2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X: Rugged yet refined

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X: The 2022 GMC Sierra lineup has brought two new additions to the family: the luxury-oriented Denali Ultimate and the off-road AT4X. The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X does a good job of crawling and climbing, but it would be a shame to limit its benefits to just that. Here are the best bits of the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X.

Every pickup truck wants to go off-road

Looking at the latest releases from American pickup brands—Ford, Dodge, Chevrolet—it looks like everyone wants their pickup to go off-road. In most lineups, there’s at least one off-road spec trim, ready to jump off the tarmac and tackle the rocks.

The AT4X borrows plenty of parts from its Silverado ZR2 cousin, including some tweaks to the engine and suspension. Regardless, it would be unfair to call the Sierra 1500 AT4X a “rebadged Chevy ZR2.” In fact, GMC’s pickup truck is very capable of holding its own out there, in the wilderness.

GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X Specifications

On the outside there are small hints indicating that this is an AT4X and not the standard AT4. The grille was dropped for a 3-row design, interrupted only by the GMC logo. The headlights are now C-styled, giving a wider, narrower and, surprisingly, lower appearance.

The AT4X clears the ground at 11.1 inches, 0.1 inch lower than the ZR2. It has 9.8 inches of front travel and 10.6 inches in the rear. There’s a 25.5-degree approach angle (lower than the ZR2’s 31.1 degrees), a 23.4-degree breakover and 23-degree departure angles. While the approach angle is not ideal for heavy climbing, it will still get you out of most steep areas.

The lower Sierra 1500 AT4 trims are available with either a 2.7-liter 4-cyl, a 5.3-liter V8, or a 3-liter inline-6. The AT4X is only available with a 6.2-liter V8 that sends power to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. The V8 is capable of spitting out 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. While the numbers might not blow you out of the water, it makes for a refreshingly brisk ride, quick acceleration and completely silent shifts.

The off-road equipment

Since the AT4X is aimed at off-road riding, we’re all heavily invested in its ground gear more than the outer shell. Introducing the star of the show, the Multimatic DSSV dampers. The AT4X shares the same technology with its ZR2 relative and shocks the top of the line, designed specifically for heavy off-road use.

DSSV dampers provide the extreme flexibility of adaptive dampers without actually having adaptive dampers mounted on the truck. The variable spring valves inside the shocks allow for fine tuning, are firm and sporty on the trail, then quickly soften when hitting the tarmac.

The fairly limited suspension travel doesn’t allow the AT4X to become a true off-road speed monster, but will still make you enjoy the ride. The AT4X comes with 32-inch Goodyear Duratrac tires and optional locking differentials front and rear.

Shifting into off-road mode reduces driver assistance features, allowing you to dance with the truck and throw the rear end out. Off-road mode is better suited for technical trails. By switching to off-road mode and the low 4WD, you can pedal over difficult slopes or obstacles. When you lift the throttle, the brakes are automatically activated.

Interior comfort and technology

Now that we had fun over the rocks, let’s take a look inside the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X. The entire Sierra 1500 lineup benefits from the improvements to the Silverado 1500. The Sierra 1500 SLE trim and above features a 13.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay flanked by a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster plus the console-mounted gear selector.

The AT4X is available in Denali and Denali Ultimate trims. The dashboard is covered in leather, the seats are covered in full-grain leather, and most of the materials the riders can reach are soft. Finally, the red cross-stitching on the door-mounted armrests adds just the right amount of contrast to the mix.

The overall interior of the AT4X is above what the ZR2 can offer. The 15-inch HUD on the AT4X feels huge compared to the 13.4-inch HUD found on the ZR2. Additionally, the 16-way massaging front seats in the AT14X pamper passengers to unusual amounts of comfort for a pickup truck. The seats are also heated and ventilated, without affecting the engine cooling.

Even when blasting the AC unit to maximum capacity and cranking up the seat ventilation and then taking the AT4X for a spin in the desert, the engine temperature gauge didn’t budge.

Where does it fit?

The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X has a $77,395 MSRP and sits $8,000 above the Silverado 1500 ZR2. It excels in terms of interior materials and passenger comfort but offers less value for money when it comes to off-road technology.

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