Wednesday, 17 August 2022

GMC Sierra 1500 Limited AT4 is a capable stopgap ahead of full 2022 refresh Featured

Posted On Wednesday, 09 March 2022 08:10 Written by
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The 2022 GMC Sierra Limited is a capable holdover buyers can consider until the fully refreshed 2022 Sierra arrives later this year. The 2022 GMC Sierra Limited is a capable holdover buyers can consider until the fully refreshed 2022 Sierra arrives later this year. Photo by Matt Myftiu/AutoTechReviews.com

As the Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote many moons ago, the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry. Which is why it’s always good to have a strong backup plan in place. 

In the case of the GMC Sierra 1500 pickup truck, a fully refreshed model had been teased for release early in 2022 — featuring exterior and interior styling upgrades, updated infotainment system, among other changes. 

But due to production delays caused by ongoing supply chain issues, the arrival of these new Sierras has been delayed until later in 2022. So Plan B — continuing to offer a GMC Sierra 1500 Limited model carried over from the 2021 version — has become the reality for the short-term.

I recently drove the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Limited, specifically one equipped with the AT4 off-road package, and I’m back with a full report on what it offers to buyers who aren’t willing to wait for the new version of the Sierra. 

LOOKS

The exterior design of the Sierra 1500 Limited is big and bold, with an in-your-face grille and attractive headlamp designs, plus attractive wheel designs. The bed was large enough for me to haul home large and heavy items from the store.

It comes in at nearly 20 feet long, 81 inches wide, and 78 inches tall. The cornerstep rear bumper and the steps to help passengers get into and out of the vehicle were helpful. Its multi-pro tailgate also offers multiple positions, depending on your needs.

The vehicle featured a spray-on bedliner, LED cargo area lighting, power folding and heated mirrors, LED fog lamps, and dual exhaust.

Moving inside, the Sierra Limited is roomy, with plenty of space for all 5 passengers, and plentiful storage for small items. Materials used on the interior are decent quality, but nothing like you’ll find on the more luxurious Denali versions of the Sierra.

My test vehicle featured dual-zone climate control, 10-way power front seats, ventilated front seats, a 60/40 folding rear bench seat, and a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Also, buyers can opt for the AT4 Premium Package — which boosts performance, design, safety and tech features. Among its highlights are:
— Universal home remote
— Rear sliding power window
— Premium infotainment system with navigation, Bluetooth streaming, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity
— Bose premium sound system
— Wireless charging
— Front and Rear Park Assist
— Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert
— Rear Cross Traffic Alert
— AT4 high clearance step
— Mud-terrain Goodyear tires 

HOW’S THE RIDE?

The Sierra 1500 Limited AT4 offers a powerful ride that you can trust in almost any environment, on-road or off-road. It's a great option for people in bad-weather locations who want to be confident regardless of the weather patterns, and for people who want to tow large objects. In my experience, driving the Sierra in the snow, even storm conditions and icy roads, was extremely comfortable, which isn’t the case with all trucks.

Also, when driving the Sierra 1500 Limited, you’ll feel ten-feet tall, towering over almost every vehicle on the road. Even larger SUVs seem small in comparison. Only downside of that is it’s often a bit difficult to find a parking space.

Several engine options are offered on the Sierra, but my test vehicle had a Duramax 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine, which offered 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Towing capacity tops 9,000 pounds on the carryover model of the Sierra, but that number will grow to over 13,000 pounds on some versions of the fully updated Sierra coming later in 2021. Payload capacity for the Sierra I tested came it at just over 2,300 pounds.

The Sierra Limited AT4 offers full-time four-wheel drive. Other features that help the driving capabilities when you are off the beaten path include an off-road suspension with 2-inch lift and monotube shocks, 2-speed transfer case, skid plates, and hill descent control. You also get trailer sway control and hill start assist, and a trailer brake controller.


TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY

The Sierra’s Infotainment system has a simple but effective physical design, and is easy to use. Voice commands are also easy to master, the vehicle is responsive on first attempt for changing music source, making calls or dictating navigation targets. And suggested commands appear on screen to help you out.

OnStar services are featured, and the vehicle offers satellite radio, USB ports, remote start, and Wi-Fi hotspot capability.

The Technology Package (an option), will get you HD Surround Vision, rear camera mirror, bed view camera, a head-up display and more.

Safety is another big win for the Sierra, as all government safety ratings are either five stars or four stars, making this one of the safer trucks available. One feature parents will like is Teen Driver mode, which allows you to track the driving habits of younger drivers who are behind the wheel. There is also a tire pressure monitoring system.

Other helpful safety features include: Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Front Pedestrian Braking. 

MPG

Mileage on the Sierra will vary depending on the engine you choose. The official fuel mileage numbers on the Sierra truck I tested with the turbo-diesel engine were: 20 city/23 highway/21 combined. I averaged closer to 17 miles per gallon in real-world testing, mostly in very cold conditions, which can affect fuel mileage.

These are not stellar numbers, but trucks across the board tend to struggle in this area — with the exception being smaller, less powerful trucks, or the new wave of hybrid and electric trucks that is starting to make waves.

While these legacy trucks lack now in terms of fuel mileage, I’m hopeful competition from the new wave of eco-friendly trucks will push all trucks further in a positive direction in terms of overall fuel mileage.

PRICE

Trucks these days come at no small price, and the Sierra is no exception.

While the starting price for the Sierra 1500 is around $33K, My test truck came in just under $65,000 after all options were added. While that sounds like a large number, it’s very common to see today’s best trucks selling at well over $70K, and the days of finding an inexpensive but still powerful work truck are quickly fading away.

Warranties on the Sierra include:

  • 3-year, 36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty
  • 5-year, 100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty

BOTTOM LINE

The carryover 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Limited AT4 is a large, powerful truck that can handle itself in whatever weather and road (or off-road) conditions you throw at it, and will get the job done if you put it to work. And the updated 2022 version promises to be even better once it is available — with an even sharper look and upgraded tech/safety features as well. 

You can either hold out for what’s coming, or snap up the holdover version if you can’t wait. But either way, you’ll have a very capable truck in your driveway or at your work site.

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Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu



Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Limited AT4
  • Price as tested: $64,715 (Price starts around $33K) 
  • Best feature: Ability to perform well both on-road and off-road
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Buyers who want a strong truck now and can’t wait for the fully updated 2022 Sierra to be available
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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