Is this the new flashpoint in the pickup truck wars?

LISTEN 05:06

The more utility you can add to a pickup, the better it becomes. That’s a given, but how do you improve on the formula? It seems as though GMC found a way with its Multipro Tailgate and 2019 Sierra, which offers multiple configurations for improved access to the box, extended holding capacity, and a second-tier loading height. Now Ram is getting in on the action with its own take on the configurable tailgate concept, offering up something it’s calling the Multifunction Tailgate on all seven trim levels of the 2019 Ram 1500. Granted, GMC was the first in this space, but we think Ram might have the better tailgate this time around.

A Rose By Any Other Name

The 2019 RAM 1500 Fires Back at GMC's Multipro Tailgate With Something Simple And Useful
- image 819816
As you can see in the above video and animation, there are four different configurations for Ram’s new tailgate.

These include open flat, left-side open, right-side open, and fully open. Each of the individual doors can open at 88 degrees, and there’s a retractable center-mounted step option as well.

Standout features for the Multifunction Tailgate include a fully-dampened drop-down feature with a remote release, as well as a unique 60/40 split and swing-away function. The dual side-hinged doors allow for customized access to the bed, with independent functionality opening that makes curbside loading easier.

The tailgate also has a 2,000-pound load rating and can open with the hitch and trailer still attached. The inner wall of the tailgate gets a spray-in bed liner for added durability.

The Multifunction Tailgate option is offered on each of the seven individual 2019 Ram 1500 models and will be available at dealerships in the second quarter of 2019. Pricing for the feature is set at $995, while the optional center step goes for an additional $295.

How Does Ram’s Multifunction Tailgate Compare To GMC’s Multipro Tailgate?

2019 GMC Sierra Exterior
- image 771299
The Multipro Tailgate rewrites the book
Note: GMC Multipro Tailgate pictured here.

To answer that, let’s take a quick look at the GMC Multipro Tailgate. This feature is offered on the 2019 GMC Sierra, and comes as standard equipment on the Denali and SLT trim levels.

When GMC introduced the Multipro Tailgate last year, critics considered it to be ahead of the curve.

It offers six different configurations compared to the Ram’s four, and it has unique options like second-tier loading, load-stop solutions, and a mobile workstation mode. And of course, it offers easier access to the box as well.

However, the GMC tailgate is rated at a 375-pound weight capacity, whereas the Ram tailgate has a 2,000-pound load capacity.

There’s also an issue with operation of the GMC tailgate. While the GMC Multipro Tailgate offers more configurations than the Ram tailgate, we found it difficult to use when we played with it at the Detroit Auto Show. We think it’s too complicated, and didn’t like the fact it requires two hands to change into its various configurations. We also thought the hinges were too tight.

The 2019 RAM 1500 Fires Back at GMC's Multipro Tailgate With Something Simple And Useful
- image 819808
Note: Ram Multifunction Tailgate pictured here.
Overall, we feel as though the Ram tailgate is both more economical and more logical, despite the the fact you don’t get the chest-level workbench like you do with the GMC tailgate.

What About The Truck Specs?

2019 Ram 1500 Exterior
- image 760562
Note: 2019 Ram 1500 pictured here.

For reference, the 2019 Ram 1500 is 225 pounds lighter than the outgoing model, despite being both longer and wider. There are three cab sizes on offer, and the interior is all-new as well. Cabin tech includes a 12.0-inch touchscreen plus SiriusXM 360L support. Engine options include a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel, an updated 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, and an updated 3.6-liter V-6, with a new eTorque mild hybrid system added to the Pentastar V-6 and Hemi V-8.

As Ram points out, the Multifunction Tailgate pairs well with the 1500’s RamBox feature, which adds in a number of extra storage options.

There’s extra storage in the cab as well, with a flat-load floor for the second row. Properly configured, up to 151 liters of stuff can fit in the interior storage.

Pricing for the 2019 Ram 1500 starts at $31,795

2019 GMC Sierra Exterior
- image 771288
The 6.2 and 5.3-liter were updated
Note: 2019 GMC Sierra pictured here.

The 2019 GMC Sierra is also bigger than its outgoing predecessor, and it offers optional 22-inch wheels for more bling.

In back, there’s a carbon fiber bed for added toughness and less weight.

Inside the Sierra, you get tech like a multi-color heads-up display, a rear camera mirror, and loads of safety features. Engine options include a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel, a 5.7-liter V-8, and a 6.2-liter V-8

Pricing for the 2019 GMC Sierra starts at $29,600.

Which would you rather have? Let us know in the comments below.

Further Reading

All-New 2019 Ram 1500 Steals The Show at Detroit
- image 758490

Read our full review on the 2019 Ram 1500.

2019 Ram Heavy Duty Looks Menacing, Pumps out 1,000 Pound-Feet! Exterior
- image 814515

Read our full review on the 2019 Ram 2500 Power Wagon.

2018 Ram 1500 Classic
- image 784941

Read our full review on the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic.

2019 GMC Sierra Exterior
- image 771289
It looks bigger and bolder

Read our full review on the 2019 GMC Sierra.

Jonathan Lopez
Jonathan Lopez
About the author

Ram Adds Multifunction Tailgate to 2019 Ram 1500

February 6, 2019, Auburn Hills, Mich. - Ram Truck today unveiled a new Multifunction Tailgate that adds even greater utility to the truck industry’s cargo-management and storage leader.

The Ram 1500 Multifunction Tailgate feature is unique among all pickups, and offers customers cargo-access flexibility without compromise.

In addition to retaining the capabilities of a fully-dampened, drop-down tailgate with remote release options, the Ram Multifunction Tailgate adds a first-of-its kind 60-40 split, swing-away functionality.

Ram Multifunction Tailgate’s dual side-hinged tailgate doors further enhance the 1500’s bed access and utility. Independent opening features make curbside loading easier. Being able to access the bed closer to the bumper makes stepping up easier; makes loading bulky item easier; makes unloading and washout easier and allows forklift loading.

Unlike other multi-element tailgates, the Ram Multifunction Tailgate is trailer-friendly and does not require that the trailer and hitch be removed before opening. With a 2,000-lb. load rating, Ram Multifunction Tailgate retains all of the traditional tailgate’s capability.

“The Ram Multifunction Tailgate is intuitive to operate, and owners will find it immediately useful,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand – FCA. “Combined with Ram’s class-exclusive RamBox feature and new tailgate step, we’re taking Ram’s cargo management and storage to the next level.”

Packaged with a spray-in bedliner, the Ram Multifunction Tailgate has four configurations: open flat, open left door only, open right door only and open both doors. Each door swings open 88 degrees, and access can be further enhanced via a retractable center-mounted step option.

Among the 2019 Ram 1500’s other innovative storage solutions are the RamBox cargo management system. The RamBox system includes versatile, weatherproof, lockable, illuminated and drainable storage bins built into the bed rails. RamBox bins also feature a handy115-volt, 400-watt outlet. Also available with RamBox is a pickup bed divider/two-foot bed extender and cargo rail system with four sliding, adjustable cleats.

Interior storage was also high on the priority list for the new Ram 1500.

A reimagined center console with 12 different storage configurations offers never-before-seen customization for the most active interior real estate. The Ram 1500’s second row includes seats that recline up to eight degrees, a true flat-load floor with integrated RamBins with tie-down rings and expandable under-seat storage.

In total, the Ram 1500 features more than 151 liters of interior storage capacity — nearly 100 percent more than the closest competitor.

The Multifunction Tailgate will be available across all seven 2019 Ram 1500 models and will reach dealerships in the second quarter of 2019. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price is $995. The optional center step is $295.

About Ram 1500
The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 is a no compromise truck, leading in durability, efficiency and technology The Ram 1500 is the strongest ever, yet also is the lightest, eliminating 225 pounds through the use of high-strength steels. 2019 Ram 1500 features new eTorque mild hybrid system on the Pentastar V-6 and HEMI V-8, greatly improving fuel efficiency. The new Ram is the most technologically advanced pickup in the market with state-of-the-art features including class-exclusive 12-inch touchscreen and SiriusXM 360L. 2019 Ram 1500 defines the future of pickup trucks with innovative design, highest quality materials and class-exclusive technology.

About Ram Truck Brand
In 2009, the Ram Truck brand launched as a stand-alone division, focused on meeting the demands of truck buyers and delivering benchmark-quality vehicles.

That focus leads Ram to design the industry’s most innovative, award-winning trucks, emphasizing durability, strength, technology and efficiency.

With a full lineup of trucks, including ProMaster and ProMaster City vans, the Ram brand builds trucks that get the hard work done and families where they need to go. From the no-compromise Ram 1500 that defines the future of pickup trucks with innovative design, the highest quality materials and class-exclusive technology, to the Ram Heavy Duty which combines the ability to out-power, out-tow and out-haul every single competitor with the segment’s most comfortable ride and handling, Ram is committed to product leadership.

Ram continues to outperform the competition and sets the benchmarks for:

Most powerful: 1,000 lb.-ft of torque with Cummins Turbo Diesel
Highest towing capacity: 35,100 lbs. with Ram 3500
Heaviest payloads: 7,680 lbs. with Ram 3500
Most luxurious: Ram Limited with real wood, real leather and 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen
Best ride and handling with exclusive link coil rear and auto-level air suspensions
Most interior space with Ram Mega Cab
Most capable full-size off-road pickup – Ram Power Wagon
Highest owner loyalty of any half-ton pickup
Over the last 30 years, Ram has the highest percentage of pickups still on the road

Giving maximum effort all day, every day with confidence, the Ram Truck lineup steps forward with the full force of modern capability providing confidence-inspiring features and class-exclusive vehicle safety.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release

Related Articles

Your Pickup Truck Is Secretly Begging for the Elongator Tailgate

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: