Tuesday, March 28, 2023
StartcarsNew 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 arrives luxurious and with great off-road power

New 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 arrives luxurious and with great off-road power

GMC is simultaneously trying to plant its flag as a premium brand and develop more off-road credibility with the updated 2022 Sierra 1500. To that end, the company is building the most popular models of the truck: the bling king Denali and the off-road-oriented AT4. These two previously represented the sleekest and most capable trim levels in the lineup, but these titles now belong to the newly released Denali Ultimate and AT4X, respectively.

Along with a notable makeover that includes a restyled front end and redesigned interior on most 2022 Sierras, the Denali Ultimate and AT4X arrive with unique features meant to solidify their prominent status and justify their hefty prices. For example, only they get the new 12-speaker Bose sound system and front seats with more adjustments and massage functions. Compared to the regular Denali, the Ultimate's cabin is lined with richer leather upholstery, a microsuede lining and real wood finish etched with topographic maps of Mount Denali. In turn, the AT4X added underbody protection, electronically locking front and rear differentials, increased suspension travel, and ingenious Multimatic spool valve dampers not offered on the regular AT4.

Here's the catch: the AT4X starts at $ 77,395 and the Denali Ultimate has a starting price of $ 82,795. That's between US $ 14K and US $ 18K more than the least expensive AT4 (US $ 63,395) and Denali (US $ 63,695). That seems like a lot of money for mostly nicer interior materials and updated off-road hardware, so to see if it's worth asking for the new Sierras to top the charts.

Dynamically, the Denali Ultimate can be mistaken for a 2019 Sierra 1500 Denali. The 22-inch model has the same naturally aspirated 6.2-liter 420-hp V-8, 10-speed automatic transmission, and selectable all-wheel drive. We can't confirm that the new truck hits 60mph in the same 5.4 seconds, but its deliberate acceleration and baritone exhaust note felt familiar. For people who want to avoid the V-8's US $ 1,005 bump, a 3.0-liter Duramax inline-six diesel with a torque equivalent to 460 pound-feet is available on the Ultimate. Diesel also raises the Ultimate's combined EPA rating from 17 to 24 mpg. Like its half-ton Chevy Silverado twin, the Sierra 1500 handles a truck well. Its steering is direct, its brake pedal is firm, and Denali's standard adaptive dampers help control body movements and isolate the ride despite the 22-inch rims.

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