Chevrolet is making a smart business move, and is truly entering the premium pickup market. While the current-generation Silverado's topline model is the LTZ, the next-generation 2014 Silverado will be offered in all-new premium trim: the High Country.
Why, you ask, would Chevrolet make a truck that could steal sales from the GMC Sierra Denali? As GM explains it, the Denali is the pickup that goes up against competitors such as the F-150 and Tundra Platinum; when it comes to rivals for the Ram Laramie Longhorn, F-150 King Ranch, and upcoming Tundra 1794, though, the Denali isn't a perfect fit.
Enter the Silverado High Country.
This becomes the new premium luxury model in the Silverado lineup, but both the LTZ and Z71 trims return for 2014. As Maria Rohrer, Silverado marketing director explains, "High Country will be the top model in the Silverado lineup, with a higher level of premium features and materials with a rich, Western-themed appearance. But at the same time, High Country is 100-percent Chevy truck, with the capability and dependability customers have relied on for more than 95 years."
As you would imagine, the key differentiators here are the quality of materials, the equipment that comes standard, and the styling inside and out. On the outside, the High Country's front end has a body-color bumper, which sits below the truck's unique chrome grille with horizontal chrome bars. There are also halogen projector headlights. The truck rides on 20-inch chrome wheels, unique to the High Country, with 275/55R20 all-season tires. Continuing the chrome theme are the body side moldings, door handles, and mirrors. Like in front, the rear bumper is also body-color.
The interior is saddle brown, and comes equipped with standard features like heated/cooled perforated leather front bucket seats with High Country logos on the headrests, an 8-inch touch screen used to control Chevrolet MyLink, Bose premium audio, and front and rear park assist. Chevrolet also said that the interior would be filled with authentic materials -- presumably, that means if it looks like leather, it is leather.
The truck will come standard with the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V-8, which puts out an SAE-certified 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. GM also anticipates that this engine will provide best-in-class V-8 fuel economy, up to 23 mpg on the highway (2WD). High Country buyers can also opt for the new EcoTec3 6.2-liter V-8 in the High Country. Both engines use direct injection, continuously variable valve timing, and Active Fuel Management. To improve fuel economy, both engines switch to four-cylinder mode during light load driving to save fuel.
There aren't many options with this truck; it already comes with plenty of standard equipment, so there aren't that many boxes left to check. In addition to the option of the 6.2-liter V-8, buyers can add a chrome rear bumper, which includes Chevy's CornerStep bed access solution; an integrated trailer brake controller; sunroof; rear-seat entertainment; and navigation system. While it is surprising that navigation would be an option on a high-end truck like this, it does give buyers the opportunity to use Chevrolet MyLink instead. The other option is the High Country Premium Package, which comes with an integrated trailer brake controller, adjustable pedals, heated steering wheel, and a driver alert package.
The 2014 Silverado High Country goes on sale this fall. Pricing has not yet been announced.