2024 GMC Sierra 2500HD AT4X AEV Quick Review: Big, bad, overkill

GM seems to be all-in on off-roader pickups these days. Its Colorado ZR2 trim spilled over to the Silverado ZR2, then to the 2500HD models, and over to GMC’s Canyon and Sierra trucks. But it’s getting to be absolute overkill: GM’s flagship off-road-focused pickup truck, the 2024 Sierra 2500HD AT4X AEV, has a hood that sits higher than my head, its bed sides are even with my eyes, and the truck weighs 8,605 pounds. Excess for the sake of excess, or purposefully massive?

Bigger than ever…

I’m not exaggerating about the truck’s size and over-the-top specs: It’s 252 inches long, 81.9 inches wide, and 82.6 inches tall. The 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine makes 470 horsepower and 975 lb-ft of torque. It can tow 18400 pounds off a standard hitch and carry 2701  pounds in its bed. It’s a behemoth if there ever was one, and while a very good truck and an effortless ATV hauler (aside from the tailgate height), it’s overkill beyond what I can imagine being necessary.

Case in point: It’s nearly impossible to reach into the bed. I’m 5’9”, and there’s no way I’m easily tossing things into or getting them out of the truck’s cargo box. I guess that’s why there are steps on the side, but the wild height also made loading and unloading an ATV damn-near pushing the quad’s rollover limit. With every other truck I’ve included, Sierra 2500HD Ultimate included, that wasn’t the case.

The turning circle is also around 50’, so parking in normal spots in a normal-sized lot is a pipe dream. Get used to seeking out the far-away back corners of parking lots where there’s (hopefully) room to maneuver, as once you’re boxed in the likelihood of using the truck’s added armor to accidentally move or mangle a nearby car is high. Parking cameras help, but this thing is a damn behemoth.

…and that goes for the MSRP, too

The other massive number here is the price: $104k as-tested. That’s an absurd amount of money for a truck that shares its bones with one starting at around $45,000, but let’s not forget that Dodge sells Hellcat versions of basically everything that can be had as a rental car at an airport. There’s some cheapness to be found here and there, but GMC does a good job of covering up and hiding away the bits from more work-focused models.

Wildly excessive, but it works

That said, the Sierra is great at achieving its intended purpose. It’s comfortable, powerful, capable, and handily takes the cake for being GM’s biggest, baddest pickup to date. If you can palate the huge cost, huge size, and huge carbon footprint, the Sierra 2500HD AT4X AEV is a formidable do-it-all pickup that seriously pushes the envelope for what a Heavy Duty-level truck can be. Of course it hauled the Polaris ATV that I tasked it with carrying without so much as a flinch, but then again it should; the Scrambler didn’t even cross the half-way mark for the Sierra’s payload capacity. Similarly, there was about a country mile’s worth of real estate between the back of the passenger seat and my kiddo’s car seat. Spaciousness is seriously at a premium here (as it is with all full-size crew cab trucks).

It also must be said that the truck is a bit of a contradictory conundrum. It has huge tires meant for tackling mud, rocks, and trails, there’s front and rear differential lockers, and the AEV spec adds a whole bunch of body armor in the way of skid plates, bash bars, recovery points, and so on. But if you’ve ever off-roaded a heavy truck, you know that weight is the enemy. At well over four tons, I can’t fathom using this thing for serious wheeling; I know that GM had journalists doing so on the press launch of this rig, but in the hands of owners, piloting it downhill on a super-slick muddy hill or over a rock-strewn trail with off-camber bits and varying degrees of descent, all that weight is nothing if not working against the truck.

Is the massive Sierra for you? If you live in a city, certainly not. But if you’re out somewhere that its size, capability, and added off-road features can be used the way they should be, there’s a good truck in here. Just know that it’s overkill beyond the likes of what we’ve seen before, and while some find that to be a good thing, others would be just fine with a smaller truck.

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3 responses to “2024 GMC Sierra 2500HD AT4X AEV Quick Review: Big, bad, overkill”

  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    The photo in your garage opening really brings the point home. Entire cars can disappear in this truck’s blind spots. Borders on insanity.

  2. Mike Coughlin Avatar
    Mike Coughlin

    My 2015 F350 King Ranch is a svelte 7200 lbs. Svelte?? I love the truck–but would not consider taking it off roading. Way too big.

  3. Tharted Avatar

    This 2024 Sierra 2500HD AT4X AEV is just ridiculous. It’s like GM is building trucks for Godzilla, not people. Who needs a hood taller than their head? And don’t even get me started on the weight. It’s like driving a small house! I get wanting a capable truck, but this is just excessive. Give me something practical and fuel-efficient, not this monster truck. House of Hazards throws you into a side-scrolling world of booby-trapped bedrooms, obstacle-course kitchens, and living room laser grids. Outsmart your rivals and avoid the chaos in this hilarious game of domestic disaster.