Luxury-oriented, Western-themed full-size pickups have proven to be a highly popular - and highly profitable -- niche in the U.S. market, as witnessed by entries like the Ford F-150 King Ranch, Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn and the recently announced 2014 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition. This fall, that group will be joined by a new player: the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country. Positioned atop the LTZ and Z71 variants of Chevy's fully redesigned Silverado lineup that goes on sale this summer, this premium, crew cab-only model will offer unique cosmetics as well as extensive comfort/convenience touches.

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Key exterior changes that distinguish the High Country from its Silverado siblings include a unique chrome grille with horizontal chrome bars, halogen projector-beam headlamps, body-color front/rear bumpers and unique 20-inch chrome wheels wrapped in 275/55 all-season tires as well as a bounty of supplemental brightwork bits. The richly appointed cabin of this primo newcomer is done in an exclusive saddle brown motif and features heated/cooled front bucket seats wrapped in perforated premium leather that also feature a High Country logo embossed in their headrests. Other standards include a Bose premium audio package, Chevrolet MyLink connectivity with an 8.0-inch touch screen, and front/rear park assist.

Whether in rear-drive or 4-wheel-drive form, standard engine in the Silverado High Country will be GM's new 355-horsepower 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8, while its larger and more potent but yet-to-be-rated 6.2-liter sibling will be optional. Both feature efficiency-enhancing direct fuel injection, continuously variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation systems, and are backed by a 6-speed automatic transmission.

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Given its placement in the hierarchy and a projected starting price expected to be in the $40,000-$45,000 range, remaining extras for the 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 High Country are fairly limited. Buyers will be able to choose a 5-foot, 8-inch or 6-foot, 6-inch bed and add a chrome rear bumper with CornerStep, integrated trailer brake controller, a power sunroof, navigation and a rear-seat entertainment system. The option roster also includes a High Country Premium Package that brings a heated steering wheel, driver alert package, power-adjustable pedal set and the trailer brake controller.

While GMC has yet to officially confirm any details about its own upline alternate take to the Silverado High Country, don't be surprised to see a similarly enhanced Denali version of its new 2014 Sierra 1500 pickup, also arriving in showrooms later this year.

You Should Also Know...

Ford has created a new Raptor Special Edition for 2014

The 2014 Ram 1500 pickup will offer a turbodiesel option

Great choices abound in the 2013-2014 mid-size sedan category



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