Trucks are becoming more and more sophisticated with each passing year as each manufacturer tries to come up with something new and different that makes their model stand out in the crowd. So it is with GM because you can now get the AT4 or Off-Road version of your truck with a diesel engine that can pull up to 13,200 pounds, an increase of more than 4,000 compared to last year’s model.
A couple of years ago, we had planned a four-day mini vacation to St. George. It gave us the perfect chance to give the new GMC a challenge in real life, not only on the open road but also part of the desert in southern Utah. Then the truck handled beautifully and we were happy to get into AT4 two years later.
This year, however, our chance came with the new Sierra in December for a week that included getting 8 inches of snow the second morning we had the truck. Well, what better way to get out and get through the worst Mother Nature has to offer in the Utah Mountains even more snow than we saw throughout last year?
This very powerful truck had absolutely no problems with any of it, including the ice that came after the snow. Our neighboring roads were covered by it for a week because the city was ill-prepared for such a large dump of white so early in the season.
Since the launch of the new Sierra a couple of years ago, a good addition that has found its way into the truck is the adaptive cruise control. This feature is truly a necessity that we have come to love and enjoy, especially since Craig had to make a trip up to Ogden at the end of the week. The cruise helped him get through all the traffic problems during the afternoon journey home.
We’re so excited to see this feature come into trucks, a segment that seems to have taken longer to get to than others.
Our test drive came in a beautiful white color that made it easy to keep it clean all week. With black 18-inch polished wheels and black treadmills, it looked ready to conquer almost anything.
The truck had Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires, and we thought the trip around town might be a bit tough; however, this was not the case. It seemed as smooth as being in a sedan, and on top of that we had an average of just over 24 mpg with the new Duramax 3.0-liter I-6 turbodiesel engine for our week.
Together with the new 10-speed gearbox, this engine was stronger than we had imagined and did a good job of handling both highways and city roads that we encountered during our week with AT4.
Now it can tow up to 13,200 pounds (which we did not get a chance to test), it should prove to be the best in its class. After almost 400 km in the AT4, we were completely taken on the new engine. However, you will need to weigh the capabilities with the cost of fuel when deciding whether to use diesel or not.
Another highlight was the huge multicolored heads-up display in the front window that was customizable but kept our speed and all navigation instructions back and forth. We never had to look down – a big help, especially on a long trip. Four-wheel drive information could also be displayed, so if you were out climbing, everything was straight ahead on the windshield!
Over the past year and a half, we have driven a few different GM vehicles that have the new LED screen rearview mirror. Using a rear camera, an image is projected on the mirror that shows what is behind the vehicle. It is adjustable and can easily be made to fit the driver’s comfort zone.
But in the past we have had a hard time stopping switching back to the normal rearview mirror we are used to and actually use this technology. This time we took the opportunity to keep the screen on all week.
By the end of the week, we had completely adapted to the new view to the rear and loved how it made the night view seem even brighter than the regular mirror. It will now be difficult to use a regular mirror. It is also nice to be able to see what is behind the truck no matter how many objects you have placed in the back seat.
AT4 comes standard with all types of four-wheel drive options, including downhill control and a traction control system that allowed us to choose the type of terrain we were in.
Standard is also the new Multipro tailgate system designed by GM and only available so far on GM trucks. It allows the tailgate to be literally split in the middle and make a workbench when folded down. When fully down, it provides easier access to the truck bed and even an extra step up in the bed. The extra step was very practical with the extra 2-inch lift on the AT4.
Inside, the truck was dressed in beautiful black leather with inlaid brown accents and seams. The front seats were both heated and cooled together with heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel included – all standard.
The infotainment package proved to be crucial in getting us around as we navigated around the city and up to Ogden and back. The 8-inch high-resolution screen would be your best friend when used in off-road driving and when backing out of tight spaces due to the many different cameras around the truck.
The new AT4 would be an excellent addition to everyone’s garage, and with the new diesel engine it would prove to be a fantastic dumper with improved petrol driving. We really enjoyed our winter week in the truck.
Base price: $ 56 300
Destination fee: $ 1 695
Price driven: $ 64 155