The full-size pickup market is hot. It has been for many years but, post-Covid with production and availability picking up, manufacturers are slugging it out for their piece of the pie – preferably a larger one.
When GM introduced the latest generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra for 2019, the consensus was that the duo fell short of the mark in one area – interiors. The principal foes -Ram and F150 – had raised the bar when it came to line-topping trim levels.
The growth in the half-ton pickup market had become heavily weighted toward luxury. Trucks with all the latest features, technology and above all, posh surroundings, were in demand.
The then-new GM duo aced all the regular truck attributes, driving dynamics, powertrain choices, towing and carrying numbers. But their interiors simply could not compete. Dated was the common comment, with sub-par materials, an excess of plastic and past-generation appearance and technology.
The Chevrolet development group took note and returned to the drawing board with purpose. The 2022 Silverado is the result – and a resounding success!
The interiors of the LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, ZR2 and LTZ are all new, and boast state-of-the-art technology.
There are also a pair of new models atop the lineup – ZR2 and High Country. The ZR2 is a factory-lifted model aimed at the off-road crowd (review coming soon). It gets the new interior as does the subject of this review – the 2022 Silverado High Country.
As befits a modern range-topping model, design, materials and application in the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado are all state-of-the art.
It starts with a pair of massive new screens. The driver faces a 31-centimetre fully digital information centre. Next to it, rests a 34-cm-wide display for the infotainment system. This horizontal array results in an open and modern feeling.
Premium materials abound from perforated leather on the seats to the real open pore wood trim on the panel in front of the passenger, sides of the centre console and atop each door. The doors themselves house stainless steel speaker grills for the Bose audio system.
The infotainment system supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also serves as a mobile hot spot. In addition to the touchscreen, there are actual physical knobs and buttons to control sound and HVAC.
There are clever storage cubbies throughout, from the top of the instrument panel behind the info screen to the wireless charging pad which is positioned for that purpose rather than a flat surface that gets covered with assorted ‘stuff’. The vast centre console also contains the new electronic shift lever. The surfaces in front and behind that lever are covered in removable rubber pads.
New interior of Chevrolet Silverado a big win
I’ve concentrated on the interior of the new Silverado because that was the one area where it lagged behind the competition. Those days are gone! The new interior is a big win in design, execution, and technology.
The current Silverado is clearly competitive in all others area as well, from the massive rear seat to the driving dynamics and slick multi-purpose tailgate standard on the High Country model.
Under the hood: a surprisingly efficient ‘big’ V8
The High Country also comes with the big 6.2-litre V8. Producing 420-horsepower and 460 lb.ft. of torque, it propels this big truck to 100 km/hr in less than six seconds. Power is plentiful, readily available from idle and silky smooth in delivery thanks to a well-programmed 10-speed automatic transmission. It also allows this truck to tow up to 13,300 pounds.
What is even more impressive is the ability of the big eight to squeeze so much from every drop of fuel. I’ve had a steady stream of pickups and full-sized SUVs of late and this normally-aspirated big V8 matched or beat the new generation of turbocharged V6s in real world fuel mileage over the same 300-km test run.
The smaller turbo engines enjoy an advantage on paper, and in laboratory testing, but, here in Nova Scotia where the roads rarely remain flat for long, the largest-displacement, most powerful naturally aspirated V-8 in the segment is surprisingly efficient!
The 2022 Chevrolet Silverado’s makeover puts in right back in the game.
FACTS & FIGURES – 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4WD Crew Cab 147-in High Country
As tested: $87,013 including freight
Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Premium system with Google built-in, 34-cm colour touchscreen, Bluetooth streaming, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, advanced voice recognition, in-vehicle apps, personalized profiles for infotainment and vehicle settings (STD)
Automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, rear cross-traffic braking, front and rear park assist, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, forward collision alert, rear pedestrian alert
Heated and ventilated power 10-way front seats with perforated leather, memory preset for driver seat and mirrors, heated second row seats, heated power tilt & telescope steering wheel, power windows and locks, remote start, keyless open and close, cruise control, wireless charging for smart phones, 120-volt outlets in instrument panel and cargo box, six USB ports, dual-zone automatic climate control, surround view cameras, bed view camera, provision for trailer camera, hitch guidance with hitch view
Power retractable assist steps, $1,380; Iridescent Pearl Tri-coat paint, $1,195; block heater, $195; 6.2-litre V8, $3,135; High Country Premium package, $2,265; High Country Premium Package (power sunroof, 22-in painted aluminum wheels ), multi-flex tailgate, $525; wheel locks, $80; hard folding tonneau cover, $1,365; adaptive ride control suspension package, $1,080
6.2 litre V8, 420-horsepower, 460 lb.ft. of torque. 10-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel-drive with two-speed transfer case, NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway):15/11.9
Length, 5,890-mm; wheelbase, 3,745-mm; width, 2,063-mm; weight, 2,533-kg