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Sunday Drive: Conquering terrain with the 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X

By Craig and Deanne Conover - | Mar 23, 2024
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Deanne with the 2024 GMC Sierra AT4X as we drove up over the Skyline Drive from Fairview to Huntington to see how much snow Mother Nature had left in the mountains this year.
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Obsidian Rush interior of the 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X AEV Edition.
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Front three-quarters view of the 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X AEV Edition.
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2024 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X AEV Edition interior sill plate and AEV-branded floormats.
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Front three-quarters view of the 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X AEV Edition Crew Cab Short Box in Sterling Metallic.

In the rugged expanse of our home base in Utah County, where mountains are high and the valley stretches wide, the 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X definitely fit in its element. For the entire week, we had the pleasure of putting this beastly truck through its paces, traversing the diverse landscapes that define and make the area that we call home.

Equipped with a diesel engine and boasting formidable off-road components, the Sierra 1500 AT4X proved to be more than just a capable companion for the daily drive — it was a true conqueror of any terrain.

Unveiling the beast: Design and features

Our first impression of the Sierra 1500 AT4X as it arrived was nothing short of thrilling. Standing tall and large, its bold and commanding presence demanded attention. The design seamlessly blended rugged aesthetics with refined details, showcasing the truck’s need to handle both the off-road trails and city streets with equal readiness and poise.

The distinctive AT4X badge hinted at the truck’s off-road pedigree. Flanked by LED headlights that would cut through the dark on any night, the Sierra’s signature C-shaped daytime running lights added a touch of modern sophistication to the exterior.

Getting inside the cabin, we were welcomed with premium materials and a very thought-out design. The heated and ventilated leather seats provided a luxurious touch, ensuring comfort in the unpredictable late-February weather of Utah. The intuitively laid-out dashboard, various controls and the user-friendly infotainment system made for an inviting and efficient driving environment.

Powerhouse performance: Diesel engine dominance

Under the hood, the Sierra 1500 AT4X was powered by a robust and fuel-efficient 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine. This diesel powerhouse, mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission, delivered an impressive 305 horsepower and a substantial 495 pound-feet of torque.

The engine’s responsiveness became invigorating as we navigated the hilly terrains and open highways of Utah, Sanpete and Carbon counties, providing us with ample power for smooth acceleration and confident passing ability.

One notable aspect is the engine’s efficiency, showcasing a commendable balance between power and fuel economy. The Sierra AT4X equipped with this motor can tow up to 8,700 pounds, which should prove to handle most anyone’s weekend needs.

The huge bonus with the diesel engine would be the gas mileage, as we averaged 22.5 mpg for our weeklong drive that took us over 350 miles on mostly city streets and local highways.

Traversing Utah County: The ultimate test drive

During our weeklong test drive, we had the opportunity to take the Sierra down through Fairview, up the canyon and over into Huntington via the Skyline Drive. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and we found there was still plenty of snow at the top, almost as high as the top of the truck!

Even with a couple of snowy days in the mix, we were able to get wherever was needed with the extreme capabilities of the AT4X. Had it been warmer, we would have loved to have broadened our adventure into the mountains and got into some real off-road terrain.

No matter where we went to explore or just out for a night on the town, the Sierra continued to impress with its refined handling and comfortable ride. From the bustling streets of Provo to the charming streets of Spanish Fork, this truck felt equally at home in urban environments as it did off the beaten path.

Off-road dominance: AT4X at its best

One of the standout features of the Sierra 1500 AT4X was its exceptional off-road capability. Equipped with GMC’s renowned AT4 package, this truck was built to conquer the toughest terrain with confidence. The advanced off-road suspension with Rancho shocks and skid plates offers superior durability and protection, allowing anyone to tackle rocky trails and steep inclines with ease.

Engaging the truck’s exclusive off-road mode would give the truck the ability to navigate rocky paths, sandy washes and muddy tracks with ease. The traction control system, hill descent control and locking rear differential would instill confidence, allowing the Sierra to conquer challenging terrains effortlessly.

The MultiPro Tailgate, a hallmark feature of the Sierra lineup, adds practicality to the truck. Its six unique functions, including a standing workstation and a step for easy bed access, showcased the truck’s versatility and design beyond the off-road trails.

Technology and connectivity: Elevating the driving experience

We found that the Sierra 1500 AT4X is not just a powerhouse under the hood; it’s a tech-savvy companion on the road. The infotainment system, housed within a large 13.9-inch touch screen display, offered seamless connectivity with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Navigating through the very intuitive interface, we easily accessed navigation, music, hands-free calling features and other system settings for the truck.

Safety features such as forward collision alert, lane departure warning and a surround-view camera system added an extra layer of reassurance during our weeklong journey. The Sierra’s advanced safety technologies even brought the truck to a complete stop once as Craig was backing out of our driveway and didn’t see a vehicle come around the corner.

Conclusion: An unforgettable week with the Sierra 1500 AT4X

Our weeklong test drive with the 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X proved to be a great way to get reacquainted with GM’s large and in charge truck, showcasing its versatility, power and resilience in the diverse landscapes around Utah County. From city streets to off-road trails, the Sierra demonstrated its capability to seamlessly transition between various terrains.

The combination of a potent diesel engine, off-road features and impressive towing capacity positions the Sierra as a true contender in the competitive off-road pickup truck market. Whether you’re seeking a reliable work companion or an adventure-ready off-road vehicle, the Sierra 1500 AT4X delivers on its promise.

Base price: $79,200

Destination charge: $1,995

Price as driven: $88,585


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