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I Love the Split Rear Tailgate

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author photo by Doug DeMuro September 2017

It has recently come to my attention that some people are unaware of the split tailgate, what it does, and why it's brilliant. I've decided to set the record straight on this topic so that you can go forth in your life, from here on out, understanding how automotive tailgates should be manufactured (split) and why it's brilliant.

So here goes. What exactly is the split tailgate? That would be a tailgate that's split into two parts, like the one you see above. The top part lifts up and the bottom part lifts down, sort of like a clamshell. This part is simple.

So now you're thinking: OK, so you have a split tailgate. What difference does it make? I'll tell you what difference it makes: The split tailgate allows you to sit on the back of your tailgate and have a picnic. Or sit on the back of your tailgate and watch a drive-in movie. Or watch your child's soccer game. Or gaze at the stars. Or whatever you might want to do out the back of your car. The possibilities are endless. And the split tailgate allows this because any decent split tailgate -- every split tailgate I've ever seen -- can take the entire body weight of at least a couple of eager picnickers having a nice meal on the beach.

And the split tailgate has other benefits, too. When the tailgate is split, it's not as difficult or as cumbersome to open as a one-piece unit. And the split tailgate also serves as a sort of table, letting you arrange or adjust items like a workbench, which you can't do as easily if you're ducking under a lift gate and trying to avoid a bumper.

And so I must say: All vehicles should have this. If you're making an SUV or a truck, you should produce a split tailgate. It's incredibly useful, it adds versatility, and it's one of those features you don't know you need until you have it, at which point you will never want it any other way.

Unfortunately, very few vehicles have a split tailgate -- but the Range Rover always has; a few other split-tailgaters include some versions of the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Pontiac Aztek and also the original BMW X5. Some cars also have variations on the split tailgate; the Bentley Bentayga has a normal rear lift gate, but it has an "event seat" in back that can slide out and support weight for picnics. Pickup trucks also generally have tailgate seating, which contributes to their ease of use at football tailgating events.

I have nothing more to say about the split tailgate except that I love it, I wish all SUVs had it, and it's a brilliant feature. Below, you can tell me why you agree with me.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
I Love the Split Rear Tailgate - Autotrader