12 Best & Worst Chevy Silverado Years (Stats & Examples)

The Chevy Silverado is a heavy-duty full-size pickup truck introduced by General Motors under the Chevrolet brand in 1999. The Silverado is one of the United States bestselling vehicles and has sold more than 12 million since its introduction in the late nineties.

Previous Silverado trim lines span several decades since the 70s.

The Silverado counterparts include the highly workable 1979 GMC Sierra Classic, with its square-body design, and the 1986 GMC Sierra Grande, available as a two-door and four-door with a 5.0-liter V8 engine.

Let’s dive into the best and worst years across the Silverado models.

In current years, the Silverado remains similar to the Sierra GMC with its spacious interior design and robust horsepower package. But the Silverado is the successor to the Chevrolet GMC/C/K and offers higher towing capacity and increased off-road capabilities.

Recent Silverado models include a ten-speed transmission and are available in front-engine rear-wheel drive and front-end drivetrains.

Best Years for Chevy Silverado

The best years of the Chevy Silverado saw advancements in power and workability, as well as inside the vehicle.

The technological advancements were there, and so too were the safety results.

The best years for the Chevy Silverado are 2006, 2009, 2011, 2014, and 2019.


The 2006 Chevy Silverado 1500 sits at the top of experts’ best Chevy Silverado years and comes with a six-liter Vortec Max engine that boasts an impressive 348 horsepower.

While the Tahoe, Express, and Chevy Suburban models had a similar machine, the Silverado’s extra-powerful engine design can carry drivers for over 300,000 miles. 

The extra power translates well to the early 2000s model known for its excellent towing abilities. The 2006 edition of the Silverado comes packaged with the extra punch truck drivers love.


The year 2009 stood out as one of the best Chevy years thanks to its added safety features and advancements.

According to government crash tests, the 2009 Chevy Silverado scored high, earning a good rating for its overall evaluation and the tests for driver injury measures. As for safety features, the 2009 Silverado also comes with daytime running lights.

Additionally, the 2009 model is available in five different engine types for the added flexibility truck drivers enjoy.


The 2011 Chevy Silverado will be remembered for years, mainly because the brand focused its improvements on helping truck drivers succeed on the road.

In 2011, the Chevy Silverado saw advancements in the truck’s interior, with advances in the truck’s OnStar system.

Notably, the OnStar system’s sound quality and speech recognition capabilities were improved, meaning Silverado enthusiasts were better protected and safer overall, thanks to the more accessible communication capabilities offered by the system.

Combined with the 403 HP, the full console increases this year’s models’ workability.


With up to 420 HP, the 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 comes equipped with a stand-out 6.2 L V8 engine and is also available with a 4.3 LV6 or 5.3 L V8 engine.

The higher horsepower delighted truck drivers who were disappointed in earlier years, and you can find evidence of the Chevy Silverado’s improvements in acceleration.

Achieving 60 MPH in under eight seconds, Chevy Silverado truck lovers can feel satisfied they’ll get where they need with an overall smoother drive.

A towing capacity of up to 9,800 lbs. is required to catapult the 2014 Chevy Silverado to the top of the brand’s best-years list.

We have a full list of how much each Chevrolet Silverado can tow here.



Truck drivers want bigger, but at the same time, they want lighter.

According to truck experts, the 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 is a truck to brag about thanks to its improved overall aerodynamics, made possible due to its rounded front fenders.

The lighter 2019 Silverado makes for smoother cornering and faster acceleration, evident in the truck’s four-cylinder engine that pushes drivers along at 310 horsepower and 348 lb. of torque.

While a lighter truck helped the 2019 Silverado stand out, the interior remained primarily unchanged.

The 2019 Silverado is still one of Chevy’s best years for its best trucks, with Car Indigo stating the model can make it to 60 mph in only 5.9 seconds.

Chevy Silverado years to avoid

Whether it was safety or the transmission, or unexpected problems with steering wheels, these Chevy Silverado years are worth explaining to interested drivers.

You can read more here about the known problems with the Chevy Silverado trucks.

The years 2004, 2005, 2008, 2015, and 2016 stood out as the worst years for the Chevy Silverado.


From issues with daytime running lights burning out to 4WD sensor issues and even having your trusted CD player stop working, the 2004 Chevy Silverado topped the list of years you’ll want to avoid when purchasing a truck from the brand.

Your speedometer could suddenly malfunction, and your brakes could cease to work.

Repair Pal also noticed a mysterious clunking sound on the steering wheel that 2004 Chevy Silverado owners saw.

Along with a scattered group of recalls, your decision should be clear.

Avoid the 2004 Silverado model.


In 2005, you could see the strength in the Silverado’s mileage capabilities—close to 250,000 miles—but with strange and unwelcome steering wheel issues, speedometer problems, and a poorly functioning V6 engine, the 2004 Silverado 1500 release felt disappointing to many consumers.

The Chevrolet team members didn’t fare well the following year.

Of course, you can opt for the more powerful V8 engine and get more for the money, but drivers in 2005 had enough to worry about thanks to rising gas costs—no need for a truck that might not stick it out with you to the end.


Despite 2004 being the year with the most consumer complaints, additional factors, including repair costs and oil consumption issues, pushed the 2008 Chevy Silverado 1500 to the Years to Avoid list.

Serious truck drivers already put a lot of money into operating and maintaining their trucks, so the 2008 Silverado was a truck to frown on—Repair Pal also reported issues with the 4WD sensor, steering wheel functionality, and the heating and air conditioning system.

Avoid 2008 at all costs if you want a reliable Silverado.


The 2015 Chevy Silverado failed to deliver in terms of safety and overall reliability.

Consumers reported numerous transmission issues, from slipping gears to total inoperability, either of which could cause devastating consequences for even an inexperienced truck driver on the road.

A faulty fuel tank sensor? That’s a recurring issue that pushes drivers away. Safety being the primary problem, the Silverado’s 150,000 to 200,000 mileage range seemed slightly below average.

Overall, 2015 wasn’t as successful a year, and Silverado owners knew that.


While the interior and exterior advancements were acceptable in 2016, the year remains one of the Chevy Silverado’s worst.

Too many issues with the 4WD detector signaling and heating and cooling issues could make the driving experience difficult for truck drivers.

Fuel systems weren’t reliable; the problems were too much to overlook.

According to Motor Biscuit, these repairs could range between $100 to $150. Unless your mechanic knows what they’re facing, 2016 Silverado owners could face a world of misery.

First Generation Silverado (1999)

According to industry experts, the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 saw significant developments in interior legroom, overall size, design, and towing capacity and scored an average of 4.3 points among consumers. 

The first years of the Chevy Silverado moved away from the old Chevy C/K models and presented Chevy truck drivers with a new name.

After several teams joined to produce Chevy’s hope for its finest truck, the 1999 model introduced a 4.8L V8 engine at 285 HP. Later years saw an updated steering system and an increase in weight.

Overall, an impressive series of developments for the first generation.

Second Generation Silverado (2007)

With production from 2006 to 2013, the second generation of the Chevy Silverado 1500 left drivers in awe thanks to its improved engine.

Later models came with a 6.2 L V8 engine offering 403 HP and packaged with either a four-speed 4L60-E automatic transmission or a six-speed 6180 automatic transmission from which drivers could choose.

By 2013, manufacturers redesigned the Silverado exterior and exterior to give drivers additional control over the vehicle.

An improved suspension system placed the second generation of Chevy Silverados in the spotlight for drivers across the country.

Third Generation Silverado (2014)

Consumers had mixed reviews of the initial 2014 model of the Chevy Silverado. While standing out with 420 HP, the third generation of the Silverado made extraordinary improvements inside the cab.

From the inclusion of a touch-screen interface to a Bluetooth hands-free phone, truck drivers purchasing Third Generation Silverados were pleased to see the added options for:

  • comfort,
  • convenience,
  • and total control of their trucks.

Fourth Generation Silverado (2019)

The Fourth Generation Silverado continued the momentum of the earlier generation, focusing on adding additional safety features, including lane change assistance and a 360-degree camera view for Silverado drivers to park and back up safely.

Still, the generation saw bothersome issues such as dysfunctional brakes and windshield wipers that stopped working and gave inexperienced drivers trouble.

But for the average Chevy Silverado enthusiast, the last Silverado generation felt inspiring and hopeful.

Newer model Silverados will continue to excite truck drivers across the country.

Which Chevy Silverado generation should you buy?

Chevy Silverado enthusiasts should buy used models from the Third Generation of the Silverado. It’s just a really good year for the Silverado.

The 2012 Silverado 1500 stands out due to only having a pair of recalls connected to the model.

Meanwhile, the 2014 model offers an astonishing 420 HP. Consumers respect the Third Generation Silverado for providing a necessary combination of power and reliability.

Truck drivers want trucks from this generation because the vehicles are known to last.

What year is the most reliable Chevy Silverado?

The 2012 Chevy Silverado 1500 is the most reliable when you look at specifications.

Offering a towing capacity of up to 7,000 pounds, the most dedicated truck drivers must look to the 2012 model for their workability requirements. 

The 2012 Silverado is as strong as it is dependable. With a 4-star safety rating and up to six available seats, the longtime Chevy Silverado fan has plenty of benefits worth writing home about. In the end, the 6.28 L V8 engine, among three other types available, wins hearts when it comes to reliability.

A tough truck that’s fun to ride.

How many miles will a Silverado last?

You can expect a Chevy Silverado to last up to 200,000 miles. This mileage opportunity comes with regular maintenance and diligent care.

We have more here on how long the Chevy Silverado models last.

As the Silverado is built to last, serious drivers can’t forget about oil changes, a priority for efficient parts, and less aggressive driving, for example, no sharp bursts of acceleration from a starting point.

Protecting your Chevy Silverado is a job for the dedicated truck driver. With a brand known for reliability and toughness, 200,000 miles is as decent of a lifespan as it gets.

What are the closest competitors to the Chevy Silverado?

The closest competitor to the Chevy Silverado would be the Ford F150 model.

You can purchase the F150 with a regular, extended, or crew cab.

The added comfort in the Silverado and F150, along with higher towing capacities and excellent reliability, paint a clear image of two similar trucks, with the Silverado reigning supreme in both categories.

An average 3-star rating for the 2012 Ram is slightly lower than the Silverado’s, but still, both models present a good choice for a truck buyer.

Like many Silverado models, the 2012 Dodge Ram comes with a four or six-speed transmission, providing diehard truck fans with improved acceleration capabilities.

Meanwhile, the similar 2012 Dodge Ram model is known to provide up to 11,500 lbs. in towing capacity, a sizable load that’s comparable to what the Chevy Silverado can accomplish.

Finally, going back to the 2009 Toyota Tundra, like the Chevy Silverado, the brand’s model for the year can seat up to six. Increased room in the cab and backseats make for added legroom and hours of comfort.

Like the Chevy Silverado, the Toyota Tundra is often available in either four-wheel or rear-wheel drive, weighs a similar average of 5,000 pounds, and gives truck lovers the added boost in power, up to 381 HP for the 2009 model.

How long do the transmissions typically last on these models?

A Chevy Silverado transmission can last between 150,000 and 200,000 miles provided the truck’s owner thinks about adjusting their driving style to avoid rapid speed changes.

Take care of a Chevy Silverado, and you can expect mechanics to equip their repair shops better to handle common transmission problems. Like other reliable trucks, the Chevy Silverado owner must stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations for repair.

Transmission problems are likely the result of neglect and poor maintenance and are not the manufacturer’s fault.

With its impressive towing power and high-powered engine, the Chevy Silverado 1500 has come a long way since its strong introduction in 1999.

While comparable to other brands like the Toyota Tundra and Dodge Ram, the Chevy Silverado’s advantage is its strength and reliability.

With continuous advancements in the truck’s performance and design and carefully planned technological developments designed to improve the driving experience, the Silverado continues to be one of Chevrolet’s finest trucks.

Go Back: Best & Worst data on all Chevrolet models

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.