Class: Large Pickup
Miles driven: 219
Fuel used: 14.6 gallons
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||A|
|Power and Performance||A-|
|Fit and Finish||B|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. “Big” rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, “Tall” rating based on 6’6″-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||420-hp 6.2L|
|Drive Wheels||4-wheel drive|
Real-world fuel economy: 15.0 mpg
Driving mix: 50% city, 50% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 14/18/16 (mpg city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Premium gas
Base price: $73,300 (not including $1695 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Rocker protection (dealer-installed, $1150), Cayenne Red Tintcoat paint ($645)
Price as tested: $76,790
The great: Spacious cabin; much-improved interior materials; brawny 6.2-liter V8 engine
The good: Long list of standard comfort, safety, and technology features; distinctive upscale ambiance
The not so good: Ride quality is a step behind most class rivals; off-road tires are noisier on the highway; mediocre fuel economy
In line with the general drive to make the full-size pickup as many things as possible to as many people as possible, GMC fleshes out its already-broad Sierra lineup in two ways for 2022. Luxury-seekers are courted with the Denali Ultimate, a new top trim with lusher interior materials, 22-inch wheels, a black-chrome grille, and power-retracting side rails. For the outdoorsier set, the AT4X builds off the existing off-road-oriented AT4 by adding luxury finishing touches and unique shock absorbers, electronically locking front and rear differentials, and Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac mud-terrain tires.
Consumer Guide sampled a ½-ton Sierra 1500 AT4X that started at $74,994, delivery included, but was lightly optioned to $76,790. In addition to the things that made it an AT4X, the test truck incorporated other changes to 2022 GMCs including a new grille and headlight design, updated instrument cluster, and a 13.4-inch infotainment screen.
As a member of the upper ranks of the Sierra family, the AT4X comes with a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 and 10-speed automatic transmission. There’s a healthy level of “go” in the Ecotec3 engine with its 460 lb-ft of torque. It climbs smoothly to highway speeds with the aid of the 10-speed transmission, which kicks down promptly in merging and passing situations. The AT4X also gets standard external engine and transmission oil coolers.
The 6.2 has stop/start technology and Dynamic Fuel Management that can activate two, four, six, or all eight cylinders as driving conditions warrant. Even with all that—surprise, surprise—it’s no gas sipper. This reviewer notched just 15.47 mpg after driving 94.1 miles, 37 percent of which were city-type miles. That put the truck just shy of the 16 mpg that the EPA estimates it should get in combined city/highway operation and well short of the 18-mpg highway projection. (City driving is pegged at 14 mpg by the feds.)
The AT4, which bowed when the current generation of Sierras made its debut for 2019, put GMC in the off-road-truck arena by dint of its 2-inch suspension lift, skid plates to protect the bottoms of key mechanical systems, and off-road-tuned shock absorbers. AT4X is cut from similar cloth with Multimatic DSSV triple-spool-valve dampers, increased suspension travel, the electronic diffs, 3.23:1 rear axle ratio, the big Goodyear skins on 18-inch gloss-black alloy wheels, hill-descent control, a 120-volt power outlet in the cargo bed, and trailer sway and braking controllers. As an urban commuter—which is how CG editors used it during their test—it is not the quietest nor smoothest-riding big pickup when the nubby rubber meets the road. Steering and handling are not particularly wearing on the driver, however.
Interior appointments allow AT4X passengers to rough it in relative comfort. Full-grain leather seats (in dark Obsidian Rush with white piping) are heated in both rows. Front seats are also ventilated, have 16-way power adjustment, massage function, and driver’s-seat memory. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is heated as well, and it is mounted on a power tilt/telescoping column. Above, a microsuede headliner makes room for a power sunroof. Premium floor liners are underfoot. Vanta ash wood trim appears on the dash and doors.
Comfort and convenience come from a dual-zone climate-control system and Bose-brand audio with 12 speakers. The GMC Premium Infotainment system utilizes the new big touchscreen and built-in compatibility with Google devices. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring is wireless. Other standard-equipment features are satellite radio, wireless charging, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Drivers get their information from a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 15-inch head-up display, and a rearview camera mirror.
The current Sierra is roomy, exceptionally so as a crew cab, which is the only way the AT4X comes. Personal-item storage in the test truck was ample with twin gloveboxes; a large, covered console box; and big pockets in all doors. The backs of the wide, 60/40-split rear seat contain built-in storage bins. However, driver vision is compromised somewhat by thick front and side roof pillars. Also, the raised ride height may challenge shorter occupants. Though they weren’t intended for it, the dealer-installed rocker protectors on the test truck offered something of a toehold for easier entry but weren’t wide enough to assist exits. The big infotainment screen has large menu icons, which makes it easier to get right to the section you want. Making audio presets was fairly intuitive and direct. The climate system has handy dials for temperature settings but a cluster of buttons for its other features.
On the outside there is LED lighting all around—even for the cargo bed—heated power-folding mirrors, and a spray-in liner for the 5.8-foot “short box” bed that is the only type offered for this model. The tailgate is the “MultiPro” pioneered by GMC, notable for its separately hinged “mini-gate” section that can be configured to hold several handy positions. In the AT4X, the MultiPro has an integral Kicker audio system that plays content streamed from connected Bluetooth devices—handy for outdoor gatherings. A weatherproof amplifier is hidden in the tailgate.
Numerous safety and driver-assistance technologies are tossed in, too. The list includes automatic emergency braking, forward-collision alert, front pedestrian braking and rear pedestrian alert, rear cross-traffic braking, lane-keep assist and lane-departure warning, following-distance indicator, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking assistance, side blind-zone alert for trailers, surround-vision camera with bed view, and automatic high-beam headlights.
While perhaps not as all-out an off-roader as some big trucks on the market (it doesn’t have modifications to maximize approach and departure angles, for instance) the AT4X still pulls together lots of things that folks with the need to be where the roads aren’t once in a while will appreciate. They’ll appreciate them even more while basking in the truck’s extra niceties.
2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X
(Click below for enlarged images)