom, however.
Headroom front/rear (Mega Cab, 40.8/40.5 inches. CrewMax, 40.2/38.7 inches.)
Legroom front/rear (Mega Cab, 41/44.2 inches. CrewMax, 42.4/34.7 inches.)
Shoulder room front/rear (Mega Cab, 67/66.5 inches. CrewMax, 66.6/ 65.7 inches.)
Hip room front/rear (Mega Cab, 64.9/64.4 inches. CrewMax, 63/62.6 inches.)
Gasoline Powerplant: CrewMax has more power available sooner. Specs for 5.7L V-8s, the Tundra's 5.7 is very slightly larger.
Mega Cab, 345 hp at 5,400 rpm and 375 lb-ft at 4,200 rpm
CrewMax, 381 hp at 5,600 rpm and 401 lb-ft at 3,600
Diesel Powerplant: Mega Cab offers a diesel for its 3/4- and 1-ton versions, the Tundra doesn't slot into those higher-capacity truck categories and doesn't offer a diesel at all. The Mega Cab needs the diesel to really bring it to life.
Transmission: CrewMax offer a more fuel efficient 6-speed and a higher differential ratio for its tow package.
Mega Cab, 5-speed automatic with 3.73 and 4.10 diff ratio.
CrewMax, available 6-speed automatic with 4.1 and 4.3 diff ratio.
Brakes: Both use 13.9-inch rotors.
Curb Weight Spec: CrewMax is lighter, allowing better fuel efficiency and useable power
Mega Cab, 6,179 pounds.
CrewMax, 5,630 pounds.
Towing: CrewMax kicks heiny on this one.
Mega Cab, 8,400 pounds max trailer weight with a GCWR of 15,000 pounds.
CrewMax, 10,400 pounds max trailer weight with a GCWR of 16,000 pounds.
Payload: Mega Cab gets this one.
Mega Cab, 2,040 pounds.
CrewMax, 1,420-1,585 pounds.