• GMC Sierra All Terrain X: Slightly Upping the Off-Road Ante [News]

    2016 GMC All Terrain X

    Not to be outdone by the Chevy Realtree Edition Silverado, GMC has announced its newest special edition of the Sierra All Terrain – the All Terrain X. You may be wondering what the “X” adds to the standard All Terrain, which is essentially the Z71 off-road suspension paired with all-terrain tires, hill descent control, underbody protection, and some appearance features. Buyers of the All Terrain X can add to that list the following:

    • 265/65-R18SL Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires
    • Bed-mounted sport bar with LED lights
    • Performance exhaust
    • Sport side steps
    • Many, many appearance items such as black wheels and body-colored accessories

    We must say, the sport bars look kinda cool, a la Marty McFly, but there are two things we like about the X. First, the exhaust reportedly adds 10 horsepower to the truck’s 5.3L V8 for a maximum of 365 horses. Second, it comes in colors other than murdered-out black. Other paint options include Summit White, Stone Blue Metallic, Iridium Metallic, Crimson Red Tintcoat, and Light Steel Gray Metallic.

    2016 GMC All Terrain X

    According to Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing,

    “Styling is the biggest influence on Sierra customers and the new Sierra All Terrain X builds on that with a more aggressive, personalized appearance that complements its exceptional capability… It joins other models such as the new Sierra Elevation and premium Sierra Denali to offers more choices for finding the premium truck that matches customers’ style and capability needs.”

    The All Terrain X appears to be more of a functional off-road package than the Realtree, but buyers who don’t care about the cosmetic stuff and just want the performance could easily get similar results with a few simple upgrades to their Z71-equipped Silverado. Look for the special edition Sierra to go on sale this Spring, pricing has not yet been announced.

    Check out this Chevy Silverado with many similar features.

    Brian Waring
    Brian Waring
    Brian is an engineer by trade but his true passion is anything automotive. He wakes up every morning to search the web for the latest industry news. He enjoys taking his Tacoma 4×4 off-road in the mountains of Colorado where he spends his free time hiking, biking, and snowboarding with his wife and dogs near their Rocky Mountain home.

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    44 thoughts on “GMC Sierra All Terrain X: Slightly Upping the Off-Road Ante [News]

    1. Ok, it’s nice. But here’s what off roader’s really want. 1. Front locking diff. 2. Crawl control like Toyota. 3. A factory 2.5 inch lift kit. 4. Front, mounted in bumper winch like the power wagon. 5. Removable winch in the back bed mounted on the light bar for winching dead animals into it. 6. Wiring near back receiver hitch for winch mounted receiver hitch. 7. Automatic side steps that fold up and down so that you don’t lose ground clearance. Take note GM..

      1. I’m not sure if your list is really “what off roader’s want” or what you want. A front locking differential is only required for the most extreme off-roading…something most pickup owners are never going to do. Not to mention, the front differential and half-shafts are much weaker than the rear on a pickup since it will only ever have to take 50% of the available torque…unlike the rear which takes 100% when in 2WD. A front diff lock puts more stress on a differential than the rear, and said diff is already weaker. Therefore, this would be a costly upgrade. I don’t think too many people are buying a full-size truck for serious off-roading / rock-crawling. What GM should do is add an electric, selectable rear locker a la Ford F-150 / Super Duty.

        You want crawl control? TFL already demonstrated it basically did not work on the Gold Hill off-road segment in the Land Cruiser. It is a gimmick. No thanks.

        Lift kit? Absolutely agree, especially since the current GM trucks have chin spoilers practically scraping the ground.

        Front winch? Again, I agree. At least make it an option.

        Bed winch? That’s crazy. Most people who buy these things are not hunters, and all the hunters I know do not have anything like this in the bed. GM would never do this.

        Rear hitch winch? Aftermarket accessory, should not be offered factory since there would be very little demand.

        Folding running boards? At least Ford already has these on the F-150, but who knows if they don’t reduce ground clearance.

        1. GM already uses an auto locking rear differential. I would take that over the Ford E locker any day as it requires no user input and can be useful far more often than it would be if you had to remember to pull a switch and push it back when you’re done everytime you wanted to use it.

          They’ve had it for like 20 or 30 years and it blows my mind the competition doesn’t offer something similar. It took Ford and Ram 10 years longer to offer a auto 4wd as well, so maybe some day.

          1. Well, we’re kind of duplicating the posts below about the locker, but a couple more comments:

            You mentioned below the G80 has received some upgrades over the last decades or so, and you are correct – the flyweights are more sensitive now so it can react a little more quickly. There is still a slip threshold built in, because any time you are turning a corner there is going to be a difference in wheel speed.

            For road driving, with only partially slippery conditions, I think the G80 probably does offer the superior operation, because it is automatic and can engage and disengage a little quicker than the Ford unit. For 100% snow or ice covered roads, the Ford unit is better…lock it in, and it stays locked. No reaction time. For off-road driving, the same thing – stays locked in.

            Look at some of the foremost off-road vehicles in the world: the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, The RAM Powerwagon, the Mercedes G-Class, and the Mercedes Unimog. Each of those vehicles uses “selectable” lockers like the Ford, because it is superior for off-road driving.

            Even the Hummer H2 / H3 had rear e-lockers built by Eaton – the very same company which supplied GM trucks with the G80! Apparently GM felt the E-lockers were superior to the G80 for the Hummer application.

            As for auto 4WD, you should fact check. GM offered it first in full-size pickups, but Ford actually had the system several years before. The 1995 Explorer came with “4×4 Auto” mode which actually drove front and rear wheels full time using a multi-plate electronic clutch to control differing wheel speeds. It was also offered on the 1997 Expedition, which was, of course, a full-size F-150 platform and drivetrain. Ford started offering “4×4 Auto” on pickups in 2013, and only on the F-150. I believe GM had it in their 1999 design pickups, so more than 10 years later.

          2. Having owned 2 GMs with the G80 auto locking rear diff and a Ford Raptor with the driver controlled rear diff, I prefer the latter. In some situations you can see that you where going to loose traction on the rear drive wheel and that it would take the G80 time to engage, with the e-locker you pull the nob it locks then you close the diff, you don’t then spend hours recovering a vehicle that lost rear traction on a narrow forest service road on an ice section due to the diff not locking when the rear drive wheel broke traction. I saw the obstacle coming and hoped that the rear diff would lock in time to pull the truck up and over but the rear end (yes it was weighed down) broke free and i felt the diff kick in but it was to late the rear wheel had lost traction both forward and horizontal and the spinning on the ice and the off camber of the road caused the rear to slide down hill.
            BTW, Fords traction control acts like a LSD in most driving conditions to keep the wheels from spinning. I wish i could get a vehicle with both systems but

    2. Last, but not least a small v8 turbo diesel, with small allison transmission in a half ton. For crying out loud GM! I buy GM trucks, and I’m your biggest fan. I’m about to start buying Ram’s and Toyota’s.

      1. Diesels have been proving to be nothing more than a marketing gimmick in 1/2 tons. Ecodiesel and Cummins Titan both. Same with the Duramax midsize twins.

        Do the math, it doesn’t work. At least it hasn’t yet. It’s a fad that will be gone and reserved for HD trucks again soon.

      2. I am right there with you. I think that midsize pickup trucks need to have the diesel option. If the option is available, then the sales for the truck will go up, and GM will be producing more trucks. It is simple common sense. Diesel engines have been proving to be better that the gasoline motors. Now, I will say that it is going to be hard putting the V8 diesel engine in the midsize truck. You will have to do a few body modifications. A V4 or V6 diesel will be a bit more suitable. But I definitely agree with you. Especially with the winch, locking differentials, factory lift, the wiring, the automatic folding sidesteps. I am a fan of GM and Ram, and they are both really great trucks, but GM needs to bring their A game when it some to fitting a diesel into a midsize pickup. The rear the bed bar in the back of the truck looks good, but I think that the two lights should go, and bring in a bigger, better, brighter light bar, and make it look nice, and give some character.

    3. Its a no brainer why this company went bankrupt. All these stupid packages geared for off road and the truck has almost 0 for approach angle, and a weak suspension; so moronic but yet amusing to see, keep em coming GM, I need a good laugh once in a while.

      1. The probably realize that most people buy offroad type looking truck for image and don’t take them off road. The shopping mall is full of Ford Raptors that have never been off the pavement.

        1. Jim gets it.

          GMC has always been profitable, which is why they made it past the bankruptcy. Current financial situation and gains for GM are looking very good as well.

          Unions are a big reason GM went bankrupt. Too much money built into each vehicle to pay for entitlements as well as having to pump out massive amounts of vehicles per union contracts regardless of how well they were selling. They simply couldn’t spend the money to make a more competitive product. Ford and Chrysler where in the same situation.

          THAT SAID, I absolutely hate that light bar. The 2016 Sierra is the best looking half ton on the market and this package makes it look really awkward, but that’s just my opinion. Ditch the light bar and you will be somewhere.

          GM trucks are also the only truck I’m aware of that have an auto locking rear differential. Ford has to be activated (unless something has changed recently) and Rams just have a limited slip. Also, if you don’t like the front air dam, just remove it or trim it. Approach angle fixed.

          1. Ford has non’limited slip and limited slip or electronic locker (always read the gear ratio on the window sticker). The limited slips are best for street performance over auto locking, but auto is better for off road applications vs limited. Most of the trucks we stock have electronic lockers, pull the differential knob and good to go whenever you want. No system is better than the other, just different uses for different situations.

          2. @Mike

            GM’s auto-locking rear differential is better than the weak limited slip options from RAM, but far inferior to what Ford has offered since 2011, at least for off-road driving.

            GM’s G80 locker is weaker than Ford’s, requires initial slip, and since it is “automatic” it chooses when to lock and unlock. The G80 is old technology from Eaton and has been used in vehicles other than GM trucks for quite a long time. For example, our old 1996 Volvo 960 had this same Eaton G80 in its rear differential.

            Ford’s unit has a switch – the driver turns it on or off. The hardware is heavier duty and much more costly than the non-electric GM unit. The beauty is that you turn it on and it stays on. The driver can see he is approaching a mudhole, or an off-camber rock climb before he gets to it. So he locks in the rear proactively. The GM unit needs to slip first, and then it may disengage as soon as you get off the gas – halfway through the mudhole, or halfway up the climb. For rock climbing, you don’t want to have any wheel slip…which is necessary to get the GM unit to engage. There is a lot shock transmitted to the axles each time the locker engages, as well – which the GM unit will be doing alot.

            Ford’s unit stays locked no matter what when you are in low range, and disengages at 27mph in 2WD or high range 4WD (since you would no longer need it at that speed) which helps maintain steering stability.

            Nothing against the GM “locker,” its just that it really is not as good nor does it cost GM as much to produce…yet they market it like it is the greatest thing ever.

            1. I see an advantage in not having to remember to reach down and pull some switch then having to put it back when you’re done. The G80 does have to slip some, but It’s not an issue for 99% of drivers. Advantages and disadvantages of each…I guess the ideal situation would be to have one that had 3 positions, off auto and on.

              The G80 has seen advancements since its original inception, it’s not the same unit. They have proven to be very reliable in the past 10 years. Every vehicle breaks from time to time, but there are not prevalent issues.

            2. The Raptor in off road mode can stay locked and be engaged and disengaged at any speed. when my Raptor was new i for got to disengage it when I got back on the interstate and when i went into a corner the rear axel hopped realized i still had the rear diff locked and the truck was still on off road mode. I really like having control over the locker on my truck better than no control on the GM trucks.

        2. Exactly!
          I think you hit the nail on the head.
          The masses don’t really off road there off road there $50K+ trucks. t don’t get me wrong here, there is a real market for true off-road trucks. But I think GM is just attempting dip into and capitalize on some the aftermarkets appearance products. The really truly capable off road machines are rarely ever showroom stock.
          A person can take a truck like this that has some of cosmetic stuff already covered, and expand from there with lift kits, big tires etc, or if they are part of the masses that just wanted the looks , they will buy them and enjoy them as they are. I think it is a sharp looking package.

    4. TFL I think you mean 285/65R18 tires instead of 265. Why is GM doing this? Why even bother just changing out tires and adding an ugly roll bar with lights. How about a Silverado with 2″ or so extra height in front and at least 1″ in the rear. Additionally a bumper that offers a better approach angle with some much better shocks would all make this truck the package it should be. I’d pick a Rebel or TRD Pro over this any day.

      1. Disregard my tire size statement. I just confirmed that GM has decided to use tiny tires lol. These tires are way too small. My F150 came with 275/65R18 street tires. Most Rams come with 33×11″ tires (275/60R20). I am Running a 285/70R17 tire and wheel combo now.

        1. A lot of discussion for 1″ in overall tire size. I guess if you need the 1/2″ change in ground clearance it is worth it… If you wanted a taller tire, I would rather get a taller sidewall (aspect ratio ~70 or 75) vice the wider 285’s. One interesting thing I noticed is some manufactures are using ‘P’ rated tires on 1/2 ton trucks… ‘LT’ have a stronger sidewall to handle loads… weird.

          Your 285/70R 17 Tires are 32.7″
          GM’s 265/65R 18 Tires are 31.6″

          I definitely agree with raising the front suspension, but that is relatively easily done with a spacer for the coil. Would be nice if GM could figure this out from the factory, or even dealer installed.

    5. Looks to me like they wanted to replaced the retired Avalanche with z71 package. I’ll wait for some reviews before passing judgement, other than I like the look of the truck.

    6. Jim has a good point about the parking lots full of raptors that never left pavement. I love the talk about approach angle, lifts, locking front diffs, etc. 90% of the people who buy trucks don’t take them seriously off-road. I don’t know too many ranchers who are going to take their $70,000 pimped out half ton through ravines and over boulders checking cattle where approach angle may be needed. Many buy because of appearance.

      GM also know that dealerships take trucks like these, add lifts, aftermarket tires and rims, and other accessories to personalize customer trucks. The accessory industry is HUGE. Some customers want 2″ lift. Some want 4″ lift. Some want big aftermarket steel bumpers with winches, some don’t. Some want large mud tires while others want all terrains that can be driven on pavement and still be able to hear yourself inside the truck. The point is that yes, the Raptor is out there and does sell. But it is not a mainstream truck. As for the Ram’s version, please, the Rebel is basically a pimped out/accessorized Ram that really has very little additional off-road capability.

      Ford has many versions of their F150 with different decal packages, trim levels, accessory package and yet no one complains just because they have the Raptor. GM does the same but just doesn’t see the mainstream need for a Raptor and they get flack.

      1. I think people are in hopes of them coming with a steady off road engineered vehicle. Every year they have new limited “Editions” and they vary every year. A steady ZR2 which was planned is a much more welcome vehicle to the off-road community. If they sell it, it will be similar to Raptor sales,…. and see a bunch of ZR2’s at the malls and roads, and 90% will never touch dirt or mud. Would be nice to see though, Dodge Power Wagon, Ford Raptor, Chevy ZR2. Each would excel in different areas and be nice variation of vehicles instead of all going after the same market.

      2. @dpach,

        Regardless of whether people do drive these things seriously off-road or not, its about actual capability. “Not that you would, but you could.” People who buy a Ferrari are usually not driving 180mph down the Interstate, but the car sure as heck could if you decided to. Nobody would pay the money if a Ferrari only “looked” fast. So you point out about the RAM Rebel, and I agree, overall it is less capable than the Power Wagon and also less than the Raptor. At least it has a decent sized tire on it. This GMC “X” truck has no added off-road capability whatsoever, except you can see better at night with the roll bar lights. Of course, the new Sierra already has an exceptionally bright lighting package so this is redundant. It also has ridiculously small tires on it, smaller, as Jerame pointed out, than a standard F-150 tire size. Bigger tires is the name of the game in off-road, because bigger tires is the only thing that actually gives you more ground clearance.

        1. I guess the question then comes along – If you were to lift this truck 2-3″, throw something more in the 35″ tire world, would it be a viable option for the off-roader? I only ask because I’ve seen very few Sierra’s in my area, but they are all lifted with larger tires, and the aftermarket rivet looking wheel wells. I can’t imagine they are all dropping the kind of cash these ask just to dress them up even more.

    7. Strange, my previous comment about the truck looking like the now retired Chevy Avalanche has disappeared from the page…

    8. God, I wish they’d make trucks like they did many years ago. Simple cab with 8 foot box, work truck if you wanted, maybe a little extra chrome but engine, suspension options. But, there’s more $$$ to be made the “new” way.

    9. I’m impressed with some of the comments on this post, they point out the good and the bad with the truck in this article. My only issue is with the accessories, they are way too much money. You can get way more for your money with just as good of accessories buying them from an offroad distributor as long as you do your research on the product.

    10. People buy TRD and Raptor and now Rebel because they are capable whether they off road or not. The load capacity is crap and actually the TRD Tacoma is most capable and can haul the most payload, between the three, but I digress. You buy into this overpriced package and you will certainly look like an idiot and be laughed at by off roader folk. Removing the air dam will not solve this. The suspension and approach angle will still be poor and the front bumper gives it away; that it is not off road capable so you like a moron with a Canadian Tire special edition truck. Or for US folk and Auto Parts truck afterthought.

      But some do buy Cavaliers and buy kits for them to make them look fast (by analogy) so there is always a buyer for whatever you build. Buy what you want but I am still going to laugh at this truck as it stands for oxymoron.

      1. Thomas, stop being a bigot.

        You don’t like the truck, fine. But to call people who do an idiot just shows how narrow minded and immature you are.

        1. @ Mike, I have a right to my opinion. Since when is narrow or immature an insult, I’ll take it as a compliment.

      1. These aren’t spam posts, Alan. They are linked from the forum, but there is apparently an issue with the integration. I’ll look into it and get it fixed.

        1. Agree… I commented in the forum, so they removed them, and are looking into it…. If you posted in the forum, it mistakenly posted that comment in here… All good now.

    11. I test drove a GMC All Terrain after seeing this post / video. The 5.3 is a nice engine, especially with the 8 speed transmission. Amazing how quiet the cabin is even at highway speeds. I’m not sure I like the back row as much as my Raptor though. No rear vents, and the seats reminded me more of my previous Ridgeline (thinner padding, less deep sitting area). Lot’s of very cool technology in the truck though.

      Really hoping that TFL gets one of these to do some off-roading. There is literally zero online video’s of anyone doing anything even on gravel with a Sierra at any trim level. I’m not expecting the truck to run Rubicon, but it might make a great truck for folks that explore logging trails and play in the mountain snow here in the NW?

      1. I’m also seeing that the All Terrain X does not have the lower air dam in the front, which is great! It just needs a leveling kit now.

    12. I actually like the look of the terrain x, but I’ve already spent a small fortune on my jeep rubicon. lift kit, wench, wheels and tires, bumpers and plates underneath etc. I”d turn the extra lights on the roll bar backwards and put a 50 inch light bar up top of the windshield. And how much are those extra lights?
      I just can’t spend that kind of money on a new truck and turn around and do it again to make it somewhat off road. Besides all the nice interior bells and whistles cant take any punishment. Thank you for talking me out of it! I’ll just keep my old jeep and the pick up. I have that are both paid for.

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