The term “refreshed” gets thrown around a lot by people in the automotive industry. What’s a refresh, and what’s an update? The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 is being called a refresh, and we feel that’s apropos as it gets updated looks, new technology, a new engine and two new trims. So, it’s more than a new paint color but less than a next-gen vehicle. So, refresh.
One of the big news items that got leaked pertained to those new trims – or more specifically to the Denali Ultimate trim. However, there’s another trim being added to the 2022 lineup, and it’s called AT4X. So with not one but two new premium-level trims, the Sierra feels so much more than refreshed — it almost feels brand new.
You can’t talk about the 2022 GMC Sierra without looking at the new trims. While we have a separate story on the fine details of the Denali Ultimate and AT4X trims for the 2022 Sierra, we did want to give a quick overview here as well.
For perspective, the trims for the 2022 Sierra are: Sierra Pro ($32,495), SLE ($43,895), Elevation ($45,495), SLT ($50,895), AT4 ($60,995), Denali ($61,295) — and then you have the AT4X ($74,995) and Denali Ultimate ($80,395). This shows exactly where the two new trims slot, which are at the top of the lineup.
This shows a concerted effort by GM to attract a particular buyer. One that has disposable income, and one that will want luxury and capability in a pickup truck. And the AT4X and Denali Ultimate bring that to the table even more than previous top-trim Denali.
GM calls the Denali Ultimate “the most advanced and most luxurious pickup in its class.” We can’t help but agree especially with some of the features that are exclusive to the Denali Ultimate trim including the GMC logo in Vader chrome and a front fender with the Mount Denali logo emblazoned on it. In contrast, the AT4X trim takes the rugged AT4 sub-brand to new heights of luxury, without forgoing any ruggedness.
GM’s Super Cruise is used to offer hands-free driving on compatible roads in the U.S. and Canada. Now this technology advances to include trailering, which features specific calibrations designed to account for the additional drag and increased braking distance that comes with towing.
This enhanced technology uses 14 different camera views positioned around the truck and can even calculate maximum weight and offer a GVWR alert to your phone and inside the truck. Additionally, the new Transparent Trailer technology helps driver see beyond what they are towing which is an added safety feature. This plus the Trailer Side Blind Zone Alert makes the Sierra a great (not to mention safe) choice for towing with all the technological advancements to the sensors and the Adaptive Cruise Control system.
While you might assume this hands-free towing tech might be a bit dangerous, our Publisher Tim Esterdahl points out Super Cruise is actually more useful when towing over driving without a load because towing can be much more exhausting to the driver. Esterdahl even had the chance to test this tech and said it was well-engineered and worked very easily.
It’s not just the two new trims that get new looks, and you’ll see a new front bumper, fascia and grille for the Sierra lineup.
Additionally, Sierra’s C-shaped daytime running lights have been revised, and new dual-projector LED headlamps highlight (literally) the front end refresh for the 2022 Sierra.
You’ll also see three new colors in 2022 — Titanium Rush Metallic, Dynamic Blue Metallic and Desert Sand Metallic — and a new wheel design for the SLT and Denali trim debuts.
One thing that will be a relief to some is the continued inclusion of the 3.0-liter Duramax. Recall we had reported on production issues and rumors of this engine being discontinued. Clearly that’s not the case, as it is one of four engines offered for the 2022 Sierra. The other gasoline-powered engines are: 2.7-liter turbo, 5.3-liter V-8 and 6.2-liter V-8.
The biggest news here: Increased power for the high-output 2.7-liter V-6 turbo. It will see a 20% increase in torque with an estimated 420 pound-feet along with increased trailering ratings of 9,600 pounds with 2WD models and 9,300 pounds with 4WD models.
The aforementioned 3.0-liter Duramax has an increased tow rating of 13,200 pounds (in 2WD), which represents a 4,000-pound improvement over the 2021 Sierra. The diesel engine makes 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.
All V-8 engines and the Duramax continue to get the 10-speed automatic transmission while the 2.7-liter V-6 continues to be mated with the 8-speed automatic transmission.
Bigger screens and digital personal assistant systems are a hot craze in the industry, and both of these things make their way to the 2022 Sierra. For the SLE trim and above, there’s a new customizable 13.4-inch touchscreen along with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
This gives drivers a cockpit feeling and puts more customizable features at their fingertips and directly in their eye sight.
As part of a three-year subscription service (which is included on the AT4 trims and above), the 2022 Sierra now incorporates Google built-in capability, which includes Google Maps, Google Assistant and access to the various apps in the Google Play Store. This all integrates through smart phones through wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
New technology features for the 2022 Sierra include a rear camera mirror and multicolor 15-inch-diagonal head-up display.
I dig automotive technology and think today’s vehicles can’t have enough.
We will have plenty more to cover on the highly refreshed 2022 GMC Sierra. With so many vehicles barely updating their product lines from year to year and calling it “brand new,” we are thrilled to see GM giving the Sierra a serious update. And we feel safe calling it a major refresh, and the addition of two new trims makes this truck feel almost brand new.