Nice Drives: 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X

From the features to the capabilities to the price tag, everything about this truck is big.

GMC Sierra AT4X. Courtesy GMC

By Isaac Bouchard

GMC Sierras were once the twin of Chevrolet Silverados, but for the grill and badges. That has changed for the better; not only do they not share any obvious sheet metal, but their interiors are distinct as well. Ram reset the bar for how nice a pickup’s interior should be and GMC is the first competitor to match them, with the Denali Ultimate and the AT4X. There cockpits are 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, it it does not have powered tilt/telescope for its steering wheel, something GMC makes standard on upper levels of Sierra trim, including the AT4X. It also offers massaging seats, though the system for activating their myriad functions is a bit fiddly to use.

The 12.3-inch, configurable digital instrument screen is a nice compliment to the 13.4-inch touch screen and massive 15-inch head up display. The Google OS isn’t an improvement in functionality over GMC’s older system, but its graphics are beautiful.

GMC Sierra AT4X. Courtesy GMC

The AT4X is much nicer inside than the Chevy Silverado ZR2 as well, basically giving one access to Denali Ultimate-level swank along with the superb off-road prowess of the Chevrolet. 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 wells, but they allow for taller, 33-inch tire sidewalls, which handle rocks and bumps more adroitly. Also helping the AT4X shine over trucks like the Ford Raptor and Ram TRX is its narrower width, which allows it to tackle 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.

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 average high-teens to 20mpg on highway runs, a pleasing combination of virtues. Around town fuel usage—it’s hard to imaging calling it “economy” is 11-13mpg, the same as most other vehicles of its mass. 0-60mph can be dispatched in 5.4 seconds at sea level; up here the GMC is clearly slower than super- or turbocharged competitors.

GMC Sierra AT4X. Courtesy GMC

For 2023 there are some intriguing 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.

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!

GMC Sierra AT4X. Courtesy GMC

EPA Ratings: 14/18/16mpg
0-60mph: 5.4sec
Price as tested: $80,935
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 and

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