Truck enthusiasts typically remain loyal to their favorite brands. They understand that automakers compete to be the first to offer new features, bigger engines, and better options. Regardless of which truck you think is best these days, Dodge Ram fans are shaking their heads with the latest Ram feature. Let’s look into what some Ram fans are calling a “gimmick.”
The tailgate wars
Over the years, heavy-duty truck makers seem to race to be the first in offering new options. For a while, there were torque wars. Then there was a push to embrace fuel economy. Technology and luxury came into play as each brand competed for best in class. But today’s half-ton truck lovers are noticing a shift in design to focus on the rear. Enter the tailgate wars.
2019 GMC Sierra offers MultiPro
GMC took the tailgate wars to a new level with its MultiPro tailgate. It is the multi-tool of truck bed access with up to six different configurations. Fold-out a step, create a durable table or go long and flat or extended length material hauling. To accommodate the additional 51 pounds, it also offers a torsional spring assist.
Ford offers an integrated tailgate step
Ford has had the tailgate step option for a few years but now includes a spring-loaded ladder step. The tailgate also provides a vertical, telescoping handlebar for easy mounting. The extra step adds an additional 46 pounds to the gate itself, for which Ford indicates the lift assist feature was designed.
Honda Ridgeline’s Dual-Action tailgate has been around for years
Introduced on the original Honda Ridgeline line years ago, the tailgate includes a drop-down or swing-open option. It also features the only in-bed trunk, a reason for the flexible tailgate design.
Even brands not embarking on complete redesigns for truck rears are at the very least making general enhancements. For example, both the Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra incorporate mechanical torsion rods for tailgate lifting ease.
2019 Dodge Ram offers the split tailgate
So, what has the Dodge Ram fans shaking their heads? Innovation has brought a new take on the tailgate operation. Dodge introduced the 60/40 split tailgate this year. Not to be outdone regarding trick tailgates, the Ram 1500 gate can drop as a single piece or can swing out in sections. It can also be operated by remote and accommodate 2,000 pounds when lowered.
Available on any trim level for the Ram 1500, Dodge hoped to inch ahead in the rear-end wars. But are the loyal Dodge fans excited?
Some Dodge fans cry, “Gimmick!”
Some fans, despite their intense loyalty to Dodge, believe this tailgate design is a gimmick as are the tailgate wars in general.
One online thread shared opinions likening the truck enhancements to the smartphone industry. It’s been suggested that it’s almost like they’re running out of upgrade ideas. So, the companies are now focusing on insignificant add-ons for the appearance of ‘bigger’ and ‘better.’
In the truck enthusiast forums, fans also shared opinions that we might be one redesign cycle away from rear-steering and auto trailer hookup yet again.
What are your thoughts on the latest tailgate wars? It’s agreed that while the technology is getting better, many wonder just how useful these trick gates really are. It may add value to the trucks, but at least with the Dodge Ram 1500 split tailgate, it’s not convincing everyone.