The tailgate Olympics
The process is so incredibly smooth, you wonder why more truck makers haven't done this. This is standard on all Tundra models.
Chevrolet offers an "EZ Lift tailgate" option on its new Silverado, designed to help raise the gate when it's down.
I walked around the show floor and did some heavy lifting to find out which tailgates required the most grunt. (I also haven't been to the gym for a few days, so I needed the exercise).
In alphabetical order, they are:
Chevrolet Silverado: The tailgate itself is very heavy but smooth in its motion. It also requires a lot of effort keeping it from slamming down with a crash. A Chevrolet spokesperson said that the EZ Lift was designed to assist raising the gate, not lowering it.
Dodge Ram: A very heavy but well-balanced tailgate.
Ford F-150: This one was moderately heavy, but operated smoothly.
Honda Ridgeline: This tailgate was heavy, stiff, and required the most effort of all.
Nissan Titan: An amazingly light and linear tailgate that is very well damped.
Toyota Tundra: (see Titan, above).
Admittedly, this comparison was less than scientific in approach. And, just for kicks, I tried Ford's new F-250 Super Duty. Nearly busted a gut hauling that one. (Here's a picture of Consumer Reports Senior Engineer Jake Fisher trying out the Super Duty's integrated tailgate step.)
The gold medal for the smoothest and easiest tailgate goes to the Nissan Titan. It's simply a marvel in simple to use engineering. The silver medal goes to the Tundra, and the bronze to the Ford F-150.
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