Chevrolet will join the club with Ram and GMC, leaving Ford out there alone in this battle of versatile tailgates

First, it was the war of who’s got the biggest grille. Now the focus has shifted to tailgates. The main unique selling points of pickup trucks are cargo beds. While there isn’t much you can do in that aspect apart from offering different types of Tonneau covers, or illumination, or different material for the base. Ram and GMC changed the game when they launch tailgates that can be used more efficiently. These tailgates became the talk of the town, but surprisingly, the other players in the market, Ford and Chevrolet, didn’t make a move. Although we’re yet to see the former do something about it, Chevrolet has made its move.

The automaker has announced a “MultiFlex” tailgate that will be available for the 2021 Silverado. There isn’t a lot known yet, but Chevy will drop more details about it on September 21.

It’s a War of Tailgates

This is how GM announced it –

“For a century, the tailgate has had one primary job. Time to update its resume. Introducing the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado, featuring the new, available Multi-Flex Tailgate* with six unique functional configurations. Stay tuned for more updates on the 2021 Chevy Silverado on Sept. 21.”

Although it’s got a new name, expect it to be almost identical to what GMC has to offer. Even GMC has billed its MultiPro tailgate to have six functions.

What Do The Rivals Offer?

Mopar Launches Retractable Center-Mounted Bed Step for Ram 1500 Trucks
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Gone are the days when tailgates acted as mere barriers or the entry/exit points on truck beds. The standard flip-down tailgate was in the running for decades before automakers innovated and came up with unique, cool solutions to make it more versatile and usable. Ford has had the Tailgate Step option for a long time now, wherein a step-up can be pulled out from the edge of the tailgate.

Then Honda came up with a tailgate on the Ridgeline that could be flipped down as well as swung-open. Although it was a great idea, the only con was that the whole door would swing open, thus requiring a lot of space to operate. We later saw Ram and GMC engineers let their creative juices flow to make this idea even better.

Ram MultiFunction Tailgate

Presently available on the 1500 models, the tailgate comes with split swing-away door action.

The gate is split in 60:40 and can be swung open up to 88 degrees. It can also open like a regular door or be flipped down like a conventional tailgate.

The 60:40 split makes it more practical than a 50:50 set up. The tailgate can withstand up to 2,000 pounds, but unlike the Ford and GMC gates, it doesn’t have a deployable stepper. Mopar, however, recently launched a retractable step for the 1500 trucks.

On a side note, Ram also offers something known as RamBox Cargo Management System. It is a sort of storage space on either side of the bed that is secure, durable, lit (quite literally), and comes with a drainable storage system incorporated into the side rails.

GMC MultiPro Tailgate

The MultiPro Tailgate is offered on the GMC Sierra and is the most versatile tailgate currently.

It opens as a conventional tailgate, can work as a standing desk, or can be folded down to create a step into the bed.

It is basically two tailgates - inception of sorts - wherein a fold-out stopper can be deployed from the inner tailgate. It can be operated at a push of a button or the key fob. It also has a primary gate and inner gate load stops. While the Ram’s tailgate can withstand up to 2,000 pounds, GMC’s MultiPro can only bear up to 375 pounds, which, by the way, isn’t too bad either.

Ford Work Surface Tailgate

Everything You Need To Know About The 2021 Ford F-150 Exterior
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Despite being the best-selling truck brand, Ford is lagging in this department. It just has a simple power tailgate with a step up. However, Ford recently unveiled a slightly tweaked version of it on the 2021 Ford F-150. to offer more versatility.

Called the Tailgate Work Surface, it is essentially a work station on the tailgate that can be used for a whole lot of things.

It integrates a ruler, clamp mounts, tie-down rings that double as bottle openers, and a tablet holder. But, nothing to do with the usability of the tailgate itself.

Elongator Tailgate

Your Pickup Truck Is Secretly Begging for the Elongator Tailgate
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There are aftermarket companies offering tailgate replacements, and one of the most prominent makers is Elongator. The Elongator tailgate is a plug-and-play unit that can be swapped with the stock tailgate on most of the popular trucks from Ford, Chevy, GMC, etc. It opens like a conventional tailgate but offers many options.

The inner wall can be pulled out and set at different angles. It can be locked at 180-degrees to increase your load capacity and this flat extension increases the bed’s length by almost two feet

. The tailgate can hold up to 850 pounds. The fold-out has two aluminum ramps that can be used to load ATVs, mountain bikes, etc. into the truck bed. The fold-out can further be flipped down and locked at 210-degrees.

Final Thoughts

The Chevy Silverado Will Finally Have a Cool Tailgate
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GM is late to the party considering GMC is offering the MultiPro tailgate for almost two years now. GMC’s tailgate can hold up to 375 pounds, but GM needs to increase this capacity multifold to bring it on par with Ram’s 2,000-pound capacity. We’ll have all the details about it on September 21. Do you think it will be better than GMC MultiPro tailgate in any way? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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Chevrolet Introduces Multi-Flex Tailgate on 2021 Silverado

DETROIT – For a century, the tailgate has had one primary job. Time to update its resume. Introducing the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado, featuring the new, available Multi-Flex Tailgate* with six unique functional configurations. Stay tuned for more updates on the 2021 Chevy Silverado on Sept. 21.

*Late Model Year Availability: Early 2021

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release

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