PINEHURST, NC — September 9, 2020 — This has been the “month of the beast.” First, we had the Ford 2020 Expedition King Ranch, and last week, we had the 2020 RAM 1500 Rebel Crew Cab EcoDiesel 4X4. This week we have the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 4WD Crew Cab AT4 with the Duramax 3L Turbo Diesel Engine, so three big beasts in a row, any Southern boy’s dream and the precursor to his final words – “Here, hold my beer and watch this.” Okay, just kidding, as I am a Southern boy for real.
The picture you see above is the truck sitting in our driveway. Yes, that’s our driveway too. Good looking truck. Wouldn’t you agree? Love that Red Quartz Tintcoat premium paint job, even though it was an extra $595. If you go to the GMC website, they don’t show the truck in red, as that was a premium color offered later than when the trucks started first being made. I am glad we got the red one. I was doing some philosophical thinking as I rode around the Red Dragon; yeah, that’s what I would call it, and I decided that Black trucks make you look dangerous; Blue trucks make you look hopeful; but Red trucks make you look Real. Nope, there is no scientific basis for that, but that’s what happens when you drive your truck around in the country. You get deep thoughts.
You need the running board to step up into the cab, and it is positioned very well for ease of entry. Plus the hand hold lets you pull yourself up easily.
Once inside and in the driver’s seat, you notice how comfortable and accessible everything is. While many new vehicles are going to push buttons or turnable knobs, the Sierra has gone with the gear shift on the column, a standard for many years. I like it. Controls for the radio, heating and air conditioning, temperature control, automatic start and stop, parking assist, navigation, four-wheel drive, towing options, bed lighting, and much more are located within easy reach on the center panel or to the left of the steering wheel. Cruise control settings, voice activation, ending the phone calls, and the information settings are on the steering wheel. There is a great heads up display in front of the driver as well that shows speed, speed limit, cruise control settings, and more; all a help in especially distance driving.
Our Sierra AT4 had heated and air-conditioned seats in the front, and heated steering, while also offering heated seats to the passengers in the Crew Cab. Nice. But wait! John, you ask, what does the AT4 mean on the Sierra? Thank you for asking.
The AT4 designation means, according to GMC, “Performance is a key ingredient to every Sierra AT4, and the Sierra AT4 Off-Road Performance Package takes the AT4’s abilities a step further. Not only does the AT4 Off-Road Performance Package include the 6.2L V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management and a ten-speed automatic transmission, it also includes a specially-designed Cold Air Intake and Performance Exhaust System. Both the intake and exhaust system are designed to not only optimize performance, but also deliver an unmistakably sporty exhaust note. Thanks to these additions, the AT4 Off-Road Package delivers 435 horsepower and 469 lb-ft of torque – increases of 15 horsepower and 9 lb-ft of torque over a Sierra equipped with a conventional 6.2L V8 engine, and 80 horsepower and 86 lb-ft of torque over Sierra AT4 models equipped with the standard 5.3L V8. AT4’s unique suspension design, which also incorporates Rancho monotube shock absorbers, allows it to ride two inches taller than other Sierra models, providing added ground clearance. A series of underbody skid plates help shield various chassis, cooling, and driveline components from debris, while hill descent control leverages anti-lock braking technology to help provide a smooth, controlled descent in uneven terrain without the driver needing to repeatedly push the brake pedal. Sierra AT4 also includes the new Traction Select System, which allows the driver to choose from preset drive modes that help tailor Sierra’s performance for a variety of road, terrain, or weather conditions.”
The GMC Sierra has done a nice job of using what is normally ‘wasted space’ to make it available to ‘hold things’. In front of the cup holders is a large square area suitable for you to put whatever is in your hand that doesn’t have a ‘real’ place to go, you know, like chap stick, or breath mints. Also, there is an easy phone charger in place, just set your phone down in the area, and the charging is underway. Really easy. Good use of space is true on the top of the console where there is a handy ‘catch all’ area, and there is ample room and trays inside the console for lots of ‘stuff’.
It doesn’t stop there either. The back seats have a strap in the center of the seat. Pull that strap and you get a storage space within the seat itself. Plus there are various connections on the back of the console for passenger to hook up their phone, their laptop, or other devices. Additionally, the crew cab seats were big, comfortable, and offered lots of leg and head room.
Did I tell you that hooking up my phone to the truck was one of the easiest experiences yet? It was. And did I tell you that programming the navigation was also very easy, either by typing in the address while it searched for an exact match as you type, or by using voice activation and asking ‘her’ to ‘navigate to’ the destination? Well, I should and just did. Great features.
The 2020 Sierra 1500 4WD was powered by the 3L Duramax Turbo-Diesel engine and paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. I found the diesel engine to be very responsive without the hesitation you find in some turbos. With a 22-city mpg and a 26-highway mpg, you get a 24-mpg average. With a 22-gallon tank on the AT4, you can go 528 miles between fill ups. That’s good for a truck this size, and While you definitely knew the engine was a diesel, the noise from it was minimal in driving. In fact, the Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac Tires, which I think meant for more off-road work than city driving, made more noise than the engine. No complaints, though, especially since this baby was built for off- road, hauling, and work; and if you are taking this beast off road, you are doing it in style, comfort, stability, and with power … and safety.
Much of what I would call ‘safety features’ came under two optional packages, the Technology Package, $2125 and the Driver Alert Package II, $1095. The Technology Package consists of HD Surround Vision, Rear Camera Mirror, Bed View Camera with two trailer camera provisions; the multicolor Heads-Up Display, and the multicolor 8” Digital Driver Info Center. The Driver Alert Package consists of the Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Intellibeam Headlamps, Adaptive Cruise Control Camera, Following Distance Indication and Safety Alert Seat. All worth the $1095 charge for sure.
The base on the truck is $53.4K and with the $9665 in options, our 2020 Sierra 1500 4WD Crew Cab AT4 weighed in at $64,160 – a lot of money for a truck, but a lot of truck for the money as well.
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Clark Chevrolet Cadillac, 35 Dundee Rd, Pinehurst, NC 28374
Phone:+1 910 364 9979
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Curry Chevrolet, 728 Central Park Ave, Scarsdale, NY 10583
Phone: +1 914 723 9200