“We’re in Montana at 8,200 feet above sea level and climbing on the GMC AT4X-pedition… Let’s go for a trail packed First Drive! Don’t look down… I looked down… won’t do that again.”

When GMC sends an invitation to come out to Bozeman, Montana to drive some of their most off-road capable vehicles, you pack your stuff and say see you there! All the better, these vehicles have all the upgrades from AEV, American Expedition Vehicles. So let’s hit the trails and see what these trucks can do!

First up, we have the 2024 Canyon AT4X AEV Edition. This Canyon is still powered by the same 2.7-liter turbo 4 cylinder, making 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft. of torque, seen throughout the Canyon lineup, mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Now for the fun stuff, AEV steps in to give the Canyon even more off-road goodies inside and out. However, you’ll notice more on the outside.

The first thing you’ll find is the beefy set of wheels and tires. Accompanied by a 4.5 inch factory installed lift, these 35 inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory all-terrain tires mounted on AEV bead lock capable Salta wheels provides the aggressive stance that is not only appealing to the eye, but gives an off-road aficionado maximum traction and best in class ground clearance of 12.2 inches.

During my time behind the wheel, I was able to compare a standard AT4X to an AEV AT4X Canyon, and I mainly felt a difference in control and approach angle thanks to that extra inch and a half of ground clearance.

This was hands down one of the most intense off-road experience I have ever had. GMC had me thinking we were going through some mild terrain, what they didn’t tell me was we were climbing the narrow South Meadow Creek Trail up to South Meadow Creek Lake. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, it snowed… Needless to say, I broke a sweat a few times.

“So here in Montana, we have some pretty rocky trails that we are tackling in the Canyon AT4X. The AT4X was already a really capable truck as is, and now with all this additional equipment from AEV, I am essentially still a novice when it comes to off-road experience and this truck is making me look like a seasoned pro.”

Tying this off-road package all together is an updated front fascia with wider fender flares, paired with AEV stamped front and rear bumpers with heavy duty recovery points. There are five hot stamped boron steel skid plates along the transmission and transfer case, radiator, steering gear, fuel tank, and rear differential. No need to worry about bottoming out there. And it’s hard to miss the in-bed vertical spare tire mount.

Now, let’s take a look at this behemoth, the 2024 GMC Sierra HD AT4X AEV Edition. Being behind the wheel of this truck is probably the closest feeling of having a street legal M1 Abrams Tank. What a brute!

Our tester was powered by the optional 6.6 liter Duramax diesel engine paired with an Allison 10-speed transmission.

The trails we tackled in the HD were not as intense as the Canyon’s journey, but the Sierra managed to show its capabilities and then some, making a 30-plus degree decline look like a cake walk. And yes, I was still sweating.

The Sierra AT4X adds some beneficial features such as a factory installed 1.5 inch lift and Multimatic DSSV dampers. A rear e-locking rear differential and a new off-road will aid in getting out of any sort of sticky situation.

The AEV treatment here is similar to that on the Canyon. 18 inch AEV Salta wheels on 35 inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory tires make for great off-road shoes. There are two less skid plates here, making for three, on the front, the transfer case, and steering gear. The heavy duty front and rear steel bumpers remain, this time with front winch capability.

Pricing for the AEV package for these trucks varies on the model, but the Sierra HD AT4X AEV Edition is arriving at dealerships now. While Canyon AT4X AEV Editions are just now scheduled for production.

We hope to get our hands on another one of GMC’s hard hitting off-roaders again soon, and can’t wait to see what else they have in store. So keep your eyes, and differentials locked, right here, on MotorWeek!