2022 GMC Sierra 1500

By June 9, 2022

Whether you’re after a work truck, a family hauler, a luxury ride, or a serious off-roader, the updated 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 tempts with a version for just about every need.

Tweaks for the new year include fresh interior and exterior styling on most versions, plus more power for the entry-level version. Additionally, GMC bolstered the Sierra 1500’s top end with new ATX4 and Denali Ultimate trim levels.

The Sierra comes in rear- and four-wheel-drive versions, in a lineup that includes regular, extended, and crew-cab configurations plus a big lineup of engines. Base power comes from a 2.7-liter turbo-4 rated at a healthy 310 hp, while a 355-hp 5.3-liter V-8 remains for traditionalists. Some versions can also be had with a big 6.2-liter V-8 or a turbodiesel inline-6 that offers up to 30 mpg on the highway.

On all, automatic transmissions deliver power to the wheels.

Fuel economy otherwise checks in at 16 mpg city, 20 highway, 17 combined for the 5.3-liter V-8 with four-wheel drive (the most popular setup); the base turbo-4 is only a bit better at 20 mpg combined.

A four-star crash-test rating from the NHTSA factors in a maximum of four stars in the calculated rollover risk assessment. This year, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitors, and automatic high beams come standard. Options include parking sensors, blind-spot monitors that take trailers into account, and rear cross-traffic detection with braking as well as the automaker’s Super Cruise limited hands-free driver-assistance system.

Model Lineup

The Sierra range starts a little under $39,000 for the base Pro, which is oriented more toward fleet operators than consumers. Most shoppers will find themselves spending upward of $52,000 for a base SLE crew cab, or another couple grand for a four-wheel-drive version.

That’s big money, but the Sierra can come well equipped with a trick infotainment system incorporating Google Maps plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The Elevation trim level comes with a few more goodies and snazzier styling, while the SLT throws in leather seats that are heated and cooled up front.

If it’s luxury you’re after, the Denali comes in at a little under $70,000 and slaps on plenty of chrome backed up by adaptive dampers, real wood trim, and uprated audio. A new Denali Ultimate crests $82,000 with its Super Cruise system, massaging seats, and more.

Off-roaders will find AT4 and AT4X versions, the latter of which runs about $80,000 but includes special Multimatic dampers for serious four-wheeling plus a locking rear differential and a raised ride height.


In typical truck fashion, the Sierra wears a conventional three-box shape – but its details can be dashing by pickup standards. Its tall stance, squared-off wheel arches, and blunt front end speak to pickup norms, but the boomerang-shaped wrap-around headlights and wide grille have a more car-like influence than you might see in some rivals.

The differences between trim levels are obvious. Pro versions have plenty of unpainted trim and steel wheels, while alloy wheels and chrome make an appearance beginning with the SLE. Higher-end versions swap in painted accents plus ever-larger wheels. Myriad styling packages can dress up (or down) a Sierra as its owner sees fit.


Here’s where the 2022 Sierra makes its biggest ground, though you’ll need to look to at least the SLE trim level for the freshest take.

Those versions now come with a massive 13.4-inch touchscreen that can be augmented by big displays for the instrument cluster and even the head-up display system. The dash rises higher than that wide screen makes it look, too.

Most trucks to leave GMC’s assembly plants are crew cabs, and they have terrific front- and rear-seat space once you climb aboard. Smart storage options including numerous bins and cubby holes all but ensure a mad scramble for phones and other devices.

Driving Impressions

Regardless of what’s underhood or underneath, the Sierra has a refined, comfortable, and hugely capable feel.

The base turbo-4 delivers more than adequate go thanks in part to a huge torque upgrade to 430 lb-ft. The optional 5.3-liter V-8 is marginally faster, though its rumble will satisfy pickup faithful. It’s a slightly better choice for towing, too, since it beats the 4-cylinder’s maximum 9,100-pound rating with its 11,300-pound rating.

The big 6.2-liter V-8 is downright fast, even with a big trailer attached. It can lug as much as 13,000 pounds.

Various tweaks this year mean that the turbodiesel inline-6 is, narrowly, the lineup’s new towing champ at 13,200 pounds.

Most trucks use GM’s slick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission, and improvements this year lessen occasional confusion especially at lower speeds. The 4-cylinder’s 8-speed automatic may actually be the most refined gearbox in this lineup.

Though all Sierras are big bruisers that require a big patch of pavement (or dirt), they ride well even with the biggest 22-inch wheels on the Sierra Denali Ultimate. Good steering feel and strong brakes enable these trucks to confidently make their way down winding roads, even with a big trailer attached.

Final Word

Strong, capable, and loaded with tech, the updated 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 is a great – if costly – choice among full-size trucks.


—by Andrew Ganz, with driving impressions from The Car Connection

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