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A red 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X is shown driving off-road after visiting a GMC dealer near me.

AT4 vs. AT4X: The Differences Between GMC’s Off-Road Thrill-Seekers

GMC calls its ruggedly capable off-roaders the AT4 and AT4X, which stands for All-Terrain 4WD. These models are meant for those who have a thirst for epic adventure, whether this means barreling down muddy trails, coasting over rocks, or maneuvering through dense pockets of wilderness. They go where others can’t, and if they intrigue you, you’re certainly not alone.

You may be asking yourself, ”Does the GMC dealer near me have some AT4 models that I could check out in person?” When it comes to off-roading, GMC does it right, with two trims designed with exhilaration in mind available on a selection of its models: the AT4 and the AT4X. But what is the difference between an AT4 and AT4X? Let’s discover all of the details about what each trim brings to the off-road experience.

A white 2023 GMC Sierra 2500 HD AT4 is shown parked off-road.

Performance Features

You can think of the AT4 as the original off-road trim, available in GMC’s slew of modern models. Later, the AT4X came into the picture, offering even more to drivers to amplify their experience on any terrain. For comparison’s sake, let’s compare the AT4 and AT4X trims on the Sierra 1500.

As far as performance is concerned, the AT4 and AT4X are equipped with different engines. The AT4 showcases the 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel, a fan favorite for many, with the option to choose its 6.2L gas-powered V8 if desired. Both engines feature impeccable performance, from plenty of horsepower to ample towing power to haul campers and anything else drivers desire out into the wilderness for their trip. Although the V8 has more horses under its hood, 420 horsepower compared to the diesel’s 305, both engines are capable of towing up to 13,000 lbs. Where the diesel impresses is with its efficiency, as it’s able to get up to 29 mpg on the highway, which makes this a better option for those who want to use this truck for more than just adventuring.

The AT4X, on the other hand, comes standard with the powerful 6.2L V8, elevating the excitement factor during any adventure right off the bat. It also showcases a few more helpful features designed especially to perform optimally off the beaten path. Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers allow the AT4X to perform better than many of its competitors, while also taking advantage of less wear, better temperature regulation, and more flexibility during operation. It also features front and rear electronic-locking differentials, something that its rivals simply don’t offer. This combination locks both tires on the axle together to enhance traction and control in slippery environments.

A red 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4x is shown parked on a dirt road.

Exterior Elements

Key differences will be evident from the outside of each trim, with the AT4X showcasing more rugged elements that make it stand out from the crowd. For example, an AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) stamped-steel front bumper immediately commands attention, while AEV hot-stamped boron steel skid plates protect it from the elements as it traverses challenging terrain with absolute precision. The AT4X also showcases features behind the scenes that further enhance its off-road credibility. This includes an off-road tuned chassis and specialized springs and suspension system, as well as available rocker protection, a dual-outlet exhaust, and more helpful features. You’ll find that the AT4X includes 33-inch mud-terrain tires and dark accents throughout.

The AT4 still includes its fair share of off-road ready features, including a two-inch suspension lift to help clear more obstacles in any environment. An available CarbonPro composite bed allows drivers to load up and tackle the elements without excess wear and tear to their truck bed. Mud-terrain tires, Rancho monotube shock absorbers, and red accents throughout its exterior, including red vertical recovery hooks, give off an air of excitement to make the AT4 stand out from its rivals at a much lower price than the AT4X.

Interior Experience

The AT4 and AT4X showcase different interior features to appeal to different types of drivers. Inside the AT4 lies a sleek dark experience, complemented by Jet Black appointments with Kalahari accents. It also includes heated and ventilated front perforated-leather seats, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and AT4 badging throughout. Durable materials, like front and rear floor liners with removable inserts that are easy to clean, are especially handy after a weekend full of muddy adventures. Ample cargo space and convenient storage options can be found to help adventurers stow more gear. Under-seat storage and a large bed makes traveling with camping equipment, adventure gear, and more a breeze.

If you haven’t noticed already, the AT4X takes its features a step further, offering a bit more to drivers that you won’t find in the AT4. The same goes for its interior, which features Obsidian Rush appointments complete with full-grain leather seats and vibrant red and white accent stitching within. A leather-trimmed instrument panel and door panels elevate the status of this impressive machine by providing a more opulent experience inside than what’s found in the AT4. A 16-way power-adjustable driver and passenger seat can be found with massaging features to maximize the experience as it’s bounding down the bumpy trails. High-end microsuede materials are found in abundance to add a refined and sophisticated flair to this avid adventurer.

A white 2023 GMC Acadia AT4 is shown parked near a lake.

Trail-Ready Tech and More

Traversing unruly terrain is a given in both the AT4 and AT4X, which means that they must be loaded with helpful features that allow them to travel with authority. The AT4X features Terrain Mode, which comes to the rescue when traveling at low speeds, showcasing one-pedal rock crawling to add extreme stability and control to some of the most challenging driving scenarios.

Plenty of high-tech features can be found in these models to ensure a heightened experience on any terrain. From a 13.4-inch diagonal touchscreen display, providing access to must-have connectivity features, to a 12.3-inch Driver Information Center, which provides pertinent information about the ride on the dash, the AT4 and AT4X are loaded with desirable tech. A 15-inch Head-Up Display is also available, which showcases information about the ride, like speed, navigation prompts, and more right on the windshield so drivers don’t need to take their eyes off the obstacles that are waiting for them off-road. The AT4X adds a bit more to the experience by offering a 12-speaker Bose premium surround sound system to set the tone of any adventure.

Different Trucks for Different Tastes

By now, it’s quite evident that both the AT4 and AT4X bring immense excitement to any adventure. However, there are more features available in the AT4X that may appeal to more serious off-roaders. From its off-road ready performance features to its high-end appointments, durable exterior elements, and innovative tech, the AT4X appeals to those who wish to go all-out with their off-roader. Not to be outdone, the AT4 showcases plenty of desirable features, fit for everyday explorers, with its high ground clearance, superior selection of powertrains, and comfortable interior, accented with loads of durable materials and convenient cargo solutions, which is plenty for many drivers.

In the end, both the AT4 and AT4X are incredible trims available from the celebrated GMC brand. Each appeals to its own set of drivers, offering the ability to traverse dangerous terrain with the utmost confidence. The AT4 and AT4X trims can also be found in the midsize Canyon, whereas GMC’s SUV lineup includes the AT4 models only. Drivers who are looking to get off the beaten path with expert precision will undoubtedly gravitate to these two trims. When it comes to epic adventurers, both the AT4 and AT4X are capable of amplifying the thrills in any environment.

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