In this guide, we will dive into the Chevrolet Silverado’s year-by-year performance and issues isolating the best years to go for and the worst years to avoid.
As we progress, pay special attention to the notable distinctions between the model years, revealing Silverado’s peaks and troughs in reliability and value.
Let’s start with by listing all Chevrolet Silverado generations.
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Chevrolet Silverado Generations
The Chevrolet Silverado, a mainstay of the American trucking industry, has undergone numerous transformations since its inception. Its journey, commencing from 1999, has seen it evolve through four major generations, each bringing its own advancements and challenges.
Here are the different Chevrolet Silverado generations from 1999 to present:
|1st generation (GMT800)||1999-2006|
|2nd generation (GMT900)||2007-2013|
|3rd generation (GMTK2XX)||2014-2018|
|4th generation (GMTT1XX)||2019-Present|
Listing these generations aids potential buyers and enthusiasts in gaining a clearer perspective. The distinctions between each generation, from design elements to technology integrations, might very well guide one’s purchasing decision.
Chevrolet Silverado Best, Neutral, and Worst Years
In determining the best, neutral, and worst years for the Chevrolet Silverado, we rely on a multitude of factors including but not limited to:
- Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
- Annual maintenance costs
- Safety ratings
- Consumer Reports reliability scores
- Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
- NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
- Edmunds owner ratings
- JD Power owner ratings
- Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
- VehicleHistory owner ratings
- Cars.com owner ratings
Take a look at the forthcoming graph which combines all the ratings from the aforementioned sources:
Further, a table summarizing our categorizations of each model year follows right after.
|Generation||Best Years||Neutral Years||Worst Years|
|1st generation (GMT800)||2004|
|2nd generation (GMT900)||2007|
|3rd generation (GMTK2XX)||2018|
|4th generation (GMTT1XX)||2020|
The “Neutral Years” indicates model years that did not particularly shine in excellence but also did not face the brunt of excessive complaints. They essentially straddle the middle ground between the best and worst years.
It’s vital to note that some factors like the NHTSA recalls influence our ratings negatively. A higher frequency of complaints and recalls directly correspond to reduced vehicle reliability.
Let’s go deeper into the specifics of the best, neutral, and worst years.
Best & Worst Years for Chevrolet Silverado 1st Generation (1999-2006)
The first generation of Chevrolet Silverado made its debut in 1999, setting the stage for Chevrolet’s venture into the new millennium. Characterized by its robust design and reliable engineering, the Silverado quickly gained traction in the truck market.
However, we strongly recommend you be more attentive as this generation has higher number of recalls than any other.
The Best Years: 2004, 2006
During the 1st generation’s timeline, 2004 and 2006 were particularly noteworthy in terms of reliability and innovation. These models brought forward enhanced safety measures, improved fuel efficiency, and subtle technological improvements that contributed to a comfortable driving experience.
Despite some persistent issues, like those seen in the 2003 model, the 2006 model year saw a notable decrease in customer complaints, indicating that Chevrolet was attentive and responsive to consumer feedback.
While the 2004 model continued to face some of the electrical system problems that began in 2003, it was still a standout year due to its resilience on the road and the overall trust consumers placed in its capabilities.
The Neutral Years: 2002, 2003
The 2002 model year continued to experience the lingering service brake issues prominent in its predecessors. Nevertheless, the truck remained a steady performer in the market, securing its place by offering value for its cost.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that the 2002 Silverado 2500HD received J.D. Power’s award in 2005 for the most dependable heavy-duty full-size pickup, which added to the brand’s recognition and solidified its position in the market.
2003 took a slightly different turn when there was a significant rise in reported electrical system issues. Customers mentioned various electrical malfunctions, with instrumental dashboard failures at the forefront.
The Worst Years: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005
The inception of the first-generation Chevrolet Silverado in 1999 unfortunately faced severe problems, especially concerning service brakes. A striking 50% of the 1722 complaints lodged with the NHTSA were about these brake issues.
As the years progressed, these problems persisted, with the 2000 model adding transmission and engine complaints to the list. The 2001 model followed suit but amplified the issues surrounding the engine and power train.
The 2005 model year, despite being close to one of the best years, still faced similar challenges as its 2003 and 2004 counterparts, primarily in the electrical domain.
Such widespread issues across different model years highlighted the need for potential owners to be watchful. As such, for those considering buying a vehicle from this generation, checking the VIN becomes crucial to ensure a recall-free experience.
Best & Worst Years for Chevrolet Silverado 2nd Generation (2007-2013)
The second-generation Chevrolet Silverado, unveiled in 2007, brought forth an amalgamation of dependability and innovation, allowing it to find favor with both critics and consumers alike.
Notably, this generation saw significantly fewer recalls and complaints than others, highlighting the brand’s focus on quality and reliability.
The Best Years: 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013
The 2007 model year was pivotal for the Silverado, marking its redefined focus to be more family-centric than ever before. This model year was the first to receive a “Good” rating from the IIHS in its overlap front crash test.
With a commendable redesign, the 2007 Silverado stood out in performance, safety, and reliability. The higher owner reliability and satisfaction scores on ConsumerReports.com further testify to its accolades.
The 2008 Silverado continued on the triumphs of the previous year, albeit with some challenges. While it experienced a high number of complaints regarding airbags and the electrical system, its merits outweighed the flaws.
GM Corp. recognized the potential issues and proactively announced a recall of 857,000 different vehicles, including the 2007-2008 Silverado, due to the heated wiper washer system that could cause other electrical systems to malfunction.
Building on past lessons, the 2011 Silverado surged forward, emphasizing technological advancements and improved safety features. This model year was known for its robust performance, reliable engine options, and a suite of tech amenities that kept it competitive in the market.
Closing in on the end of this generation, the 2013 Silverado was refined, with improvements in fuel efficiency, cabin quietness, and ride comfort. The overall build quality and the truck’s ability to handle diverse terrains made it a favorite among users.
The Worst Years: 2009, 2010, 2012
While the Silverado, in general, received accolades during its second generation, the 2009 model year experienced its fair share of issues. Though the complaints were fewer compared to the problematic years of the first generation, owners reported concerns with the build quality and some sporadic mechanical problems.
The challenges that started in 2009 trickled down to the 2010 model. While it didn’t have an excessive number of complaints, the ratings were rather subdued compared to other model years.
The 2012 Silverado, though reliable in many aspects, didn’t shine as brightly as some of its counterparts in the second generation. Owners voiced concerns over minor glitches in the electrical systems and occasional transmission issues. However, these problems weren’t as predominant as in the troubled years of other generations.
Best & Worst Years for Chevrolet Silverado 3rd Generation (2014-2018)
The third-generation Chevrolet Silverado, which spanned from 2014 to 2018, sought to maintain its momentum by offering advanced technological features, enhanced safety, and refined aesthetics.
The Best Years: 2017, 2018
The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado stands out due to its strong combination of power, fuel efficiency, and reliability. With awards like Kelley Blue Book’s “5-Year Cost to Own (full-size pickup)” and “Best Resale Value (full-size pickup)”, it was evident that the 2017 model was a leader in its class.
Advanced safety features, technological additions like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and robust engine options made this year’s model a hit among critics and consumers.
Following the success of its predecessor, the 2018 Silverado came equipped with modern tech amenities, better ride quality, and increased towing capacities.
Furthermore, it was awarded NHTSA’s “5-Star Overall Vehicle Score”, emphasizing its commitment to safety and dependability.
The Neutral Years: 2016
Serving as a bridge year between the problematic early years and the latter acclaimed ones, the 2016 Silverado was a reliable workhorse.
While it didn’t shine as brightly as the 2017 or 2018 models, it did offer reliable performance, better fuel efficiency, and fewer complaints. Updated infotainment features and a slight design refresh gave it a contemporary look and feel.
The Worst Years: 2014, 2015
As the introductory year for the third generation, the 2014 Silverado faced a series of challenges. Owners reported a significantly high number of complaints in the NHTSA, with concerns ranging from engine and transmission issues to power steering and service brakes.
In total, the year witnessed 20 recalls, addressing varied problems, including power train, brakes, electrical systems, and seat assemblies.
Continuing from where 2014 left off, the 2015 Silverado grappled with recurring issues. Owners faced similar challenges, with complaints predominantly focusing on engine and transmission glitches.
The year continued to see an increased number of recalls, indicating that Chevrolet was actively addressing the concerns.
In summary, the third generation of the Chevrolet Silverado showcased Chevrolet’s dedication to rectifying past mistakes and consistently improving.
The progress from the troubled 2014 model to the acclaimed 2018 model stands as evidence of Chevrolet’s commitment to its consumers and their feedback.
Best & Worst Years for Chevrolet Silverado 4th Generation (2019-Present)
Introduced in 2019, the fourth generation of Chevrolet Silverado aimed to incorporate cutting-edge technology, bolster safety measures, and enhance the overall driving experience.
The Best Years: 2020, 2023
This model year stands as an exemplar of what Chevrolet can achieve with the Silverado. The 2020 Silverado HD was even recognized as the “Best Pickup Truck of 2020” by Cars.com and Kelley Blue Book.
One key selling point was its comprehensive suite of safety features, from forward-collision alerts to blind-spot monitoring. This model year marked an emphasis on refined interiors, with increased legroom in the rear seats, and a tech-loaded cabin boasting features like the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system, a 7- or 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.
Furthermore, advancements in its towing capacity and engine options meant the 2020 Silverado was both versatile and powerful.
The Neutral Years: 2019
As the debut year of the fourth generation, the 2019 Silverado transitioned from the third generation with a new design and improved weight reduction techniques.
The model year introduced an enlarged bed and a spacious cabin, enhancing utility and comfort. Technological offerings like the infotainment system and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility were well-received.
While it had a few minor hiccups, it was overall a solid effort that set the foundation for subsequent years.
The Worst Years: 2021, 2022
Despite Chevrolet’s efforts to improve the Silverado, the 2021 model year faced its share of challenges. Owners predominantly reported issues concerning the engine and powertrain. These complaints, registered on platforms like NHTSA, indicated possible manufacturing oversights or systemic issues.
Continuing the trend from 2021, the 2022 Silverado grappled with recurring engine and powertrain problems. These concerns were not only inconvenient for owners but also posed potential safety risks.
Chevrolet Silverado Average Resale Values
The following graph presents a clear picture of the average resale values for the Chevrolet Silverado over various model years. This data provides insights into the model’s depreciation trends and its retention of value over time.
You now have a good understanding of the best and worst years for each Chevrolet Silverado generation. If you want to purchase an old budget-friendly Silverado, go for the 2007-2013 model years. The 2017 and 2018 models are the best choice if you are considering one from the newer generations.
Which model year of Chevrolet Silverado do you personally go for, and why?
Share your personal experiences and insights on specific Silverado model years in the comments.