2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X vs. 2022 Ram 1500 Backcountry Edition: Which is Better for Off-Roading?

Both the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X and 2022 Ram 1500 Backcountry Edition are off-road-focused models. Each of them bolsters their respective lineups with options for traveling off the road and taking on just about any terrain. Both of these brands’ models are well-equipped and perfectly capable of traversing any climate you might need. Which one is the better option, specifically for off-roading?

Which 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 is best for off-roading?

Red 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X driving on a mountainous road, does it beat the Ram 1500 at off-roading?
2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X | GMC

The off-road-focused Sierra 1500 AT4X joins the lineup for the 2022 model year. It slots in only under the new Denali Ultimate model as far as expenses go. It comes with a lot of great features to help it traverse any terrain, but it slightly limits it in some other areas. The most prominent example is its towing capability, which is 9,100 pounds, compared to the other Sierra 1500 models’ 13,000.

Included off-roading features are Advanced Multimatic spool-valve dampers, electronic locking front and rear differentials, and extra underbody protection. Terrain mode allows for single-pedal driving in low-speed situations where drivers must carefully maneuver the wheels. It also comes standard with a 2-inch factory-installed lift for extra ground clearance, off-road-tuned Rancho shock absorbers, and 18-inch wheels with Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Mud-Terrain tires.

Which 2022 Ram 1500 is best for off-roading?

The Backcountry Edition combines a bunch of Ram’s popular packages into one off-roading machine. The four-wheel-drive Big Horn model first gains a 4×4 Off-Road Group package. This includes tow hooks, skid plates, a rear locking differential, off-road-tuned shocks, hill descent control, and all-terrain tires.

The same model gets even more cool features, like the Bed Utility Group. This package adds upper adjustable tie-downs, a bed extender, a deployable bed step, in-bed LED lighting and a spray-in bed liner. While none of these helps the truck to perform better while driving off-road, they are all very convenient for those off-road trips. Both of the trucks also come with plenty of exterior and interior visual upgrades when purchased in these editions.

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X cosmetic upgrades

Black 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate parked in front of a house, could it be better than the Ram 1500 off-road?
2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate | GMC

The AT4X comes with bright, polished dual exhaust outlets integrated into the AT4X’s rear bumper design. The exhaust tips fit seamlessly into the rear of the truck to really emphasize the rear design of the vehicle. Around the rest of the truck, there’s a black chrome finished grille insert, fog lamp surrounds, and body-color door handles and bumpers. All of these extras accentuate the rugged, dark design to help the AT4X stand out from other Sierra 1500 models.

Unique interior designs include Jet Black with Kalahari colors exclusively, and embroidered AT4X accents. Premium front and rear floor liners with removable carpet inserts help keep the interior dry. AT4X badging is stitched into the front head restraints. On the doors and side panels, dark-finish technical aluminum detail can be seen throughout.

2022 Ram 1500 Backcountry Edition cosmetic upgrades

Silver 2022 Ram 1500 driving by a forest, will the new Backcountry Edition be good for off-road driving?
2022 Ram 1500 | Ram

The Backcountry Edition comes with a body-colored grille, 18-inch black-painted wheels, black badges, black headlight bezels, black mirror caps, and black exhaust tips. Yes, it does seem like everything is black on this variant of the Ram 1500. Running boards and a tonneau cover round out the exterior upgrades that come standard on the Backcountry Edition.

For the interior, the bucket seats are, you guessed it, black. It also has a 7.0-inch infotainment screen, Backcountry badging on the instrument panel, and it comes with Mopar all-weather mats. There aren’t quite as many logos and badging in the Backcountry as the AT4X, so if minimalizing the interior look is important to you, the Backcountry might be the better choice.

Engines and pricing

The GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X can come with either the 3.0-liter Duramax TurboDiesel I6 or the 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8. Both are powerful enough for just about any terrain or incline, and it really depends on whether or not you want a diesel. The 2022 Ram 1500 Backcountry Edition can come with either the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 or the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with Ram’s eTorque mild hybrid system. The latter, obviously, being the most fuel-efficient of the bunch.

The Sierra 1500 AT4X starts at $54,700 but can quickly rise up much higher as you add additional features. We expect the AT4 CarbonPro Edition to be popular, as it gives an excellent value on two optional packages. That’ll cost an extra $1,085, but adds the AT4 Preferred package and Driver Alert I package.

The Ram 1500 Backcountry Edition starts at $41,780, which is less expensive than adding all the included packages onto the Big Horn or another version. It’s also substantially less expensive than the AT4X and includes very similar features. The Ram might not be as well-equipped with technology, but as far as off-road capability and power go, it’s clearly a much more affordable option.

Which one is better for off-road driving?

Maroon 2022 Ram 1500 driving by a field, is the new Backcountry Edition better than the GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X?
2022 Ram 1500 | Ram

Both of these trucks have plenty of the same features as one another. At first glance, most would immediately prefer the, according to MotorTrend, significantly cheaper Ram 1500 Backcountry Edition. If your main goal is a daily driver that can also travel off-road well, we agree and would recommend the cheaper option. However, with added ground clearance, more interior technology, and a newly refreshed design, the Sierra 1500 AT4X is a great option.

The extra cost can get to be a bit much, but the less expensive AT4X models are actually the best value. After all, people don’t even end up using all that extra technology most of the time anyway. If your main goal is off-road driving, we would go with the Ram 1500. Since it has been one of the best models in its class in recent years, the reputation will continue to hold itself up with its off-road model. The Sierra 1500 AT4X is a good option, but the more expensive price point makes it difficult to recommend.

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