Highlights: A hybrid system and the rear half doors are no longer available on the 2014 Chevy Silverados. Conversely, a new high-end pickup truck has been added, the High Country to go after Ford’s F-150 Platinum edition. The High Country is only available on the 1500 series as a Crew Cab.
Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $52,080 (base non High Country starts at $24,585)
Seating Capacity: 5 or 6 (depending upon seat configuration)
Standard Safety Features: airbags (front, front side-impact, head-curtain and rear); OnStar 6-month subscription-based service; Daytime Running Lights; a tire pressure monitoring system, a cargo area light; ABS; stability control; a locking tailgate; front and rear park assist sensors; a built-in side step bumper and a hill start assist system, which keeps the vehicle from rolling backwards on an incline
Standard Equipment (Work Truck): 17-inch tires; a 6-speed automatic transmission; 150 amp alternator; an external engine oil cooler; a manual tilt steering wheel; a single zone air conditioner; cruise control; power door locks; vinyl seats; tailgate and bed protection caps
Standard Equipment (High Country): 20-inch chrome wheels; an 8-inch screen for the MyLink intuitive smart-like system; a chrome grille; chrome bodyside moldings, door handles and mirrors; heated and ventilated front bucket seats; power (front) premium leather seats with a 2-position memory for the driver; dual zone a/c; a leather steering wheel with audio controls; a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel; a rear seat center armrest with cupholders; power folding chrome mirrors; a power rear sliding rear window with a defroster; a polished exhaust tip; cargo tie downs for the bed of the truck; automatic headlights; keyless remote doors; and folding split rear seats
Front- independent coil-over-shock; twin tube shock absorbers
Rear- solid axle with semi-elliptic
Standard Audio: a 6-speaker AM/FM
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 100,000 miles
Bluetooth Compatibility: Available
USB and iPod Compatibility: Available
4.3-liter, 6-cylinder/285-hp (Work Truck)
5.3-liter, 8-cylinder/355-hp (standard on the High Country)
6.2-liter, 8-cylinder/420-hp (optional engine with our High Country)
Towing Capacity: 9,400 lbs to 9,700 lbs
With a Trailer Package: 11,200 lbs
Maximum Payload: 1,833 to 1,957
Recommended Fuel: Regular
Standard Fuel Mileage:
17-city/22-hwy 4.3-liter (4-wheel drive)
16-city/23-hwy 5.3-liter (4-wheel drive)
14-city/20-hwy 6.2-liter (4-wheel drive)
Tank Size: 26 gallons
Other Non High Country Trim Levels:
Silverado LT and LTZ Double Cab
Silverado LT and LTZ 2500 HD Crew Cab or Regular Cab
Silverado LT and LTZ 3500 HD Regular Cab or Crew Cab
What’s New: The third-generation Silverado is the most advanced pickup truck today available from GM. The 2014 Silverado offers a number of segment exclusives along with three all-new fuel-efficient engines.
Pros: While the exterior styling of the 2014 model isn’t radically different from the 2013 model, it really is a totally new pickup truck both inside and out. Like the previous Silverados, the 2014 model is available in a variety of configurations and at a price point, which starts in the mid-twenties, before incentives. Buyers can opt for a 4×2, a 4×4, a regular cab, a double cab or a crew cab with a short box (or long box bed).
We were fortunate enough to get our hands on Chevy’s so called ‘Cadillac of Trucks,’ the High Country, which is available exclusively as a Crew Cab in a 1500 series. The high-end truck has a starting price in the mid-forties (GMC, their sister brand, offers a similar truck and its priced a little higher due to packaging). While the pricing for this Chevy seems a little steep, the folks at GM realize this price point is not attainable for most of today’s cost conscious truck buyers that is why they offer a variety of price points and trims, which can reach the ‘everyday’ truck buyer.
Now, if pricing isn’t an issue, the High Country is the way to go. It’s great for work or an evening out on the town attending a formal event. And, like all of Chevy’s light duty trucks for the 2014 model year, our High Country was outfitted with a revised steering, suspension and brakes, which improved the overall ride and handling. Surprisingly, the High Country we reviewed actually rode smoother than the truck-like ride we experienced after spending a week behind the 2014 Lexus GX460, which is the brand’s luxury-oriented SUV.
Inside the redesign cabin, we found ample storage and concealed compartments. Our Silverado was equipped with double glove compartments, a center in-floor front-seat console that can easily house a laptop (or an iPad) and multiple power and USB connections to rejuice ones gadgets. Yes, this pickup is truly a mobile office. The Silverado even had an option to add an under seat cargo tray, too.
In addition to the high grade stitching of the interior we found in our High Country one would expect in a Mercedes-Benz or Audi, our vehicle was also outfitted with the latest optional safety tech features, which greatly reduces the chance of us being involved in an accident. Those features included power adjustable brakes (and gas pedals), a trailer brake controller, a forward collision alert system, a lane departure warning system and the segments first vibrating driver seat.
The vibrating driver’s seat was first introduced with GM Cadillac brand. So, this only makes sense that it’s available on the High Country. When there is any indication the vehicle is veering outside of its lane, the left or ride side of the driver’s seat vibrates, when appropriate. While the system was annoying, it did keep us on top of our game. And yes, the system can be engaged or disengaged at the touch of a button.
Moreover, this is the first time GM’s fullsize light duty trucks incorporates the automaker’s intuitive smart-like phone infotainment system known as MyLink. Everything from the 7-speaker AM/FM/HD/CD/XM Bose audio system to the ventilation system can be controlled by literally tapping the 8-inch screen was a part of the packaging on our High Country.
Our truck was also equipped with the following features: a rear camera, power folding mirrors, heated and ventilated front seats, a two-position programmable driver’s memory seat; leather seats; a heavy duty 720 amp cold-cranking battery, a power rear sliding window, 20-inch chrome wheels, chrome side steps and an optional heated steering wheel.
The 2014 Chevy also offers an easy lift and lower tailgate application. Thus, this eliminates the usually heavy truck tailgates from being in a free fall zone, when opening and closing.
And, under the hood, Chevy offers two segment leading 8-cylinder engines in terms of fuel efficiency and towing capabilities. Our High County was powered by the optional 6.2-liter, 420-horsepower engine. It’s the best in its class.
Cons: We really only had a few major gripes about our Chevy High Country. Upon opening the hood, we noticed there was no light bulb. Go figure? Is this a cost cutting measure on the part of the engineers?
And, since our vehicle was equipped with the MyLink infotainment system, there wasn’t a built-in navigation system. We had to rely on GM’s signature subscription-based OnStar system for directions to be downloaded to our vehicle. Thus, this means that after the limited paid subscription expires from the automaker, we will be responsible for incurring the monthly cost or we could rely on our own smartphone to access directions.
As a side note, GM offers the navigation system as a standalone feature. In our opinion, the navigation feature coupled with a power sunroof, which our truck was missing, should be standard in the High Country trim, just as it is with Ford’s F-150 Platinum model.
Moreover, Ram offers an 8-speed transmission, while the Chevy only offers a 6-speed transmission. Furthermore, the Ram can is the only light-duty truck in this segment, offering a fuel-efficient diesel, too.
And, just around the corner or literally down the street, Ford is coming out with a mostly aluminum body, the first for a light duty truck. The all-aluminum body, which will arrive in the fourth quarter, will make the vehicle more fuel-efficient. It’s rumored that Chevy will follow the lead with their next major redesign in a few years.
Lastly, why is that the Ram offers an optional electronic blind spot system and the Chevy doesn’t? We don’t understand how this feature was admitted, since it offers almost every feature that is conceivable on a truck these days.
The Verdict: The Chevy Silverado is currently the newest truck in the segment. A new Ford is coming up later this year. With this being the fourth largest vehicle segment in America, Chevy’s competition is significantly discounting their trucks, since in many instances they do not have the latest technology.
So, for buyers looking for a high-end premium truck with the towing capabilities that outmatches the competition, a choice of new fuel-efficient engines, a world-class car-like interior and segment-leading safety features such as a lane departure warning system, a forward collision warning system and a vibrating driver’s alert seat, the competition just can’t match Chevy, especially the High Country.
Yes, the High Country is the perfect vehicle for working in the fields, driving to church in your ‘Sunday Best’ or going out for a night in the city. Conversely, for those being driven strictly by price and not the latest high tech safety features, it a truck buyers playground!
Competition: Dodge Ram 1500 Longhorn Crew Cab; Ford F-150 Platinum Super Crew; GMC Sierra Denalli Crew Cab and Toyota Tundra 1794 CrewMax
About The Reviewer: Jeff Fortson is an Atlanta-based editor and analyst of JeffCars.com, an educational car-buying guide, which aids one in p for women and minorities. Fortson has made several appearances on CNN and NPR dispensing car-buying advice. His car-buying advice has also appeared in The Washington Post, Black Enterprise, Essence and Jet. Follow him @ Twitter/JeffCars.