Tailgates hold an iconic place in American history. Sitting on the back of a pickup truck, tailgate down, having a picnic while watching the sunset — we’ve heard this story before. And like the rest of automotive tech, innovation is on the upswing. Here’s the best tailgate tech we’ve seen this year.

GMC Sierra Multi-Pro truck tailgate

The simplest explanation of the GMC Sierra Multi-Pro tailgate is that it’s two tailgates in one. But it sure acts like more than that, what with seven different configurations to its name. Found in the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 and 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty (including the Denali, AT4 and SLT models on each).

In addition to acting like a regular tailgate, the Multi-Pro also releases at the push of a button (whether that button be on your instrument panel, remote key fob or tailgate itself is up to you). It opens and lowers smoothly thanks to a torsional spring and damper.

The tailgate tech features a load stop and vertical barrier to keep longer items from slipping out. The full-width step is even more accessible than the Sierra’s standard CornerStep. The work surface on the inner gate makes productivity (and maybe some leisure, too) a breeze.

Jeep Gladiator three-position tailgate

When the Jeep Gladiator began production in 2019, the pickup truck world went into a tizzy. It has since been named the 2020 North American Truck of the Year for a number of reasons, one of which is the three-position tailgate.

Choose one of three tailgate positions to keep the goods secure. The LED cargo lightning makes it even easier to load up in the dark. Most trims also come with a power tailgate lock for additional security.

Ford F-150 Raptor integrated tailgate tech

The 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor features a pretty intelligent tailgate. The truck’s integrated tailgate step with lift assist takes the weight off your shoulders.

To add to it, the Raptor’s remote tailgate release lets you lock, unlock and lower your tailgate at the touch of a button — even if you’re away from your truck. 

Chevy Colorado EZ Lift & Lower tailgate

The 2020 Chevrolet Colorado features a remote locking tailgate as standard on most models. For 2021, this feature is going even further with the EZ Lift & Lower feature.

Want more? A rear vision camera that sits on the tailgate comes standard.

Honorable mention: Chevy Silverado Multi-Flex truck tailgate

While it hasn’t quite hit the pavement yet, the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado is getting its own version of the GMC Sierra’s Multi-Pro tailgate. It’s called the Multi-Flex. Just like the Sierra, drivers can set the tailgate to six different configurations, which should make life that much easier. The revised Silverado, with all its bells and whistles, will be available early next year.

The truck tailgate is just a piece of the puzzle, but a sizeable piece nonetheless

Ignoring a brand-new pickup truck’s tailgate tech is like saying, “Hey, I know this vehicle revolves around the bed, but I just can’t get myself to give a hoot about the tailgate’s utility.” 

My point? You should take note of a truck’s tailgate, whether new or used. And you should do so even if you haven’t experienced the feeling of walking out to your driveway and seeing your unlocked tailgate missing off the back of your truck. Tailgate tech is a beautiful thing, and it could save you a whole lot of hassle (and maybe even serve as a little bit of luxury) down the line.

Rachel Curry
"Hey! My name's Rachel Curry and I'm a full-time writer who loves telling the world's stories as much as hanging with my dogs (and that's saying a lot). A University of Delaware graduate, I've traveled extensively, living everywhere from Ireland to Thailand. Bylines include Matador Network and Delaware Today."

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