Driving the 2022 Chevy Silverado High Country, I can see my past ahead of me and my future in the rearview mirror.
I can also see my present, which is pretty dang sweet right now, as I cruise up U.S. 101 toward the Pacific Coast Highway in a pickup truck that is just as much a luxury vehicle as it is a high performance hauler.
A BIT OF CONTEXT
A couple of times every year, I drive this same road from Los Angeles to Big Sur. It’s a ritual that I use to measure growth and reflect on the passage of time. It sounds rather abstract, I know, but there’s just something about driving this road and seeing the edge of the world that allows my brain to relax and process thoughts in a way that’s not possible in the city.
At the moment, I’m thinking about how this will likely be the very last time my wife and I drive this road alone, as we await the arrival of our first child in the coming weeks. All the road trips we’ve taken up Highway One line the roadside with happy memories, while every glance in the rearview reminds me of the car seat that will be there soon.
For the last decade, we’ve hopped in any number of different rides to make our bi-annual trek to California’s Central Coast, visiting towns like San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Cayucos, Cambria, and San Simeon on our way to Big Sur. This road and these towns are part of our life story, and today, the Chevy Silverado High Country joins our collective memory that includes the most important of occasions, like our wedding and when we moved halfway around the world to settle in California. It’s a pretty high distinction, especially since I just started driving this truck yesterday.
Most people probably don’t think so deeply about their cars. They want a safe vehicle that looks good, and suits many practical facets of life: space, fuel economy, price. These are all fine and important metrics. And, while I’m feeling sentimental today – I can’t resist the emotional and intangible aspects of this driving experience – it’s important to consider the truck itself and examine all the important details that make the Chevy Silverado High Country one of the most impressive trucks on the market today.
TECHNOLOGY & INTERIOR
With its understated and classy dark ash metallic color, jet black / nightshift blue leather interior, and wood grain accents, this is the absolute top of the heap of Chevy’s Silverado line, which also includes other trims like the Z71 and the Trail Boss. In terms of a luxury pickup truck, the High Country is in a league of its own, and I feel reminded of that every time I hop in the driver’s seat and see the 15” multicolor dash display monitor.
These aren’t the only bells and whistles in the Silverado High Country, which also boasts a 13.3” HD touchscreen infotainment screen, essentially the center of operations for any roadtrip. The Bose premium sound system, Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and Apple CarPlay, along with wireless and USB charging station round out the technology features.
Not only is the High Country ideal for big rig enthusiasts, but it’s a proper family road trip vehicle. Driving up the PCH, my hands grip the heated and wrapped steering wheel with ease, utilizing the built-in audio controls, while my wife finds comfort in the spacious passenger cabin, dual zone climate control, and power bucket seats. I can only imagine how much my unborn child will enjoy himself in the backseat, which is much more luxurious and roomy than the bench seat my sister and I shared on our many family road trips to Maine and Ontario.
A TOUGH-YET-SLEEK EXTERIOR
While it’s never fair to judge a book by its cover, just taking one look at the Chevy Silverado High Country is really all you need to realize that it’s an impressive, and quite frankly beautiful, piece of machinery.
The heavy duty grille with Chevy’s classic bowtie logo invokes the rugged power and machismo associated with pickup trucks, and the high-intensity LED reflector headlamps accentuate the nose. LEDs are actually readily available on the High Country, throughout the cargo bed, fog lamps and tail lamps.
Adding a little bit of metal to the exterior, the Silverado High Country also features a dual exhaust with polished tips and 20” machined aluminum wheels with charcoal pockets, which give a tough and classy feel. And then there are my two favorite exterior features: the electric-powered running board and the 120-volt power outlet in cargo. The former is as useful as it is cool, and the latter, well, who knows when I may want to break out my guitar and amp for a spontaneous roadside jam.
Which brings us to the really, really important stuff …
While the 2022 Chevy Silverado High Country shines in the luxury of its interior and strength of its exterior, it’s under the hood where it really excels.
With its massive 6.2-liter V8 engine, the High Country is powerful and mighty on the road, which comes in handy on the many climbs and descents along the Pacific Coast Highway. The 10-speed automatic transmission smoothly and seamlessly changes gears with impeccable responsiveness, aided by 470 horsepower and 420 lb-ft torque.
Such power comes at a price though, which may be the only drawback of the Silverado High Country: it guzzles some serious gas (20 mpg/ highway, 15 mpg/city). However, with rear axle towing capacity (GAWR) of 7,300 lbs., the High Country makes up for its lack of fuel economy with sheer strength and raw power.
Over the course of six days, I logged close to 600 miles behind the wheel of the Chevy Silverado High Country, and it’s the first time I’ve ever tried to extend a test drive.
Sure, I spent more on gas than I ever have, but everyone’s doing that these days, and ultimately, that’s also part of the primer as I prepare for parenthood.
As I live in Los Angeles, the Silverado High Country may not be the best option for city driving, but for anyone who needs large towing capacity, lives in a rural/suburban area, or makes regular long-distance trips, this truck drives like a dream. It’s also the most elevated and sophisticated pickup truck I’ve ever driven, on par with most luxury cars in terms of style.
More Car Reviews and Road Trip Tales From Dan Shapiro
- 2022 Audi A3 Review: A Slick and Stylish Sedan for the City and Beyond
- 2021 Audi SQ5 Sportback Review: The Absolute Smoothest Ride Up Highway One
- 2020 Cadillac XT6 Review: The Ideal Vehicle for a Socially Distant Road Trip
- 2020 Corvette Stingray Coupe Review: The Thrill of a Lifetime on Four Wheels
Dan Shapiro is a writer, editor, musician, and producer currently based in Los Angeles. In addition to covering some of the biggest fights in combat sports history, he’s also hunted down the world’s best sushi, skied the northern hemisphere in July, and chronicled Chinese underground music for publications like CNN, the New York Daily News, VICE, and Time Out. Dan also conjured up a ghost at the Chateau Marmont while out on assignment for RoadTrippers. Follow him on Twitter here.
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