We can only imagine the look on our grandpappy’s face if he peeped inside some of today’s fanciest full-size pickup trucks, which have become more and more like luxury vehicles, and that now includes the thoroughly redesigned 2022 GMC Sierra 1500.
For quite some time, the brand that has touted its top-of-the-line Denali models as some of the most luxurious in the biz has fallen short of those lofty expectations. Simply put, the Sierra Denali’s recent interiors haven’t looked as rich as those inside rivals such as top-tier Ram 1500s. GMC clearly recognized the disparity in quality and tech features, which are arguably the biggest changes to the ’22 Sierra, and they’re not limited to Denali trims.
The half-ton Sierra’s lineup has been rejiggered with a renamed base model (it now goes by Pro) and the addition of the AT4X and Denali Ultimate trims, which add even more features and nicer interiors to the regular AT4 and Denali they’re based on. Every 2022 Sierra 1500 enjoys a new-look front end, with fresh grille designs and an updated bumper. A pair of revised LED headlights with newly styled daytime running lights round out the changes. Some lights will also animate in different sequences when starting the truck or walking away and toward.
Beginning with the SLE model, the Sierra’s cabin benefits from a significant makeover that includes a new 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and a 13.4-inch center touchscreen. The gauge cluster is highly configurable, and the updated infotainment system now supports Google’s app store, maps, and voice assistant. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard with the big touchscreen, too, and a huge heads-up display is also available. Along with a newly designed center console, models with front bucket seats feature a T-shaped electronic shifter; those with a front bench seat have a column-mounted shifter. Additionally, upper trims now come standard with a power-adjustable steering column.
The new AT4X is very similar to the recently revealed Chevy Silverado ZR2, except its exterior doesn’t look nearly as extroverted. As the most off-road-capable model in the Sierra 1500 family, it has advanced Multimatic spool-valve dampers, electronic locking front and rear differentials, and extra underbody protection. It rolls on black 18-inch wheels shod with gnarly Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Mud-Terrain tires. The AT4X features a Terrain Mode that allows one-pedal driving in low-speed situations where momentum and wheel placement are important. A set of rocker guards are also available to better protect its door sills from dents and dings.
The new Denali Ultimate helps GMC’s most popular model finally live up to its luxury branding. It has dark “Vader” chrome exterior trim and rides on 22-inch rims buoyed by adaptive dampers. Climb inside to appreciate its numerous leather-wrapped surfaces and open-pore wood. The headliner is made of microsuede, the leather front seats feature 16-way power adjustments and massage functions, and the Bose premium audio system plays through 12 speakers that include ones on the door panels with stainless-steel grilles. The Denali Ultimate also comes standard with Super Cruise, GM’s hands-free-driving tech; it’s optional on the regular Denali, too.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
The half-ton Sierra continues to be offered with a 355-hp 5.3-liter or a 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8. A turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-four and a Duramax diesel 3.0-liter inline-six are also available. Last year’s 4.3-liter V-6 has been dropped. GMC says the turbo-four has been updated to be more refined and make more torque (420 pound-feet versus 383), and its eight-speed automatic has been recalibrated to be more responsive. Thanks to chassis alterations, the Duramax diesel is now compatible with the Max Trailering package, which allows it to tow up to 13,200 pounds. Previously, diesel-powered Sierras could only pull up to 9200 pounds.
The 2022 Sierra 1500 is expected to reach dealerships in the first quarter of next year. The entry-level Sierra Pro will start at $32,495 and the Denali Ultimate opens at $80,395–$19,100 more than the regular Denali. The AT4 starts at $60,995, and the AT4X costs $74,995 before any options.
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