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Business

March 30, 2014

New Chevy High Country drives to the top

If anyone needs convincing that pickup trucks today are more about lifestyle, less about physical labor, look at the Chevrolet Silverado High Country. Setting the starting list price at $48,880 for an all-wheel-drive version, Chevrolet calls the High Country its first “premium truck.”

But that statement is only half true. High Country is certainly a truck. It’s a high-end derivative of the popular Chevy Silverado pickup, one of the top-selling motor vehicles in America. But the word premium doesn’t go far enough to characterize the new model.

Adding up amenities like an eye-appealing, saddle-brown interior with heated and cooled leather seats and bold High Country logos stitched into head rests, like a top-grade Bose audio system, an 8-inch color touch screen and voice control for a basket of entertainment and communication systems, like park-assist aids guarding both front and back, a showy front grille with gleaming chrome border and slats, plus shining chrome side trim, door handles and mirrors, the High Country surpasses mere premium. This is a luxury truck.

“It has all the same features that you can get on a luxury passenger car,” said Kevin Bihl, manager of the business development center and Internet sales manager at Bill DeLuca Chevrolet Buick GMC in Haverhill. “If you take a ride in a Cadillac, and then take a ride in a High Country, they’re comparable.”

Chevrolet started selling the new version at the beginning of the year. The High Country is an addition to the 2014 roster of Silverado 1500 pickup trucks. Standard versions of the 2014 Silverado 1500 arrived earlier in 2013 as fully redesigned, next-generation updates of Chevy’s popular truck.

The company’s creation of a premium-truck version — let’s make that a luxury-truck version — of Silverado underlines the status of pickups today as lifestyle markers rather than rough-neck necessities.

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