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Workhorse or Overkill? A Week with the 2024 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4X AEV

Car Reviews

Workhorse or Overkill? A Week with the 2024 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4X AEV

The GMC Sierra 2500, a cornerstone of General Motors’ heavy-duty truck lineup, shares its robust platform and engineering with the Chevrolet Silverado. Introduced for the 1999 model year, the Sierra has evolved significantly, with the 2024 GMC Sierra 2500 4WD Crew Cab AT4X representing the pinnacle of this evolution. Competing against stalwarts like the Ford F-Series, Ram Pickup, Toyota Tundra, and Nissan Titan, the Sierra is a symbol of American automotive prowess. The AT4X trim, in particular, caters to those who seek a blend of rugged off-road capabilities and premium features.

The 2024 Sierra 2500 AT4X exudes strength and sophistication. The front end is dominated by a bold grille, flanked by GMC’s signature C-shaped LED headlights, offering both aesthetic appeal and functional lighting. The AT4X trim adds distinctive red tow hooks, skid plates, and a higher ride height, enhancing its off-road persona. The 18-inch machined aluminum wheels, paired with all-terrain tires, not only boost its rugged appearance but also ensure it’s prepared for any adventure. Sharp lines and muscular fenders complete the look, making the Sierra 2500 AT4X a head-turner on any road. 

The AT4X AEV Edition further elevates the truck’s off-road readiness with features like front and rear stamped-steel bumpers, integrated recovery points, and steel underbody protection. The AEV Salta wheels and the option for a Comeup winch enhance both style and functionality. Although the AEV Edition lowers the approach angle slightly, the overall ground clearance and departure angle remain impressive.

Inside the Sierra 2500 AT4X, luxury meets utility. Premium leather-trimmed seats with contrasting stitching and real wood and aluminum accents create a refined cabin atmosphere. The Crew Cab configuration offers generous legroom for all passengers, ensuring comfort during long journeys. Heated and ventilated 16-way power front seats with a massage function, combined with the Obsidian Rush interior featuring full-grain leather seating and Vanta Ash wood accents, enhance the luxurious feel.

Technological advancements are front and center in the Sierra 2500 AT4X. The 13.4-inch infotainment touchscreen is a standout feature, supporting wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Google built-in compatibility. This system is both user-friendly and responsive. The 12.3-inch digital driver information display provides crucial vehicle data at a glance. Additional tech features include a premium Bose sound system with Centerpoint Surround Sound, wireless charging, and an array of USB ports, ensuring that both connectivity and entertainment are well catered for.

Powering the 2024 Sierra 2500 AT4X is a formidable 6.6-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel V8 engine, delivering 470 horsepower and a whopping 975 lb-ft of torque. This engine, paired with a 10-speed Allison automatic transmission, ensures seamless and powerful performance. The immense torque makes towing and hauling heavy loads effortless, with a maximum towing capacity of 18,400 pounds and a payload capacity of over 3,500 pounds. Notably, the 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel is now standard, offering an alternative that balances power and efficiency.

The AT4X trim shines off-road, equipped with a dedicated off-road suspension featuring Multimatic DSSV dampers, front and rear E-locking differentials, and an AEV hot-stamped boron steel front approach skid plate. The AEV stamped-steel front bumper with front winch capability further enhances its off-road credentials. With standard 4WD, the Sierra 2500 AT4X is built to tackle mud, rocks, and any challenging environment you might encounter.

Driving the 2024 Sierra 2500 AT4X is an impressive experience. On paved roads, it offers a surprisingly smooth and refined ride for a heavy-duty truck. The steering is precise, and the advanced suspension system effectively absorbs road imperfections, contributing to a comfortable journey. Excellent noise insulation ensures a quiet cabin even at highway speeds.

Off-road, the AT4X’s true capabilities are revealed. The truck adeptly handles uneven terrains, and the various off-road modes allow for customization based on specific driving conditions. Features like hill descent control and a 360-degree camera system provide added confidence when navigating challenging environments. The truck’s size might limit it on tighter ORV trails, but it excels in more open and rugged terrains.

However, if you intend to use the Sierra 2500 AT4X as a daily driver, you might find its size more of a hindrance than a benefit. Maneuvering through city streets and parking in tight spaces becomes a challenge. Despite the advanced camera systems and parking aids, the sheer size of the truck can feel cumbersome and overbearing. You may feel guilty taking up more space than necessary and making it harder for other drivers, especially in urban environments.

The AEV Edition adds significant off-road enhancements to the AT4X, making it overland-ready. The front and rear stamped-steel bumpers with integrated recovery points and the steel underbody protection for the engine, steering rack, transfer case, and exhaust ensure the truck can handle the harshest conditions. The AEV Salta wheels not only look impressive but also perform exceptionally well in muddy conditions. Despite the lower approach angle, the AEV Edition maintains the same ground clearance and departure angles as the standard AT4X, making it a capable off-roader.

The Sierra 2500 AT4X, especially in its AEV guise, is a powerhouse. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.1 seconds, thanks to its robust Duramax diesel engine. It covers a quarter-mile in 15.5 seconds and boasts impressive stopping power, coming to a halt from 60 mph in just 131 feet. These metrics underscore its capability both on and off the road.

The 2024 GMC Sierra 2500 4WD Crew Cab AT4X is a well-rounded heavy-duty truck that combines luxury, advanced technology, and rugged capability. Whether you need a reliable workhorse or an adventurous off-road vehicle, the Sierra 2500 AT4X delivers on all fronts. Its blend of power, comfort, and off-road prowess makes it a standout choice in the competitive landscape of full-size pickup trucks. The AEV Edition, with its additional off-road enhancements, further cements the Sierra 2500 AT4X as a top contender for those seeking the ultimate heavy-duty truck experience.

However, if your primary use for the Sierra 2500 AT4X is as a daily driver in urban or suburban settings, you might find its size and heft more of a burden than a benefit. While it excels in work and off-road scenarios, its imposing dimensions and considerable footprint can make everyday driving and parking tasks more challenging. This truck is best suited for those who truly need its capabilities for work or adventure, rather than as a routine commuter vehicle.

Adam was one of the founding members of txGarage back in 2007 when he worked for a Suzuki dealership in Dallas, TX. He is now our Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. He's always been into cars and trucks and has extensive knowledge on both. Check Adam out on twitter @txgarage.

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