Carmakers are making pickups look and behave more like SUVs in a bid to convince Europeans that the new generation of trucks no longer is just for farmers and construction workers.
The move mirrors the increase in expanded-cab vehicles that has made pickups more appealing to families in the United States.
"There's a clear shift from the utilitarian single cab to full cabs or dual cabs with four doors and five seats, which makes it a leisure vehicle," said Jon Williams, marketing director for Toyota Motor Europe.
Toyota's sixth-generation Hilux goes on sale next month with more interior space plus changes to its suspension and steering that make it more comfortable.
Nissan promises that its new Navara isn't like other pickups because it shares a platform with the new Pathfinder SUV. The truck is built in Barcelona, Spain, and went on sale this summer.
"The Navara will bring to market attributes that will change the perception of these vehicles in Europe," said Macarena Cassinello, a quality director at Nissan Europe. Those attributes include improved ride and handling compared with older trucks.