General Motors recently resurrected the infamous Hummer off-roader as the GMC Hummer EV. The all-electric truck has some neat tricks, like its dramatic Watts to Freedom launch control and the Crab Mode feature that allows the rear wheels and front wheels to steer at the same angle at low speeds, creating a “crab walk.” I love the little space exploration Easter Eggs and the giant light bar up front that also indicates charge level. General Motors had another trick up its sleeves with the idea to bring back the midgate, a prominent feature from the Chevrolet Avalanche.
If you’re like me you’ve probably noticed two things about the GMC Hummer EV. It has a short bed, and that bed isn’t separated from the body.
Admittedly, the design reminded me a bit of the first-generation Honda Ridgeline. And like the Honda Ridgeline, this presents a potential problem with the utility of the truck. What if you need to load something in the bed that’s longer than 5 feet? Well, one of GM’s solutions borrowed a feature from the old Chevrolet Avalanche: The midgate
This feature allowed Avalanche owners to drop the window and wall at the back of the cab to add extra length to the bed. I think it’s a neat way to have a bigger bed without having a bigger bed.
Speaking to Muscle Cars & Trucks, Hummer EV Exterior Design Manager John Mack confirmed the GMC Hummer EV once employed this feature in early design proposals:
There was [a midgate] early on.
We opted for the functionality of the drop glass in the back. With the package layout and things like that it was not advantageous to pursue that one. And the 5 foot bed was kind of the industry standard in regards to price of entry in that segment.
So, GM wanted to see the feature added to the Hummer EV’s list of neat tricks, but they couldn’t find out a way to make it work with packaging.
Personally, I’m disappointed that 5-foot beds seem to be the current industry standard for pickups. If I’m going to own a truck, I want to use every inch that bed offers. I used to own an old long bed Ford Ranger and it comfortably fit motorcycles, the contents of entire apartments, and piles of car body parts. A five-foot bed couldn’t fit my old Goldwing even with the tailgate down.
That said, perhaps I’m in the minority about bed lengths as trucks with short beds continue to sell like hotcakes.