Review: 2024 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 vs GMC Sierra AT4X

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the GMC Sierra 1500 are nearly identical trucks. The major differences between a Chevrolet and a GMC truck lie mostly in their looks and interiors. GMC is, by branding, more upscale.

At a Glance

  • Packaging is key with these trucks
  • Not all mpg is the same
  • Tire size differences
  • Truck capabilities matter
  • Feel and appeal isn’t the same

I drove the 2024 Silverado in its ZR2 off-road package with the 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine and 10-speed transmission. I then drove the 2024 Sierra in its AT4X off-road package with the same 3.0-liter diesel and 10-speed trans. The two trucks were about as perfectly matched as any apples-to-apples comparison maker could hope for.
Package-wise, the greatest difference between the Chevrolet and the GMC was in the options. The GMC had the American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) upgrades and a US$495 paint upgrade, totaling over $7,000 in add-ons. The Chevrolet had options added that were standard on the GMC, including a rear camera mirror, head-up display, adaptive cruise control, and other upgrades. These totaled $3,600 and change in add-ons for the Silverado.

This put the Silverado’s final price tag at $75,405 after delivery, while the Sierra had a final price of $88,585. But if we subtract the options added and make the two more equal, the price of the Sierra dropped to $81,195 after destination charges. The price differential is steep in that more closely matched window sticker, but the GMC includes full grain leather (versus the Chevy’s leatherette), heated rear outboard seating, a stamped steel front bumper, and GMC’s proprietary trailering app.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2
The ZR2 package for the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 replaces the front bumper with a steel one with a skid plate to accommodate the larger tires and off-road focus of the model

Aaron Turpen / New Atlas

The added weight of the GMC’s options packaging meant it received lower mpg returns per the EPA. It was rated at 19 mpg (12.4 l/100km) in the city and 20 mpg (11.7 l/100km) on the highway – the Chevrolet was rated at 20 and 22 (11.7 and 10.7 l/100km), respectively. In highway testing, with only a driver and no load or trailer, the Chevrolet readily achieved a 23.5-mpg (10-l/100km) average and the GMC a 22.7-mpg (10.3-l/100km) average. Under a loaded trailer of roughly 6,200 lb (2,800 kg), they both saw almost identical low-teens results of 12.2 (19.2 l/100km) for the Chevy and 12.4 mpg (18.9 l/100km) for the GMC. There was less cross wind when towing with the GMC, which likely explains its higher result.

In terms of off-road equipment, the Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 and the GMC Sierra AT4X have the same setup. The only tangible difference being the Silverado’s larger 275/70 all-terrains (AT) versus the 275/65 ATs on the GMC. The 2024 model year changed the GMC’s front bumper to the AEV by default with the AT4X package, eliminating another big difference between earlier renditions of these trucks.

Mechanically, the Silverado and Sierra have the same lift, the same transfer case, the same locking differentials (front and rear), the same skid plate placement, etc. The Chevrolet has a more “I’m a truck, let’s hit it!” persona thanks to its bolder body styling and more aggressive design. When off-road, the GMC is a little more refined in its feel, absorbing more bounce and returning a smoother highway ride getting home. These things are such subjective differences that it’s difficult to call one better than the other.

Both the 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 have this trick tailgate as an option
Both the 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 have this trick tailgate as an option

Aaron Turpen / New Atlas

Comparing these two trucks to competitors like the Ford Raptor or the Ram TRX is borderline ridiculous. The Raptor is a far more capable off-roader, by design, and has a chunkier price tag when similarly equipped. The TRX is a beast all its own and a testament to the way Dodge engineers seem to see every problem as solvable, if only there were more horsepower to throw at it. Neither of those beastly trucks can tow or haul as well as the Chevrolet and GMC can, because all of that added off-road gear, engine weight, suspension lift, etc. adds up.

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with the ZR2 off-road package has a towing capacity of 9,000 lb (4,080 kg) . The GMC Sierra 1500 with the AT4X package has a towing capacity of 8,800 lb (3,990 kg).

The Silverado ZR2 and Sierra AT4X are still usable trucks. The added gear for going off pavement is about equal to what nearly every person who “off-roads” actually needs without resorting to a specialty rig.

The greatest difference between these two General Motors pickups is that the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 is a more rough-and-tumble-feeling truck with a bit more attitude. The 2024 GMC Sierra AT4X is a more refined, stately vehicle by comparison. Neither is more or less capable than the other. Most of their differences are in styling and interior posh. If serious off-road is your plan, though, these are more like starter rigs than hardcore bouncers, climbers, or jumpers. For that, you’ll need to give up doing some truck stuff.

Product Pages: 2024 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2, 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X

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