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Tested: The 2024 GMC Sierra 2500 HD AT4X AEV Brings More Power and Size Than You’ll Likely Ever Need

Powerful and with enough control to take you anywhere, and spacious enough for a family of five.

Tested: The 2024 GMC Sierra 2500 HD AT4X AEV Brings More Power and Size Than You’ll Likely Ever Need

There are trucks, and then there are trucks. The 2024 GMC Sierra HD AT4X AEV is most definitely the latter, with a sticker price to match the size at just over $100,000 with add-ons. On a recent test drive, it was immediately clear that to call this truck imposing is a gross understatement.

Consider the stats:

  • Length:

    More than 20 feet (2 feet longer than a Chevy Suburban)

  • Width:

    81.9 inches (a few inches shy of a Hummer EV)

  • Height:

    7 feet tall

  • Weight:

    8,600 pounds (nearly a ton more than the Sierra 1500)

It’s a hefty boy, but it’s no slouch when it comes to power and speed.

Outfitted with a 6.6-liter V8 turbodiesel, there are 470 horses and 975 lb-ft of twist on tap. The result is a 7.1-second sprint to 60 mph on super chunky mud-terrain tires. It’ll do the quarter-mile in 15.5 seconds, a mere 2 seconds slower than the Cadillac Escalade-V. But then it’ll just as easily tow up to 18,400 pounds. The 2500 HD AT4X AEV Edition is so powerful, it can pull a 9-ton big rig without breaking a sweat. It also looks like it shoots Toyota Priuses out the large tailpipe with abandon. The subtle Thunderstorm Gray paint looks great but doesn’t do much to tone down the visual size.

Credit: GMC

The biggest AT4X in the GMC stable is imposing, making standard three-row SUVs look downright diminutive by comparison. Despite its sheer gargantuan-ness, the Sierra 2500 HD AT4X AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) is meant for off-roading, and those special AEV stamped steel bumpers can take a beating over the standard fare. The front one helps its approach angle (31.6 to 29.8), and the 22.6 breakover angle is improved slightly over the non-AEV version. The difference isn’t huge, but the small things can make all the difference when you’re scaling treacherous terrain. You can even turn off the automatically deploying running boards to maximize the truck’s 11.8-inch ground clearance.

Credit: GMC

Other special bits that up the Sierra 2500 HD AT4X AEV’s toughness and capability include integrated tow hooks, 18-inch AEV Salta wheels, 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires an electronic locking rear differential, and protective steel plates for the engine, steering rack, transfer case, and exhaust system. Moreover, it also benefits from excellent MultiMatic DSSV shocks that manage ride and handling duties with aplomb. Just don’t nail a big bump at higher speeds. It’s not that the shocks can’t handle it, but it is a jolt to the system in the ride comfort department.

Overall, the ride is pretty compliant, and the big off-roader manages most surfaces well. Of course, for something this big and dirt- and rock-focused, there’s almost complete isolation from the road’s surface. That, juxtaposed against some of the best brakes on any truck, is almost harrowing. The powerful calipers are even better than many passenger cars–vehicles that weigh thousands of pounds less than this. It helps you bring the massive truck to a stop with total confidence that belies the sheer tonnage of it.

Credit: GMC

The cabin is a mixed bag. Space and storage options abound, to the point where a family of five could use the Sierra 2500 HD AT4X AEV as a daily driver, damn the aircraft carrier size and the fuel consumption. There are ample binnacles, open trays, a huge armrest compartment, and big door pockets all over the cabin. The tucked-away location of the wireless phone charger just aft of that center armrest, unfortunately, will have you forgetting your smartphone all the time. Your passengers, however, will feel like they’ve entered a limo. Rear occupants have it made with over 40 inches of rear headroom and 43.4 inches of rear legroom. The rear seats aren’t the plushest, but the floor is nearly flat, and stretching out is the order of the day.

But there’s far too much gray plastic that potential luxury fades into the shadows. The red stitching in the seats and door card, the AEV embroidered headrests, and the slick 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster paired with the crisp 13.4-inch diagonal center touchscreen help matters but don’t bring the premium quotient up to snuff for the price tag. There’s plenty of great-functioning switchgear for climate and audio, which makes driving less distracting. On the flip side, the hand-mixer of a column-mounted gearshift lever creeps way too far into the infotainment sightline that it’s positively frustrating. You have to reach around the damn thing sometimes, and that’s just wrong.

Credit: GMC

The Sierra 2500 HD AT4X AEV is impressive on so many fronts, but for the price it could use more off-road hardware like underbody cameras and, most importantly, a locking front differential. That said, it’s unlikely that most folks will ever do enough to get this thing stuck in the rough and tumble. There’s enough low-end torque, suspension capability, and clearance to take the truck into and out of trouble that it feels like child’s play. It’s also comfortable and capable enough for overlanding duties for days on end. Want to stay on the pavement? Well, almost no one will judge you because the towing and hauling capabilities don’t get compromised, and its ride quality is better than you’d expect. Finally, and not to be trivialized, the 2500 HD AT4X AEV will get more looks than most sports cars, and that V8 turbodiesel roar might just drown them out, too.

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