A black 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate is shown parked in front of a modern home.

2022 Sierra 1500: You Don’t Want To Miss This

It’s not a bird, it’s not a plane, it’s certainly not airborne, but that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 is about to make a massive splash in the pickup truck scene, and at your local GMC truck dealership, you can get in on the phenomenon for yourself. It isn’t all smoke and mirrors either; the 2022 Sierra 1500 manages to stick out from the crowd in a few distinctive ways.

Aside from a fresh new interior that’s filled to the brim with exciting new tech, there’s a selection of features that are new to the Sierra 1500. Since you’re here looking for a truck, there’s a strong chance that you’re looking for a towing vehicle. Imagine this, a truck that not only has the brawns to handle heavy towing tasks but the brains to handle hands-free towing. GMC has also taken the time to create some new trim levels for this beloved pickup truck.

Speaking of trim levels, there are a plethora of trims to select from; far more than your average pickup truck, that much is certain. Drivers interested in the base model will be looking at the Pro. The SLE, Elevation, and SLT immediately follow the Pro, with the Elevation and the SLT allowing for an available turbo-diesel 3.0L I-6. The SLT also swaps out the cloth seating for leather seats. Off-roaders will rejoice for the AT4 and the brand new AT4X trim levels. The AT4X adds a host of luxurious amenities to what the AT4 will offer. Luxury is a theme that carries over to the venerable Denali trim, which has continuously been a fan favorite for its exceptional quality and feature set.

The black interior of a 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4-X shows the steering wheel and infotainment screen at a truck dealership.

Super Cruise Technology

Let’s start by talking about what is arguably the most game-changing feature that the 2022 Sierra brings to the table – Super Cruise. Super Cruise is a feature that GM has been implementing into many of the vehicles produced by its subsidiaries, such as GMC and the Sierra 1500 by extension. However, the implementation that we see of Super Cruise for this truck takes its functionality one step further, and it’s something that you’ve likely never seen before on a pickup truck – hands-free towing.

Before you get all excited, there’s something that we’d like to note first. As enticing and innovative as every feature is, that doesn’t mean that you should alleviate your attention from the road. For the times where you want to lean back, perhaps put on your sunglasses, and generally take a quick break from driving, the Sierra 1500 will pick up the pieces for a short amount of time. How does this work?

On Sierra 1500 models that support Super Cruise, you’ll have a light bar that sits along the top curve of your steering wheel. GM has been regularly adding compatible roads to the list, but there are currently over 200,000 miles of road that utilize this feature. When you’re on one of these compatible roads, the light bar will turn green, and this will indicate that you can activate Super Cruise. Once activated, you can take your foot off of the pedal and your hands off of the wheel and just watch your vehicle accelerate, slow down, and even automatically switch lanes. If the road you’re traveling has a slight curve, your vehicle will know this and will turn your steering wheel too. What makes it such an incredible inclusion on the Sierra 1500 is the ability to haul a trailer while using this feature.

A Carbon Pro Bed

Trucks are meant for towing, but the bed behind a truck gets a fair amount of attention too. As previous truck owners will know, preventing your truck’s bed from getting scuffed is harder than it seems. This has to do with the metal that truck beds are typically built with, but not with the Sierra 1500. 2022 models will include a CarbonPro bed that is made of carbon fiber instead of your traditional metal. There are three main benefits to the CarbonPro bed, all attributing to its invulnerability to natural corrosion, the aforementioned scratches, and even worse, large dents. This is a smart design choice, and it’s likely to be replicated in the future by competing manufacturers due to the massive benefits that are associated with it.

Of course, even a CarbonPro bed wouldn’t cut if it didn’t have the perfect amount of cargo space. Fortunately for those of you who are interested in a 2022 Sierra 1500, you’re in luck because the 2022 Sierra’s short bed has a maximum cargo capacity of 63.9 cubic feet. Moving up to the standard bed size increases the maximum cargo capacity to 71.7 cubic feet. Lastly, if you opt for the long bed, then your Sierra 1500 will offer up an impressive 89.1 cubic feet.

A red 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4-X is shown driving on a remote dirt road.

Different Flavors of Performance

Everything we’ve discussed so far would be completely irrelevant if the 2022 Sierra 1500 weren’t a performant machine. That’s not a worry here because the four different engine options are quite powerful. The base engine is a turbocharged 2.7L I-4 that links with an 8-speed automatic transmission. A turbocharged engine that comes standard is a nice touch, especially with its 310 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, not to mention a maximum towing capacity of 9,400 lbs. With a turbocharged engine, the base model earns terrific EPA-estimated ratings of 19 MPG in the city and 22 MPG on the highway.

There may not be a V6 available for the Sierra 1500, but that doesn’t matter as there are two possible V8 engines to select from. The first of these two is a 5.3L V8 that comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and it turns out 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Towing capacity is raised by 19% to 11,200 lbs. The second of these engines is a 6.2L V8 with the same transmission, but its performance is increased to 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Again, this increase in towing capacity is a large one, going from 11,200 lbs to 13,000 lbs. Compared to the base turbocharged engine, this V8 offers a 38% increase.

Lastly, those who want both great towing performance and generally excellent fuel efficiency will want to opt for the turbo-diesel 3.0L I-6 engine. A 10-speed automatic transmission comes standard with this engine too, and it gets 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, again increasing the towing capacity, this time to 13,200 lbs. Against the base engine, this is a 40% increase and proves that the Sierra 1500 can perform heavy towing tasks.

Making Waves

With the addition of Super Cruise along with its added benefits of hands-free towing and a carbon bed, the 2022 Sierra 1500 is far more than just another pickup truck. We’re pleased to see all of the changes that have been made, and this year’s model feels like a monumental one for all trucks in general. If you’re going to be buying a pickup truck this year, you should make it the 2022 Sierra 1500 for an experience that’s capable and comfortable while also including some of the most revolutionary technology that’s available in the automotive market today. Against some of its main competitors, the Sierra 1500 has proven that it’s perhaps the best one that you can currently purchase.