The 2022 GMC Sierra AT4X is GMC’s long overdue entry into the off-road market. Content to sit on the sidelines for most of the last decade, GMC watched silently while its competitors launched their own off-road super trucks. Now, with the introduction of the Sierra AT4X, the brand seems ready to compete with the big boys.

For 2022, GMC brings a long list of hardcore trail hardware and luxury goodies to the table. Is the GMC Sierra AT4X good enough to capture the attention of the most hardcore off-road enthusiasts? We spent a week with one to find out.

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X Test Drive Review 1

Price and Value 

There’s something for everybody in the Sierra lineup — as long as you’re willing to pay a premium. The MSRP range for the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 is $46,195-$83,695. It is available in eight trim levels, with a suite of standard features that include a roll-formed high-strength steel bed, LED headlamps and GMC’s Pro Safety package. Some of the major differences in trim levels are noted below. Prices reflect four-wheel drive models. 

Most trims are available with three engine choices, a 5.3-liter V8, a 3.0-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel or a 6.2-liter V8.

  • Pro: $46,195 
    • GMC Pro Safety package
    • Three transfer case modes
    • 7-inch color touchscreen
  • SLE: $54,155
    • 13.4-inch center touchscreen and 12.3-inch driver information center
    • Trailer package
    • SLE Convenience package
  • Elevation: $55,995
    • Monochromatic exterior with gloss black grille and unique 20-inch wheels
    • Trailer package
    • Available Elevation Premium package with heated front leather seats
  • SLT: $57,095 
    • Trailer package 
    • Available 10-way power adjustable front bucket seats with heating and ventilation
    • Available 20-inch polished aluminum wheels 
  • AT4: $64,295
    • 2-inch factory lift
    • Off-road suspension with Rancho monotube shocks
    • 2-speed AutoTrac transfer case with automatic locking rear differential and underbody skid plate
  • Denali: $67,895
    • Continuous damping adaptive ride control 
    • Available 15-inch head-up display
    • Forge perforated leather seating surfaces
  • AT4X: $78,295 (our tester)
    • Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers
    • Front and rear e-locking differentials
    • Heated and ventilated 16-way power front seats with massage
  • Denali Ultimate: $83,695
    • Denali Vader chrome grille
    • 22-inch low-gloss black aluminum wheels
    • Ultimate Alpine Umber interior with full-grain leather seats and Paldao wood

The Sierra doesn’t come cheap. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive trucks in the segment. GMC offers a robust selection of engines across most of their trims, including a 6-cylinder diesel producing 460 pound-feet of torque. The upper trims offer competitive luxury, but some might find the price tag off-putting. 

GMC’s warranty is on par with the industry average, with a 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. GMC also offers complimentary maintenance on the first visit. 

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Performance 

The GMC Sierra AT4X is a seriously capable off-roader — although not as rambunctious as some of the competition. It’s reasonably quick and inspires confidence on and off the road, thanks to its modern tech and wonderfully advanced suspension. It may not be as in your face as its rivals, but it's nearly as capable in most driving scenarios. If you’re a GM fan, you’re going to love what they’ve done with the AT4X.

Engine 

Old-school, big V8s are tough to come by these days, and GMC has thrown the biggest one they have in the AT4X. This 6.2-liter behemoth produces 420 horsepower and a brutish 460-pound feet of torque — ample power to get through sketchy off-road terrain. The AT4X can tow a decent amount with its V8, but it’s nowhere close to its sibling’s towing capabilities. 

Fuel Efficiency

For a full-size pickup with a V8, the AT4X performed pretty well in our fuel efficiency testing. The Environmental Protection Agency rates the AT4X as 14 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. In daily driving, ours returned slightly better, reaching as high as 19 mpg for a 52-mile freeway commute.

Drivetrain 

This is where your money was spent. For the AT4X, GMC threw in everything you could want in a rugged, four-wheel drive truck. Here are just a few of the drivetrain components you get with the AT4X: 

 

  • 10-speed automatic transmission
  • Electronic locking front and rear differentials
  • 2-speed AutoTrac transfer case
  • 2-inch lift
  • Multimatic DSSV dampers
  • Skid plates
  • Goodyear DuraTrac tires
  • 11.1 inches of ground clearance
  • Off-road and terrain driving modes

 

The AT4X is a very capable off-road rig. The highlight is the advanced spool-valve Multimatic DSSV dampers, which provide a great ride on and off the road. 

Acceleration and Handling 

The AT4X scoots along just fine, but it wasn’t as quick as we were expecting given its naturally aspirated V8. Car and Driver clocked a similar Sierra going 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds.

Ride quality was decent; it would be better if the DSSV dampers weren’t competing with the leaf springs in the rear. Handling was excellent, though, and its direct steering inspired confidence throughout our week of driving. 

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Braking 

The AT4X has a firm brake pedal and felt natural to modulate. Terrain mode allows for one-pedal driving — where the AT4X applies the brakes — allowing you to focus on throttle input and handling over hills and rocks. The AT4X is also equipped with automated emergency braking. 

Interior Comfort and Convenience 

GMC has thoroughly updated the Sierra’s interior, and it looks fantastic in the AT4X. With luxurious materials, a beautiful infotainment screen and storage for all your stuff, you’ll be riding in comfort on or off the beaten path. 

Seats 

The full-grain leather front seats have just about every option you can think of. They are 16-way adjustable with massage, heating and cooling functionalities. We found them to be very comfortable, if a bit narrow. Taller people might find the bottom cushion shallow. The heated seats worked well, but the ventilation feature had trouble combating the heat of a summer afternoon.

We were surprised at the leg and shoulder room, which was much tighter than expected given how large the cabin is. Overall, space was good but felt smaller than some competitors. 

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Climate Control 

In addition to everything else in the interior, GMC redesigned the climate controls. There are physical buttons and dials for just about everything, which all felt intuitive and easy to use. Our AT4X had dual-zone automatic climate control that cooled the cabin quickly with its big air vents. Our kids appreciated the rear seat vents to keep them cool on hot days. 

Cargo Space and Cabin Storage 

As with most full-size trucks, the Sierra’s cargo space and cabin storage is excellent. There are lots of cubbies and cupholders, as well as a large center console and second glove box for holding small items. 

Folding up the rear seats provides plenty of cargo space for even the largest Costco runs. There is a slight bump in the rear floor, which could make transporting long items a little inconvenient. Hidden storage cubbies in the back cushions of the rear seat are perfect for stowing all the treats you don’t want your kids to know about. 

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Infotainment System 

The new, 13.4-inch widescreen infotainment display looks sharp and features flawless connectivity and responsiveness. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. The Google interface was easy to use and navigate, even for a beginner. The 12-speaker Bose Premium Series stereo sounded great, as did the Kicker speakers in the fold-down tailgate.

The AT4X is also equipped with an enormous, 15-inch head-up display and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. The head-up display looks sharp and shows lots of helpful information. The digital display cluster also looks great and is customizable in its various display options.

Exterior Appearance and Functionality

The new Sierra AT4X’s appearance has been updated nicely for 2022, with a significant facelift and new body style. GMC’s Cayenne Red Tintcoat continues to look sharp, while the glossy black accent pieces and wheels evoke a rugged yet classy appearance. The AT4X is also available in other eye-catching colors like Dynamic Blue Metallic, Quicksilver Metallic and Desert Sand Metallic.

Bed 

The Sierra comes with three bed options. Our AT4X tester had a 5-foot 8-inch bed — the only bed available on the AT4X trim. The bed comes standard with a myriad of helpful and cool features, like LED cargo area lighting, a spray-on bed liner and GMC’s awesome Multipro tailgate, complete with a fold-down step and an audio system by Kicker. 

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Towing Capacity and Payload 

Due to its squishy Multimatic DSSV shocks, the AT4X isn’t rated as highly as other Sierras for payload and towing. But, it is still plenty capable of towing trailers, ATVs and most other adventure items. Payload is rated at 1,420 pounds and towing capacity at 8,900 pounds. 

Wheels 

The AT4X includes 18-inch gloss black wheels with Goodyear Duratrac 275/65-R18 mud-terrain tires. The wheels looked nice, especially contrasted against the red paint. The aggressive Goodyear Duratracs were quieter than expected on the road and are known to provide immense grip off-road. 

Lights and Turn Signals 

GMC has done a nice job with the Sierra lighting and headlights, especially with the AT4X trim. Our tester’s LED automatic high-beam headlights gave off plenty of light at night, and the LED daytime running lamps and fog lamps worked great as well.

Cameras and Side Mirrors 

The high-resolution cameras on our tester were a standout. Offering crisp, clear views of every side and angle of the truck, they are helpful in everyday driving and off-roading. The AT4X also includes heated, power-folding mirrors with blind-spot monitoring and LED turn signal indicators.

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Front and Rear Windshield 

Overall visibility, as it is with most full-size trucks, was excellent. We had to raise our seats a little to get a clear view over the high dash, but once we did we could see fine. We didn’t get a chance to test defrost features, but we’re sure they work great. 

Safety

The new Sierra comes loaded with a host of safety and driver-assistance technology, and it has scored well in government crash test evaluations. Given the options and luxury of the truck, we’d expect nothing less for the price. 

Features

GMC’s excellent Pro Safety system is full of modern features, including:

  • Intellibeam-auto high beam
  • Forward collision alert
  • Front pedestrian braking
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane keep assist with lane departure warning
  • Following distance indicator
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Awards and Ratings 

The 2022 GMC Sierra received solid marks in its official safety testing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the vehicle a four-star overall crash test rating, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded Good ratings in five of their six crashworthiness segments. 

Final Impression 

The GMC Sierra AT4X is the most off-road capable truck GMC has ever built. Its trick dampers work wonders, no matter the terrain, and the luxury and tech are first-rate. While the AT4X is more subdued than its competitors, it offers excellent capability without much drama. GMC fans and off-roaders will find a lot to love here, if they can stomach the bloated price tag.

The AT4X commands a premium of nearly $15,000 more than the base AT4 Sierra. Whether it’s worth it will depend on how much you value tech, luxury and Multimatic DSSV suspension. And how hardcore your off-roading is. Otherwise, the standard AT4 will probably suffice for most mild off-road adventures. 

FAQs 

Is the GMC Sierra a good truck?

Absolutely. The Sierra does everything pretty well and offers a myriad of engine choices, bed lengths and more to fit your needs. The Sierra has been thoroughly refreshed for 2022, making it on par with other options in the segment. 

Is the Sierra the same as the Silverado? 

The Sierra and Silverado are very closely related, although the GMC typically is skewed more toward luxury than the Silverado. Case in point, the Silverado ZR2 — the AT4X Chevrolet equivalent — has a higher front bumper, making for a sharper approach angle. The AT4X has a lower bumper because GMC preferred its upscale appearance. 

Curious if a GMC Sierra is right for you? Check it out on KSL Cars.

KSL Cars does not endorse any vehicles. The views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and do not reflect the views or opinions of KSL.com or its employees.