The 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X is a stylish brute

The 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X brings a delicious combination of comfort, style and raw power to the market, at a price.

Full-size pickups remain the reigning sales champs in the U.S. despite the current electric rush, and the AT4X, which I spent seven days in, is particularly obnoxious and satisfying. It’s not exactly cheap either, starting at $77,500 but can fetch up to $80,935 with all the options and if you can get one at that price.

Highlights for 2023

There is a lot to choose from in terms of trim, as you might expect. It is available as a single cab, double cab or four-door cab with available beds ranging from 5.8 to 8.2 feet long. Four engines are on deck, including a 310-hp turbo four-cylinder, a Duramax turbodiesel with 460 pound-feet of torque, a 355-hp 5.3-liter V-8 and a 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 . It will tow 13,200 pounds at its max — that’s 13 wings, three adult moose or, of course, your trailer or boat or junk.

You must select a cab configuration and bed length. My tester had a combo tailgate with various configurations which was interesting but not necessary, if you’ve been driving pickups for 20 years like this writer has. There’s also a carbon fiber-reinforced cargo bed that both weighs less and is stronger than steel, the company says.

The engine and the drive

My tester housed a 6.2L EcoTech V8 engine with a sweetly smooth 10-speed automatic transmission. Mileage was a miserable 15 MPG city, 17 highway, end of story. The big boy was fiddly to navigate in and out of parking lots and other small areas and you have to get used to backing out of parking lots and trying somewhere else. Otherwise, steering, handling and braking were reasonably sharp and a pleasure at low speeds or on the highway. When you roll in this truck, you feel deliciously mighty-mighty.

Inside

You sit comfortably high with plenty of visibility, and all your controls are within easy reach.

The bigger your budget, the more goodies you get, like a heads-up display or a power-adjustable steering column. Above all, there is room for the big and/or tall. It’s plush and nice and welcoming inside.

Connection/technology

The truck comes with a 13.4-inch touchscreen that accommodates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both of which I abandoned long ago because you need fewer apps in your life, not more, if possible. Google’s software gives subscribers access to maps, apps and a voice assistant. A Bose sound system with 12 speakers is available as well as wireless phone charging and more. The sound from the audio system on my test unit was muddy and unsatisfactory at any volume and any music.

Security

It’s one of the most up-to-date and safety-conscious trucks on the market, which is especially good considering what many people put their pickups through, going through streams and over mountains of dirt or hauling junk and speeding it to its destination. Its off-road features include off-road mode where you can only use one pedal in certain situations.

Also check out the multi-camera system, especially useful if you’re towing a trailer, as anyone who’s abused one knows. Also available is GM’s Super Cruise hands-free technology, which, used with care, will help you on those long drives where there are hundreds of miles of nothing. Otherwise, buy and use it at your own discretion. It will even switch files for you, but only if there is nothing connected on the back. It’s not perfect and no one is saying it is. Just keep an eagle eye on it if you buy it.

Otherwise, your essential standard safety features include forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, and standard blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Warranty and maintenance coverage

• Free maintenance is covered for the first visit

• Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles

• The powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles

The 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X is an expensive but ultimately satisfying pickup truck; check out rivals with similar prices.

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