The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 pickup is as capable and versatile as it ever was, but now it’s considerably fancier and packed with more high-tech features. Regarded as the ritzier alternative to the Chevy Silverado 1500, largely due to the popularity of its high-end Denali line, the Sierra has struggled to be as luxurious as rivals such as upper-crust Ram 1500s. With an influx of truly luxe materials, particularly on the new top-of-the-line Denali Ultimate, GMC’s half-ton pickup is a lot more pleasing. The addition of Super Cruise means the truck can be driven hands-free, too. Most models feature fully digital dashboard displays with a Google-based infotainment system. The 2022 Sierra 1500 continues to offer a strong selection of engines, including a 420-hp V-8 and a diesel six-cylinder with 460 pound-feet of torque. The mightiest model can tow up to 13,200 pounds, and the newly added AT4X is basically GMC’s version of the off-road-focused Silverado ZR2.
What’s New for 2022?
GMC gives the 2022 Sierra 1500 a substantial makeover. While its outward appearance improves with a more striking front-end design, its interior is where the upgrades are most impressive. Except for the entry-level Pro model, every Sierra has a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 13.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The cabin’s revised styling is further enhanced with upscale materials throughout, and the new Denali Ultimate has real open-pore wood and leather-wrapped surfaces. All models come standard with myriad driver assists, and Super Cruise is available on the Denalis. The new AT4X represents the most rugged model with its electronic-locking front and rear differentials, special suspension components, and chunkier off-road tires. While the old V-6 engine is dropped, the turbo-four makes more torque and pairs with a more responsive transmission. Now that the Max Trailering package is compatible with the diesel engine, it’s able to tow 4000 pounds more than before (13,200 pounds total).
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We like the Sierra Elevation trim level because it occupies a middle ground in terms of price but comes with a desirable appearance package that looks cool. You’ll also have to select between a few different cab configurations and bed lengths depending on what fits your needs. All-wheel drive is available at an extra cost should you require it. GMC is also simultaneously selling pre-facelifted 2022 Sierras that are identified as “Limited” models and cost less than their updated counterparts.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Sierra is available with four different engines, two different transmissions, and rear- or all-wheel drive. The base setup is a turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder that makes 310 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. It pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission. There are two V-8 options: a 355-hp 5.3-liter and a 420-hp 6.2-liter. A torque-rich diesel six-cylinder generates 460 pound-feet. All three engines hook up to a 10-speed automatic. The Sierra 1500 also can be had with adaptive dampers and wheels as large as 22 inches. While the Sierra lacks the extreme off-road abilities of the high-flying Ford F-150 Raptor, it does offer two dedicated off-road variants. The rugged AT4 model boasts a 2.0-inch suspension lift and other legitimate equipment. The AT4X shares exclusive features with the Silverado ZR2, including advanced spool-valve dampers, electronic-locking front and rear diffs, extra skid plates, and gnarly off-road tires mounted on black 18-inch wheels. The Sierra has a rougher ride than the Ram 1500, but it still handles remarkably well thanks to responsive steering and restrained body roll.
Towing and Payload Capacity
The half-ton GMC pickup can tow up to 13,200 pounds and support a payload up to 2240 pounds, when properly equipped.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The 2022 Sierra 1500 has several different powertrain combinations, which means its fuel-economy ratings vary. Those most concerned with fuel efficiency should entertain the optional diesel engine, which is rated up to 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. However, most Sierras will be packing the 6.2-liter V-8 that comes standard with every Denali model. It’s estimated to earn 16 mpg city and 20 mpg highway when paired with all-wheel drive. The Sierra 1500 Denali we tested achieved 18 mpg in our real-world highway test. For more information about the Sierra’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the Sierra is designed with the driver in mind. The controls are all easy to reach and the quality of the materials generally increases with the trim levels. Starting on the SLE, a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel becomes standard. Spending big on the upper trims unlocks even more desirable features, including a heads-up display and a power-adjustable steering column. The Denali Ultimate is where things get seriously upscale thanks to open-pore wood trim and a surplus of leather-covered surfaces. The front seats also feature 16-way power adjustments as well as massage functions. Interior cubby storage is more than adequate for storing all manner of small items and stuff. While GMC doesn’t offer any particularly innovative storage features, the Sierra 1500 can be had with a trick tailgate that has multiple configurations. There’s also a class-exclusive carbon-fiber-reinforced cargo bed that is lighter and supposedly stronger than steel.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Most Sierra 1500s feature a 13.4-inch touchscreen through which the truck’s infotainment system runs. This larger screen includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. It also has built-in Google software that allows users to access an app store, maps, and a voice assistant. Other available features include a 12-speaker Bose audio system, wireless phone charging, and additional power points.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The half-ton Sierra has a host of standard driver-assistance technology. It’s also available with nifty off-road assists, such as a Terrain Mode that allows one-pedal driving in low-speed situations. The GMC can be fitted with a multicamera system that even has views where the driver can virtually see through a trailer if they’re pulling one. The Denali can be equipped with GM’s Super Cruise hands-free-driving tech, which operates on a vast network of roads across the country and can even be put to use with a trailer attached. However, it’ll only change lanes on its own if there’s nothing hooked up to the truck. For more information about the Sierra’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
GMC provides a competitive warranty plan that can’t match the Nissan Titan’s coverage but does include one complimentary scheduled maintenance visit.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit