2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X: Off-Road Prowess in a Luxury Pickup Truck

The GMC Sierra AT4 takes a few more steps toward off-road supremacy with the 2022 Sierra 1500 AT4X. The entire Sierra 1500 lineup also gets some upgrades worthy of closer inspection.

GMC finally stepped full force into the full-size off-road adventure truck game with the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X. Of course, it has a major uphill battle to fight, with the Ford Raptor and RAM TRX already on the market and selling like hotcakes.

GMC obviously wants a piece of that market, and the AT4X is its answer. Can it compete?

Let’s dive into why the 2022 GMC Sierra AT4X is worth a closer look.

GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X

It’s obvious that the AT4X is ready to tackle some serious off-road terrain. The big upgrades are a larger transfer case skid plate, class-exclusive front and rear e-lockers, and Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers, just like those found on the Chevy ZR2 and Bison. You also get a terrain mode with one-pedal crawling.

NEW 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 driver - Obsidian Rush interior_ full dash + console

Inside the AT4X you get an Obsidian Rush leather interior with white piping and red stitching. Dark Vanta ash wood trim brings some elegance to the interior that is a good balance between sporty and luxury.

The front seats are impressive 16-way power-adjustable units — they even have a massage feature.

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X - Obsidian Rush interior_ front

The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X looks like an impressive and well-rounded truck that is ready to do work, get out and adventure, and provide comfort on daily commutes.

It will probably serve as a more usable truck day to day than a Raptor or TRX, but it does fall short in some key areas when it comes to off-road performance at speed.

AT4X Against Its Competitors

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X in Cayenne Red Tintcoat_ front

The AT4X has impressive Multimatic DSSV shock technology that can compete with the best of them, but it offers a narrower track width and less overall suspension travel than the Raptor and TRX. We’d expect the AT4X to offer truly impressive on-road and corrugated road performance, but perhaps not manage big whoops and off-road events as confidently, nor at the high speeds of its competitors.

The power game is where the AT4X falls farther short, with just 420 horsepower on tap from its 6.2L V8. The Raptor has 450 and TRX 702 horsepower. Torque is similarly lacking at 460 pound-feet, with the Raptor at 510 and TRX 650.

Let’s be real, though — the AT4X is doubtful to leave you wanting for power. It’s just that its competitors have more oomph when you stomp on the skinny pedal.

The AT4X also lacks a bit on the rubber side of things, at least in terms of off-road performance/capability. Stock tires are a 32.6-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Mud-Terrain (LT265/70R18) on 18-inch black wheels.

With the new Raptor, you have options of 35- or 37-inch tires on 17-inch wheels, and the TRX has 34.6-inch tires on 18-inch wheels.

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X in Cayenne Red Tintcoat_ worksite

Usability as a truck is where the AT4X shines. The 2022 Sierra AT4X can tow up to 8,600 pounds. The Raptor only has up to 8,000 pounds of towing capacity and TRX only 8,100.

The AT4X also shines in the gear-carrying category, with up to 1,420 pounds of available payload. The Raptor offers just 1,200 pounds of capacity and TRX 1,404 pounds. The optional MultiPro Tailgate and carbon-pro composite box on the ATX4 are also impressive components that are considerably more advanced than the competition.

The sporty luxury interior of the Sierra 1500 AT4X is also looking to be a step above what Ford and RAM have on offer. Even the infotainment screen is bigger in the AT4X (13.2 inches compared to 12 inches), and arguably more tech-filled with the latest built-in Google apps.

Pricing is similar, but the AT4X probably beats the competition by a good margin when optioned similarly. The base price for the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X is $74,995.

GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate + 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X

We also can’t talk about the release of the 2022 Sierra 1500 without mentioning the latest ultimate luxury truck in the lineup, the Denali Ultimate. This trim level comes with all the options you want on a Sierra; 6.2L V8, carbon-pro truck bed, MultiPro tailgate, and even power-assist steps as standard.

Special features like premium Denali suspension with Adaptive Ride Control and Super Cruise that is trailering-capable also come standard on the Sierra Denali Ultimate.

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate - Alpine Umber interior_front seating

Unique looks on the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate include 22-inch wheels, “Vader chrome” accents, unique front fender trim featuring Mount Denali, and an interior that features leather-wrapped everything with microsuede and Paldao wood trim.

Pricing for the 2022 1500 Denali Ultimate starts at $80,395.

Updated 2022 GMC Sierra 1500

The entire line of the GMC Sierra 1500 gets some updates for 2022. The truck gets a revised front bumper, grille, and lighting design, but remains largely unchanged in the looks department.

Inside you get a new 13.4-inch infotainment screen with Google built-in (standard on SLE trim and above). This setup gives you Google Maps, Google Assistant, and Google Play directly in your infotainment system, with 3 years of service included. The built-in Google features are said to complement the already included Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and available Amazon Alexa.

The base 2.7L turbo engine has been updated to produce 20% more torque, now at 420 pound-feet. The shift points on the 8-speed transmission that backs this motor have been revised to offer the feeling of more power on demand. These updates also increase towing capacity to 9,600 pounds (9,300 on 4WD models).

Even the 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel Sierra 1500 gets some useful updates. Specifically, the chassis has been upgraded to allow for the addition of the max tow package. With 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of diesel power on tap, the 2022 Sierra 1500 Duramax can tow up to 13,200 pounds, a massive 4,000-pound improvement over the 2021 Sierra diesel.

Think of the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 as a refresh with more useful tech, more luxury, and more capability for towing and off-road adventures. Expect to start seeing the 2022 Sierra 1500 hitting dealer lots in early 2022.

As with all new vehicles right now, there is bound to be an availability shortage, so if you want one of these, be sure to get your reservation in now at GMC.com.

Bryon Dorr
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Bryon Dorr caught the outdoor adventure addiction through whitewater kayaking, and worldwide adventures to remote places ensued. He crafted his own professional path as a photographer, journalist, and marketing consultant in the automotive and outdoor industries, while full-time overland traveling for nearly 8 years. You’ll usually find him out exploring by 4x4, adventure motorcycle, or sports car while seeking out opportunities to ski, mountain bike, and kayak. Bryon now has a home base in Portland, OR, and runs our sister site AutoWise.com.