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GMC’s most dependable pickup truck, the Sierra 1500, is already a leader in the full-size truck market. With excellent technology and refined powertrains behind your drive, it’s no wonder why the GMC Sierra 1500 is so competitive. It’s consistently more visually appealing and comfortable than the Chevy Silverado 1500 while also less costly than the Ram 1500. Plus, when equipped with the Duramax engine, the 2022 Sierra 1500 has a class-leading four-wheel drive diesel towing capacity of up to 13,000 lbs! But if you want more elegance and even more practical tech out of your truck, consider two stars of this pickup’s trim lineup: the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 vs 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X.
When drivers want a pickup that feels comfortable and refined rather than just a capable workhorse, these high-end off-road trims for the Sierra 1500 are sure to exceed expectations. They’re luxurious and advanced and feature some of the more powerful engines the 2022 model has to offer. Those who are familiar with GMC’s top-tier Denali trim may be aware of its impressive, distinctive features—and its price tag—but the AT4 and AT4X offer luxury-level features for far less. The AT4’s darkened exterior details and red accents are certainly sporty, while the AT4X has extra-rugged lines with unique badging. If you’re interested in a pickup truck that turns heads, take a look at the key elements of each trim level below.
The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 is the off-road version of the standard Sierra 1500. More rugged and capable—and styled to match—this model notably features GMC’s Duramax turbo-diesel as its standard engine. The 3.0L Duramax I-6 is ultra-strong and surprisingly efficient, capable of a whopping 460 lb-ft of torque, plus a max towing rating of 13,200 lbs. That blows similar trucks out of the water. For one of the most efficient full-size trucks on the market, the diesel-enhanced Sierra 1500 is capable of 23 MPG city and an impressive 30 MPG highway for a combined 26 MPG.
While the four-wheel drive AT4 with its aggressive mud-terrain tires loses some efficiency, you’ll gain even more traction and safety as you blaze through the Georgia countryside. That’s where you can take advantage of this trim’s 2” suspension lift to clear obstacles on the trail, alongside a host of other practical off-road equipment. Notably, the Rancho monotube shocks help ensure constant tire-to-trail contact, even on uneven terrain; plus, the 2-speed AutoTrac transfer case helps disperse power evenly to the wheels so that you never spin out or lose control. Paired with the 2022 Sierra 1500’s responsive, satisfying steering, you’ll stay in command—even in unpredictable off-road conditions. Red recovery hooks, meanwhile, are built-in in case you need a lift.
Powering the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X is a 6.2L EcoTec3 V8, which comes standard at this trim level. This is the fastest way to drive a Sierra, as this powertrain is capable of a competitive 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. This is the only gas engine for the 2022 Sierra 1500 that matches the diesel powertrain’s torque rating and is also available for the standard AT4 as an option. And, like the AT4 trim, this AT4X also uses a smooth, 10-speed automatic transmission.
Even more notable on the AT4X are its electronic-locking front and rear differentials, which are only found in one other competing truck in this class. The 2022 Sierra 1500 AT4X also includes upgraded suspension to smooth out rugged rides, as well as special Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac mud-terrain tires on large glossy black 18” wheels. Meanwhile, added skid plates protect your Sierra 1500 from the rigors of the trail. This truck has unique off-road chassis tuning to improve off-road performance and driving modes like low-speed Terrain Mode and one-pedal rock crawling.
Additionally, top-of-the-line Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers stabilize your truck while climbing, cornering, and powering through dips. The AT4X trim also features red recovery hooks. All of this combined equipment makes this one of the best-prepared trucks to endure what Mother Nature has in store.
Driving the AT4X is particularly satisfying both on and off-road. The drive is firm on pavement thanks to the special Multimatic dampers, making sharp turns possible without that unpleasant wallowing sensation. Nicely weighted steering has a pleasant amount of feedback, and perfectly balanced steering feels responsive to your commands. Off the pavement, enjoy the flexibility of the AT4X’s 11.1 inches of ground clearance, 25.5 degrees of approach angle, and 23 degrees of departure angle to navigate all kinds of trails.
Previous versions of the GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 had a fairly simple cabin aesthetic. However, GMC has given the 2022 version of the AT4 a full course of improvements. These include upgraded storage compartments for privacy and protection, alongside a signature Jet Black interior color scheme. The cabin also features unique Kalahari accents that feel modern and fresh.
Meanwhile, available perforated leather front seat trim adds an element of Denali-level class. The front seats are both heated and ventilated, so everyone stays comfortable in all climate conditions. Sophisticated yet rugged, it’s a definite winner for those who don’t want a luxurious vehicle to feel too urban or restrained.
The AT4X is one of the most luxurious trucks you can own. It falls just short of the Denali trim, a worldwide favorite for its immensely sophisticated styling and quality cabin features. Admirable details include the unique Obsidian Rush color scheme, which isn’t just ordinary black; it has a cool matte effect that’s remarkably similar to that of fine home furniture. Its full-grain leather seat trim lines the cab in remarkably luxurious upholstery. Plus, authentic Vanta ash wood, ceramic white accent colors, and technical grain leather aren’t just genuine; they’re the perfect balance of refined and outdoorsy—embodying the AT4X’s commitment to comfortable go-anywhere driving.
As an upgrade, you can adjust both front seats with 16-way ergonomic controls. Plus, a massage feature is an added indulgence—and a must-have for staying relaxed after long drives. You might find yourself enjoying the massage feature, even when you aren’t driving! You can also lean back and look up through the expansive sunroof, which is standard on the AT4X. With the Sierra 1500 AT4X, GMC enables adventurous drivers to enjoy the outdoors to the fullest.
Safety may not be the most fun type of tech, and you may not realize how important it is until it saves your hide (and your family’s). Thankfully, the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 includes many standard safety features, like Forward-Collision Warning and Automated Emergency Braking, both of which can detect impending accidents and react immediately to prevent a collision. Upgrading to the AT4 trim is unnecessary to unlock safety features.
Inside the cab, the AT4 comes standard with an impressive 13.4” touchscreen, which is your source for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto—alongside practical apps like navigation and a voice-activated smart assistant powered by Google. The enormous screen competes with handheld tablets in terms of screen size and crisp, colorful visuals. Plus, you also get a 12.3” Driver Information Center that streams valuable driver data your way. Choose from a variety of display settings for comprehensive data or a simplified approach; keep an eye on your current speed, fuel level, driving range, tire pressure, and more—all on an easy-to-read and crisp digital screen.
The 2022 Sierra 1500’s AT4X trim includes extra safety features that are optional upgrades for the AT4 level and below. These include Rear Cross Traffic Braking, which can identify oncoming traffic that may be out of your periphery. Rear Park Assist also comes standard. This feature is a must for backing into tight parking spots or loading zones.
In addition to all of the infotainment features mentioned for the AT4 trim, you will enjoy a standard 15” Head-Up Display, which projects important data about your truck, current driving, and navigation instructions directly on the windshield. Unlike competing Head-Up Displays in other trucks, this one is customizable. You can choose which data to display, toggle the brightness, and even change its positioning on the windshield! While this feature is optional on the AT4, it’s a standard feature on the AT4X.
The AT4X trim also comes standard with an upgraded audio system: the 12-speaker Bose Premium Series with Centerpoint surround sound. Centerpoint technology streams multi-channel sound based on the captain’s seat’s position, optimizing audio for an immersive, incredibly rich audio experience from one of the world’s top speaker brands. It also features AudioPilot Noise Compensation to filter out background noise as you drive.