So there have been a lot of questions about Ram latest innovation, the all-new Multi-Function Tailgate. Firstly it wasn’t made as a response to GMC’s MultiPro tailgate offering on their higher-trim Sierra models. Ram has been working on this design for several years. But we are going to try to explain the new design a little more in-depth.
While people were laughing at the simple design of the Ram Multi-Function Tailgate at first, we got a chance to talk to the engineers, use it first hand and see what the tailgate is all about.
First off, the tailgate design as everyone already knows is a 60/40 setup. Now, many of you may recall there were design patents discovered of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) showing a similar design, but it was 50/50 and featured two separate handles. We asked the engineering team on why was the design changed. They replied that it was “an evolution of the design” and that “the original design would have looked silly with two handles.” But in all, the design was changed to offer a sophisticated package.
One question we have been getting is will it be easy to open. The answer is yes. The tailgate handle operates the same way the standard tailgate does. However, there is a button underneath the traditional handle in the same opening. Once you press it, it electronically unlocks the swinging function of the left side of the tailgate (the 60% side). This side always has to be opened first, especially if you want to open the right side (the 40% side) since the opening mechanism for that side is located in the seam of that part of the tailgate.
But why aren’t there handles on the back side to reach over the tailgate to open? That is because Ram engineers didn’t want the handles to get damaged if someone dropped a heavy load on top of them. Keeping a button in the crevice of the tailgate handle keeps the exterior of the tailgate clean-looking while the other is hidden out of sight.
Many people have questioned why didn’t they make a tailgate that swung the wholly to the side, similar to the Honda Ridgeline. The reason behind that was with the Ridgeline design the tailgate could not be rotated open with a trailer attached to the truck. Ram engineers set a whole list of criteria that had to achieve for the design and having the tailgate to be functional while a trailer was attached was at the top of the list.
What about the crack in the middle of the tailgate? Well, we inspected that. Obviously, for Ram engineers, it had to have an offset for the opening of the tailgate. While Ram showed us a Flame Red Rebel, where it was apparent that there was a seam running down the tailgate, on darker colors we doubt it would be evident.
Ram has tested this tailgate design for the past several years. They assured us that it doesn’t get any more dirt in the seam between the doors of the tailgate, that the sides of the tailgate do.
The Multi-Function Tailgate also has a neat feature where because you have to open the 60% first to access the smaller 40% part, if you shut the 60% part of the tailgate first and then shut the 40% it won’t close. However, Ram added a piece of trim that covers the seam of the opening from the back of the tailgate (or inside the box) and if you slam the 40% shut with the 60% part already closed, the trim will actually protect the 60% from getting banged up from someone not closing the tailgate in the proper order.
The new center-mounted step is a fantastic feature. While it offers people will shorter legs and those who have stiff backs a smaller step to get down off the new lower rear bumper design, it is also a lot wider of a step than the ones we have seen that fit under the corner of the driver bumper that Ram has been using. The larger step adds more confidence without having to find your footing, and you can now just walk off the back of the truck. The step is mounted to the left the rear hitch and can be deployed quickly by stepping on the tab that sticks out.
The only disappointing thing we have to complain about the new design is that it has to come with the RamBox option. While it would be nice to have one without the RamBox, it uses the RamBox storage compartment openings to run the new electrical components to open the new Multi-Function Tailgate. We asked the Ram engineering team if customers could retrofit this design on a 2019 Ram 1500 equipped with the RamBox already and they said no. The reasoning is that the electrical components on the Multi-Function Tailgate are more complex and have to be run down the sides of the box compared to the current models that Ram 1500 equipped with the new tailgate have certain hardware that is specific to those trucks.
The Multi-Function Tailgate is available on every trim model. Of course, you have to order a RamBox equipped model, but you do get a standard spray in bed liner with the new tailgate design. While the spray in bed liner is a $595 US option on certain trim models, the MSRP on the Multi-Function Tailgate is $995 US. So basically, let us say if you get a Ram 1500 Rebel with the tailgate option, you are only paying $400 for it. Mind you that a Rebel 1500 equipped with the RamBox is already a $995 US option.
If you are one who uses your truck as an actual work truck for hauling things in the back and want the RamBox option, we say go for the additional Multi-Function Tailgate option with the step. But if you are the type that just uses your pickup as more of a family hauler and don’t use the box, save the extra cash. The multifunction tailgate is going to be one of those options like the 12.1-inch Uconnect touchscreen system. If you are going to use it, you will appreciate it. If you aren’t, don’t bother.
For those sitting on the fence about wanting the option and worrying about the truck having that seam in the tailgate. We would personally order one with any of the darker colors available.
Ram Multi-Function Tailgate Image Gallery: