Along with some interior and exterior styling updates for the 2022 Sierra 1500 full-size pickup, GMC adds two new models to the lineup. One is the Denali Ultimate, the other is the AT4X featured here.
The AT4X is GMC’s newest off-road-oriented model, topping the AT4 with superior capability and mechanicals, technology upgrades, a premium-grade interior replete with pampering equipment, and a sizable cost increase around $15,000 more than the current AT4 base model.
For off-roading buffs, the most appealing feature of the AT4X will be its sophisticated Multimatic DSSV (Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve) chassis suspension technology that greatly improves damping performance. The system, which also makes a meaningful contribution to the truck’s on-road behavior, is used in ultra high-performance GM vehicles including the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.
Electronic locking front and rear differentials, skid plates, Terrain Mode with one-pedal crawling, 10.9 inches of ground clearance, mud-terrain tires and more will capture off- roaders’ interest as well.
The Sierra AT4X has crew cab/short box configuration and is equipped with a powerhouse 6.2-liter V8 engine producing 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. It’s joined to a 10-speed automatic transmission fully up to the task. The truck has a 1,420-pound payload and can tow up to 8,900 pounds. Telling you the fuel economy rating makes me wince. It’s 14 mpg city, 18 mpg highway, and 16 mpg combined.
Features of the lavish AT4X interior include 16-way power front seats with heat, ventilation and massage, heated rear outer seats, dual zone climate control, power sunroof, 15-inch head-up display, wireless charging, and an uncomplicated 13.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Google built-in compatibility, wireless Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay, Wi-Fi, SiriusXM radio, and a fabulous 12-speaker Bose premium audio system. Stowage spaces and plug-in spots abound. The rear window has power operation.
GMC’s clever MultiPro tailgate with its variety of positions includes a Kicker audio system for superlative tailgate parties.
For all its weight and size, the AT4X is fairly nimble, and comes through with a nice ride on the highway, complete with a quiet cabin in spite of the burly tires.
My tester had rocker guards, an optional item. Attractive and sturdy, they add to the truck’s good looks and no doubt provide excellent rocker protection while off-roading, but are otherwise a pain. They could do double duty as side steps except they aren’t wide enough to function as a step, so they just get in the way when entering and exiting the vehicle.
The tester’s Cayenne Red paint was another problematical option, making the AT4X look too gorgeous to get dirty.
2022 GMC SIERRA 1500 AT4X
Base price, including destination charge: $74,995
Price as driven: $76,790
Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.