2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV Midgate: An Avalanche-ish Feature
Now that the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV has been revealed, we suspect there is going to be a lot of partisan bickering between those who favor the approach that Ford took with its F-150 Lightning, and those who are keen on Chevrolet’s neo-Avalanche. We’re not here to take sides, but we are here to talk about what the new electric Chevy’s Multi-Flex Midgate brings to the table, and how it both references and evolves the concept we first saw in the MotorTrend Truck of the Year-winning Chevy Avalanche.
While much of the Silverado EV is more parallel Silverado re-evolution than it is Avalanche 2.0, the Midgate is the sort of clever and utilitarian feature we love to see—and are glad that Chevy reimagined here. As a refresher, it’s available (for now) on the RST trim level, and allows the 5.9-foot bed to expand to 9 feet with the tailgate up, and nearly 11 feet with the tailgate down and a Multi-Flex tailgate employed. Like the Avalanche, the rear glass can remain in place or it can be removed and stowed.
Unlike the Avalanche’s rather clunky arrangement, which nuked the rear seats entirely in order to drop the entire midgate down, the Silverado EV’s midgate offers a 60-40 split arrangement, which lets some of the rear seating remain usable … albeit exposed to the elements, and sitting right next to whatever you’re hauling that protrudes into the cab. More flexibility here is great, because with the Avalanche, dropping the midgate also meant leaving family members (or friends) numbers three through five at home.
The midgate doesn’t merely allow for long items to be hauled despite the Silverado EV’s relatively modest bed dimensions, it also can create a secure and weathertight compartment to store things in—if you spring for the optional tonneau cover. With the midgate up, the regular bed area becomes a secure compartment, but because of the way the tonneau mates up the rear window, anything inside with the midgate down also is locked up. The Avalanche also had this party trick, which made camping out of the truck a breeze. We have to imagine the same thing applies to the Silverado EV.
And remember, the Avalanche was less of a Silverado with some interesting features than it was a Suburban with a useful bed and some aggressive, adventurous styling. The Silverado EV apes some of what made the Avalanche great, like the reconfigurable bed dimensions, but ditches the “extreme sports” aesthetics for a sleeker look that more closely resembles the brand’s crossovers than its pickup line. We’ll see if the smoother, svelter take on the Silverado idea catches on.
The bottom line is that for whatever else the Avalanche was, its midgate made it that much more useful. By taking it a step further, with a split option giving owners even more flexibility, it makes the Silverado EV that much more practical and versatile. Perhaps it’ll cause the makers of the newer, smaller (and bedlength-challenged) Hyundai Santa Fe and Ford Maverick unibody pickups to run another cost-benefit analysis on adding a similar feature to their trucks.
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