The AT4 includes automatic four-wheel-drive that engages the front wheels only when you need them.

PMG PHOTO: JEZZ ZURSCHMEIDE - The 2022 GMC Sierra is available with multiple engine choices and the AT4 package that improves on- and off-road capabilities.GMC is still riding high on a host of innovations that they introduced back in 2019. The thing is, the innovations were so good, they're still impressive. From the drivetrain to functional luxury in the bed and tailgate, the GMC Sierra is a leader in practical luxury.

GMC offers a wide variety of engines in the Sierra, from a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder through 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter gasoline V8 engines, but the one that stands out is the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel inline six-cylinder. This engine produces the same 460 pound-feet of torque as the big 6.2-liter V8, but also delivers excellent fuel economy. The Sierra with the diesel is rated at 20 MPG city and 23 MPG highway, but in extended test-driving, we routinely pushed the highway number closer to 30 MPG without really trying.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The 2022 GMC Sierra AT4 is a handsome full-size pick capable of hard work and off-road adventures.

Credit for that goes equally to the diesel engine and to the standard 10-speed automatic transmission. The 10-speed allows the diesel to operate in its most efficient range and drop down to a near idle for cruising. With the diesel's massive torque, the Sierra has plenty of power, and fuel economy.

Another great feature on the AT4 trim is automatic 4WD. Unlike older 4WD systems, the GMC does not have to be limited to 2WD or full 4WD. Simply select Automatic and the GMC will engage the front wheels when needed for traction, and disengage them when they're not needed. You still have access to the traditional dual-range gears if you need them, but you can leave the truck in Automatic mode all the time.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The MultiPro Tailgate on the 2022 GMC Sierra can be used to extend the capacity of the cargo bed or allow easier access to it.

The next innovation that makes GMC trucks attractive is the MultiPro tailgate. This is now available on Chevrolet trucks as well, but GMC pioneered it. This is a tailgate-within-a-tailgate that lets the 6.5-foot or 5-5-foot bed in the GMC function like an 8-foot bed. You can lay down the tailgate and flip up an inner backstop to keep materials like plywood from sliding out. You can also drop the inner tailgate and reach into the bed more effectively, or drop both and turn the tailgate into a set of steps up into the bed. For the record, you can still get the GMC Sierra with a single cab and traditional 8-foot bed, but you're limited on trim levels and engine choices.

The final innovation that GMC has is the CarbonPro bed. This replaces the steel bed with one made of pressed and bonded carbon fiber panels. The CarbonPro bed weighs a lot less than steel, but that's not why you want it. The real advantage here is that the carbon fiber panels are a lot stronger than any steel bed. It takes a lot to even leave a mark on that material.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The 2022 GMC Sierra can be outfitted with near-luxury levels of comfort, conveinence, infotainmentn and safety featues.

Put those things together with traditional GMC luxury inside the cabin, and you've got a winning truck. The GMC Sierra feels substantial and confident on the road, comfortable and supportive inside, and with the lifted suspension and heavy-duty components of the AT4 trim level, you know you can go just about anywhere.

One last piece of advice: you can combine the AT4 off-road capable package with the top Denali luxury trim for a truly ultimate pickup truck. Denali luxury matches or exceeds what you'll find in most premium SUVs, even in the European brands.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The interior of the 2022 GMC Sierra is large and comfortable enough for long trips with family and friends.

If you're shopping for a new pickup truck this year, don't make any decisions until you've visited a GMC dealer and experienced the diesel engine, the MultiPro tailgate, and the CarbonPro bed for yourself. We think you'll be impressed with what you learn. Better yet, visit the Portland International Auto Show this coming weekend and see the GMC trucks side-by-side with the competition.

2022 GMC Sierra AT4

Base price: $56,300

Price as tested: $64,715

Type: Full-size pickup

Engine: 3.0-liter turbo-diesel (277 hp, 460 lbs-ft)

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

EPA estimated mileage: 20/23

Overall length: 231.72 inches

Curb weight: 4,816 pounds

Final assembly: Silao, Mexico

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