Review: The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X is an extreme machine

The GMC Sierra 1500 lineup has been updated for mid-2022 with fresh styling and a more refined interior, but that’s not the exciting news.

The full-size pickup is now available in a crew-cab, short-bed AT4X model that promises the most extreme off-road capability of any Sierra 1500. It’s a mechanical twin to the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 and shares the same technology upgrades.

Key among them is a high-performance suspension system designed to handle everything from cruising down the boulevard to rock crawling and high-speed off-road driving.

It offers increased wheel travel and uses a special type of shock absorber built by racing car manufacturer Multimatic that was originally developed for IndyCars and Formula 1 cars and used on the latest Chevrolet Camaro Z28, but has since been adopted for off-road use. and is also available in the mid-size Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.

The GMC Sierra AT4X has the most off-road capability of any truck in the lineup.
(Fox News Autos)

The shock absorbers use a series of flush valves to precisely control the flow of fluid into them. They’re tuned to give the shocks progressive damping that keeps them soft on rough roads at low speeds, but stiffens them when subjected to fast, jarring impacts to keep the body under control in fast turns and the suspension from bottoming out over big bumps. .

The exterior of Chevrolet's ZR2 Multimatic DSSV position-sensitive spool valve damper.  In all views, the damper with coil spring is for the front of the truck and the one with the protective sleeve is for the rear of the truck.

The exterior of Chevrolet’s ZR2 Multimatic DSSV position-sensitive spool valve damper. In all views, the damper with coil spring is for the front of the truck and the one with the protective sleeve is for the rear of the truck.

The ATX4 comes standard with the Sierra’s 420-hp 6.2-liter V8, 10-speed automatic transmission, a two-speed 4×4 system with a full-time four-wheel drive setting, front and rear locking differentials to maximize traction, and unique 18-inch wheels with mud tires.

The AT4X has a 2-inch body lift and 11.1 inches of ground clearance.

The AT4X has a 2-inch body lift and 11.1 inches of ground clearance.
(GMC)

It also has a two-inch body lift compared to other Sierras, 11.1 inches of ground clearance and improved underbody protection that includes a larger skid plate for the transfer case.

The 2022 GMC Sierra lineup has been updated with a new interior featuring a widescreen display for the infotainment system.

The 2022 GMC Sierra lineup has been updated with a new interior featuring a widescreen display for the infotainment system.
(GMC)

Dressed to the nines to justify the AT4X’s $77,395 starting price, the cabin features leather upholstery, ash, climate-controlled front seats and a 360-degree camera system for the new 13.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system. it is the centerpiece of the new interior design look.

The GMC Sierra AT4X is equipped with massaging front seats.

The GMC Sierra AT4X is equipped with massaging front seats.
(GMC)

At the rear, the AT4X features GMC’s Multi-Pro tailgate, which can be opened in six different ways to create different storage solutions, a desk or a step. The only major option available on the heavily loaded truck is a $1,970 Technology Package that adds a video rearview mirror, adaptive cruise control with head-up display and a power-adjustable steering column.

GMC's Multi-Pro tailgate can be opened in a variety of configurations.

GMC’s Multi-Pro tailgate can be opened in a variety of configurations.
(GMC)

Its payload rating is 1,420 pounds and it can tow up to 8,900 pounds.

The AT4X’s closest competitor is the Ford F-150 Raptor, which has a wider body and an even more aggressive suspension, though its 450-hp turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 doesn’t add much more power. A more powerful Raptor R is coming later this year, but the Ram 1500 TRX is the current king of the hill with its 702 horsepower supercharged V8.

REVIEW: THE FORD F-150 RAPTOR IS AN ANIMAL

Ironically, the AT4X’s equipment makes for a better on-road ride than some of the more street-smart Sierras, though its raised stance and knobby tires contribute to combined fuel economy of just 16 mpg.

On dirt, the changes prove to make it a formidable machine. The power and 10 inches of wheel travel are more than adequate for climbing hills and storming fire roads, and the suspension proves a wonder in both situations.

The 2022 GMC Sierra AT4X shows off its front fascia on the trail.

The 2022 GMC Sierra AT4X shows off its front fascia on the trail.

It is so well behaved that it is hard to believe that it has no computer control. It gently rocks the truck without bouncing as it goes over rolling whoop-de-doos and soaks up washboard surfaces and small jumps at higher speeds.

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A special off-road mode for the traction management system holds on to low gears longer when you’re in 4×4 Low to provide increased engine braking to mimic the kind of single-pedal electric cars are capable of.

The AT4X’s limitations compared to the Raptor are obvious, but pretty insignificant unless you plan on blasting through the desert at 100 mph, while its narrower stance makes it better for tight trails and mall parking.

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The biggest downside is that, despite having all-weather floor mats, the AT4X is so dressed up that you might not be inclined to get it dirty. I suggest you get over that feeling if you buy one, or you won’t really get what you paid for.

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2022 GMC Sierra AT4X

Base price: $77,395

Type: 5-passenger, 4-door 4×4 pickup

Engine: 6.2-liter V8

Power: 420 hp, 426 lb-ft

Gearbox: 10-speed automatic

MPG: 14 city/18 hwy

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