Chevy Silverados are amongst the more popular trucks in America and, despite a few years here and there, the Silverado is generally a well-received, durable truck that will go the extra mile if you need it to. If you’re looking for a used Silverado, however, some years are better than others.
Some of the best Chevy Silverados, in terms of durability, longevity, dependability, and innovations, were released in the years 2007, 2009, 2014, and 2015. You have to be careful with the 2007 year, however, as the older, 2006 model carried over.
When we say, “carried over,” we mean that the 2006 model carried over for one, final year and was known as the Chevy Silverado Classic. The 2007 model that we are referring to is the 2007 Chevy Silverado 1500 and there is no “classic” denomination associated with it.
What Makes these Chevy Silverado Years the Best?
There are a lot of reasons that the 2007, 2009, 2014, and 2015 Chevy Silverado years stand out above the rest. All four of these Silverados are split into two groups. The first group includes the 2007 and 2009 models and the 2014/2015 Silverados encompass the second group.
The reason that we are grouping them this way is that 2007 and 2014 were both model redesign years, with the 2007 and 2014 models leading the way in much-needed Chevy innovations.
The 2007 Chevy Silverado introduced the GMT900 platform which came with several innovations including an improved powertrain, better fuel efficiency, better aerodynamics, and a new overall aesthetic that was a much-welcomed design at the time.
The 2014 Chevy Silverado went the route of luxury accommodations while retaining much of what made the previous run so successful. The luxury and aesthetic improvements in the 2014 model were extensive and impressive, leading to a nearly complete redesign of both the interior and exterior.
When you combine the innovations that made the 2007 to 2013 models a leap forward with the luxurious, aesthetic overhaul of the 2014 to 2021 models, you come up with a pretty impressive truck that stands the test of time.
Although these models all fell in the years 2007 to 2021, a few of those Silverados stand out from the rest, which are the ones that we chose as the best-used Silverados to go after. Of course, the 2007 and 2009 models might have a ton of miles if you buy them used.
However, there are still many Silverados from that year that are well below 200k miles. The Silverado is known for its longevity, so with good maintenance, you will probably get a whole lot more out of it before it is retired for good. The key is to find a truck that has been well maintained in the first place so you can take it over and keep it going.
Basic Signs To Look For When Buying An Old Truck
These are not definitive signs of good or bad maintenance but a hunch. It will give you an idea if a truck is even worth looking at. Once you determine that it is, take it to a mechanic who can verify your thoughts.
- Check the body for peeling or fading paint – This will tell you how “loved” the truck was. Peeling and fading paint is a sign of the truck most likely not being stored in a garage and also not being washed and polished.
- Check the bottom of the engine for leaking oil or grease on components around the engine. When a truck is regularly maintained, a leak would be detected and fixed in a timely manner so a buildup of grime would not have time to form on the surrounding components.
- Check the engine oil for color. If it is transparent amber color, even if it is dark, this is a sign of oil being changed recently. If it is black, most likely hasn’t been changed in a while.
- Look at the valve covers and heads to see if they are fairly clean. Buildup of sludge around those is another sign of oil leaks.
2007 Chevy Silverado: What Makes it Great
The 2007 Silverado was all about the mechanics of the model undergoing a complete overhaul.
It has a vastly improved powertrain, much better fuel mileage than previous iterations, and the aerodynamics are also improved (which lends more weight to the improved mileage innovations as well).
The 2007 Chevy Silverado didn’t just undergo a transformation in terms of its engineering, but the frame was overhauled as well. A new and improved high-strength steel frame was installed, improving the strength, durability, and safety of the Silverado.
Chassis rigidity was improved by a whopping 95%. In fact, with all of the innovations that Chevy brought to the party with the 2007 model, it was named the Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year.
2009 Chevy Silverado: What Makes it Great
Although the 2009 Silverado model year wasn’t the vast overhaul that Silverados received in 2007, it did receive a vastly improvised Gen IV small-block V8, 6.2L that was manufactured with the Chevy Silverado LTZ.
This was an incredibly welcome addition to the Silverado lineup and warmly welcomed by Chevy fans everywhere. When you combine the powertrain upgrade with what Chevy already achieved in the 2007 Silverado overhaul, you had something worthy of strong consideration.
The engine brought 403hp to the Silverado lineup with 417 lb-ft of torque, which was a steep upgrade over the original 367hp of previous years and generations.
2014 Chevy Silverado: What Makes it Great
Like 2007 before it, 2014 year was a year of innovation when it came to the 2014 Chevy Silverado. The only difference was, that Chevy went almost completely superficial with an aesthetic overhaul that was very successful.
The 2014 Chevy Silverado is considered to be a “premium” truck because Chevy went full-bore luxury in its redesign efforts. This overhaul included a lot of changes. One of the most immediately obvious changes was with the 20” chrome rims.
Heated leather seating was introduced, along with cooling features as well, at least in certain trims. Chevy also improved the technology, adding an 8” touchscreen center console termed Chevrolet MyLink.
Now that Chevy Silverados had received a major overhaul in the powertrain and engineering department, the luxury upgrade made it complete and you can experience that design vision with the 2014 Chevy Silverado.
2015 Chevy Silverado: What Makes it Great
While the 2014 Silverado was considered to be a luxury overhaul that accommodated the 2007 powertrain overhaul and the 2009 engine improvement, it had now been 8 years since anything major was done to the drivetrain.
The 2015 Silverado rectified that with a large overhaul in terms of fuel efficiency and engine performance. The steel frame of the 2015 model was also improved, increasing the Silverado’s already dependable durability even more.
Chevy also replaced the hood with an aluminum version as they tried to bring the weight level back down which, in turn, improved the overall fuel efficiency as well. The major upgrade, however, was to the automatic transmission.
2015 Chevy Silverados now came with a new 8-speed 8L90 Auto Transmission, as the original transmission was definitely showing its age.
The Four Best Used Chevy Silverados
There you have it. If you are on the lookout for a used Silverado, even if you just want a toy to upgrade and play around with, 2007, 2009, 2014, and 2015 years are the best you can hope to come by.
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.