Modern Pickups take a Swiss Army Knife Approach to Daily Driving
If you look around any Walmart parking lot it’s easy to forget that pickup trucks used to be just that, trucks. A bench seat, single cab, and a suspension designed haul and tow was all you got with a basic pickup. Now, trucks are designed with a Swiss Army knife approach to daily duty. They have more doors, to carry car seats and do school runs. They have nicer interiors to carter to the urban cowboys and suburb civilians. While still delivering the necessary utility and performance needed to get the job done at the nearest construction site. The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 High Country Duramax is a perfect example of this current trend in trucks being used for more than just work horses.
It’s size was what stood out the most when I saw the truck for the first time. The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 High Country Duramax is a tall, big, impressive looking machine. Trucks in Texas can be as big of a status symbol as rolling up in a Bentley in California. The Silverado 2500 High Country applies to the truck owner who wants to add a bit of class to their good ol’ pickup. Chrome 20 inch wheels wrapped in all terrain tires, chrome grille, and hood scoop, add enough bling without coming off as cheesy or over the top. The model tested here was sporting a lovely dark forest green, or Graphite Metallic as GM calls it. You don’t always see green pickup trucks, and it’s pleasing to the eye when you do.
Height is a significant trait with the 2500HD High Country. On the road I was able to sit mirror to mirror with older model trucks with lift kits and off-road tires. I like the subtly the High Country provides as a luxury trim truck. It’s tasteful without having to showoff its status in writing on the tailgate – like other trucks. Step notches in the rear bumper are a welcomed innovation in modern pickups for allowing us to climb onto the bed easier. However, due to the Silverado’s height raising your knee high enough to place a your foot in the notch can feel like hoisting yourself over a saddled horse. If you’re under six feet tall remember to stretch.
The High Country trim package is mostly an interior premium. Inside you are greeted with leather seats, which comes in a tasteful array of colors. The model tested came equipped with Med-Ash Gray colored seats which looks black at first but is actually a rich dark coffee brown that goes very well with its dark green exterior paint. The rear seats came equipped with a blue ray entertainment system to keep passengers occupied in their seats. Upfront you get duel climate controls, heated and vented seats, an 8 inch touch screen infotainment center, and more storage space than remodeled kitchen. A Bose audio system fills the cabin with whatever sound waves make your head bob.
Seating is comfortable and easy to adjust to your ideal position. At first you feel as if you’re towering over the traffic. Rearview cameras, extendable side mirrors, and clear visibility all around keeps you from getting size-anxiety in crowded parking lots or close quarter traffic jams. First truck I’ve driven where I felt more comfortable backing into a space rather than forward. The rear view camera allows you to be surgical with your parking maneuvers.
The model shown came with Chevrolet’s 6.6 liter Duramax V8 Turbo Diesel and Allison 6-speed automatic Transmission. That means close to 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque! Enough power to carry this 7,700 lb truck from 0-60 in under 7.4 seconds. While having enough brawn to tow up to 13,000 pounds worth of trailer with a payload rating of 2,600 pounds.
The Silverado 2500 handling does feel like a cruise ship on calm waters. It is easy to forget how big you are until you need to stop and feel the laws of physics acting upon 3 tons of truck. Even so, the Silverado 2500 can stop from 70-0 in under 200 feet which is good for its size. Steering is smooth and easy, but does feel vague which is typical of larger trucks.
The 2017 Silverado 2500 comes with a 36 gallon fuel tank. One the first day the range read 580 miles to a tank. I used up nearly every mile while averaging 14 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on highway (with light footed driving). If you put your foot down it’s easy for the Silverado to start chugging Diesel like its Spring Break at the beach. This model offered 4×4 with locking differentials and an electronic transfer case.
Turning radius is surprising good for a vehicle of this size. I never needed to perform a 27 point turn getting out of the tight parking spaces in my apartment complex. The ride is not as comfortable as I expected, but that’s because this is a company work truck with a CEO interior. The heavy duty suspension means you’re spine will notice any potholes you drive over. Not enough to complain, just enough to notice.
The bed of the truck is equipped to handle your goose neck or fifth wheel trailer needs. Underneath, the bed has been reinforced with steel plating to secure the goose-neck hitch is secured to the frame of the Silverado. Simply remove the tabs on the bed to hitch up.
There is no doubting the 2017 Silverado 2500 High Country Duramax capability to handle pretty much anything you can throw at it. From school to work, and weekend getaways. But all this utility comes at a cost. Pricing for the 2017 Silverado 2500 starts at $57k, but the High Country and Duramax packages raised the MSRP to $70,875 for the model shown here. The sunroof alone is a $995 option and the rear entertainment system is $1,620. If you don’t think that’s expensive, I admire your level of financial stability.
Spending most of my time with the Silverado in the city I can tell you that it’s not the best option for urban community. It’s a lot of real estate to park and propel through traffic if you’re not used to dealing vehicles this large. If I had anything negative to say about the 2017 Silverado 2500 High Country Duramax is that the price is expensive when you consider what other manufactures offer for that kind of money.
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