2015 F-150 Tailgate Step is Better, Still Has One Flaw

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2015 F-150 XLT Review - IMG_1769A few years ago, Ford introduced the idea of a tailgate step to their F-Series line of pickup trucks. Basically, a step would slide out from inside the tailgate, and a handle could be deployed to help stabilize you as you climb into the bed. It was a complicated system, but it worked as designed, most of the time.

To help alleviate some of the issues, including debris gumming up the system, Ford redesigned it for 2015. The step itself is sealed more inside the tailgate, and the handle now lives inside the tailgate as well, retracting out when it is needed.

When I reviewed the new F-150, I found the new step and handle to be easier to stow and easier to deploy. It’s a significantly better system, in my opinion, than the old one. But it’s still not perfect.

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Our friend Benjamin Hunting pointed out the one remaining flaw of the system. When the weather is below freezing, it’s possible for the step to freeze and not be deployable.

Frozen tailgate step. (Photo: Ben Hunting)

Frozen tailgate step. (Photo: Ben Hunting)

The tailgate step isn’t the determining factor for someone to buy this truck, but there are other manufacturers that have tackled this problem differently. For example, General Motors (both GMC and Chevrolet) have a step built into the sides of the rear bumper. This design won’t freeze up, and dirt and grime won’t prevent its operation.

2015 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ

That being said, it would be more difficult to use the GM system with the tailgate open, whereas the Ford system requires the tailgate to be open to use.

I’d still get the tailgate step on the F-150, because I find it useful.

Trucks sit higher than they used to, so having help getting into the bed can make life easier. What do you think? Let us know in the forums!

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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