The GMC Sierra was redesigned for 2019.
The Toyota Tundra has been largely unchanged since the 2007 model year.
The 2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro and the GMC Sierra AT4 both offer increased off-road capability.
Off-road trims are all the rage these days in the pickup truck world. While the Ford F-150 Raptor stands alone at the top with its high-output engine, revised bodywork and fully-reworked high-performance suspension, a lower tier of off-road full-size trucks exists in the GMC Sierra AT4, the Chevrolet Silverado Trailboss, the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro and the Ram 1500 Rebel. Here we’ll compare two of those offerings, the 2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro and the GMC Sierra AT4, to identify the major differences between these two popular off-road pickups and help determine which one is a better buy.
Mechanicals and Pricing
The AT4 joined the Sierra lineup as part of the truck’s 2019 redesign. Gas engine choices consist of a pair of V8s, either a 5.3-liter V8 putting out 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque or the top-spec 6.2-liter V8, which churns out 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. For 2020, both the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8s found in the AT4 come paired with a 10-speed automatic. With the 5.3, the Environmental Protection Agency rates the AT4 at 16 miles per gallon in the city, 21 mpg on the highway and 18 mpg in combined driving. The AT4 returns 15 mpg city/19 mpg highway/17 mpg combined with the 6.2.
2020 model year AT4s are also available, with the Sierra’s new 3.0-liter diesel putting out 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Diesel-equipped AT4s are EPA-rated at 22 mpg city/26 mpg highway/24 mpg combined.
The Sierra AT4 is offered as either a double cab or a crew cab with the standard-length bed or as a crew cab with a short bed. Pricing for the 2020 Sierra AT4 starts at about $53,000 while a fully-loaded gas-powered example will exceed $72,000. When pricing is formally announced for the AT4 diesel, expect it to carry about a $2,500 premium, similar to the 6.2-liter gas V8. See the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 models for sale near you
The Tundra TRD Pro comes with one engine option, a 5.7-liter V8 putting out 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. Using an old-fashioned 6-speed automatic, the Tundra TRD Pro returns 13 mpg city/17 mpg highway/14 mpg combined, which isn’t competitive by today’s standards.
The Tundra TRD Pro has traditionally only been available as a crew cab with a short bed but an extended cab model with a standard-length bed joins the lineup for 2020. With no available options, an extended cab 2020 Tundra TRD Pro comes in at $50,100 while a crew cab will run you $54,375.
Four-wheel drive comes standard on both vehicles. The Tundra can tow up to 9,200 pounds and offers a max payload capacity of 1,560 pounds. The AT4 is more capable, with a tow rating of 9,800 pounds and a maximum payload of 2,120 pounds. See the 2020 Toyota Tundra models for sale near you
The Sierra is a much newer truck than the Tundra and so offers more in the way of clever features. Novel and helpful items that are available on the Sierra AT4 include the Multi-Pro tailgate, which can be configured in a number of different ways, as well as a head-up display and a surround-view camera. The AT4 can also be bought with the Sierra’s new optional carbon-fiber composite bed that is slightly lighter and resistant to dents, although it’s currently only available as part of a $12,000 package offered on either 6.2 or diesel models. Additionally, GMC offers a variety of packages with the AT4 trim, including a rear camera mirror, a performance air intake system, a surround-view camera system, a trailer camera package, a wireless phone charger, an 8.0-in infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and more. These options are yet another indicator of how the Sierra AT4 and the Sierra product line as a whole covers a broader part of the market than the lower-volume-selling Tundra.
While the Tundra TRD Pro hasn’t been significantly updated in years and doesn’t offer the feature content of the more modern Sierra, it isn’t without a few clever bits of its own. Toyota has rectified one of the Tundra’s biggest issues heading into 2020, giving it a new standard 8.0-in infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa integration. Perhaps the most unique thing about the Tundra is its power retractable rear window that rolls all the way down into the bodywork. It’s the only pickup to offer this functionality.
With the Tundra’s improved infotainment system for 2020, both vehicles offer connectivity features that have become pretty common in the industry today such as an app for interacting with your vehicle from afar and 4G connectivity (with a subscription) that allows you to turn your vehicle into a Wi-Fi hot spot.
While neither of these trucks can touch the Ford F-150 Raptor, both offer upgraded suspensions that will make going off-road a more comfortable affair.
The Sierra AT4 builds off of what is essentially the Sierra’s Off-Road Suspension package, which is marketed as the Z71 package on the Silverado. This gets you standard 4WD, a two-speed transfer case, basic off-road Rancho shock absorbers, an automatically locking rear differential, hill descent control, a heavy-duty air cleaner and a front skid plate. On top of this, the Sierra AT4 gets a 2-in suspension lift, available off-road tires and some revised styling cues like blacked-out trim and red tow hooks. You won’t confuse an AT4 with any other Sierra.
The Tundra TRD Pro comes with off-road oriented Fox-branded shock absorbers, which offer increased travel and piggyback reservoirs. Those will cut down on the performance fade that often happens after heavy use and that’s a more sophisticated setup than what you get with the AT4.
The TRD Pro also comes with an aluminum front skid plate, 18-in BBS wheels, a tuned dual-exhaust system, Rigid Industries-branded fog lights, and TRD badging inside and out. The Tundra comes standard with a limited-slip rear differential while 4WD examples, including the TRD Pro, come with Toyota’s Active Traction Control system. Oddly, no Tundra is offered with a rear locker.
The AT4 offers powertrain options that are both more efficient and more potent than the aging Tundra’s 5.7-liter V8 while also offering superior towing and payload capacity and more modern features like a carbon-fiber bed, an integrated camera system and a head-up display.
That said, especially when optioned with a lot of these extra features, the AT4 also costs as much as $20,000 more than the Tundra TRD Pro. Side-by-side, the Sierra is hands down a better truck than the Tundra based solely on its modernity but, when you factor in price, not to mention the old-school, off-road flair of Toyota trucks, it’s not hard to see the continued appeal of the Tundra in spite of its advancing age.
Our advice would be that if you’re really interested in a Sierra AT4, cross-shop it with a Ram 1500 Rebel before making any commitments to buy, as the Rebel offers a better interior and more sophisticated suspension options. As for the Tundra TRD Pro, its main selling points at this point in its lifecycle are price and the confidence you get from Toyota’s reputation for reliability. Otherwise, the Tundra TRD Pro has fallen behind in the game by a considerable margin. Expect an all-new Tundra to debut in the next year or two. Find a Toyota Tundra for sale or Find a GMC Sierra 1500 for sale