- The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 gets a makeover, with the most meaningful updates on the inside.
- GMC makes the Sierra’s interiors much nicer thanks to larger digital screens and richer materials, especially on the upper trim.
- The new Sierra 1500 will go on sale early next year and range in price from around $32,000 to over $80,000.
We can only imagine the look on our grandfather’s face if he peeked inside some of today’s best-looking full-size pickup trucks, which have become more and more like luxury vehicles, and that now includes the thoroughly redesigned 2022 GMC Sierra 1500.
For quite some time, the brand that has named its top-of-the-line Denali models as some of the most luxurious in the business has failed to live up to these lofty expectations. Simply put, Sierra Denali’s recent interiors haven’t looked as opulent as those inside rivals like top-of-the-line Ram 1500s. GMC clearly recognized the differences in quality and tech features, which are arguably the biggest changes in the ’22 Sierra, and they’re not limited to Denali trim.
The half-ton Sierra’s lineup has changed with a renamed base model (it now goes by Pro) and the addition of the AT4X and Denali Ultimate trims, which add even more features and nicer interiors to the regular AT4 and Denali they’re based on. Every 2022 Sierra 1500 features a new-look front end, with fresh grille designs and an updated bumper. A pair of revised LED headlights with redesigned daytime running lights round off the changes. Some lights will also animate in different sequences when you start the truck or walk away and towards it.
Starting with the SLE model, the Sierra’s cabin benefits from a significant makeover that includes a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 13.4-inch central touchscreen. The gauge cluster is highly configurable, and the updated infotainment system now supports Google’s app store, maps and voice assistant. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also come standard with the large touchscreen, and a huge heads-up display is also available. Along with a redesigned center console, models with front bucket seats feature a T-shaped electronic shifter; those with front seats have a column-mounted shifter. In addition, the upper moldings now come standard with a power-adjustable steering column.
The new AT4X is very similar to the recently revealed Chevy Silverado ZR2, except its exterior doesn’t look nearly as extroverted. As the most off-road capable model in the Sierra 1500 family, it features advanced Multimatic spool valve dampers, electronic locking front and rear differentials and extra underbody protection. It rolls on black 18-inch wheels shod with knobby Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Mud-Terrain tires. The AT4X has an off-road mode that allows one-pedal driving in low-speed situations where momentum and wheel placement are important. A set of rocker protectors is also available to better protect its door sills from dents and nicks.
The new Denali Ultimate helps GMC’s most popular model finally live up to its luxury brand. It has dark “Vader” chrome exterior trim and rides on 22-inch wheels with adaptive dampers. Climb inside to appreciate its many leather-wrapped surfaces and open-pore wood. The headliner is made of microsuede, the leather front seats have 16-way power adjustments and massage functions, and the Bose premium sound system plays through 12 speakers that include those on the stainless-steel grille door panels. The Denali Ultimate also comes standard with Super Cruise, GM’s hands-free technology; it’s optional on regular Denali as well.
The half-ton Sierra continues to be offered with a 355-hp 5.3-liter or a 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8. A turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-four and a Duramax diesel 3.0-liter inline-six are also available. Last year’s 4.3-liter V-6 has been dropped. GMC says the turbo-four has been updated to be more refined and make more torque (420 pound-feet vs. 383), and its eight-speed automatic has been recalibrated to be more responsive. Thanks to chassis modifications, the Duramax diesel is now compatible with the Max Trailering package, allowing it to tow up to 13,200 pounds. Previously, diesel-powered Sierras could only tow up to 9,200 pounds.
The 2022 Sierra 1500 is expected to reach dealers in the first quarter of next year. The entry-level Sierra Pro will start at $32,495 and the Denali Ultimate will open at $80,395–$19,100 more than the regular Denali. The AT4 starts at $60,995, and the AT4X costs $74,995 before any options.
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