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Thursday, October 6, 2022

Driving report: Chevrolet Silverado High Country: luxury for the rough

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Anyone looking for the perfect car for turbulent everyday life in the USA often looks at the mighty full-size pick-ups. One of the best-selling models has been the Chevrolet Silverado for decades. There is also a particularly elegant High Country version – an S-Class for the rough stuff, so to speak, with a star-spangled banner on the hood.

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The Chevrolet Silverado is an absolute bestseller. The General Motors offshoot has not been able to avoid the overpowering competitor Ford F-150 for decades. Not only the workhorses and entry-level models with the 2.7-liter turbocharged six-cylinder or the particularly economical diesel versions are popular. Anyone looking for the right Silverado for their own use often dreams of the High Country top model. With its 5.3 liter eight-cylinder naturally aspirated engine, the Chevrolet Silverado High Country is the perfect symbiosis of off-road vehicle, workhorse and luxury model.

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The price list for the Chevrolet Silverado is as broad as the range of customers. The 2.7-liter V6 basic petrol engine currently starts at around 36,000 US dollars. The 5.89 meter long High Country is almost twice as expensive at more than 65,000 US dollars and is only surpassed by the off-road athlete, the Silverado ZR2 with a base price of more than 70,000 dollars. A 5.3 liter eight-cylinder engine, which in its small version delivers 265 kW / 355 hp and a maximum torque of 518 Nm, ensures the High Country’s befitting drive. No grandiose performance data for eight combustion chambers with the corresponding volume, but the third-generation Ecotec engine is on the road without supercharging and primarily focuses on smooth running, torque and sovereign propulsion. If you want more, you can switch to the 6.2-liter eight-cylinder with 420 hp. But the US colossus with the open loading area is always sufficiently motorized as a 5.3-liter V8. The engine power is transmitted to both axles via a modern ten-speed automatic transmission. Special drive programs ensure perfect propulsion off-road or with a trailer carrying a load, boat or accommodation. The driver can manually intervene in the gear selection at any time using the shift paddles on the steering wheel; for example, if it should go downhill sharply.

Anyone who thinks that such a lavishly dimensioned pick-up cannot be fun to drive is very wrong. On the extremely comfortable high seat – elegantly leather-covered, fully air-conditioned and adjustable in many ways – you have a perfect view of the road and what is happening around the luxurious commercial vehicle of American design. And if the normal view is not enough or you do not want to read any information on the head-up display or the two large digital displays behind the steering wheel or in the middle of the dashboard, then you still have the cameras all around. In narrow traffic or buildings, only the digital rear-view mirror, which Chevrolet now optionally installs in all of its vehicles, helps, but also the camera images on the central 13.4-inch screen above the remaining switch bar. In general, General Motors, and especially Chevrolet with its Silverado, takes a different approach than many of its competitors. There are direct switches for the most important functions so that you don’t have to switch to the touchscreen or even deeper operating menus. Unquestionably old school, but just as simple form follows function.

The space inside is more than ample thanks to the 3.74 meter long wheelbase. The electric leather seats are wide, as is the interior, and practical shelves and compartments seem to be hidden everywhere. The center console with cup holders, gear selector lever, armrest and charging station for your own smartphone is so wide that you could almost fit a child seat on it. The space available in the rear is hardly smaller and if necessary, luggage, people or goods of any kind can also be accommodated on the loading area, which is available in two lengths. A pickup like the Chevrolet Silverado is one for all occasions and circumstances. Many use it not only for the trip to the office or for dinner, to the weekend house in the mountains or for the sheer endless leisure activities. Here many will learn to appreciate the level of comfort of the optional adaptive chassis and quickly become friends with the successful package of drive, brakes, steering and variable damper tuning. Only with Querfugen it shakes the occupants powerful.

The Silverado High Country certainly lives up to its name and is also a strong performer off-road – especially if you equip it with the optional off-road package, which includes skid plates, auxiliary lights and hill descent control, among other things. Various axle ratios can also be selected, which affect the towing capacity of the luxury pack donkey, which is a maximum of 5.1 tons. In particular, the electric Multiflex tailgate, extendable running boards or the protective cover for the loading area are practical, which push the price of the fully equipped Chevrolet Silverado 5.3 V8 High Country to the 75,000 dollar limit.

Source: Stern

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