Light-duty pickups from the three big automakers are often the discussion of “which is better?” In many ways, it makes sense because of how tough the competition is in the light-duty segment. But things have also been heating up between the heavy-duty full-size trucks, especially as more three-quarter-ton trucks have begun focusing on specialization and dedicated features within their segment. While Ford is often in front of the pack, the Chevy Silverado and the Ram series are frequently on the heels of the F-Series of pickups. But between the Chevy Silverado and Ram, which one is the better heavy-duty pickup?
Despite the popularity of the Ram brand, Chevy has actually managed to get a leg-up in a key area when you compare the 2023 Chevy Silverado 2500 vs 2023 Ram 2500. The two three-quarter-ton trucks match up quite well across a number of facets, but in one particular area, Chevy has managed to step out ahead of the Ram in no uncertain terms, and it all has to do with the tailgate. Yes, the tailgate.
The Multi-Flex Tailgate vs. The Multifunction Tailgate
Both the Chevy Silverado and Ram have their own unique multi-purpose tailgates. In the case of the Silverado, it’s called the Multi-Flex Tailgate. For the Ram, it’s called the Multifunction Tailgate. Both tailgates offer distinct features that enable truck drivers to make full use of a versatile tailgate that has different features and functions based on the needs of the driver.
For the Chevy Silverado, it comes equipped with the Multi-Flex Tailgate, and it features six different functions. This includes a dampened tailgate you can open and close like a traditional tailgate, but you also have the ability to make use of raised and lowered load-stops, as well as using the tailgate from the lowered state as a step ladder into the bed box. Alternatively, you can also use the tailgate as a raised work surface for all sorts of other activities, or you can lower the inner gate for when you have lots of materials in the bed and need to have them rested on an elevated surface. The options are expansive, and the six distinct functions make it highly useful for all sorts of work-related tasks and various truck-related utilities.
As for the Ram, the Multifunction Tailgate also offers multiple functionalities, starting with a hitch-light when you open up the tailgate sideways from a 60/40 split. You have access to the rear bed from here, or you can open the other side of the tailgate sideways and have full access to the box without the tailgate being in the way. With an integrated step underneath the rear bumper, it also makes it easy to climb into the back of the bed while the tailgate is opened up like a traditional cab door. You can also open the tailgate the traditional way by pulling it down and accessing the bed like any other tailgate. The Multifunction Tailgate is also dampened, so you don’t have to worry about it causing problems when opened. But how does this give Chevy the edge when comparing these two heavy-duty trucks?
Standard on the 2023 Silverado 2500 HD, but Not the 2023 Ram 2500
As the title states, the big selling point for the Multi-Flex Tailgate is that it’s available across more than just the standard Chevy Silverado 1500 trims. You can also access the Multi-Flex Tailgate for the 2023 Chevy Silverado HD series of trucks as well, including the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD. That gives it massive leverage in terms of three-quarter-ton functionality and utility, even if you aren’t using the Multi-Flex Tailgate all the time. Simply having that option there gives you a lot of versatility.
Unfortunately, the 2023 Ram 2500 does not feature the Multifunction Tailgate. In fact, none of the heavy-duty variants of the Ram are available with the Multifunction Tailgate; only select trims of the Ram 1500 do. That’s one of the major drawbacks to the Ram’s Multifunction Tailgate, as you are subject to only using it with the 1500 series and only with select trims within that series. Since the original debut of the Multifunction Tailgate with the 2019 model year Rams, the company has yet to fit it to the larger heavy-duty iterations of the full-size pickup truck.
Chevy, meanwhile, took the opportunity to make full use of the Multi-Flex Tailgate for the Silverado and give drivers a lot of utility out of the pickup truck’s rear bed access. The Multi-Flex Tailgate originally made its debut for the light-duty iteration of the Silverado for the 2021 model year. Initially, much like the Ram, the Multi-Flex Tailgate was only available for the Silverado 1500 series, but for the 2022 model year, Chevy was quick to adopt the feature for the heavy-duty series of Silverado pickups, making it available for all of the HD trims of the Silverado.
How Much of a Difference Does the Feature Make?
Often, when comparing three-quarter-ton pickups, smaller utility features are rarely the subject of discussion between the trucks. When someone is thinking about the features of the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD or Ram 2500, the subject of discussion almost universally falls to features like max tow capacity or total payload capabilities. What most people don’t think about right off the bat are highly useful and very-standard features like a versatile tailgate.
However, even more than fifth wheel hitches or gooseneck trailering, the ability to make use of a highly functional tailgate is something that is going to be more commonly used for the everyday trucker. For the people who don’t tow every day but may need to load equipment or cargo in the bed, they’re going to be able to utilize the tailgate feature. Having the additional utility and functionality of a tailgate that makes it easier to get into the bed box, access equipment in the bed box, or use the tailgate for different load-stop positions is invaluable for a trucker.
Whether you’re hauling supplies, cargo, or tools from one location to the next, whenever you have to access the bed, keep your cargo strapped down, or adjust how you get it in or out of the bed, you’ll be able to do so easily with this highly versatile feature. This gives the use of a multi-purpose tailgate so much more value and utility, especially for a three-quarter-ton truck where it will be pushed to its limits, especially with its payload capabilities. Even if you aren’t loading things into the bed constantly, the ability to use the Silverado 2500 HD’s Multi-Flex Tailgate for work-surface functionality is another huge added benefit to the overall value proposition of the truck, especially for those busy days on the job site.
The Difference a Tailgate Can Make
The ability to make use of the Multi-Flex Tailgate for the heavy-duty versions of the Chevy Silverado is such a massive boon for heavy-duty truck shoppers. It’s an obvious lapse that Stellantis has to recognize with Ram’s heavy-duty iterations of their very popular pickup. With Chevy going all-in on the utility available for the Silverado HD, one would think that Ram would be keen on attempting to catch up as quickly as possible, but since 2019 they have been slow on the draw when it comes to bringing over the functionality of the 1500 series’ Multifunction Tailgate to the 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty series.
On the other hand, Chevy wasted little time adopting the Multi-Flex Tailgate to the heavy-duty line of pickups. The company saw a use within the segment for those who need a work truck where nearly every part of that truck is useful for different utility aspects. It’s one of the clear advantages that fall in Chevy’s favor when comparing these two heavy-duty models, and it’s one of the main reasons why it makes the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD well worth it as a three-quarter-ton pickup.