Since its introduction in 1999, the Chevrolet Silverado has grown into a trouble-free workhorse that anyone who needs a half-ton truck can rely on. Compared to its rivals, such as the Ford F-150, the Silverado is a relatively new name in the full-size truck segment. However, Chevrolet’s history of making work-oriented trucks goes back more than a century. Because of all that trial and error, the Silverado can take on monsters like the Ram 1500 TRX.
While the new 2022 Chevy Silverado comes with tons of features and powerful powertrain options, many prefer to compromise the latest technology in a truck for a better price tag.
Chevrolet introduced the third-generation Silverado in 2014 and continued it through 2018. Compared to previous models, the third-generation Silverado was significantly quieter, more fuel-efficient and more responsive. That’s why a third-generation used Silverado is an excellent option for those looking for a reliable truck that offers excellent value for money.
With all the finishes and options available, choosing the right configuration can be overwhelming. Let’s take a look at some of the eye-catching finishes to make buying a truck easier.
Most powerful: the 2018 Silverado High Country boasts 420 hp
If you want to get your hands on the most powerful third-generation Silverado, the 2018 High Country trim should be your go-to option in the used market. The stock engine on this trim is a 5.3L V8 that puts out 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque.
However, if you opt for the optional 6.2L V8 powertrain, those numbers rise to 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Chevrolet paired this engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission system that can send power to all four wheels. When configured correctly, the 2018 Chevy Silverado High Country can tow up to 12,000 pounds.
Obviously, an engine with such a high capacity isn’t doing great in terms of fuel economy. By EPA estimates, the 6.2L High Country trim offers 15 miles per gallon in the city and 21 on the highway. With a 26.0 gallon fuel tank, you can expect up to 546 miles after you fill the truck’s tank.
With the 2018 High Country Edition, Chevrolet offers heated and ventilated leather seats, two-zone automatic climate control and electrically adjustable pedals.
Most cost-effective: The 2015 Chevy Silverado Work Truck Edition delivers the essentials for everyday use
While used 2014 Silverados are generally priced lower, it is best to avoid them due to widespread and expensive problems. According to the Car Complaints website, 2014 Silverado has the highest number of registered owner complaints.
The 2015 Silverado Work Truck comes standard with a 4.3L V6 that produces 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque, more than enough for light duty everyday work. Plus, you can expect 8,700 lbs of towing capacity.
Because the Work Truck has a relatively smaller powertrain, you can expect lower fuel consumption than more expensive models. With the base engine, the 2015 Silverado delivers 18 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway.
The Work Truck trim provides nothing more than the basics needed to get you started. For the 2015 model, Chevrolet offers vinyl seats, 17-inch steel wheels and a 4.2-inch infotainment screen.
Based on RepairPal’s estimates, the annual cost of ownership for the 2015 Silverado is $714, slightly less than the 2014 model year.
According to Kelley Blue Book prices you will find a 2015 Silverado Crew Cab Work Truck in the used market well under $20,000.
Best Value: The 2016 Silverado LT is great value for money
Last but not least, the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado LT is an excellent option if you’re looking for a reliable and versatile truck that won’t cost an arm and a leg. Compared to other third-generation Silverados, the 2016 model was one of the least problematic editions.
For the LT trim, Chevrolet offers a 285 horsepower V6 and a V8 capable of producing 355 ponies. While the V6 is powerful, we recommend sticking with 4WD configured V8 models if you plan on taking the truck off the sidewalks.
The 2016 Silverado LT offers an 8-inch touchscreen in the center of the dash and a 4.2-inch driver information screen in the instrument cluster.
According to several automotive sources, the 2016 Silverado will have no problem driving more than 250,000 miles with the original engine and transmission. So if you find a used one on the market that has recently reached six digit numbers on the odometer, you can still expect about 10 to 14 years of reliable service from it.