Toyota Power Liftgates vs Manual Liftgates

Are you trying to decide between a power liftgate and a manual liftgate for your Toyota? You came to the right place. We'll help you explore each option and reach the right buying decision.

Toyota liftgates

What Is A Manual Liftgate?

A manual liftgate functions like any other door. The assembly contains a lock assembly, hinges, and a door. A manual liftgate is a bit different from a traditional door, though. The hinges are at the top of the frame (rather than on the side). That means a manual liftgate opens upwards.

On each side of a manual liftgate, you'll find a lift cylinder. The lift cylinders support the liftgate while it's open. To open and close a manual liftgate, you need to physically engage the handle.

What Is A Power Liftgate?

A power liftgate has a similar design to a manual liftgate. The only difference is you don't need to engage the handle to open or close one. Instead, a motor opens and closes a power liftgate electronically. You can open or close a power liftgate by:

  • Pressing a button near the driver's seat
  • Pressing a button on the key fob
  • Pressing a button on the liftgate itself

A power liftgate is not the same as a hands-free liftgate. A hands-free liftgate is motorized like a power liftgate is. Yet, you don't need to press any buttons to open or close a hands-free liftgate. You can wave your foot underneath the bumper, and the liftgate will open or close.

Which Option Is Better?

Compression arms

Manual and power liftgates both serve the same purpose. They both cover the rear area of the vehicle, and they lift upwards. Their functions are different, though. You open a manual liftgate manually. You open a power liftgate with the help of a motor. Which option is better for you? The answer all depends on:

  • Your needs. Do you need to open and close the liftgate remotely or while sitting in the driver's seat often? If your answer is yes, a power liftgate may be better for you. Is it difficult for you to physically open or close a liftgate? If your answer is yes, a power liftgate may be better for you.
  • Your budget. A power liftgate and its components is usually more expensive than a manual liftgate.

Like satellite radios and HD radios, each option comes with its own set of pros and cons. Let's go over them:

The Pros And Cons Of A Manual Liftgate

A manual liftgate is a simple part that doesn't need any motors or fancy parts to operate. That's a good or bad thing, depending on how you want to look at it.

Simplicity can be a good thing. In the case of manual liftgates, it's a simple and straightforward part. That means you don't have to splurge on any fancy components (like a liftgate motor). The straightforward design means that the chances of the liftgate failing are minimal.

If it does fail, fixing it will be pretty easy. You won't have to deal with any complicated parts, including wires or motors. Unlike power liftgates, manual liftgates are independent of the vehicle's electrical system. So if you have a manual liftgate and it fails, you can fix it at home without taking your vehicle to a shop.

Despite all the pros of a manual liftgate, some people still opt for power liftgates. It's because manual liftgates are, well, manual. You can't open one from afar or in the driver's seat. To open one, you have to physically engage the handle and then pull it up. To close one, you have to reach up and pull down the liftgate.

The Pros And Cons Of A Power Liftgate

A power liftgate is very convenient. You don't have to physically engage the door to open or close it. You can open or close it from the comfort of the driver's seat, or from afar. Even if you're at the liftgate, you don't have to pull the handle to open it. You don't have to pull down the liftgate to close it. Rather, you can press a button on the liftgate. The liftgate motor will take care of the rest.

If your power liftgate breaks, you can still open and close it manually (in most cases).

Sounds like quite a luxurious and convenient feature, doesn't it? It comes with a few drawbacks, though:

  • Power liftgates are more expensive than manual liftgates. Power liftgates come with a few fancy components, including a liftgate motor and electrical wiring
  • Power liftgates can be hard to fix. Power liftgates are connected to the vehicle's electrical system

Do you still need help deciding between a manual liftgate and a power liftgate? We may be able to help! Just contact us here.

Written by Jason Lancaster