2021 Chevrolet Silverado: High Brow, High Functioning High Country Indeed

Strong points
  • Super-versatile tailgate
  • Exterior look
  • Fuel efficiency
Weak points
  • Newer model is about to drop
  • Pickup driving can be hard in the city
  • Still costs $$$ to fill up the whole tank
Full report

Ah, yes. Another pickup truck. Don’t worry though, this time we got behind the wheel of one of the staples of the pickup world: The Chevrolet Silverado 1500. On top of that, it was the Duramax diesel version, which makes it an even more viable pickup when it comes to performance and functionality.

Now, it’s important to point out that there is a mid-cycle refresh of the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado arriving soon, and this review is regarding the older version. But that’s OK, since the newer version is largely the same, save for some interior upgrades (like a larger screen!) and a few exterior differences.

So, what makes this pickup one of the top contenders on the market? Let’s find out.

Photo: Miranda Lightstone

Oh, So Practical

I finally admitted it: I really like pickups, and I like them because of their practicality. Honestly, just like minivans, pickup trucks are just so bloody useful. From daily drives to camping to picking up large items at the store to anything really; pickups are there for you. Sure they are heavy on gas (most of the time) and can be a bit cumbersome to drive in the city, but they are also hugely useful.

One of the most useful features on the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country, and what makes it well worth the $70k-ish price tag, is the multifunctional tailgate. Seriously.

As someone who is vertically challenged, I have always had an issue reaching for items in the bed of the truck. As soon as the tailgate is down, that adds an extra 12” plus that I have to stretch forward to clear in order to reach whatever is in the bed. Well, Chevy has my short-statured back.

In this latest edition, the tailgate can be transformed multiple ways that includes a section that drops away meaning I can get myself right up to the edge of the bed, essentially standing inside the tailgate to get to the goods.


It can also transform further into a step, and with the tailgate up, the interior section can be folded down to form a table or hard surface for work items, etc.

Honestly, I’m shocked it took everyone so long to come up with such an ingenious idea. So practical.

Photo: Miranda Lightstone

Oh, so Fuel-Efficient

Multi-function tailgates aside, we were also super impressed with the fuel efficiency of the Silverado 1500 Duramax. Of course, the larger tank helped with the total range on one fill, but it was still nice to know the Silverado was capable of covering close to 1,000km on one fill. And by the end of the week, I was averaging 11.7L/100km which is hugely impressive for a pickup truck.

Now, of course, I wasn’t hauling or towing anything with the truck, so it stayed largely empty, which also kept the numbers low. But the 3.0L inline-6 turbo-diesel mill was responsive and efficient. Which, these days, is more than we can hope for. With 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, the Silverado isn’t the most powerful truck around, but it’s up there with the best of them and capable of doing what trucks are meant to do on the road. And the transmission is stellar and capable.

Space for People and Cargo

Now, when it comes to cargo, pickups are up there with the best of ‘em… but not necessarily the VERY best (we all know the gold medal rests with minivans on that one but shhhh minivan is a dirty word). However, the Silverado has a great interior in terms of space - and if that isn’t there are great storage pockets inside the backseats that are perfect for tools or delicate items that can’t be bouncing around while you drive.

Cabin space in trucks is sometimes lacking, but the Silverado has some nifty storage spaces hidden in the backseats, and lots of little cubby spaces and huge armrest for even more storage.

Photo: Miranda Lightstone

Trucking Along

Over the years, the Big Three (Ford/GM/RAM) have absolutely dominated the trucking segment, and with good reason. There’s something about an American-made pickup truck that’s unlike any other truck on the road. The others try, but few can match the performance, practicality and overall build of an American truck.

Now, Chevrolet is not the front-runner, no, that remains with Ford, however, the Silverado is a solid choice for a pickup, especially with the latest upgrades in interior design and that absolutely revolutionary tailgate design.

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