The Chevrolet Silverado has long been one of the most popular pickup trucks in the country. With tons of them on the road, there are lots of opportunities for buying a used Silverado.
While Chevy began producing light duty trucks in 1918, the first Silverado appeared appeared in 1975 as the upper trim level model. In 1999, Chevrolet began using the Silverado name on all of its pickups. That name is still in use today.
There are three weight classifications for the Silverado. The most popular, the half-ton model, is known as the Silverado 1500. The 2500 and 3500 models are the three-quarter-ton and one-ton models, respectively.
Buying a Used Silverado, 1st Generation
The 1999-2006 Chevrolet Silverado is considered the “1st Generation” Silverado, as that is when the Silverado name was first used on all of Chevy’s Pickups. You will sometimes hear these called the “C/K” as well. The original Silverado offered a 2 door regular cab and a a 3 door extended cab. In 2000, the 4 door extended cab was introduced as well.
The 1st Generation Silverado 1500s offer three different cargo bed lengths:
- the Short Box (69.2 in)
- the Standard Box (78.7 in)
- the Long Box (97.6 in)
There are 3 automatic transmissions and a manual 5-speed available in the 1st generation 1500s. There are also a number of engines available, including:
- Vortec 4300 (4.3 L) V6
- Vortec 4800 (4.8 L) V8
- Vortec 5300 (5.3 L) V8
- Vortec 6000 (6.0 L) V8
- Vortec 8100 (8.1 L) V8
There were also a couple of special-edition, extended-cab Silverado Super Sport models during this generation. The base Silverado SS ran a 6.0-liter, 345-horsepower V-8 with the four-speed automatic transmission. Available with both rear- and four-wheel drive, the SS had 20-inch tires and wheels and a suspension system designed to improve its handling on the road. The Intimidator SS model, largely based on the standard Silverado SS, ran the same engine and transmission with a lowered, high-performance suspension system and a special gauge cluster graced with the late Dale Earnhardt’s signature.
Given the dependability of the Chevrolet pickup trucks, there are still many of the 1st generation Silverados on the road today. This gives you an excellent chance of buying a used Silverado at a great price, and still have an excellent pickup that will give you years of service. Check out our inventory of used trucks.
Buying a Used Silverado, 2nd Generation
The 2007 Chevrolet Silverado (introduced in late 2006) underwent a complete redesign. There were major changes, including a more spacious cabin and much improved aerodynamics. A more raked windshield and tighter body panel gaps improved aerodynamics and gas mileage.
The redesigned Silverado earned the North American Truck of the Year award for 2007 and was Motor Trend magazine’s Truck of the Year for 2007.
In addition to the improved fuel economy and overall looks of the 2nd generation Silverado, Chevy also recognized that pickups were also frequently becoming a main mode of transportation for many. Taking cues from passenger cars, the cabin was improved in numerous ways. In addition to being larger, Chevy improved overall comfort in the cabs. Cup holders were added to door panels (yes, that was a big deal!) Packages were developed that included Air Conditioning, power windows and door locks, and CD players.
A variety of cab designs are available, as shown below:
Like its predecessors, the new Silverado offers buyers a choice of two door regular cabs, four door extended cabs (with rear doors that now open 170 degrees) and four door crew cabs with the rear doors opening in the same direction as the front doors. GM also offers the trucks in the traditional two and four wheel drive configurations.
There are 4-speed automatic transmissions available in the 2nd generation Silverados, and well as a 6-speed automatic in some model years. There was originally a 6-speed manual transmission as well, but this was discontinued in the United States after 2008.
Several available engines include:
- Vortec 4.3 L V6 195 hp
- Vortec 4.8 L V8 295 hp
- Vortec 5.3 L V8 315 hp
- Vortec 6.0 L V8 360 hp
- Vortec 6.2 L V8 403 hp
Chevrolet also made great improvements in the frame and a suspension of the 2nd generation Silverados. High tensile box steel was used from front to back, providing a much more rigid frame for improved ride and handling. New upper control arms are stronger and lighter than the previous generation. Larger asymmetrical rear leaf springs improve ride and increase the payload capabilities.
The Chevy Silverados from 2007-2013 are considered the 2nd Generation models. Improvements in these models make them a terrific choice when buying a used Silverado. The reliability of Chevy trucks, as well as these being more recent models, means that there are thousands of these still available as a great option when buying a used Silverado. You should be able to find many to choose from with a variety of configurations and options, as well as mileage. Get in touch with us to find out about our selection.
Buying a Used Silverado, 3rd Generation
If you are planning on buying a used Silverado, you may want to consider a 3rd Generation model, beginning with the 2014 year model. These Chevy trucks offer an incredible range of features and options, with comfort rivaling many sedans. These can truly become your main mode of transportation withe sacrificing anything!
Fuel economy has been improved dramatically, with two available automatic transmissions, a 6-speed as well as an 8-speed with shorter gear ranges, quicker shifting and greater acceleration. The EcoTec3 engines, as well as the Vortec and Duramax versions, offer more power and greatly improved gas mileage. These are available in the following sizes:
- LV3 EcoTec3 4.3 L V6 285 hp
- L83 EcoTec3 5.3 L V8 355 hp
- L86 EcoTec3 6.2 L V8 420 hp
- LY6 Vortec 6000 6.0 L V8 360 hp
- LML Duramax 6.6 L V8 397 hp
The frames and cabs are built from high strength steel for better safety and ride. Rolled steel cargo beds save weight and increase economy. Strategic use of aluminum in the hoods, engine blocks and control arms also save weight.
The interiors have been dramatically upgraded as well. Available leather puts Chevy into the luxury truck market. High tech features are Chevrolet’s MyLink touch-screen multimedia interface system is available on most models. OnStar is standard. Bluetooth hands free phone connectivity, USB ports, iPhone connections and Pandora streaming music are more terrific options. A high end Bose stereo system and a Bose Surround Sound system is available on most models for the true audiophiles.
Special editions such as the Rally Edition 1 and 2, Midnight Edition, Custom Sport Edition, Custom Sport Plus Edition, Black Out Edition, and Texas Longhorns Editions are also available.
When you are buying a used Silverado, you may wonder why you would consider a late model such as these rather than buying brand new. The primary reason, of course, is that you can save money! While not nearly as many as previous generations, there are already lots of low mileage, 3rd generation Chevy Silverados on the used market. Some buyers trade every year or tow. Others decide to upgrade to a higher end Silverado after purchasing their first one. While you will pay more for a used 3rd generation Silverado than for an earlier model, you will certainly save over the cost of a brand new truck.
Let Us Help You When Buying a Used Silverado
Obviously, here at Dan Vaden Chevrolet-Cadillac, we are experts on Chevy trucks. (We are also experts on all used pickup trucks, whether it’s a Chevy, and F-1500, a RAM or an import.) We can help you with your decision.
Be sure to call us at 912-629-3436 when you are considering buying a used Silverado, or any used pickup truck. We have a great inventory of pre-owned trucks available at prices better than you will find anywhere else. We have the financing available to make it easy for you to get into a truck. And we have the knowledgeable sales staff to assist you in choosing the right truck for you. So do not even think about buying a used Silverado without getting in touch with us first. We look forward to working with you.