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Every pickup truck needs a tailgate to get into the back. Since the first pickup trucks they’ve basically been simply flop-down affairs. But now Ram, Chevy, Ford, and Honda are showing that they don’t have to. The new designs from each incorporate everything from steps to side hinges that allow them to open like a refrigerator, not an oven, or add clever spots to hold tools or your lunch. Each has a feature you may never want to live without again.

The Ram MultiFunction Tailgate splits 60/40

A Red Ram 1500 showing how the MultiFunction tailgate can open.
2019 Ram 1500 Multifunction Tailgate with Mopar Bed Step | Ram

Ram 1500 trucks were redesigned in 2019 and came out with the optional MultiFunction tailgate. It can work like a regular tailgate, and support 2,000 pounds of weight. But, it also has a vertical split allowing both sides to open like regular doors in a 60/40 split. With the doors open, you don’t have to drag stuff over the tailgate. Also, it’s easier get to items that are in the bed, since you don’t have reach over two feet of tailgate to get to the bed. An optional step makes it easy to hop up in the bed, too. The MultiFunction tailgate is a $995 option.

Fun Fact: If you also get the RamBox cargo holders in the bed, the driver’s side one has a 115-volt outlet for charging power tools.

How much is the GMC MultiPro or Chevy MultiFlex tailgate?

A gray GMC Sierra showing how the MultiPro tailgate works.
GMC Sierra 1500 showing the MultiPro tailgate | GMC

General Motors added the Multi-Flex, if you’re into Chevys, or the MultiPro, if you prefer GMC, tailgate to its trucks in 2021. The Multi gates open like a regular tailgate but have an extra panel. That panel hides a flip down section that can double as a step when the gate is down. It, too, allows you to walk up to the edge of the bed. Multi-gates also offer a fold-out step that makes getting into the bed easier. When it’s up, you can also fold down the tailgate flap and use it as a standing step.

The Multi version also gets a small but sturdy flip-up section that can keep stuff, like long 2x4s from flying out of the back. The tailgate is a $595 option and part of the Work Truck packages on Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra 1500.

Fun Fact: the MultiPro is standard on the SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4 and Denali trims of GMC trucks.

The Ford F-150 tailgate is made for tools

Ford takes a different approach with its tailgate. While Ford was one of the first to put a step in its tailgate, with a clever pull-out handle, it’s kept its tailgates relatively simple. The Ford F1-150 tailgate has two pockets that are designed for C-clamps or other tools and are aligned with a 48-inch built-in ruler, and two stie down spots that double as bottle openers. The Ford puts its power outlet in the bed of the truck which makes it easy to get to if you do use your tailgate as a work surface. But, there is a new multi-function tailgate on the way from Ford, too.

Fun Fact: If you order the power tailgate in your F-150, you can lower it from inside the truck.

The Honda Ridgeline tailgate was the first to open sideways

Honda Ridgeline Swing Tailgate Open and bed trunk open
Honda Ridgeline Swing Tailgate | Honda

Honda took an SUV-like approach to its SUV-like pickup truck then it launched the Honda Ridgeline in 2006. The Honda Ridgeline was the first to offer a tailgate that opens like a door, not an oven. But, It also opens down like on every truck. The side-opening tailgate is key to using Honda’s in-bed lockable trunk that can hold a surprising amount. The bed also has power locks, just like the rest of the truck.

Fun Fact: The Honda Ridgeline’s trunk has a drain plug so you can fill it with ice for your next tailgate.


The Honda Ridgeline Is Finally Getting Credit for Its Best Feature