2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Preview

Chris Teague | Oct 28, 2021
  • New Denali Ultimate and AT4X trim levels
  • Improvements for 2.7-liter 4-cylinder gas and 3.0-liter turbodiesel engines
  • Updated tech features with larger screens and more safety gear
  • Refreshed exterior and interior with significant cabin updates
  • Pricing starts at $32,495 for base Pro trim and reaches $80,395 for the top Denali Ultimate
  • The 2022 GMC Sierra will arrive at dealerships in the first quarter of 2022

The GMC Sierra and its twin, the Chevrolet Silverado, are solid trucks that have struggled to break through in recent years. Ford and Ram made such noticeable strides with recent redesigns of the F-150 and 1500, respectively, that General Motors’ full-size siblings couldn’t keep up on tech or comfort features. Both GMC and Chevy hope to change that for the 2022 model year, which sees both of the brands’ full-size pickups receiving significant changes.

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate Front Quarter View

The Sierra—the fourth best-selling truck in America—receives a significant refresh for the 2022 model year. The truck’s interior, frequently criticized for being too work truck-like and basic, gets a thorough overhaul with better materials and a friendlier design. Outside, the truck sees new colors and wheel designs, along with a massaged front end and fresh lighting features.

It’s worth noting that the 2022 GMC Sierra discussed here will be released in early 2022. The 2022 model-year trucks currently available for order through GMC’s website are carryovers from 2021 and do not offer the updated styling and features noted in this preview.

Exterior Features - Find the best GMC deals!

2022 GMC Sierra AT4X Red Rear Quarter View

All 2022 Sierras feature a reworked front bumper, fascia, and grille with unique finishes for each trim. New LED headlights and signature LED daytime running lights are also on board, and the truck now features an animated lighting sequence upon approach, start, and walk away. The SLT and Denali trims get new wheel designs, and three new colors join the lineup for 2022: Titanium Rush Metallic, Dynamic Blue Metallic, and Desert Sand Metallic.

The Denali Ultimate has 22-inch wheels and an imposing chrome grille with unique badging featuring Mount Denali. A 6-way MultiPro tailgate and a premium adaptive suspension system with power side steps are also standard.

A new AT4X trim replaces 2021’s AT4 with a more luxurious take on a beefy off-road truck. GMC differentiates the fresh trim from the rest of the 2022 Sierra lineup with Multimatic spool-valve dampers and springs that increase suspension travel by 50mm in the front and 25m in the rear. Underneath, there’s a 2-speed transfer case with selectable driving modes for various off-road situations that include a Terrain Mode with one-pedal rock-crawling capability. The truck also gets front and rear electronically locking differentials, giving the AT4X a class-exclusive feature.

Rather than slap a lift kit and big tires on the truck and call it good, GMC improves the Sierra 1500’s chassis and suspension calibrations and adds steel cladding underneath to protect sensitive components like the transfer case. Buyers can opt to upgrade with a rocker guard accessory for further protection.

Interior Features - Find the best GMC deals!

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate Interior Dashboard

The range-topping Denali Ultimate trim bumps the luxe factor with an interior that rivals the best from Ford and Ram and even bests the duo in many regards. Full-grain leather upholstery and open-pore Paldao wood highlight the interior. GMC splashed enough leather across the dash, door panels, console lid, and seats to keep a large tannery busy. A microsuede headliner, power sunroof, and rear camera mirror system are also standard.

GMC is careful to focus on AT4X’s premium features instead of leaning exclusively on its off-road credentials. The truck’s cabin features premium leather upholstery and trim, including full-grain leather wraps and accents. White and red stitching provides visual relief from the sea of dark leather, and dark Vanta ash wood trim fills in the gaps. The truck also features a 15-inch head-up display, a power sliding rear window and sunroof, a 12-speaker Bose stereo, and massaging front seats with 16-way power adjustment.

The remaining Sierra line also receives an interior massage for the new model year. All trims feature a new center console design, and trucks with bucket seats get a new electronic shifter. The Sierra gets a 13.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster starting with the SLE trim. An available new Elevation Premium package brings bucket seats, rear seats with storage, and leather upholstery.

Under the Hood - Find the best GMC deals!

While the Sierra is new, the blocks of aluminum powering it are not. We see the same broad powertrain lineup except for the base V6 engine from last year’s truck. GMC improves the 4-cylinder engine with 20 percent more torque, and the diesel can now pair with a Max Trailering package that pushes its towing number to 13,200 pounds.

The new 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 comes with a choice of four engines, including:

  • Turbocharged 2.7-liter 4-cylinder with 310 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque
  • 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-6 with 277 hp and 460 pound-feet of torque
  • 5.3-liter V8 with 355 hp and 383 pound-feet of torque
  • 6.2-liter V8 with 420 hp and 460 pound-feet of torque

The 4-cylinder engine comes paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, while all others get a 10-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard; 4-wheel drive is optional.

Safety Systems - Find the best GMC deals!

GMC introduces a load of new advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) on the Sierra for the 2022 model year and makes the basics standard. All new 2022 Sierra trucks come with:

GMC introduces its Super Cruise semi-autonomous hands-free driving system to the Sierra for the new model year, but only for the top two trims; the feature is available for the Sierra Denali and standard for the Denali Ultimate. The tech offers hands-free driving on more than 200,000 miles of roads in the United States and Canada. Super Cruise also works while trailering for the first time, with up to 14 camera views, including a camera trick that makes the trailer appear transparent when viewed through the in-cab display. With a trailer hitched up, the blind-spot warning system and adaptive cruise control account for the added size and length of the trailer itself.

Infotainment and Technology - Find the best GMC deals!

While all Sierra trims get a refreshed interior for 2022, only the SLE trim and above get the goods when it comes to tech. The Sierra comes standard with a 13.4-inch touchscreen and a 12.3-inch configurable digital gauge display starting with the SLE. Drivers can opt to display navigation, trailering details, and more right in the gauge cluster. A 15-inch head-up display is available, which extends the total available screen real estate to 40 diagonal inches.

Sierras equipped with the system also come with Google built-in functionality with three years of service for the AT4 and Denali trims. The tech works in tandem with either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and includes functionality for maps, Google Assistant, and Google Play. Google Assistant brings voice controls for music, navigation, vehicle functions, and more.

2022 GMC Sierra Competitors - Find the best GMC deals!

Full-size pickup trucks are more popular than ever in the U.S., so the new Sierra has its work cut out for it. Competitors include:

  • The brand-new 2022 Toyota Tundra, which will be out soon and features two new twin-turbo V6 powertrains and a far more upscale interior than before.
  • The Ford F-150, overhauled in 2021 and available with a capable hybrid powertrain.
  • The Ram 1500, which remains strong two years after a complete redesign.
  • The similar but less expensive 2022 Chevrolet Silverado, which features a new interior, plenty of new tech, and many of the same driver-assistance features as the new Sierra.

GMC is the source of information in this article. It was accurate as of October 25, 2021, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.

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