The cat’s out of the bag: the GMC Sierra AT4X will arrive in 2022 as the most capable and comfortable Sierra 1500 yet, with improvements across the board, including specific nods to off-road performance and durability.
“Sierra’s momentum continues to accelerate, as the fastest-growing model in the segment,” said Duncan Aldred, global vice president of GMC and Buick. “With the 2022 Sierra, GMC is offering customers more advanced technologies, upscale appointments, and increased capability across the Sierra lineup, including the all-new Sierra Denali Ultimate and AT4X.”
GMC Sierra AT4X: A new peak in premium off-road performance
A recent whirlwind trip through Detroit let me preview the 2022 GMC Sierra AT4X. After some time with the truck and a thorough discussion with GMC’s engineering team, I think that the future looks bright for this full-size truck platform. As far as updates, there are quite a few, so let’s start with styling.
2022 GMC AT4X Style Updates (Exterior)
Starting with the front of the truck, the 2021 grille surround has been ditched, allowing the new grille to extend further outward toward the hood, headlights, and bumper. Additionally, the grille features a metallic-blue finish dubbed Titanium Rush, a color scheme that you’ll see featured prominently in the cab of the vehicle as well.
The grille surround has been ditched and the new design features metallic-blue Titanium Rush.
The headlights of the AT4X see some small design changes, with a slightly different shape and matching Titanium Rush accents behind the clear plastic covers. Additionally, the vehicle’s fog lamps have been relocated to a lower position in the bumper. The headlights are a new dual-projector LED design.
It is also important to note the change in the lower valance and bumper integration, which will make it much easier to design and install an aftermarket, or high-clearance factory bumper.
The other big exterior visual change in 2022 is at the back end of the truck, where the dual exhaust turndowns are no longer an integrated part of the rear bumper. The engineering team informed me that this change was made to reduce vulnerability to damage on the trail. But never fear, the truck still has its dual exhaust; it’s just neatly tucked under the rear bumper.
In an effort to reduce crushed exhaust tips on the trail, the tail pipes turn down on the 2022 AT4X just inside the rear bumper.
2022 GMC AT4X Style Updates (Interior)
While GMC trucks (and who am I kidding, all of their vehicles) are known for luxurious interiors, the 2022 Sierra 1500 AT4X sets a new high bar for full-size pickups. With extensive leather, suede, metal, and real Vanta ash wood trim, GMC is redefining the expectations of what a truck interior can (and should?) look like.
Two notable changes that you’ll notice from the 2021 AT4 to the 2022 AT4X are the steering column-mounted shifter, which has been relocated to the center console, and the 13.4 inch-diagonal color touchscreen infotainment system which features built-in Google services. Additionally, a 12.3-inch configurable digital instrument cluster offers multiple views of driving data.
2022 GMC AT4X Engine Updates & Options
Starting with the vehicle’s power plant, four engine options will be available in 2022, including a new 2.7-liter turbocharged high-output engine, the tried and true 3-liter Duramax turbo-diesel (one of our favorite motors), the 5.3-liter V8 (gas), and the 6.2-liter V8 (gas).
For the new 2.7-liter turbo high-output gas engine, torque is estimated at 420 foot-pounds, a 20+ percent increase over the current engine. This, in combination with a more rigid cylinder block, augments engine operation smoothness, reduces engine noise, and allows for enhanced torque, specifically in the low to mid-rpm range.
Maximum trailering ratings increase slightly to 9,600 pounds (2WD) and 9,300 pounds (4WD) with the new 2.7-liter turbo engine. Finally, shift scheduling revisions have been made, allowing the vehicle’s 8-speed transmission to deliver quicker downshifts, resulting in the feeling of greater power on demand. The 5.3- and 6.2-liter V8 engines, as well as the 3-liter Duramax diesel, all with dynamic fuel management systems, are matched with 10-speed automatic transmissions.
*Axle ratios available: 3.23 (5.3L. 6.2L, 3.0L), 3.42 (2.7L, 5.3L w/NHT, 6.2L w/NHT), 3.73 (3.0L w/NHT)
Updates to the chassis of the AT4X combined with the Duramax diesel engine allow for a max tow package, an option that provides a maximum towing rating of 13,200 pounds (double cab 2WD w/ 20-inch wheels), a 4,000-pound improvement over the 2021 Sierra.
2022 GMC AT4X Suspension, Rock Sliders, e-lockers, & Transfer Case Skid Plate
Last but certainly not least, the 2022 GMC Sierra AT4X gets a slew of performance upgrades, including Multimatic suspension with DSSV damping, factory-available rock sliders, front/rear E-lockers, multi-terrain and rock-crawling modes, and a beefier transfer case skid plate, all chosen to significantly enhance performance on the trail.
Multimatic suspension w/ DSSV Dampening – The 2022 AT4X getsMultimatic suspension with DSSV dampers. What does that mean? DSSV is an acronym for dynamic suspension spool valve; it is a technology that allows for a highly configurable shock that is resistant to cavitation in valve-in-body applications with high-temperature sensitivity. This suspension upgrade also allows for 50mm more suspension travel in the front, and 25mm more in the rear.
In short, the Multimatic suspension in the AT4X is a high-performance shock, the likes of which have been proven in many other high-end platforms, including the Mercedes AMG GT, Ferrari SF90, Chevy Camaro ZL1, Chevy Colorado ZR2 (Bison), Aston Martin One-77, and Ford GT Mk II.
Factory-available Rock Sliders – Pretty straightforward, but awesome, nonetheless. These optional rock sliders are offered from the factory for the 2022 Sierra AT4X and will protect your rocker panels from hits on the trail.
Factory rock sliders? Yes, please!
E-lockers – Front and rear E-lockers are standard equipment on the AT4X, delivering a significant enhancement regarding driver-controlled traction over the automatic rear locker found in the 2021 AT4.
These piano buttons should put a smile on any 4WD-enthusiast’s face
Transfer Case & Transfer Case Skid Plate – The AT4X gets a two-speed transfer case with selectable terrain modes as well as a single-pedal rock crawling mode (which we have tested on the Hummer EV). Transfer case protection also sees an upgrade, with a larger, more secure skid plate bolted to the vehicle’s frame on both ends (opposed to the previous diving board design found on the 2021 AT4).
Pricing and Availability
The GMC Sierra AT4X (and Denali Ultimate, Denali, AT4, SLT, Elevation, SLE, and Sierra Pro) are expected to begin arriving at dealerships in the first quarter of 2022. However, customers can start placing reservations starting today atgmc.com. Final pricing will be announced closer to the start of production, but at the moment, here’s where we’re at:
Denali Ultimate, $80,395; AT4X, $74,995; Denali, $61,295; AT4, $60,995; SLT, $50,895; Elevation, $45,495; SLE, $43,895; and Sierra Pro, $32,495.
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