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2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Pro vs SLE vs Elevation, SLT vs AT4 and AT4X, Denali vs Denali Ultimate
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Compare the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Trims - Pro vs SLE vs Elevation, SLT vs AT4 and AT4X, Denali vs Denali Ultimate. What is the difference between them?

The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 comes in a variety of body styles and trim levels. So no matter where you’re going or what chores need tackling, there’s an advanced and capable Sierra 1500 that's ideal for you. This full-sized pickup truck is made for light-duty work, but don't let that designation fool you. With the right setup, the Sierra 1500 can tow up to 13,000 pounds. It can haul up to 9,400 pounds in its cargo bed.

The class-exclusive carbon-fiber-reinforced cargo bed is lighter and supposedly stronger than steel. There are three different cargo bed lengths to choose from. The standard bed has a cargo volume of 71.1 cubic-feet, whilst the short bed has 62.9 cubic-feet of space. A long bed is also available with a volume of 89.1 cubic-feet, large enough to bring along anything you might need on your trip. The Sierra 1500 comes in Regular, Double and Crew-Cab variations.

The Regular Cab is a basic two-door model without space in the back for passengers. Going for the Double Cab gets small rear doors and some flip-out seats in the back. The Crew Cab has four full-sized doors and a spacious backseat area. The Sierra 1500 is also available in 2WD (two-wheel drive) and 4WD configuration.

GMC offers four different engines. The stock engine, which is a turbocharged four-cylinder 2.7-liter, two available V8 engines plus a six-cylinder turbo-diesel. Are you faced with all these choices and seeking some insight to land on the perfect trim for you? Here's a look at all eight trims and how they compare to each other.

Compare the Pro vs SLE Trims. What is the difference?

The base level of the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500, the Pro, comes in all three cab styles and with all three cargo bed lengths. Plus, it comes in both 2WD and 4WD configurations. The default powertrain is the 2.7-liter engine which is joined with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Together, they produce 310 horsepower with 430 pound-feet of torque. 

For young enthusiasts who crave more power, the base model can be ordered with a 5.3-liter EcoTech3 engine. This is a V8 engine mates to a 10-speed automatic transmission and generates 355 horses. The Pro trim level rides on a set of flashy silver 17-inch steel wheels. These are outfitted with all-season blackwall tires.

The Pro trim is graced with chrome bumpers and chrome corner steps. Other exterior highlights include LED reflector headlamps, LED signature taillights and LED daytime-running lamps. Moving on to the interior, you can find 4-way manual seats up front. There's a 40/20/40 split-bench setup in front with a secret storage compartment underneath. These are covered with cloth upholstery in a variety of color choices.

Power locks and windows can be found on all trim levels. The driver focused cabin includes a 3.5 inch driver-information display and a wide 7 inch touchscreen infotainment system.  Bluetooth is available for music streaming. There's a basic AM/FM stereo and a six-speaker audio system. The Pro model gets a single-zone climate-control system too.

When it comes to safety, the Pro model has six airbags and Automatic Emergency Braking. There's a wealth of driver-assist tech here, such as a Forward-Collision Alert, a Following-Distance Indicator and Lane-Keeping Assist. Sensors detect when the truck has gone out of its lane and an audible warning is given for the driver. Every trim has a rear-view camera and a tire-pressure monitor. GMC has a stability-control system with traction control that comes stock on every trim level.

Moving up to the SLE trim, you will acquire most of the same mechanical features. There's now an automatic locking rear differential for better off-road handling. Both models have electronic power steering. However, this speciality of this trim is its 3.0-liter, 277 horsepower, turbo-diesel engine. This power-plant produces 460 pound-feet of torque to help with towing heavy loads.

Looking from the outside, keen eyes can spot the SLE trim's 17-inch wheels in aluminum and the LED lighting in its cargo bed. On the inside, it gets a 10-way power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support. The driver-info display is now a massive 12.3-inches. You will also get to enjoy a 13.4-inch touchscreen display and built-in Google features for the infotainment system.

Along with the developed infotainment system, there is also a WiFi hotspot available. Plus, the cabin gets more luxurious with a dual-zone automatic climate-control system, heated front seats and cruise control. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather and includes heating. While safety features remain mostly the same, the SLE now offers OnStar® and GMC Connected Services.

Compare the SLE vs Elevation Trims. What is the difference?

The Elevation trim level omits the Regular Cab and Long Bed options. However, it still offers 2WD or 4WD configurations. While it has the same base engine, this can now be swapped out for the turbo-diesel or the 5.3-liter V8. The Elevation also gets optional bucket seats up front. There's a new high-capacity suspension upgrade to increase the truck's capabilities.

This truck makes a daunting image on the road, elevated on set of large, 20-inch aluminum wheels in a Glossy Black finish. These are equipped with equally large, all-season tires. Instead of the shiny chrome bumpers, door handles and trim of the SLE, the Elevation switches to body-colored parts. Most of the remaining interior features are the same as those on the SLE trim level. There's a couple of new options, however, such as wireless charging for smartphones and a console-mounted safe.

There are no drastic changes regarding driver-assist tech and safety features moving up to this trim level. There are some new available features, but these are optional. A bed-view camera can be added on for a small charge. This is a great feature that allows the driver to keep a close eye on their cargo.

Compare the Elevation vs SLT Trim. What is the difference?

The SLT is offered only in Crew Cab body style in either 2WD or 4WD. This trim level comes stock with the 5.3-liter V8 and a 10-speed automatic transmission. An external engine cooler and an auxiliary transmission-oil cooler are added - a heavy-duty air-to-oil cooler that prevents possible engine oil breakdown under heavy loads. Head-turning exterior features includes 18" six-spoke, Dark Gray Metallic aluminum wheels with machined accents and a set of 18-inch all-season tires.

The trim gets some extra chrome trimmings on the outside, creating a signature look that stands out in the crowd. The SLT further receives heated, power-folding, power-adjustable mirrors. Rain-sensing windshield wipers turn on automatically when needed. There's an EZ Lift Assist tailgate with a power-locking feature.

Moving on to the interior of the SLT, the front passenger seat is upgraded to be 10-way power adjustable, just like the driver's seat. It is also endowed with a memory function that remembers up to 2 driver presets for the power seat and outside mirrors. Under your feet, rubberized flooring with carpeted floor mats provides good traction and convenient cleanup in case you spill something. Another great upgrade to note is the auto-dimming rear-view mirror. Overall, the driver-assist features and safety equipment are all the same here, but the SLT adds the option for front and rear parking sensors.

Compare the SLT vs AT4 Trims. What is the difference?

The AT4 trim level is undeniably engineered for off-road performance and brims with the power to tackle the tough backcountry. As such, it's only available with 4WD in the Crew Cab body style. However, you can select a standard or a short cargo bed length. This model comes stock with the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel and a 10-speed automatic transmission with Electronic Precision Shift.  Both the SLT and AT4 models get the option for a 6.2-liter Ecotech3 V8 engine that makes 420 horses with 460 pound-feet of torque.

The AT4 gets an exclusive off-road suspension with a 2-inch factory installed lift. Answering the call to adventure, it flashes a set of red recovery hooks on front, tough mud terrain tires and dark, distinguished details for a look that’s as bold as its road capability. It's also armored with skid plates for underbody protection. Plus, there is now a heavy-duty air filter that helps trap dirt before it can enter the air intake. You can also find an Electronic Transmission Range Selector and a set of paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel.

Being an off-road truck, the AT4 comes with a set of mud-terrain tires mounted to some 18-inch aluminum wheels. On the inside, the AT4 gets an upgraded, premium sound-system by Bose. This includes seven speakers and a Richbass woofer. There are now heated outboard seats and a Hitch-Guidance View feature. This trim level also gets Hill-Descent Control.

Compare the AT4 vs AT4X Trims. What Is the Difference?

If you were surprised by the AT4's serious off-road capabilities, then the AT4X is going to blow your mind. AT4X is the new face of adventure which takes the off-road enhancements of the AT4 model and further builds on them. The ruggedly built, good-looking truck boasts adventure-ready details such as 18" high gloss black wheels, branded mud-terrain tires, dark nickel grille design, AT4X badging and signature vertical red recovery hooks. Without a doubt, this is the best off-road performer of the eight different trim levels. It comes in the Crew Cab body style with a short bed and 4X4 all-wheel drive. Powered by the 6.2-liter V8, it gets the same transmission system as the AT4 trim. It also comes with a 2-speed Autotrac transfer case.

The AT4X has locking front and rear differentials. There's a dual-outlet exhaust system. This model also has another suspension-system upgrade and a 2-inch lift. The new suspension has Multimatic DSSV dampers. The AT4X gets 18-inch Glossy Black aluminum wheels and a set of mud-terrain tires.

There's a power sunroof installed right from the factory. This model has most of the same interior features as the AT4. It does get a new sound system by Bose, though, this time with 12 speakers. There's also a separate, weatherproof MultiPro™ system by Kicker. This is a 2-channel, 100-watt, tailgate-audio system for some outdoor entertainment. This trim has some additional safety tech too, such as Rear Pedestrian Alert and HD Surround Vision.

Compare the AT4X vs Denali Trims. What is the difference?

While the AT4 and AT4X compete each other for their off-road capabilities, the Denali is all about comfort and luxury. The Denali embraces harmonious proportions and premium chrome accents, making it a head-turning figure on the road. The Denali is available in a Crew Cab version with 4WD and the buyer's choice of a standard or short cargo box. There's also a 2WD Crew Cab which only comes with the short box. This trim has the 5.3-liter V8, a 2-speed transfer case and the Electronic Precision Shift, 10-speed automatic transmission.

The 20-inch multi-dimensional, polished-aluminum wheels with all-terrain blackwall tires are unmistakably Denali style. There are 6-inch chrome assist steps. On the inside, both front bucket seats have 10-way power adjustments, lumbar support and heating. This trim gets the Premium GMC Infotainment System with a 13.4-inch touchscreen. It also has the Bose sound system and an optional tailgate audio setup to blast your music like a true audiophile.

GMC has enhanced and upgraded the Automatic Emergency Braking for this trim. Leather upholstery is available, and higher-quality floor mats and more upscale materials uplift the interior. The previously-mentioned safety features and driver-assist tech is all here for the Denali.

Compare the Denali vs Denali Ultimate. What is the difference?

The Denali Ultimate is to the Denali what the AT4X is to the AT4. It takes all of the extra comfort and convenience features of the Denali and then adds to them. This trim only comes in a Crew Cab configuration with a short box and 4WD. This model gets the 6.2-liter V8 engine for the ultimate performance specs. It features the same 10-speed automatic transmission as the regular Denali models.

This trim has a CarbonPro bed for the ultimate protection. There are 22-inch Low-Gloss-Black aluminum wheels with machined accents. These come with a set of 22-inch all-season tires. This trim level gets the top-tier infotainment and audio systems. The power sunroof also makes a return for this model.

The seating, climate-control systems and remaining comfort features are basically the same when comparing these two trims. They also share most of the same safety features. One of the most amazing new features for the Denali Ultimate is the Super Cruise driver-assist system. This is a semi-autonomous driving system that allows for hands-free cruising along compatible roadways.

Final Thoughts

For those looking for a stylish daily work truck without breaking the bank, the Pro trim is the ideal pick. There's a surprising number of standard convenience and tech features here for a base model - which we already explored above in detail. If you will be ever carrying more than one person on your truck, the Crew Cab configuration is a must. A Double Cab is too cramped for anyone except children to ride in the backseat area. For the most capable truck, it's going to need the turbo-diesel to get the maximum towing and hauling numbers.

For young drivers who love off-road thrills and adventures, the AT4X is a dream come true. For the majority of buyers, the SLT offers a great combination of luxury features and capabilities. It's a well-equipped and versatile truck that can do just about anything. It also has a reasonable starting price. The Denali Ultimate is tempting with its amazing Super Cruise Technology and luxury, but it's significantly more expensive than the previous trim levels.

Previous Year Trim Configurations:

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Trime Levels