Which One Do You Take Off the Beaten Path: Silverado HD ZR2 Bison or Sierra HD AT4X AEV?

My, my, those are a lot of Chevy and GMC letters and numbers, but they are essentially the flip sides of the same heavy-duty off-road-loving coin that General Motors is tossing at the American HD truck establishment.
Silverado HD ZR2 Bison vs Sierra HD AT4X AEV 9 photos
Photo: Chevrolet / GMC
Silverado HD ZR2 Bison vs Sierra HD AT4X AEVSilverado HD ZR2 Bison vs Sierra HD AT4X AEVSilverado HD ZR2 Bison vs Sierra HD AT4X AEVSilverado HD ZR2 Bison vs Sierra HD AT4X AEVSilverado HD ZR2 Bison vs Sierra HD AT4X AEVSilverado HD ZR2 Bison vs Sierra HD AT4X AEVSilverado HD ZR2 Bison vs Sierra HD AT4X AEVSilverado HD ZR2 Bison vs Sierra HD AT4X AEV
When looking at the week's novelties from around the global automotive industry, not much happened during May's first days. Perhaps it was a slow start motivated by the lion's roar of a thoroughly updated 2024 Peugeot 2008 range. The 'claw' signature is even more poignant, the small diameter steering wheel is still there, and the technology has improved even further.

But even more importantly, the French brand is keen on expanding the electrified choice with a new mild hybrid option coming next year and the E-2008 also getting a thorough refresh. Aside from the interior and exterior goodies, there is also a new, more potent 154 horsepower electric motor, a larger 54 kWh battery pack, and a higher estimated range of up to 406 km (252 miles) instead of 345 km (214 miles), according to the WLTP cycle.

Moving to America, the choice of novelties is only marginally more extensive, as many of the week's important news revolves around a couple of reintroductions and two minimal updates. For example, the EV sector welcomes back the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which can be ordered again after switching to LFP batteries, lifting performance for the eAWD configuration, and slashing the MSRPs. Not necessarily in response, Tesla has jumped on board the dynamic pricing hype with new updates for the Model 3 and Y quotations, as well as the re-emergence of the Model 3 Long Range AWD.

Speaking of EVs, Volvo updated the C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge models in the US with more power and increased range figures, while Tesla has started exporting Model 3 and Model Y vehicles from Giga Shanghai to Canada! Well, the list of arrivals would be over as the Kia Carnival also entered the 2024 model year with minor changes if not for a significant introduction that dropped early during the week – the GMC bid to take heavy-duty trucks further off-road with the brand's all-new, first-ever Sierra HD AT4X and Sierra HD AT4X AEV Edition.

Silverado HD ZR2 Bison vs Sierra HD AT4X AEV
Photo: GMC / Chevrolet
But do not judge them by their complicated nameplates – it would be much better to appraise them against their siblings, the first-ever Chevy Silverado HD ZR2 and Silverado HD ZR2 Bison, with the latter and the Sierra HD AT4X AEV Edition, both made in collaboration with American Expedition Vehicles. Naturally, all four HDs follow in the footsteps of their respective light-duty Silverado and Sierra counterparts.

But they also turn into veritable off-road-focused flagship heavy-duty trucks via many tricks and treats, including Multimatic DSSV dampers, a factory lift of 1.5 inches (38 mm) both front and rear, plus 35-inch Goodyear Territory tires, and a new Off-Road Mode. While the "race-proven off-road technologies" might signal these trucks are one trick ponies, the truth is that Chevrolet and GMC did not neglect the usual HD truck features and still seek to "accomplish the toughest work with smart trailering tech and formidable powertrains."

So, without sacrificing on-road comfort or heavy-duty truck capability, the Silverado HD ZR2 has a maximum payload of 3,397 lbs. (1,541 kg) with the 401-hp V8 gas engine and a top trailering rating of 18.500 lbs. (8,391 kg) for the 470-hp Duramax diesel mill. Meanwhile, the GMC versions seek to offer the most trailering technology in their class, including the optional industry-first Transparent Trailer View4 for gooseneck and fifth wheel trailering, the Trailer Side Blind Zone Alert, the new Adaptive Cruise Control with Trailering, up to 14 camera views, and also the ProGrade Trailering System.

Both Chevy and GMC use the same powertrains – the standard 6.6-liter gasoline engine with 401 hp and 464 lb-ft or 629 Nm and the enhanced for 2024MY 6.6-liter Duramax with up to 470 hp and 975 lb-ft (1,322 Nm) coupled to a ten-speed Allison automatic transmission. Curiously, the Chevrolet models do have a slight advantage in terms of maximum payload and trailering capabilities, with up to 3,397 lbs. (1,541 kg) and 18,500 lbs. (8,391 kg), respectively, as opposed to GMC's top figures of 3,291 lbs. (1,493 kg) and 18,500 lbs. (8,391 kg), respectively. But is that enough to separate them?

Probably not, which is maybe why this comparison will concede the choice could be highly subjective. After all, they have the same powertrains, almost the same HD capabilities, the off-road-focused features, but not the same design inside and out. It would have been easier if one of them was cheaper than the other, but the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado HD ZR2 and ZR2 Bison are starting production later this summer. Together with the 2024 GMC Sierra HD AT4X and AT4X AEV Edition, they are scheduled to arrive at dealerships sometime during the third quarter of the year, complete with pricing details that "will be announced closer to the start of production." So, which one would you take home out of the four?
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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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