Sunday, May 22, 2022

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Cars in the City

Chevy Silverado


Chevrolet High Country Silverado 2021; 16 city/21 highway mpg. Base price: $57,300; test model driven (with deluxe package) $68,630

The Chevrolet pickup truck debuted more than a century ago, and it was also one of the first vehicles I grew up with on the farm.

My dad owned more than 30 Chevys in his lifetime — most of them pickup trucks. And it only seemed fitting that he took his last breath in a place he loved — his pickup truck.

For nostalgia’s sake, I drove a 2021 Chevrolet High Country Silverado. My dad owned several Silverados, but these versions are beyond compare. Today’s trucks are exceptional, considering they were typically used for hauling heavy loads and towing equipment, leaving little room for passengers.

In the 1970s, pickup trucks improved to include crew and extended cabs. Passengers could ride in the cab and didn’t have to risk their lives bouncing around in the back of a pickup bed as my teen friends and I did.

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The Silverado hits all the safety technology bells and whistles, far beyond farming use, and you don’t have to wear a green seed corn cap to drive a truck.

The rugged half-ton truck can haul up to 13,300 pounds. It has five cameras and provides a 360-degree view of the vehicle by piecing camera images together on one screen. With 12 tie-downs in the cargo bed, you can easily secure loads with tarps and bungee cords. A hitch view, along with hitch guidance, allows you to expertly hook up your trailer. And who doesn’t want to haul stuff? That’s the best part of owning a pickup — helping all your friends move.

Older Chevrolets meant struggling with opening a stubborn tailgate. This 2021 version has a power up-and-down gate. The back of the bumper includes a corner step, for easier entry into the truck bed. The truck cargo bed includes a 120-volt power outlet, which means you can plug in your crockpot full of cheese dip while tailgating at football games. To ensure nobody else discovers your free electricity, toggle the button inside to turn it off.

A rear slider window is opened with a push of a button, as well as the power roof.

While stopped at a stoplight, my seat vibrated. It was telling me that there was a car coming up quickly from behind and that I’d better pay
attention. It also includes a lane change alert that nudges you if you’re too close for comfort. Just once I’d like to drift into another lane to activate the feature, but I’ll trust them on this one.

A Bluetooth wireless-enabled system is displayed on an 8-inch touchscreen and a wireless charging station. The heads up device eerily displays your speed, projecting into thin air.

Chevrolet has certainly perfected its pickup truck. It was Iowa’s top-selling truck and ranked as America’s second-best selling vehicle by Edmunds in 2020.

Dad would have marveled at all the changes in his beloved Chevy pickup truck. Even without the green seed corn hat. ♦

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