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2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Ups the Ante in the Tailgate Wars With New Multi-Flex Tailgate

The battle for pickup truck supremacy may come down to a battle over who has the best tailgate. The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado is beefing up its tailgate and adding new trailering options to better compete.


The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is bringing out the big guns in the battle for pickup truck sales. The Silverado is finally getting the Multi-Flex tailgate that can function in six different ways, depending on the driver’s needs. GMC has had the option for a few years now and the multi-flex tailgate is truly the biggest innovation in tailgates in recent history. With pickups really driving sales for the Detroit Three automakers right now, the multi-flex tailgate is a big addition for Chevy.

I asked a GM insider why Chevrolet didn’t get the innovative tailgate when it was first introduced. He told me that the money for the design team came out of GMC’s budget so it was being kept exclusive at first. I have no way of knowing if that is really the reason or what may have changed to make them share it with Chevrolet. I do know that it will be a popular option.

Amazing Tailgate Functionality

The multi-flex tailgate performs six different ways. It allows the operator to choose what is best for them. It can give easier access to bed cargo and also can make it easier to load cargo. The tailgate can also be folded to make it a standing workstation, which can be a great help to the driver’s who use the truck as a mobile office.

The tailgate can be activated from the key fob or there are buttons on the tailgate itself for maximum control. The tailgate can support up to 375 pounds, again improving the ability to load the truck bed or making it easier for people to climb into and access the cargo bed.

Improved Towing Capability on Silverado’s Most Efficient Engine Options

Studies show that most truck owners use their vehicles for towing, whether it is for work or for recreation. Chevrolet is also upgrading the trailering and towing capabilities for two of Chevy’s most efficient engines. The 2021 Silverado is improving the towing capability, compared to the 2020 model year.

According to Chevrolet, “The 2.7L Turbo adds thousands of pounds of trailering capacity to every configuration. The popular Crew Cab Short Box model increases its rating by 2,500 pounds to a max capacity of 9,300 pounds in two-wheel drive. A newly available Regular Cab Long Box model provides the maximum 2.7L tow rating of 9,600 pounds and ups Silverado’s overall max payload to 2,280 pounds in 2WD.

The 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel adds an additional 1,900 pounds of trailering capacity to nearly every configuration and provides the maximum capacity of 9,500 pounds to 2WD models.”

Chevy is also cutting the price of the 3.0L Duramax engine by $1,500 MSRP for 2021 models. That means customers get better towing capacity and industry-leading EPA-estimated fuel economy of 33 mpg highway in 2WD for less money.

New Technology to Make Towing Easier

The Chevrolet Silverado already offers 15 different camera views, the most of any truck, to make towing easier. Now it is adding new technology to help improve the experience. One new feature being added, in 2021, is a Trailer Length Indicator. When changing lanes, a red overlay will appear on the center console screen, showing if the driver has room to make the change or if other vehicles are already in the way.

Chevrolet is also adding a new Jack Knife Alert in 2021. The technology will track the trailer’s position in relation to the truck and alert the driver if a jack-knife situation is imminent.

Chevrolet is also adding a Cargo Bed zoom view so drivers can better track what is going on in the truck bed. Drivers will be able to tell if cargo has shifted or if changes need to be made.

Chevrolet is also adding technology to help the driver hook up the trailer as well as indicators to help the driver back up while trailering. Better camera angles will also show the left and right sides of the vehicle and the trailer, both going forward and in reverse. The additional views will improve the driver’s ability to maneuver so he or she doesn’t side swipe the truck or the trailer. The uses for the new technology are endless. It should improve backing into campsites, getting fuel and delivering materials to construction sites.

The 2021 Silverado 1500s are just now going into production and should start arriving in dealerships this fall.

Follow Mary Conway at @maryconwaymedia and send her car news tips for future stories.