2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X

GMC might have created the best combination of on-pavement luxury and off-road prowess

By Isaac Bouchard

Courtesy GMC

The high-end of the pickup segment crossed into six-figure territory some years back, populated by modified Ford F-450, Raptors with dealer markup and the 707hp Ram TRX. One rung down, GMC might just have created the best combination of on-pavement luxury and off-road prowess, with the AT4X. The biggest improvements for all ’22 Sierras where to the interior, which went from low-rent to basically best in class. If you imagine an AT4X as the prefect combination of the Denali Ultimate’s upgraded interior and the Chevrolet Silverado ZR2’s suspension, you wouldn’t be far of. The cockpit is lined with quality hide—including the dash—along with real wood, a microsuede headliner and expensive-looking trim. There is still a smattering of hard plastics, but those are also present in the top Ram trims, too, which have long been considered the benchmark. Where the GMC moves ahead is in having massage for the front seats and a powered tilt/telescope steering wheel, tied to the driver’s memory system. The 12.3-inch, configurable digital instrument screen is a nice compliment to the 13.4in touch screen and massive 15in head up display. The Google OS isn’t an improvement in functionality over GMC’s older system, but its graphics are beautiful.

Courtesy GMC

Underneath, the suspension has a 2-inch lift, there are skid plates seemingly everywhere and there are front and rear locking differentials, which no competitors offer. Electronic aids include one-pedal crawl and various terrain modes. The 18-inch wheels might look lost in the vast fender cutouts but they allow for taller, 33-inch tire sidewalls, which are better able to handle rocks and bumps. Also helping the AT4X shine over trucks like the Raptor and TRX is its narrower width, which allows it to handle trails those two behemoths could never squeeze down. Damping comes from Multimatic DSSV “spool-valve” shock absorbers. These are amazingly competent at warding off the kind of repeated, hard hits that happen when bombing down high-speed dirt trails, but they are not driver-adjustable, and the AT4X doesn’t ride as well as a TRX or Raptor on the road.

Courtesy GMC

Power comes from a sonorous 6.2-liter V8, hooked to a slick 10-speed auto. Its 420hp and 460lb-ft of torque make it excellent for towing and it can actually crack 20mpg on highway runs, a pleasing combination of virtues. 0-60mph can be dispatched in 5.4 seconds at sea level; up here the GMC is clearly slower than super- or turbocharged competitors.

Courtesy GMC

For 2023 there are more changes, including an option package from American Expedition Vehicles, maker of OEM-quality off-road upgrades. It includes AEV stamped-steel bumpers (the front of which is winch-capable) with recovery points for when one gets stuck, a Boron steel approach skid plate that improves approach angle, AEV wheels and more. Unfortunately, General Motor’s amazing Super Cruise hands-free highway driving software is not available on the AT4X yet. But its other semi-autonomous systems are terrific and there is a multicamera system that allows views behind an enclosed trailer (and within it) to be piped to the big screen.

Courtesy GMC

All in, the AT4X offers an amazing combination of virtues. It is quiet and refined, feels appropriately upscale inside, tows exceptionally well (as long as load-equalizing hitch is used for beefier trailers) and is indomitable in most offroad situations. That it also doesn’t take up so much room in the garage that your other can’t fit, is certainly a factor in its favor as well!

EPA Ratings: 14/18/16mpg
0-60mph: 5.4sec
Price as tested: $76,790
4.5 Stars

Here is what GMC has to say.

Automotive Editor Isaac Bouchard owns Denver-based Bespoke Autos ([email protected]; 303-475-1462). Read more of his automotive writing, reviews and recommendations on coloradoavidgolfer.com and bespokeautos.com.

Colorado AvidGolfer Magazine is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivering daily content via coloradoavidgolfer.com.

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