GMC recently bolstered their off-road AT4 lineup with beefier AT4X models. And, as impressed as we were testing with the first ever Canyon AT4X, GMC is now taking things a giant step farther with a little extra help from American Expedition Vehicles.

This partnership has resulted in not one, but an entire lineup of ever more trail-hungry pickups; and we were invited to Bozeman, Montana to try them out, starting with the midsize Canyon AT4X AEV Edition.

AEV clearly went all in here. A factory-installed 4.5-inch lift accommodates 35-inch Goodyear mud-terrain tires wrapping beadlock-capable AEV Salta wheels. Ground clearance is 12.2-inches, a healthy increase from the AT4X’s 10.7-inches.

The AEV also wears an updated front fascia with wider fender flares and steel bumpers. Underneath, there’s five boron steel skid plates; and in the bed, a vertical spare tire mount.

Under the hood it’s more beef with the updated Canyon’s new high-output 2.7-liter turbo-4, making 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque sent through an 8-speed automatic.

While skill is always a factor when off-roading, these AEV additions take some of the edge off.

STEVEN TRUANT: “So here in Montana, we have some pretty serious off-road trails that we’re tackling in the Canyon AT4X AEV. And the AT4X was already a very capable truck enough as is, and now with all this AEV equipment that’s added on… I essentially am still a novice still when it comes to off-road experience, and this thing is making me look like a seasoned pro out here.”

And with our off-road chops proven worthy, GMC put us into one of their full-size pickups getting the AEV treatment, specifically a Sierra 2500 HD.

This off-road beast is powered by the optional 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel with 470 horsepower and 975 lb-ft of torque. A factory-installed 1.5-inch lift is all that’s needed to fit the 35-inch all-terrains on those 18-inch Salta wheels. The AEV steel bumpers remain, though now just three skid plates are mounted below.
The AT4X’s included Mutimatic DSSV dampers and an e-locking rear-diff, combined with the torquey engine and AEV’s enhancements, took the problem-solving out of getting around most obstacles. That is to say… just go over it.

The AEV upfit tacks $6895 onto the Sierra 1500 AT4X’s already lofty $81,195 starting price. While adding $9395 to the Sierra 2500 HD AT4X’s $84,795 sticker. Pricing for the Canyon AT4X AEV is still coming; but assume final pricing will be a bit more attainable considering the 2023 AT4X’s starting price of about $58-grand. Still, you have to pay to play…hard!