Car News:  Oversteer

Why Did It Take a Century to Put Barn Doors on a Pickup Truck?

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 RAM 1500 4x4 Crew Cab
New 2019 RAM 1500
MSRP $51,405
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 RAM 1500 4x4 Crew Cab Rebel
New 2019 RAM 1500
MSRP $59,350
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 RAM 1500 4x4 Crew Cab Rebel
New 2019 RAM 1500
MSRP $62,195
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 RAM 1500 4x4 Crew Cab Rebel
New 2019 RAM 1500
MSRP $59,450
RELATED READING
See all RAM 1500 articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Karma cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs MAZDA cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Eric Brandt March 2019

Weird tailgates are a growing trend in full-size pickup trucks. It started last year when the all-new 2019 GMC Sierra was unveiled with its available MultiPro tailgate, which offers six different tricks like load stops, steps and even a desk. Now Ram has responded to the MultiPro tailgate with a trick tailgate of its own. Ram calls it a multifunction tailgate with two doors that swing open 88 degrees -- but what everyone else has been calling this revolutionary design for the last century or so is "barn doors."

Seeing this new tailgate just reminded me of the old Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans from the 1990s that seemed to be very common with barn doors, as opposed to a more traditional lift gate. Then I wondered: how long have big SUVs been available with barn doors? As far as I can tell, barn doors on the Chevy Suburban go back as far as the 1950s.

Pickup trucks as we know them have been around for more than a century now -- so what took the auto industry so long to give a pickup truck barn doors? It seems like this is something that used to be a popular option on big SUVs, but just kind of went away. Barn doors can still be found on commercial vans like the Ford Transit and Ram's own ProMaster line of vans -- so why is this ancient technology just now being brought over to pickup trucks?

I think the answer is a simple one, and it's cost. I'm sure this isn't the first time a major truck manufacturer has thought about adding some variety to its tailgate -- but over the years, everyone just kind of agreed to stick with the nice, low-cost, swing-down tailgate that's been the default since the dawn of pickup trucks. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

Well, now pickup trucks have become lifestyle vehicles, where people will pay big money for luxury versions -- so they're no longer just bare-bones work haulers. So GMC has been able to justify the cost of spicing things up -- and Ram has answered the call to compete. It makes me wonder how long Ram has been holding on to a design like this, and is now finally using it to compete with the industry-exclusive MultiPro tailgate.

But the real question is: is this tailgate-mania we're seeing unfold just a fad, or can we expect some kind of gimmicky tailgate from every truck manufacturer going forward? We're at the point where General Motors, Ram and even Honda have some sort of unconventional tailgate that does more than just swing down. Will Ford, Toyota and Nissan follow suit -- or will we look back on this era as that time when automakers experimented with weird tailgates? Either way, I hope the long-overdue pickup truck barn doors endure.

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
Here's Why the Koenigsegg Agera RS Is Worth $10 Million
I Bought the Most Unreliable BMW Ever Made
Autotrader Find: 1990 Subaru Legacy With a Landau Roof

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 RAM 1500 4x4 Crew Cab
New 2019 RAM 1500
MSRP $51,405
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 RAM 1500 4x4 Crew Cab Rebel
New 2019 RAM 1500
MSRP $59,350
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 RAM 1500 4x4 Crew Cab Rebel
New 2019 RAM 1500
MSRP $62,195
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 RAM 1500 4x4 Crew Cab Rebel
New 2019 RAM 1500
MSRP $59,450
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.
Why Did It Take a Century to Put Barn Doors on a Pickup Truck? - Autotrader