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Some months after testing the 2019 GMC Sierra Denali 1500 4WD Crew Cab, GMC dispatched over an AT4 (All-Terrain four-wheel drive) model of this solidly built pickup over. The highly capable off-road AT4 brand, which we are told will be seen in all future GMC vehicles, comes with a 2-inch factory installed suspension lift to provide more ground clearance, Rancho shock absorbers, hill descent and terrain selectable traction controls, locking rear differential and a 2-speed transfer case.

The powertrain is similar to the one in the top-of-the-line Denali, i.e., an optional 6.2-liter V-8 engine, mated to a 10-speed auto transmission, putting out 420 horsepower @ 5600 rpm and 460 pounds-feet of torque @ 4100 rpm. An independent coil-over shock front and a solid axle rear suspension smoothens out uneven road surfaces. The rack-and-pinion electric power steering has a solid and communicative feel, making the truck easy to place at sharp curves. The GM Dynamic Fuel Management system deactivates up to four of the eight cylinders for fuel savings. Tow capacity is an incredible 9,400 pounds. And 12 fixed tie-downs each have a capacity of enduring 500 pounds of weight.

The robust-appearing AT4 trim stands out from other Sierras in the lineup, mainly with black chrome on fog lamp bezels, fender surround and grille insert; and body-color grille surround, door handles and bumper. Otherwise, it still portrays an intimidating, mammoth and multi-dimensional grille flanked by LED headlights with C-shaped elements. The rear also acquires C-shaped LED features within the vertical tail lamps and integrated dual exhaust tips. Climb into the cabin and you will not find a reason to complain about room, which is plentiful. The six-gauge analog instrument cluster is well-lit and crystal clear. The innovative lift-and-lower locking tailgate in the Sierra using an internal torsion bar (effortless to raise and even better, lowers slowly) is most likely to be incorporated by its competitors. Other notable features include dual-zone auto a/c, tilt/telescopic steering column, dual glove box, heated/cooled front seats, and an 8-inch color screen for audio, navigation and phone readings.

Standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for second row, stability/traction and trailer sway control with hill start assist, four-wheel antilock brakes, rearview camera, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.

Off-road enthusiasts cannot complain now. This long overdue AT4 model in the GMC roster should quench their thirst to venture out and off to the rugged terrain. The powerful pickup is loaded with features and amenities that should make the rough outdoors a lot of fun instead of a challenge.

Tires: P265/65R18 all-terrain
Wheelbase: 147.4 inches
Length: 231.7 inches
Width: 81.2 inches
Height: 75.5 inches
Weight: 5,440 pounds
Fuel capacity: 24 gallons
City: 15 mpg
Highway: 19 mpg
Base price: $53,200
Price as tested: $65,850
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