W We had been two miles from the Mexican border after we heard it for the primary time. At first it was only a thud within the distance, it was clear that the noise was not a coincidence: it was a helicopter from the San Diego Naval Base, flying at low velocity and on a trajectory of interception with our small convoy of the brand new GMC Sierra 1500 AT4s.
We had already seen half a dozen United States Border Patrol automobiles on the Otay Mountain Truck Path, in addition to an ephemeral checkpoint on the best way to San Diego. However this whirlybird was one thing else. Uninteresting grey, with the US Navy written in black letters on the tail, the Seahawk thundered overhead. Barely 100 meals on the deck, the inexperienced hills of the final rains. Our group of brilliant and flawless pickup vehicles, except for a skinny layer of mud protecting completely every little thing, needed to make the pilot and his crew superior.
We headed in direction of the entrance of our group and slowed down aggressively earlier than setting ourselves on a pirouette and hovering simply in entrance of the truck within the lead , floating within the air on this disconcerting method that solely the helicopters appear to have mastered. After analyzing us for a second, he slowly started to descend the runway. A crew member in flight go well with was sitting within the open facet door of the Seahawk, fastidiously analyzing our unusual convoy, earlier than deciding that we weren’t a risk to nationwide safety and taking the lighter. airplane for extra fascinating prey.
The GMC PR the person within the truck with us regarded frightened and telephoned Agent Smith, his contact with the Border Patrol, who ensured that everybody is aware of what we had been doing and we aren’t a risk to run to the border – or worse. Even with the closure of the US authorities in full swing and the impossibility for border patrol brokers to pay, there was little question that we had been on their land. The disaster prevented, we proceed our method.
The AT4, supposed for all-terrain automobiles, was launched on the finish of final 12 months. It's an important method for GMC to distinguish its Sierra from its mechanical twin, the Chevrolet Silverado. We had been invited to place the brand new truck to the take a look at on a mountain path situated south of San Diego. Our preliminary route, which GMC had noticed a number of months earlier, was chained after the federal government closed. This path maintained by the Border Patrol has gone from the backup to the principle occasion. It had not been raining for a very long time and GMC politely requested upkeep crews to not reclassify earlier than the tip of our off-road journey. It was not fairly washed out, but it surely was a lot tougher than the brokers – we noticed the signature white and inexperienced paint scheme of the USBP signature on a number of Chevy Tahoes, a JK Wrangler and a myriad of Ford F 150 – in all probability would. favourite for his or her excursions.
The AT4 is the bolstered and rudimentary different of the crested Denali. It advantages from a factory-installed 2.Zero-inch lifting package, a set of protecting skid plates, an Eaton-locking rear differential, upgraded Rancho shocks, in addition to off-road tires or muddy terrain on 18- or 20-inch wheels. His extra aggressive type – however nonetheless fairly refined – ends with brilliant purple tow hooks on the entrance. Actually, it's actually nice.
Unsurprisingly, our truck soaked the bumps, the surfaces of the washboard, the hollows and the clutch holes with plumb. It's not a Ford F-150 Raptor – we didn’t attain a velocity of 100 km / h on the time, as we might do with the Raptor – but it surely's not presupposed to be . The purpose of the AT4, it appears, is to be a cushty pickup, properly outfitted and cozy, capable of deal with troublesome conditions when essential. Driving on the tarmac largely confirms this, though studded tires create extra street noise and their wider rubber compound blocks add a touch of blur to the steering. There’s nothing that off-road geeks won’t know, or be uncomfortable with, and these issues will not be necessary sufficient to spoil the expertise of those that realize it finest. And regardless of its off-road character, driving is mild. This can be a truck you could drive every single day, whether or not you're patrolling the American desert or your own home enchancment retailer.
At lunch, we went to a small technical class the place AT4 did all that was requested of him – not surprisingly. whereas the obstacles had been chosen to reinforce the truck's capabilities. However, for the overwhelming majority of truck consumers, clearing a gap within the mud or climbing a steep and slippery slope would be the full capability to beat the character they may want. This GMC can be a great place to begin for personalization if its prosperous purchaser catches the off-road virus and doesn’t need to transfer to a extra specialised platform. And for the second, with the Ram 1500 and Ford F-150 vehicles driving higher, AT4's distinctive mix of luxurious and off-road capabilities makes it one of many few compelling causes to buy on the place of a GMC retailer.
These consumers will uncover that the Sierra AT4 crew taxi begins at $ 54,695, or simply $ 1,500 from a Denali. Our heavy take a look at truck price $ 65,355. Among the many choices checked on the truck we drove was the $ four,940 off-road efficiency package deal, which contains the upgraded 6.2-liter V-Eight and 435 hp and 469 lb-ft of torque. (the 5.Three-liter V-Eight 355 and 383), a 10-speed computerized (as a substitute of eight), a cat-back exhaust and a strong air consumption. Our truck additionally had Premium AT4 ($ Three,100), Know-how ($ 1,875) and Driver Alert II ($ 745) packages, plus an Eight.Zero-inch head-up show, a 360 digital camera across the alternative to see by the hood and far more.
After all, any dialogue of the Sierra wouldn’t be full with out mentioning the MultiPro hatchback of the truck. The hatchback in a hatchback is the flagship software of the most recent vary of GMC vehicles. It consists of an higher and decrease part consisting of six completely different configurations facilitating the entry and exit of the mattress, the potential for accessing the money register and / or dealing with longer prices. That is the usual on the AT4, and after we've been proven to be actually helpful on different Sierras, that is maybe the largest restoration characteristic we've seen in years. GMC spends rather a lot to advertise and the competitors comes within the type of Ram's personal multifunction tailgate.
The Navy and the Border Patrol might have intently monitored our Sierra, however after spending time within the AT4, we expect that it’s not due to the truth that it’s not the identical. they’re afraid of doing nothing good. It's as a result of they might not need certainly one of theirs.
Specs of the GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 2019
$ 54,695 (fundamental)
5.Three L 16-valve V-Eight overhead valve, 355 hp at 5,600 rpm, 383 lb-ft at four,100 rpm; VH8 16-valve 6.2L, 435 hp at 5,600 rpm, 469 lb-ft at four,100 rpm
Automated at Eight or 10 speeds
AWD truck with four doorways, 5 passengers, entrance engine
15 / 19-20 mpg (metropolis / freeway)
147.5 to 157.Zero in.
5,500 lb (east)
5.Eight to six.5 seconds (east)
N / A