Critics’ Notebook: 2016 Chevy Silverado High Country Crew Cab 4×4

A GMC Sierra 2500 Denali by any other name.

Michael Frank/TheDrive.com

A $66,425 Silverado High Country may seem like overkill. Really, it’s overkill with a side of filet mignon, Maine lobster and a mound of Sevruga caviar.

Then again, it’s basically a GMC Sierra 2500 Denali. Same 6.6-liter turbodiesel V-8 under the hood, same six-speed automatic gearbox, too. Same lane-departure warning, same heated-and-cooled seats and Apple CarPlay system. GMC marketing folk, sweet as they are, like to say they exist in a unique niche. Chevy dealers must want a piece of that red-badge pie.

Like the Denali, the High Country is one boss piece of muscle. Naturally, I used my time in the truck to do truck-y things: first hauling holiday cardboard and empties to the local landfill for post-process, then some light 4x4ing in the muck. Because when Detroit gives you 765 ft-lbs. of torque, by god you should use it.

Michael Frank/TheDrive.com

What did I learn? On mud, on the highway and, yes, hauling 300 pounds of dreck to the dump, that massive Duramax oil-burner is hardly ever taxed. (Nor should it—any truck rated to tow 14,500 lbs. better be able to breeze through ferrying anything less than clydesdales). Still, note that at 7,552 pounds, this is a very heavy, heavy-duty truck. It’s not exactly a joy to park, or to ply anywhere resembling a country road.

The Chevy Silverado High Country is awesome if you need to tow something, like a sailboat, or a bridge abutment. But if you want a GMC Sierra 2500 Denali, just buy a GMC Sierra 2500 Denali.

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2016 Chevy Silverado High Country Crew Cab 4x4
BASE PRICE: $61,340 ($66,425 as tested)
POWERTAIN: 6.6-liter V-8 turbodiesel; six-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
FUEL ECONOMY: Poor
NEAT TRICKS: See: “765 ft-lbs. of torque” above.