2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X Review: The New Half-Ton Freestyle

The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 is no longer falling short in the interior – it’s a true force reckoned with premium full-size pickup trucks. With some expensive high-end trims, you won’t have excuses not to choose this ride. Compared to its closest competitors, GMC has delivered a competitor that out-luxes the Ford F-150, Nissan Titan, and Toyota Tundra in style and sophistication, giving the Ram 1500 a tough fight for its money.

When GM redesigned its full-size pickup trucks for 2019, we were thrilled with most of the changes—style was bold, capabilities were perfected, and powertrains and chassis dynamics were outstanding. Unfortunately, the interior failed to match the exterior’s quality, lacking the interior finishings and sophisticated touches of rivals from Ram and Ford. GM put their money into every other aspect of this fantastic vehicle and, unfortunately, left the interior as an afterthought.


The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 has revolutionized off-roading, with its Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve dampers and off-road springs now found on the more giant trucks in the lineup, including the AT4X. The AT4X is equipped with these same components, which significantly increase suspension travel compared to the standard version – 50 millimeters up front and 25 millimeters in back. Even on empty fields and gnarly rural dirt two-tracks, the AT4X rides amazingly smooth, absorbing major washboard surfaces without even a slight shudder. On the streets, it offers a compliant and well-damped ride that can quickly deal with the potholed roads of southeastern Michigan. If you’re looking for a truck that handles off-roading and particularly challenging road conditions, the AT4X is your perfect choice.

The AT4X powertrain is a powerhouse. The standard 6.2-liter V-8 is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, delivering a robust 420 horsepower and 460 pounds-feet of torque. When you step on the accelerator, you’ll experience an instant power surge and a thunderous roar that no electric pickup could replicate. With the AT4X, you can tow up to 8,900 pounds, making it an impressive towing machine. The traditional feel of a big pickup will always be found in the AT4X—a perfect balance of power and power capability.

Not content to rest on its laurels, GM’s AT4X takes off-road capability to a new level. With the addition of class-exclusive front and rear electronic locking differentials, drivers are prepared to tackle virtually any terrain. To give the AT4X even more of an edge, aggressive 18-inch mud-terrain tires adorn the truck, along with their signature chunky tread pattern and slightly squirrely performance on dry pavement. Outfitted with such high-end features and capability, you may expect the AT4X to come at a higher cost, which is true. However, it’s a stark reminder that the AT4X was built with the highest industry standards to be trusted on the most challenging terrains. From challenging construction sites to slogging through muddy, rocky paths, the AT4X is the optimal choice for captains in logging, engineering, and development industries.

Interior & Exterior

One more reason you should think twice before taking an AT4X off-road is the risk of ruining its magnificent, luxurious, and sophisticated interior. You won’t want to get all that leather and wood covered in mud! Keep it clean, and you can enjoy the same high-end feel of the AT4X even after hitting the trail.

GMC has transformed the previous Sierra model’s dour, plasticky, low-budget interior. Only now was there a reason to spend extra money on upgraded versions, as the materials weren’t any better than the more affordable models. But with the Sierra, they made sure your spending would be rewarded, offering a luxurious interior both in the entry and higher-end trims. The AT4X lets you explore an off-road style environment without sacrificing comfort. Premium materials give the interior a high-end look, with rubber-trimmed floormats ensuring the cabin feels rugged and ready for all terrains, even if it won’t take too much beating!

The interiors of the Sierra are just as comfortable, spacious, and feature-packed as the Silverado’s. Unlike the Silverado, Sierra’s dash has undergone an impressive facelift: it now features a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster with a range of style and theme options, a massive 13.4-inch touchscreen running Google’s built-in operating system (which can sometimes be finicky, but more on that later), and a 15-inch full-color head-up display projected above the dash for further information and control of your settings. This technology is straightforward, and the screens remain clear even in bright sunlight with minimal lag. The Sierra takes full advantage of the massive advancement in in-cabin tech and provides an unparalleled infotainment experience.

GMC’s 2022 Sierra is a case of when it needs to be fixed, don’t fix it. Even after its last extensive redesign, the Sierra kept its formal, traditional look, while the Silverado went wilder. Now, the Sierra gets some minor upgrades to the front and rear end: a new grille, headlights, LED running lights, and bumpers. Trim levels even get their unique wheel designs for additional style. Overall, GMC didn’t need to do much to the Sierra, but with these improvements, the Sierra just got better.

The Sierra AT4X looks like an off-road pickup truck with 18-inch black wheels, Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac mud-terrain tires, and off-road suspension. But some curious choices, such as the low-mounted LED foglights in the bumper, would likely damage the trail. Compared to the new Chevy Silverado 1500 ZR2, which also has LED foglights in the bumper, but in a higher, more inboard position, the expensive Sierra AT4X may be more about looking off-road-capable than actually being in such environments.


In place of the traditional pickups like the GMC Sierra Denali, Chevrolet Silverado High Country, Ford F-150 Platinum, and Ram 1500 Longhorn, there’s the addition of the more luxurious 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X. For an SUV-like price tag of nearly $80,000, you get a lot of abundant features that are sure to turn heads, but they may not be enough to make this vehicle your go-to for everyday practical use. It’s like opting to wear Red Wing’s expensive leather work boots even if you’re likely to avoid getting them muddy or buying Patagonia’s gear when a regular JCPenney outfit works just as well. Buying the expensive AT4X gives you the perfect combination of luxury and practicality, and there’s no shame in having nice things.

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