by Jeff Zurschmeide from Pamplin Media Group
If you want a luxury pickup truck with a gasoline or diesel engine, GMC is likely to be on your short list of test drives to take. These days, the new action is all electric, and GMC will certainly get there. But for now, GM’s premium truck and SUV brand is still delivering the V8 and turbo-diesel power their customers demand.
However, don’t think that GMC has been stagnant. The company has been raising the bar for off-road capability with the AT4 and now the AT4X models, and the AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) optional equipment package. These options add the same equipment usually purchased from aftermarket four-wheel-drive shops, but they include the goodies as factory equipment. This is great news and a fantastic value because it means you can get your truck outfitted the way you really want it, and you get full factory warranty protection on the whole rig.
Of course, there’s a price for that. If you configure a V8-powered Sierra with GMC’s basic off-road package, you can have the 5.3-liter V8 and a capable truck for $48,375, including $3,500 worth of incentives GMC is offering right now on some trims, but not the AT4 line. The AT4X starts at $81,700, and after you add on the AEV edition option pack for $6,895, plus the usual fees, your bottom line price on the super-off-road truck is $90,935, which is not quite twice the price of a pretty nice Sierra.
Of course, you get some great equipment for your money. The 6.2-liter V8 is GM’s absolute best. And the AEV edition includes boron steel skid plates on the front, engine, steering gear, transfer case, gas tank, and the rear differential. You also get an AEV rear bumper and rock rails on the sides, and floor mats for inside. The AEV front bumper is winch-ready, and there are auxiliary switches inside to control it. Then GMC throws in its best dual-mode 4WD system, which includes an Automatic mode that works similar to all-wheel-drive in that it’s always on. You can leave it on all the time, or choose RWD mode for best fuel economy.
One thing to note — the GMC Sierra AT4X is full-size half-ton model, but don’t be fooled by that designation. In the AT4X trim with a crew cab, the Sierra 1500 can carry up to 1,420 pounds of payload, including passengers and cargo, and it can tow up to 8,900 pounds. In other trim levels, the Sierra can pull up to 13,000 pounds.
Assuming you choose to go with the AT4 line, the 6.2-liter V8 delivers 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, made even more effective with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The AT4X then adds all the off-road parts, including Multimatic DSSV spool-valve shock absorbers, taller springs, a steel transfer case shield and extensive underbody skid plates, and electronically locking differentials on the front and rear axles. The transfer case is capable of one-pedal rock crawling in Terrain Mode. GMC tuned the entire suspension for off-road use. Finally, the AT4X rides on 18-inch black wheels outfitted with serious off-road tires.
To read the rest of the review of the GMC Sierra AT4X visit our partner Pamplin Media Group: https://www.portlandtribune.com/