Test drive: 2022 GMC Sierra AT4X is the whole package

Quimby Mug Bayou Florida Headshot
It's hard to get bored with the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X, which has mastered on- and off-road travel in style.
Tom Quimby

The interesting crossroads of off-road muscle, high-tech and luxury appointments … that’s the thinking behind the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X, and GM has nailed it.

First the dirt. The AT4X gets Multimatic DSSV dampers and an impressive 420 horses and 460 pound-feet of torque from a stout powertrain led by a 6.2-liter V8 and 10-speed automatic.

Plus, it’s got a 2-inch lift, front and rear electronic locking differentials, rock rails, skid plates and 32.5-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires that sit a half-inch higher than the Goodyear Wrangler Territory tires on the AT4. It looks like a bad ass truck, and yes, it’s a blast to drive.

But I wouldn’t think of getting it airborne, and it doesn’t look like GM would either. Yeah, I know there’s the commercial showing the AT4X getting one of its front tires off the ground while rock climbing toward a scenic waterfall inside a literal man cave. But that’s one tire. It’s a far cry from getting all four wheels off the ground.

IMG7609Camera views are great on the 13.4-inch horizontal display and made traversing this swampy terrain even more exciting.Tom QuimbySo before I even took this great-looking AT4X off-roading (cayenne red is now one of my favorites), I emailed GM’s media reps about jumping it and never got a direct answer. While the reps were polite and happy to hear that I was reviewing the truck, nobody answered the question. The closest response was…

The Sierra 1500 AT4X was developed as a balanced execution of superb on-road tech, comfort and handling and extreme off-road capability. Our customers are really looking for that sweet spot with the added chops and confidence when it comes time to venture off road.

I totally agree that the AT4X delivers “a balanced execution of superb on-road tech, comfort and handling.” Ventilated leather seats in the front with 16-way massage capability melted away the miles on a long roadtrip under a tough summer sun. And you can never get bored of that horizontal 13.4-inch center touchscreen, which provides stellar camera views while off-roading; the best map view you’ve ever seen (horizontal view dominates here); options galore to make the most of a 12-speaker Bose premium; more options when it comes to making the most of trailering, and the list goes on.

The 15-inch head-up display on the windshield? I’m a huge fan. I love seeing my speed clearly on display and being able to quick set the pacing distance between myself and the other guy out front with GMC’s Adaptive Cruise Control.   

Comfort, handling and power come naturally for the AT4X. It’ll quickly eat up those highway miles, pass up the stragglers like they’re standing still and leave you both hungry for more.

AT4X Multigate Back LawnBest pickup bed yet. The GMC Multipro tailgate with Kicker audio system quickly hooked up to Bluetooth and belted out the tunes. It's really directional so you don't have to worry about blasting out the neighbors on either side.Tom QuimbyExtreme off-roading? The AT4X devoured our course, save for the jump. So it depends on your definition of the word "extreme." It flung piles of dirt while doing donuts and took the edge off bumps and dips while still keeping it fun. It confidently cut through water and swampy mud that would scare off lesser trucks.

But with 420 horses, beefed-up suspension and an MSRP of $76,790, which is roughly on par with the starting price of the 702-horsepower 2022 Ram TRX and nearly $7,000 more than a base 450-horsepower 2022 F-150 Raptor – both of which are engineered to get airborne – you sort of expect this Sierra to defy gravity for a bit while belting out Sinatra’s “Come Fly with Me.”

AT4X Head Up Display3The 15-inch head-up display is great for road trips. Adaptive cruise control pacing is easy to set and observe as the miles melt away.But then I looked closer at the front suspension supporting those Multimatics, and it all made sense. There’s no way I’d jump a truck with these wishbones. They look stock and don't appear beefed up at all like the wishbones on the Raptor and the TRX. They looked mismatched with those Multimatic dampers, like a guy at the gym with big legs and PeeWee Herman arms. I began to think that the engineers got pinched by budgets that continue to throw money at all-electric. But who knows.

I can’t fault GMC too much here. They’ve done a superb job of combining luxury, technology and serious off-road capability. Getting airborne is a big risk. Ford and Ram obviously did their due diligence before giving the green light to jump their trucks. The AT4X isn’t ready for that – at least not yet, and that’s fine. 

What's good...

  • 420-horsepower V8 and 10-speed automatic deliver some exciting get-up-and-go
  • Aggressive 2-inch lift with Multimatic DSSV dampers tame rough roads
  • Leather throughout, including massaging, ventilated and heated front seats (outer rear seats are heated too)
  • Serious off-road pedigree like electronic locking front and rear diffs and one-pedal Terrain Mode in 4-Lo
  • 13.4-inch horizontal center touchscreen (horizontal is great for maps and camera views)
  • Multiple camera views, which are really handy while parking, trailering, backing up and off-roading
  • 15-inch head-up display on the windshield. Great during a roadtrip to see various info like vehicle speed and pacing distance
  • Multipro Tailgate with Bluetooth-enabled Kicker audio system – a real crowd pleaser, especially with my kids
  • Plenty of charge ports front and back. Wireless phone charging in front, conveniently located by center console
  • Beefy 32.5-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires wrapped around gloss black 18-inch aluminum wheels are quiet on the road
  • GMC Pro Safety features like automatic emergency braking, pedestrian braking, forward collision alert, lane keep assist, etc. 
  • LED headlights, fog lights and bed lights 

What's not...

  • Suspension is beefed up over AT4 but not flight worthy. Put their pencils down too early on this one. 
  • $76,790 MSRP is steep considering that a diesel-equipped 2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Denali 4x4 crew cab stickered at $78,455. (Of course, prices for new and used vehicles have really jumped the past couple of years).
  • Skinny step rails are tough, but they're narrow and not easy to use for cab ingress and egress

AT4X Rear Seat StorageCreature comforts keep coming in the AT4X including additional storage in the rear seats which can also be heated up on cold days.Tom Quimby

AT4X Rock RailRail is too narrow for my tastes. It's tough but skinny and make it a challenge when stepping in and out of the cab.Tom Quimby

AT4X Driver DoorTough and graceful...you get the full package with the AT4X.Tom Quimby

AT4X Left Front FieldThe AT4X eats up the off-roadTom Quimby

AT4X Map Water And RoadsCan't beat the map view on the 13.4-inch horizontal display. Accessible button layout is a plus too.Tom Quimby

The Attachments Idea Book
Landscapers use a variety of attachments for doing everything from snow removal to jobsite cleanup, and regardless of how often they are used, every landscaper has a favorite attachment.
Attachments Idea Book Cover