- Powerful V-8
- New interior
- Super Cruise
- Some questionable exterior styling decisions
- Door-mounted mirrors
- Rough ride
It happened not once but twice, and it’s the only time we recall it ever happening. As if SiriusXM satellite radio knew how to mitigate the uneasiness we felt by the fact our test truck—a 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country pickup—was driving us courtesy of its Super Cruise system, we couldn’t help but sing heartily along to Bob Seger’s “Like a Rock.” If you’re of a certain age, you know this song backed Chevrolet’s epic pickup ad campaign of the 1990s. And in this moment as we drove the Silverado 1500 High Country, it magically and nostalgically bridged the gap between the Silverado of the past and the Silverado of the present. Yes, the Chevy Silverado 1500 has come a long way since its “Like a Rock” days, but it’s still a Chevy truck through and through.
By the Sticker
Here’s a quick rundown of the Monroney label—otherwise known as the window sticker—for the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country 4×4. The High Country is the Silverado lineup’s top trim alongside the off-road-oriented Silverado ZR2. We’ll leave it to you to decide whether you love or hate the idea of a street-oriented luxury Chevy with 22-inch painted aluminum wheels featuring chrome inserts. One opinion is that the wheel’s complexity could render well in an even larger 24-inch (or more) diameter.
Chevrolet delivered the Dark Ash Metallic (a new color for 2022) Silverado High Country to us equipped with a bounty of add-ons: High Country Premium package (power sunroof, all-weather floor liners, 22-inch wheels), Super Cruise, Technology package (rear camera mirror, head-up display, adaptive cruise control, enhanced automatic emergency braking), power-retractable assist steps, adaptive ride control suspension, wheel locks, and Multiflex tailgate.
0-60 MPH: Trailing the Twin-Turbo V-6s, Leading Other V-8s
The 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country is powered by Chevy’s 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V-8 gasoline engine. It’s good for 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, backed by a 10-speed automatic transmission. This is the largest-displacement, most powerful naturally aspirated V-8 in the segment. Bigger doesn’t always mean better, though: While GM continues to smash this stout V-8 under the hood, many of its competitors offer smaller-displacement twin-turbo V-6 variants.
To the point, how does the 5,578-pound Silverado High Country stack up against the new 2022 Toyota Tundra Platinum? The latter is a prime example of a truck that ditched its V-8 in favor of a 3.4-liter twin-turbo six-cylinder that makes 389 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. (There’s also a stronger hybrid version.) According to our previous test numbers, the Tundra—532 pounds heavier (woof) while lacking 31 hp but gaining 19 lb-ft compared to the Chevy—accelerates from 0 to 60 mph a mere 0.1 second slower than the Silverado’s 6.0 seconds. Sure, there are a bunch of additional variables at play here—we didn’t test the two trucks at the same time, and they feature different gearing, transmission tuning, and so on—but the lighter, higher-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 Silverado didn’t run away from the turbo-V-6-powered Tundra.
As for Ford’s EcoBoost V-6? The 2021 Ford F-150 4×4 Lariat FX4 twin-turbo EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6 (400 hp, 500 lb-ft, and 238 pounds lighter than the Silverado) hit 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. The 2021 Ford Raptor (with the high-output 450-hp, 510-lb-ft EcoBoost and 391 pounds heavier) needed 5.6 seconds, followed by the High Country 0.4 second behind. Ultimately, the Silverado’s 6.2-liter V-8 is unsurprisingly better suited for heavy towing up grades than it is for track sprints against turbocharged V-6 trucks. Interestingly, the 6.2-liter Silverado RST—158 pounds lighter than the High Country—put down a 5.5-second 0-60 time, which spanks the High Country by half a second and lands it between the two EcoBoost Fords.
How does the 6.2-liter 2022 Chevrolet Silverado High Country fare against other V-8 trucks in its class? The 2021 Ford F-150 4×4 King Ranch, packing a 400-hp, 410-lb-ft 5.0-liter V-8 and carrying an additional 109 pounds, hit 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. The 2019 Ram 1500 Limited 4X4 eTorque featuring a 395-hp and 410-lb-ft 5.7-liter V-8 Hemi (and 298 pounds heavier) did so in 6.5 seconds. So the 6.2-liter Silverado is no slouch against the other naturally aspirated V-8s in its segment.
Finally, on paper and in certain conditions, GM’s 6.2-liter V-8 certainly outperforms the 355-hp, 383-lb-ft 5.3-liter V-8, another engine option for the High Country, as is a 3.0-liter diesel. For daily trundling, though, it would be hard to discern a 5.3-liter from the 6.2. Worth noting: The 6.2 is available only with four-wheel drive.
Track Attitude: Getting Aggressive in a Luxury Truck
Granted, not many folks will ever drive their 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country like a sports car. But if you overheat its brakes, the truck tells you so via a dashboard message. A 45-mph speed limit kicks in at that point for a short period while the brakes cool down.
As for the High Country’s performance on the MT figure-eight course, which tests handling characteristics, tester Chris Walton was surprised by how sporty the upscale Silverado was in auto four-wheel-drive mode. “The firm brake pedal is quite effective, so long as you stay out of the ABS,” he said. “Do it right, and you can bleed the brakes into the skidpad almost like a sport sedan. The truck doesn’t roll much on the skidpad and stays quite neutral with a mild bit of understeer. The throttle mapping, however, is a bit off. The throttle is sensitive and makes it difficult to maintain a constant speed on the skidpad. Overall, it comes off as quite sporty for a luxury pickup truck.”
(Not) Driving With Super Cruise
One of the big deals about the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 High Country is that it has available Super Cruise, a $2,200 option. Yes, GM’s semi-autonomous hands-free-driving system has trickled down to Chevy trucks. We found some compatible freeways and gave it a try; despite some inherent trust issues, it worked, but we have a few stories.
On one occasion, a car was merging onto the freeway at a substantially slower rate than we were traveling. We could see it was going to merge in front of us, but when it seemed like the truck “missed” seeing the car and did not lift, we took control and initiated braking. It’s likely the Silverado would have seen the other vehicle by the time it was fully in our lane, but it might have left “unsmart” cars behind us braking too hard for comfort.
On another occasion, Super Cruise deemed there was room for a lane change, but traffic in our new lane slowed substantially as the truck made its move. The High Country, still wanting to leave a rather big gap between itself and the car in front, also slowed substantially. We saw the driver behind us needed to unexpectedly brake hard—and our maneuver came across as a “brake check.” Super Cruise was just doing what it computed was best for the situation, but we received an angry middle finger in return.
A Cockpit Worth Talking About
The 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country’s new interior is one of its other big deals. Good news: it’s not offensive anymore. It feels and looks like it belongs in 2022, and it’s competitive with other pickups on the market. It’s natural and contemporary, more horizontally oriented than upright. The 13.4-inch color touchscreen, 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and 15.0-inch head-up display contribute to its modern feel.
Did you notice the shifter on the center console? That’s different for a Chevy truck. It took a split second to figure out how to work it, but we never looked back once we did. Also, the location of the wireless charging pad cubby is perfect and out of the way—and not inherently serving double duty as a crap pad. You know that spot where fast food trash, banana peels, and loose change resides. Don’t worry, Chevy left some removable rubberized pads around three sides of the shifter for miscellaneous things.
In terms of interior colors, our tester was labeled as Jet Black and Nightshift Blue. In true Chevrolet fashion, there’s an uncountable number of available colors—variants of chrome, piano black, blue, gray, tan, brown, silver—in a cornucopia of materials including smooth plastic, textured plastic, open-pore wood, and leather. All in all, the touch points are soft, the seats are comfortable, charge ports are accessible, and it’s all palatable and impressive.
Indeed, this 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country is “like a rock,” but one that’s unrecognizable compared to what it used to be. Consider it a big win for Chevy.
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