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2019 GMC Sierra MultiPro Tailgate: First Drive Review

The tailgate is usually an afterthought on a pickup truck. That is not the case with the 2019 GMC Sierra MultiPro Tailgate, which is so unique and innovative that it has earned its own separate review.

All-New Sierra

Sierra is all-new for 2019, riding on the same new platform (T1) that underlies the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado. The full-size pickup will be available in six trim levels (Sierra, SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4 and Denali), with a choice of Regular Cab (8-foot box), Double Cab (6-ft 6-inch box) or Crew Cab (5-ft 8-in box or 6-ft 6-in box). Six engine/transmission combinations will be available: A 4.3-liter V6 with a 6-speed automatic; a 5.3-liter V8 with a 6-speed automatic; a new 2.7-liter inline 4-cylinder turbo with an 8-speed automatic; a new 5.3-liter V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management and an 8-speed automatic; a new 6.2-liter V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management and a 10-speed automatic; and a new 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder turbodiesel with a 10-speed automatic.

The MultiPro Tailgate will be standard on SLT, AT4 and Denali models.

Developed in a Shark Tank

GM encourages its engineers and designers to innovate and periodically holds Shark Tank-style idea pools for new concepts and ideas. During one of these sessions, GMC engineers were tasked to come up with an creative way to address a customer need, and a team of engineers presented a concept that caught everyone’s attention. It was ultimately developed into the MultiPro Tailgate that makes its debut on the 2019 Sierra.

What is the MultiPro Tailgate?

The MultiPro Tailgate is an articulating tailgate that unfolds to provide six useful functions. It can be triggered to open using a power release button on the key fob, via a button on the center stack or with a button on the back of the tailgate itself. The tailgate lock works in concert with the Sierra’s central power door locking system. The tailgate is made primarily of aluminum, is counterbalanced and lowers by gravity, cushioned by internal dampeners.

Here are the MultiPro Tailgate’s six functions:

  1. Primary Gate: The tailgate opens like a conventional tailgate, hinged at the bottom. The inner surface of the tailgate is even with the bed floor, making it easy to slide cargo into the bed.
  2. Primary Gate Load Stop: A panel on the inner tailgate can be folded up to a 90-degree angle to act as a load stop. The panel is about nine inches tall, and will keep a short stack of plywood, lumber or other cargo from sliding off of the bed when the truck is in motion or on an incline.
  3. Easy Access: With the tailgate open, you can fold the inner part of the gate open and downward to a 90-degree angle with the flat portion of the tailgate. In this position, you can get closer to the truck’s bumper for an easier reach into the bed to arrange and position cargo or to unload.
  4. Full-Width Step: With the tailgate open and the inner part of the gate open at the same time, you can fold down the load stop portion of the inner gate to form a full-width step to help you climb into the bed. There’s also a fold-out handle mounted on the rear inner corner of the bed on the driver’s side to make the climb easier and safer. The step is rated to handle up to 375 pounds.
  5. Inner Gate Work Surface: With the tailgate closed, you can release the inner gate to fold down independently with one of the two buttons on the back of the tailgate. Not only does the tailgate now function as a platform for second-tier loading (conveniently matching height with grooves in the inner bed sides to receive supports), it also provides a work surface that’s at a comfortable height for use while standing behind the truck.
  6. Inner Gate Load Stop: With the tailgate closed and the inner tailgate open, you can fold the load stop portion of the gate to 90 degrees vertical. This provides a load stop for second-tier loading.

Advantages of the MultiPro Tailgate

If the MultiPro Tailgate existed in isolation, it would still be revolutionary. GMC didn’t rest on its laurels with this feature, thankfully, and they included other refinements to the new Sierra’s bed and bumper. The inset bumper step on each corner of the bed are bigger and deeper than before, with space for larger feet and boots. The fold-out running boards (standard on the Denali) can be pushed back from the passenger entry position to provide a convenient platform to access the front of the bed. Additional secure tie-down points have been added in the bed walls, positioned at useful heights for various uses. And the topper will be available later in the model year: An optional carbon fiber box, designed to add rigidity, resist denting, cracking and scratching, providing substantial weight reduction overall.

Once you get a look at the MultiPro Tailgate, your head will begin generating ways that it can make your life easier. Imagine how much simpler and safer loading a motorcycle or ATV into the bed will be with the inner gate open and the full-width step deployed. Forget about those awkward aftermarket bed extender/load stop contraptions that take up space when they’re not in use. Imagine how much more comfortable it will be to study plans and take notes on the inner gate work surface. The 2019 GMC Sierra MultiPro Tailgate is a game-changer and may be a deciding factor for some truck buyers — especially since it’s part of an excellent new truck.

To gain access to this information, Autotrader attended an event sponsored by the vehicle’s manufacturer.

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