As long as pickup trucks keep dominating sales charts, automakers will continue developing new features to give their products an edge over the competition. The latest battleground? Trick tailgates. GM recently took tailgate tech to a new level with its MultiPro tailgate available on the GMC Sierra 1500 and HD. Not to be outdone, FCA just introduced its Multifunction tailgate on the 2019 Ram 1500, which can drop down like a traditional tailgate or split open like barn doors. Given these new tailgate innovations, let’s take a closer look at the options truck brands offer today.
The big tailgate news from Ram is its $995 Multifunction option. The tailgate is split 60/40, and the side-hinged doors can swing out up to 88 degrees for easier access to the bed, especially when you opt for the $295 retractable center step. This is a boon for accessing the bed while a trailer hitch with a vertical tongue jack is attached. Alternatively, you can drop it like a regular tailgate, which can still support 2,000 pounds. The feature is cool, but it does add weight. Ram tells us the Multifunction tailgate weighs 75 pounds more than the standard gate, though there is damping when you drop it vertically. The side-hinged doors have detents to prevent them from swinging too far.
GMC Sierra 1500 and HD
The optional MultiPro tailgate helps set the GMC Sierra apart from its Chevy Silverado sibling. The tailgate has a hinged upper portion that can become a step when the gate is down, a small table when the gate is up, and a load stop in either position. In total, there are six different configurations. On the driver’s side of the bed is a folding handle for the tailgate step, which locks in place so you can easily pull yourself up. MultiPro is standard on 1500 Denali, SLT, and AT4 models,
Just like Ram’s Multifunction gate, the MultiPro adds weight, though not quite as much. Compared to the base tailgate, MultiPro is 51 pounds heavier on the Sierra 1500, and 20 pounds heavier on the Sierra HD. A torsional spring and damper assists with opening and closing, however.
Ford F-150 and Super Duty
Ford has offered its integrated tailgate step for years now, which means the design has had plenty of time to prove its durability. The option, offered on both the F-150 and Super Duty, includes a spring-loaded ladder step that extends from the top of the tailgate and drops down. The gate also has a vertical handle bar that telescopes out the top and folds up. The step adds 46 pounds to the tailgate, and Ford says the feature includes a lift assist feature to help compensate for the extra weight.