DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: I hope gas is cheap in the High Country, because this here Chevy pickup sure slurps up a lot of it. Premium, too, as recommended by the fuel filler door on our high-line 6.2-liter Silverado crew cab. Even the usually optimistic trip computer rarely registered anything over 14 mpg; while I was the second user to enjoy the Silverado's capabilities on my particular tank of gas (and thus can't vouch for the driving habits of the previous occupant), I was not lead-footing the truck around town, and I also had a solid 40 miles of freeway driving on my 11.61 mpg tank. Ouch, but I guess if you like your trucks big and you're not in the market for a diesel, this is what you've got to expect.
Gas mileage aside, this Silverado is about as good as a half-ton pickup can get. Every convenience from a heated steering wheel to a power moonroof graces the well-thought-out interior, and there's a ton of room in the crew-cab variant, too. The center console is cavernous, while big bucket seats cradle the front occupants, controls at the fingertips. It's a confidence-inspiring ride -- tons of power (all that gasoline has to go toward something, after all), solid, quiet ride and great handling from 0 to 100 mph (tested on the tarmac at Michigan International Speedway, not public roads, mind you).
Yes, it's pricey, but the level of equipment Chevrolet has managed to pack into this high-zoot Silverado turns it into a luxury vehicle that can tow 12,000 pounds. A Mercedes-Benz E-class or BMW 5-series will cost you more and won't haul your boat, so it may be time to recalibrate your sense of value.
ROAD TEST EDITOR JONATHAN WONG: Yes, people do like a touch of luxury. Even pickup truck buyers; and Chevrolet has done its marketplace homework with the 2014 Silverado 1500 High Country. (But come to think of it, the Lincoln Blackwood and MKT aren't around anymore.) Anyway, Chevy calls the High Country its “first premium truck” with exclusive content such as a chrome grille, body-color bumpers, special 20-inch chrome wheels, chrome body side molding, door handles and mirrors. So if you equate a lot of chrome to luxury, then the exterior of the High Country is calling your name. Dressing the interior is saddle brown leather, standard heated and cooled front seats, MyLink with an 8-inch center touchscreen and a Bose sound system. The optional premium package on our tester adds a few other niceties like a heated steering wheel, power adjustable pedals, collision warning and lane departure warning.
The entire package looks nice for a truck and the interior features a level of quality and refinement you don't expect in a pickup. Rolling down the expressway, the cabin is very well isolated from road and wind noise and the seats are comfortable with just the right amount of support in all the right places. All the materials feel nice to the touch, and the basic controls on the center stack are intuitive and easy to work with. Additionally, the touchscreen in this tester was much more responsive than the previous Silverado I was in a couple months ago.
While I didn't do any heavy towing, I did put the bed to good use, filling it up with a bunch of cargo from a warehouse club store. The corner step on the rear bumper was appreciated to easily get in and out of the back as I was loading and unloading stuff. The $60 for the under-rail LED lights are well worth it, too. There was a lot of driving around on city streets and on the expressway where the Silverado overall was an easy-to-drive vehicle, considering its size.
The engine effortlessly gets this thing down the road unloaded, but the transmission did get hung up a few times between gear changes, resulting in some rough shifts. And there were a few times where on the expressway, certain surfaces caused the truck to jounce a bit.
Those complaints aside, Chevy has done a nice job on the Silverado. So nice that we've crowned it our Best of the Best/Truck for 2014. And it's priced competitively with our High Country's as-tested price of $54,565 being nearly identical to the Ford F-150 Platinum's $54,555 price tag with the big 6.2-liter V8 option.
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country
Base Price: $48,675
As-Tested Price: $54,565
Drivetrain: 6.2-liter V8; 4WD, six-speed automatic
Output: 420 hp @ 5,600 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 4,100 rpm
Curb Weight: 5,429 lb
Fuel Economy (EPA City/Highway/Combined): 14/20/17 mpg
AW Observed Fuel Economy: 14.7 mpg
Options: 6.2-liter EcoTec3 engine ($1,995); High Country premium package including forward collision warning, lane departure warning, safety alert seat, heated steering wheel, power adjustable pedals, integrated trailer brake controller ($1,345); sunroof ($995); navigation radio ($795); bumper assist steps ($700); LED under-rail bed lighting ($60)
Andrew Stoy - Digital editor Andrew Stoy has spent the past 20 years wrenching on and writing about cars. He's worked everywhere from dealer service bays to the headquarters of the world's largest automakers.
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