21 Best & Worst Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Years (Explained)

The Chevy Silverado 1500 is a full-size truck that made its debut for the 1999 model year.

Overall it’s a great truck with a lineup of potent engines, substantial towing capacity and solid handling.

In this article we’ll take a closer look at its best and worst years…

2022 Chevrolet Silverado

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Are:

The best Chevrolet Silverado 1500 model years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2018, 2013, 2012, 2006 and 2001. The worst model years of the Silverado 1500 are 2019, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, and 2003. This is based on reviews, NHTSA stats, problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Chevrolet Silverado 1500?

The Silverado 1500 has been around the block a few times, needless to say some models are better than others.

2022 and 2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The 2022 and 2023 renditions make the best list as they are the most refined and have the latest tech and safety features.

For 2022 the Silverado received a lot of welcome changes.

Including a refreshed exterior and interior design, a new off-road model known as the ZR2, and an available Super Cruise upgrade (a semi-automated driving assistance feature).

On top of this, the base 2.7-liter turbo 4-cylinder received a torque boost to 420 lb-ft.

Unfortunately, the V6 engine and 6-speed auto transmission were dropped.

For 2023 most equipment stays the same although some new paint choices were added.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500:

  • Edmunds: 3.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500:

  • Edmunds: 3.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 85 / 100

2022 Silverado 1500, Edmunds review:

“Bought a custom Silverado dbl cab with the 2.7L engine, wow… This thing moves for such a huge vehicle. Space is abundant & cavernous, power is delivered smooth & quick, utility is there. Everything I could want or need in a basic truck is there, I was actually looking into an f150 double cab but to me the blacked out Silverado custom appearance looked way cooler and bigger for some reason. Looking forward to driving this thing for many years to come!”

2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The 2021 Silverado 1500 integrated much-needed technology features and functionality to catch up with its competitors.

Namely the inclusion of Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, an all-new Multi-Flex tailgate that opens and folds six different ways, an upgraded trailer-towing camera, and more standard equipment for certain trim levels. 

It also saw an increase in towing capability.

  • Edmunds: 3.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 83 / 100

2021 Silverado 1500, Edmunds review:

“Truck is surprisingly quiet but you can feel the torque while driving it. It’s different from driving a gas powered vehicle, for mpg and torque it’s awesome.”

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The 2020 Silverado 1500 is another solid choice that came with numerous upgrades. The Silverado was all new for 2019 however the 2020 model has proven to be far less problematic.

For 2020 the 6.2-liter V-8 and 10-speed automatic transmission were made more widely available across the lineup.

A new Duramax 3-liter turbodiesel engine option was added, and more driver and towing assists were added.

  • Edmunds: 3.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2020 Silverado 1500, Edmunds review:

“I actually held off buying a Silverado due to the previous squared off fender wells. I did not like that look at all. An opportunity came for me to trade out of my 2019 Colorado into a 2020 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab and what an amazing truck this is! I would definitely recommend the CREW cab versus the DOUBLE cab if you can swing it. There is so much more room in the back of a crew cab. I love everything about this truck and I’m super happy that this doesn’t have the lousy transmission that was in previous models.”

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The 2018 Silverado 1500 was the final and most reliable iteration of the 3rd Generation.

For 2018 the Silverado received minor changes, including a rearview camera and 7-inch touchscreen display as standard equipment.

This model was praised for its strong towing ability from the V8 engines and quiet cabins at highway speeds.

  • Edmunds: 3.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 85 / 100

2018 Silverado 1500, Edmunds review:

“I owned three new dodge pickups in past a 1997 2002 and 2004, all did not make 70,000 miles without major issues with service being done on time. All were engine and transmission issues. Decided to buy 2012 ford 4×4 with the Ecoboost engine started having issues with the engine rattle then timing chain at 100,000 miles would cost $5000 to fix issue with no guarantee that was actual problem. Owned chevy wt in past and truck made it 250,000 with no issues. Decided to stick with chevy from this point forward. bought 2018 Silverado LT with the 5.3 V8 and so far great customer service and truck operation pulling 4700 lb camper.”

2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Like the 2018 Silverado, the 2013 Silverado was the final and most reliable iteration of its Generation (2nd Gen).

As a general rule, the most reliable vehicles are usually the ones at the end of a generation as most of the major production issues have been ironed out.

For 2013, the Silverado was relatively unchanged although owners have given this model the thumbs up thanks to its comfortable seats and smooth and quiet ride.

  • Edmunds: 3.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 83 / 100

2013 Silverado 1500, Edmunds review:

“Overall, the 2013 Silverado 1500 is a good truck. It’s not necessarily the fastest or most powerful truck out there. I tend to look more for reliability and easy to use (especially when it comes to internal electronics–radio, cruise control, etc). Yes Fords have the newer tech in some areas, and their trucks are faster and but I like the tried-and-true engine that GM tends to keep using (ie. the 4.3 Vortec which has been around for the past 2 decades or more). The 6-speed automatic w/ manual control and the 5.3L V8 is a very nice combo to get for moderate towing and fuel economy. Crew cab provides enough room for adults in rear seat.”

2013 Chevrolet Silverado LT Extended Cab Pickup

2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The 2012 Silverado 1500 is another bulletproof option having received a negligible number of complaints (especially when compared to other 2nd Gen models).

For 2012 the Silverado only had a few minor changes.

This included restyled front grilles and bumper fascias for the LS and LT trims.

An upgraded navigation system, and the inclusion of trailer sway control which as the name suggests makes towing more controlled.

  • Edmunds: 3.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 83 / 100

2012 Silverado 1500, Edmunds review:

“Bought this truck after trading Avalanche with 175K Miles. Like the 5.3 ltr and new 6 speed auto is a nice upgrade. Truck gets average 17 miles combined and 19 to 20 when doing highway driving. LT with allstar package is a nice combination of upgrades. Really like the ride, solid build and comfortable on long trips.”

2006 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

If you’re looking for a reliable 1st Gen Silverado, then look no further than the 2006 model which was also the final year of the 1st Gen.

The 2006 Silverado 1500 introduced the VortecMAX performance group.

This included a 345-horsepower, 6-liter V8 engine, a heavy-duty tow package with a stronger rear axle, and other heavy-hitting features to match the likes of the Titan and the Ram. 

Other changes of note include minor revisions to the front-end styling.

  • Edmunds: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.6 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2006 Silverado 1500, Edmunds review:

“I bought my truck brand new in 2006 and has been my daily driver ever since. I tow a 6000lb trailer regularly and had a western 8′ plow on it for 3 years and never had a problem except for 2 blown wheel hubs. I have just over 194,000 miles and never had a problem. I’ve driven dodge and ford trucks and nothing compares to the comfort and reliability of this chevy.”

2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

We wouldn’t necessarily recommend buying a vehicle of this age, however the 2001 Silverado 1500 was undeniably a solid truck – the customer reviews speak for themselves.

Despite its age the 2001 model was praised for its spacious extended cab models, powerful V8 engines, disc brakes at all four wheels and optional traction control.

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.6 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2001 Silverado 1500, Edmunds review:

“This is an almost perfect truck. Comfort, handsome design, and a combined mileage 17.5 MPG. Powerful precise steering, automatic transfer case. Almost perfect. The bad, cold start knock (annoying). Weak intermedate steering shaft (replaced). Known for bad fuel guage sending units (hasn`t happened yet). Nothing’s perfect and the good more than offsets the bad. Best truck I ever drove. What`s bad, the bad is silly stuff GM should have got right in the first place.”

Consumer Scores For Best Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Years

Below is a table that presents all the consumer ratings of the best Silverado 1500 model years from reputable vehicle websites:

Model YearEdmunds 
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2023 Chevrolet Silverado 15003.2 / 5.03.9 / 5.085 / 100
2022 Chevrolet Silverado 15003.2 / 5.03.9 / 5.0NA
2022 Chevrolet Silverado 15003.2 / 5.03.9 / 5.0NA
2021 Chevrolet Silverado 15003.3 / 5.03.9 / 5.083 / 100
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 15003.4 / 5.03.9 / 5.084 / 100
2018 Chevrolet Silverado 15003.5 / 5.04.4 / 5.085 / 100
2013 Chevrolet Silverado 15003.4 / 5.04.5 / 5.083 / 100
2012 Chevrolet Silverado 15003.5 / 5.04.5 / 5.083 / 100
2006 Chevrolet Silverado 15004.5 / 5.04.6 / 5.0NA
2001 Chevrolet Silverado 15004.3 / 5.04.6 / 5.0NA

Related: Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Maintenance & Repair Costs (Complete Guide)

What Are The Worst Years For The Chevrolet Silverado 1500?

Listed below are the model years to be cautious of.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The 2019 Silverado 1500 was the first model of the 4th Generation, and it got off to a bumpy start.

It was notorious for brake system issues and defects, with numerous owners reporting the brakes were not working properly accompanied by the random illumination of various warning lights.

Owners also complained of various transmission issues including shuttering and RPMs surging under normal driving conditions, hard shifting and shaking at highway speeds.

The 2019 Silverado 1500 had a total of 63 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 601 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Brakes not working
  • Slams into gear
  • Radio and door locks behave randomly
  • Backup camera issues

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

CarComplaints.com bestowed the 2017 Silverado 1500 with the demerit of “Beware of the Clunker” and rightfully so. 

This model year faced numerous struggles, the most concerning of which were related to the transmission.

Numerous owners reported shifting hard, surging, jerking and clunks in low gears.

It also had issues with its trailer brake system.

Here’s what one owner had to say:

“No trailer hooked up and “service trailer brake system” appears. Will dismiss but the chime continues. Would believe this would cause an accident if equipped with a heavy load requiring trailer brakes. Will not be hauling anything with trailer brakes at this point.”

The 2017 Silverado 1500 had a total of 185 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 497 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Surges and jerks
  • Hesitation
  • Hard shifts
2017 Chevrolet Silverado

2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The 2016 Silverado 1500 was notorious for transmission issues and trailer brake issues.

The trailer brake warning system was known to activate warnings for no reason, and the transmission received numerous complaints for shuddering and hard shifts.

Owners also reported that the service brakes stopped working, as described by one owner below:

“Hard brakes. If I press on the brake peddle 2-3 times while making a stop the peddle becomes stiff and difficult. Abs kicks in. Truck was taken into the servicing dealership under the recall but was told there was no problem. It has continued ever since. So is this still under the recall or am I on my own?”

The 2016 Silverado 1500 had a total of 114 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 714 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Transmission failure
  • Loss of brakes at low speeds
  • Condenser cracked
  • Poor paint job

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The 2015 Silverado 1500 received a significant number of complaints for various issues.

The most commonly reported problem was the loss of brakes at low speeds.

Here’s one owner’s account:

“At slow speeds the brake pedal gets hard and does not stop vehicle. At random times I temporarily lose power steering and vehicle is hard to turn.”

This model year also had transmission issues with some owners reporting a complete failure at 100,000 miles.

Another common issue is the failure of the A/C condenser which results in hot air being blown instead of cold.

The 2015 Silverado 1500 had a total of 194 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 1,074 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Transmission shifts poorly
  • Loss of brakes at low speeds
  • Air conditioning blowing hot air
  • Not working properly

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Statistically, the 2014 Silverado 1500 is the most problematic model year to date.

This truck was notorious for displaying a Stabilitrak warning, gauge lights dimming and loss of power steering.

Here’s one owner’s testimony:

“I was driving and my truck just lost all power and my steering wheel locked up as I was turning. Lights turned off. This lasted for about 3 to 5 seconds. Then it turned back on. Then later in the day it happened in a drive-through as I was leaving except it would not start back up.”

A/C failure was another common complaint due to a failed condenser.

The 2014 Silverado 1500 had a total of 314 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 1,804 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Air conditioning stopped working
  • Transmission clunking
  • Power steering failure
  • Loss of brakes at low speeds

2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The 2011 Silverado 1500 had airbag issues, with some owners reporting that the airbags did not deploy during collisions.

Here’s one owner’s testimony:

“Today I rear-ended a car with the 2011 Silverado. The driver’s airbag in the steering wheel did deploy but not fully, never made contact with me at all.”

The airbags were recalled as part of a huge recall of Takata airbags.

These airbags were known to be problematic and very dangerous – as they could explode and fire shrapnel into the cabin.

The 2011 Silverado 1500 had a total of 9 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 612 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Airbag issues
  • Equipment problems
  • Structural defects

2009 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The 2009 Silverado 1500 also suffered from airbag issues.

The most common complaints were related to the Takata recall (exploding airbags) and also some owners reported the airbags did not deploy during a collision.

Other owners were unhappy with the dashboard cracking and its impact on the airbags, as described by one owner below:

“My dashboard and panels are cracked and falling apart. Dealer cannot replace airbags without doing more damage to the dashboard and will not be responsible. Only 52000 miles on this vehicle and dashboard is cracked and broken.”

The 2009 Silverado 1500 had a total of 509 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Airbag issues
  • Equipment problems
  • Structural defects
2009 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab

2008 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The 2008 Silverado’s main concerns also revolved around the airbag system.

There were recalls for the exploding, shrapnel-shooting Takata airbags that were used.

Unfortunately, not all problems were addressed within a reasonable time period due to parts shortages and service backlogs. 

Owners also reported that the airbags did not deploy when they were in an accident.

The 2008 Silverado 1500 had a total of 976 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Airbag issues
  • Equipment problems
  • Electrical system concerns

2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The 2007 Silverado 1500 suffered from the same airbag issues as the previously mentioned model years.

Airbags were significant causes of concern for most owners of this model, with owners reporting airbag warning light illumination, failure of airbags to deploy, and other manufacturer defects that fell under recall campaigns. 

The 2007 Silverado 1500 had a total of 945 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Airbag issues
  • Equipment problems
  • Electrical system concerns

2003, 2004, and 2005 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The 2003, 2004, and 2005 Silverado 1500 models had a handful of prominent issues namely electrical system issues, structural and design flaws, and engine-related problems. 

The most notable of all problems, however, relates to the brake hoses, lines, piping, and fittings.

According to several owners, the brake system was severely unreliable, certain components and lines rusted prematurely, leading to a host of malfunctions and incidents on the road.

Here’s what the owners had to say:

“Brake line failure due to rust and use of inferior parts from Chevrolet. Vehicle was in motion an accident was avoided due to awareness of other drivers. In a neighborhood street, with children present very near.”

“The brake lines on my 2004 Chevrolet Silverado are badly corroded and one of them has failed. When this happened, the pedal went to the floor and the truck had no brakes whatsoever. Fortunately I was not involved in an accident.”

The 2005 Silverado 1500 had a total of 598 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Electrical system concerns
  • Brake system problems
  • Airbag issues

The 2004 Silverado 1500 had a total of 688 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Brake system problems
  • Electrical system concerns
  • Steering issues

The 2003 Silverado 1500 had a total of 756 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Brake system problems
  • Electrical system concerns
  • Steering issues
2004 Chevrolet Silverado

Related: Chevrolet Silverado: 11 Common Problems (Useful Guide)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Listed below are the number of reported complaints and problems for each model year of the Silverado 1500. 

Model YearComplaints
(CarComplaints.com)
Problems
(CarProblemZoo.com)
2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500NANA
2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500NA27
2021 Chevrolet Silverado 150018162
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 150041257
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 150063601
2018 Chevrolet Silverado 150043361
2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500185497
2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500114714
2015 Chevrolet Silverado 15001941,074
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 15003141,804
2013 Chevrolet Silverado 150057264
2012 Chevrolet Silverado 150047220
2011 Chevrolet Silverado 15009612
2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500NA391
2009 Chevrolet Silverado 1500NA509
2008 Chevrolet Silverado 1500NA976
2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500NA945
2006 Chevrolet Silverado 1500NA404
2005 Chevrolet Silverado 1500NA598
2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500NA688
2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500NA756
2002 Chevrolet Silverado 1500NA381
2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500NA324
2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500NA403
1999 Chevrolet Silverado 1500NA347

What Problems Do Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Have?

  • Surges and jerks
  • Transmission failure
  • Transmission shifts poorly
  • Air conditioning stopped working
  • Transmission clunk
  • Power steering failure
  • Air conditioning blowing hot air
  • Not working poorly
  • Hesitation
  • Hard shifts
  • Condenser cracked
  • Poor paint job
  • Brakes not working
  • Slams into gear
  • Radio and door locks behave randomly

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Chevrolet Silverado 1500?

In the full-size pickup truck category, the Silverado 1500 is one of the best ones out there.

The truck ranked 4th overall, beaten by only 3 models, namely the GMC Sierra 1500, the Ford F-150, and the Ram 1500.

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Ram 15009.1$35,900 – $77,780City: 15 – 23 /Highway: 21 – 33
Ford F-1509.0$34,585 – $84,910City: 16 – 20 /Highway: 22 – 26
GMC Sierra 15008.5$31,200 – $81,900City: 13 – 23 /Highway: 16 – 30
Chevrolet Silverado 15008.2$34,600 – $68,400City: 13 – 23 /Highway: 17 – 31
Toyota Tundra8.1$36,965 – $75,245City: 17 – 20 /Highway: 20 – 24
Nissan Titan7.4$38,810 – $60,780City: 15 – 16 /Highway: 20 – 21
Ford F-150 LightningNA$39,974 – $90,874City: NA /Highway: NA
GMC Hummer EV PickupNA$108,700City: NA /Highway: NA
Rivian R1TNA$67,500 – $73,000 City: 74 /Highway: 66

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: Chevrolet Silverado Beeping? (7 Common Causes)

References

https://www.caranddriver.com/chevrolet/silverado-1500

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/chevrolet/silverado-1500

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Chevrolet/Silverado_1500/

https://www.carproblemzoo.com/chevrolet/silverado1500/

https://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/silverado-1500/

https://www.kbb.com/chevrolet/silverado-1500/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2022/chevrolet/silverado-1500