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2022 GMC Sierra Ultimate Denali, AT4X are upscale, capable

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The phrase “upscale appointments and increased capability” seemed to permeate the reveal of the 2022 GMC Sierra. It might be just a refresh, but it’s a heavy one. And it includes two top-tier ultra-lux trims: the Denali Ultimate and AT4X.

So, let’s take a closer look at these two new trims.

Denali Ultimate: Going to new heights

Put all the adjectives and PR spin aside, and you see a pickup truck that can rival any other top-tier trim on the market both in wow factor and luxury. While that might not be everyone’s cup of tea or be too pricey (hello $80k price tag), the Denali Ultimate is special.

From the outside, the Denali Ultimate differentiates itself from other trims, including the Denali trim, with unique features such as 22-inch wheels, finished in Low Gloss Black with machined accents and a trim-specific grille with Vader chrome accents. Additionally, the Mount Denali outline is etched onto the front bumper. That Mount Denali logo factors prominently inside as well for this exclusive trim.

The Sierra Denali Ultimate will also get the MultiPro tailgate, Adaptive Ride Control and side assist steps to complete the exterior look.

Inside, the Mount Denali logo, similar to what Ford has done with King Ranch, is a common theme found through the cab of the truck. The interior’s color and material use is called Alpine Umber. With that comes supple touch points (as you’d want from a truck with this kind of price) like full-grain leather appointments and open-pore Paldao wood trim.

The biggest wow factor is the embossed and etched topographical maps of the summit of Mount Denali that can be found on the dashboard, front and rear seats, door panels and exterior fender vent badges. Small details like this really add to the overall luxurious vibe of the Denali Ultimate.

2022 GMC Sierra

Other highlighted features for the Denali Ultimate include:

  • Leather-trimmed instrument panel
  • Full-grain leather-wrapped door panels with etched stainless-steel speaker grilles
  • Full-grain leather-wrapped console lid
  • Full-grain leather front and rear seats with the Denali Ultimate badge on the front seatbacks
  • Premium microsuede headliner, visors and A- and B-pillar trim along with leather-wrapped A- and B-pillar handles
  • All-new best-in-class 16-way power-adjustable and massaging front seats
  • All-new 12-speaker Bose Premium series with Center Point surround technology with AudioPilot and Richbass woofer
  • Standard Rear Camera Mirror, with full camera display
  • Standard 15-inch-diagonal multicolor Head Up Display
  • Standard power sunroof

AT4X: Where luxury and ruggedness intersect

GMC has made a concerted effort to promote the AT4 sub-brand across its line of vehicles. AT4 is their version of Toyota’s TRD or Ford’s Tremor. But the one thing those off-road sub-brands don’t offer is much luxury. That’s where the 2022 GMC Sierra AT4X comes in.

X marks the spot where the luxury of Denali meets the ruggedness of AT4.

GMC calls the AT4X “a balanced execution that delivers advanced off-road capability when called upon without compromising the on-road comfort, tech, towing and payload capability expected from a premium pickup.”

Just as most of the trim lines face a refreshed exterior, including updated front fascia, so too does the AT4X get a new look. But the focus of the AT4X lies on the off-road performance as well as special interior touches.

 

GM names the interior Obsidian Rush and with that comes leather throughout including a full-grain leather-wrapped steering wheel. The white piping on the seats and the red stitching are attractive and distinctive elements. Real Vanta ash wood trim accents add the luxury to the rugged nature of the AT4X as does a microsuede headliner.

What good is all that luxury if it isn’t capable? The Sierra AT4X has a payload capacity of 1,420 pounds and a tow rating of 8,900 pounds. The AT4X comes standard with the 6.2-liter V-8 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission.

Other rugged highlights for the Sierra AT4X include:

  • Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers
  • Unique springs that, with the Multimatic dampers, increase maximum front and rear suspension travel by 50 mm and 25 mm, respectively, compared with the standard AT4 suspension
  • Two-speed transfer case, with selectable modes for different off-road conditions — including Terrain Mode, which allows one-pedal rock crawling
  • Front and rear e-locking differentials
  • Specific off-road chassis and suspension calibrations
  • 18-inch black wheels with LT275/70R18 Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Mud-Terrain tires.

Base price (including destination charge) for the AT4X is $74,995. More pricing and options will be announced closer to the start of production which is expected to be early next year.

The bottom line on 2022 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate and AT4X

GM has done right with these two trims. They obviously are both the highest trims available and thus come with the highest price tags. But it’s a trend right now that consumers want luxury and amenities. It seems GMC has covered all bases with both of these trims.

Even if you can’t afford it, the Ultimate Denali, with the etched Denali peak throughout the inside is absolutely stunning. Surely, the Sierra has raised the bar within the truck segment with these two trims.

The refreshed GMC Sierra arrives at dealerships in the first quarter of 2022.

 

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Jimmy Dinsmore

Jimmy is News Editor for PickupTruckTalk with an expertise in new vehicles. He is also a Ford Mustang historian having authored the book Mustang by Design (available on Amazon). His second book, about the history of Ford's F-Series truck comes out next year.

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