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What Is A Power Liftgate?

What Is A Power Liftgate?

Have you ever seen the term power liftgate on a vehicle spec sheet and wondered what it meant?

A power liftgate is a convenient feature found in many modern vehicles that allows for easy opening and closing of the rear hatch or trunk with the press of a button or a gesture sensor. It eliminates the need for manual lifting and provides added convenience when loading and unloading cargo, making it a desirable feature for individuals seeking a more effortless and user-friendly experience.

In many modern vehicles, convenience is a feature we often take for granted. Power liftgates are a very common and convenient feature many newer vehicles have. These can be found in minivans, sedans, SUVs, and hatchbacks, among other vehicle types.

Keep reading to learn more about the features and benefits of power liftgates!

Are Power Liftgates Worth Having?

In some cases, power liftgate features will add a considerable amount to the final cost of the vehicle. But in other cases, power liftgates come as part of the standard package.

If you do a lot of traveling and find yourself often lifting the rear hatch to access cargo and storage areas, having a power liftgate can make this activity much easier.

Power liftgates are also great for senior vehicle owners, disabled individuals, and anyone that likes having a little helping hand even when they are grocery shopping or loading the vehicle for a family vacation.

Having a power liftgate on your vehicle can be very useful if you load up a bunch of cargo, then hop in the vehicle and realize you forgot to close the hatch.

Instead of having to get back out and manually close it, a simple press of the button from the driver’s seat will close the hatch without any problems.

Being able to press a key fob from a distance and have your liftgate automatically open can make grocery shopping in the rain more convenient and protect you from getting wet.

This feature not only speeds up the process of loading groceries into your vehicle but also provides a practical shield against the elements.

Who Benefits Most from a Power Liftgate?

Power liftgates are not just for any one person but can be highly beneficial for a number of different individuals. Let’s say you’re a busy parent with children.

Being able to open and close the liftgate while still holding a fussy toddler can help ensure the child’s safety around the vehicle, as well as your energy when trying to take care of multiple things at once.

For people that love spending time on the weekend at their favorite campsite, tailgating party spot, or down by the river with their favorite four-legged companion, a power liftgate can make opening and closing the hatch to get access to coolers, camping supplies, or dog gear quick and easy.

Gone are the days of you having to manually unlatch and lift the hatch yourself, then close it back again!

Power liftgates are also very beneficial and convenient for senior adults or disabled individuals.

If you physically lack the strength to lift or lower a hatch on your own or are unable to reach the height of the hatch when it is open, a power liftgate can be a very vital part of your vehicle’s features. 

Who Benefits Most from a Power Liftgate

Power Liftgate Features

While certain power liftgates may have specific features that are unique only to those brands or models, most power liftgates will share the same main features.

1. Being Programmable

Modern liftgates offer a programmable height feature that lets you decide how high you want the door to be when opened.

This can be very useful to prevent damage to your vehicle when opening your hatch in a garage or parking structure that lacks overhead height.

2. Hands-Free Access

Most power liftgates have some way you can activate the hatch without actually touching it.

This is most commonly done with a key fob, but many vehicles have a button near the hatch handle you can press or will have a foot lever under the rear bumper you can nudge with your foot in order to open the hatch.

The latter option is absolutely perfect for the busy parent that is often holding a child in one or both arms or for the individual that is carrying groceries, supplies, or other cargo to load into the vehicle.

3. Lock Option

While power liftgates do have a hands-free option that makes opening the hatch so easy a small child can do it, they also include lock features to ensure strangers don’t have the same easy access to your vehicle.

You can normally select the lock option in the programmable settings to have the hatch automatically lock when it closes or to remain locked until the key fob is within a certain distance of the vehicle.

Power Liftgate FAQs

Can You Get Aftermarket Power Liftgates?

In most cases, yes. Almost all vehicles with a rear hatch can be equipped with a power liftgate mechanism.

However, this may not be a suitable option in some cases since this can be a rather costly option.

How Much Does a Power Liftgate Cost?

The purchase price of the liftgate mechanism itself can run as low as $2500 to as high as $10,000, depending on the model of vehicle it is being equipped on.

If you are having the power liftgate professionally installed, which I recommend in order to avoid any electronic and wiring issues, don’t forget to factor in labor costs for the mechanics.

Can a Power Liftgate Be Manually Opened?

Yes. In the event that your vehicle suffers a power loss due to a dead battery, wiring issue, or accident, you can manually open the hatch to help get access to the back seats and cargo area.

In fact, most modern power liftgate systems will automatically revert to a manual operation when power is lost without having to pre-program a setting or access some out-of-the-way handle or lever.

What Vehicles Come Installed With Power Liftgates?

A huge number of modern vehicles have the option to have a power liftgate installed at the manufacturing factory, and some even offer it in their basic package.

Power liftgates are very common in SUVs, such as the Equinox from Chevrolet, the Outback from Subaru, and the CRV from Honda.

Additionally, a number of high-end vehicles have power liftgates for hatches and trunks. These can be found on higher-end brands such as Mercedes Benz and Aston Martin, as well as more budget-friendly options such as Audi and Volvo.

If you found this article helpful, make sure to take a look at some of my other related articles below!

Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!