What is AT4 and Denali?

White 2021 GMC Yukon AT4 drives up a snowy road

GMC AT4 and Denali Meaning and Differences

If you’ve been shopping for a GMC vehicle, you’ve likely come across the monikers AT4 and Denali. These generally make an appearance in the form of upper-level trims for GMC vehicles. They transcend the bounds of mere trims, however, as can be seen by the prestigious amount of advertising GMC provides for them. So what actually is AT4 and Denali? What sets them apart, and what makes them special?


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AT4 is a trim that emphasizes off-road capabilities, while Denali emphasizes luxury. Both are GMC trim levels that also play the role of being “sub-brands.” The trims have achieved this esteemed position due to their high popularity and recognizability.

AT4 is a more recent addition than Denali. The premium off-road-focused sub-brand has been expanded across the GM lineup for 2020. It’s been implemented in an attempt to replicate the success of the Denali sub-brand.

AT4 originally launched on the redesigned GMC Sierra pickups in late 2018. The AT4 performance package, for its part, will be offered on new models of the GMC Yukon SUVs. AT4 has also been introduced on the GMC Canyon pickup as part of a refresh for the 2021 model year.

Front view of 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4What features are typical for AT4 models?

AT4 models generally feature all-wheel-drive, darker exterior accents, and some additional off-road capabilities and features.

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What features are generally found on Denali models?

Denali-designated models typically include more luxurious features and amenities, along with a lot of chrome. The 2019 Sierra Denali, for example, includes chrome bumpers, chrome fog light surrounds, a chrome grille, chrome fender applique, chrome mirror caps and a chrome window trim. The AT4 trim of that same model, meanwhile, offers all the chrome trim pieces of the Denali in black, with the result being a more menacing look.

What’s more popular: Denali or AT4?

Currently, AT4 models sell less than Denali. Denali has been around for a while and is better known, so it makes sense that it’s the most popular GMC trim. Denali models represented 30% of sales in 2019. They’re still supposed to be the “jewel in the crown” edition of any model they bless with their moniker. Denali models are more premium, richer and bolder than other trims.

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