3rd & 4th Generation Chevy Silverado Buyers Guide [Texas Edition]

Autodigg team

Jan 20, 2021


Late Model Chevrolet Silverado’s Were Built for Texas

The Chevrolet Silverado, throughout its entire model life, has consistently challenged for the title of “Best Selling Truck In America,” let alone Texas. A combination of reliability, towing capacity, comfort, and, at least for the South US, really good air conditioning brings about one of the best all-rounder pickup trucks on the market.

The Silverado, while launched as a model line in 1999, has a long and storied history beyond the nametag. Starting off way back in 1959 as the Chevrolet C/K, the top of the line models throughout those 40 years were known as the “Silverado” models, with desirable engines, trim, and payload capacities.

When the last C/K rolled off the production line in 1998, Chevrolet and sub-brand GMC needed a replacement that would evoke the history of the line, but also supersede it in as many aspects as possible. With new multiport injection, stronger chassis structure, and a much more refined cabin than the C/K’s, the Silverado was thus born to help move America.

For Texas, well, it needed to not just look good, haul a lot, and be comfortable. Being the largest state in the Contiguous United States, it needed to do all that while being baked in 90 F heat, reliably start and run even in the worst Gulf rainstorms, and be able to travel between Amarillo to San Antonio and back without draining the wallet. And throughout its 22 year history so far, it has. In fact, it has done so well in the Friendship state that it is one of the best selling trucks in Texas of all time.

A Quick Breakdown On Chevy Silverado Trims & Cabin Sizes

Each year adds slightly different options for each trim, but to help you better understand what you are looking at, we have broken down each trim into their basic components. These are in order of most basic to premium (WT/WT2, LS, Custom, Custom Trailboss, LT, LT Trailboss, RST, LTZ, High Country)


This stands for Work Truck. Each year is a little different, but in general the standard features are:

  • Vinyl
  • Manual locks
  • Manual windows
  • Manual outside mirrors
  • Steel wheels
  • Full size spare
  • A/C
  • ABS brakes
  • StabiliTrak (electronic trailer sway control)


The LS, known in the third generation as the WT2 trim, is the next step of and comes with everything included with the WT, but also includes:

  • Chrome front and rear bumpers
  • Power windows and locks
  • Power outside mirrors
  • Remote keyless entry

Discontinued in the third generation in favor of all the above items moved into the Custom trim.

1. Custom

Generally includes everything from the LS trim, but also includes:

  • Chrome clad aluminum wheels
  • Locking tailgate
  • Front recovery hooks
  • Available Z71 Off-road suspension package (locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho shocks, off-road tires)

1.1 Custom Trailboss (new for 2019)

Includes everything from the Custom trim, but also includes:

  • Chrome clad aluminum wheels
  • Locking tailgate
  • Front recovery hooks
  • Available Z71 Off-road suspension package (locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho shocks, off-road tires)

1.2 LT

Generally includes everything from the LS trim, but also includes:

  • Cruise control
  • EZ lift & lower tailgate
  • Steering wheel with audio and cruise controls
  • Dual zone AC

1.3 LT Trailboss (new for 2019)

Includes everything from the LT trim, but also includes:

  • Cruise control
  • EZ lift & lower tailgate
  • Steering wheel with audio and cruise controls
  • Dual zone AC

1.4 RST (new for 2019)

It generally includes everything from the LT trim, but also includes:

  • Performance aesthetic parts
  • Body-color trim
  • Full LED lighting
  • Up to 22-inch wheels

1.5 LTZ (Begins luxury trim)

This is the trim that starts to really focus on the comfort and convenience. It generally includes everything from the LT trim, but also includes:

  • Leather interior available
  • Heated front seats
  • Power adjustable front seats
  • Remote engine starter

1.6 High Country (top of the line)

It generally includes everything from the LTZ trim, but also includes:

  • Chrome wheels
  • Chrome running board
  • Chrome grill
  • Chrome accents
  • Active noise cancellation on top of the already fairly quiet Silverado cabin

Cabin Sizes


This is a truck with only a front row of seating (no rear seats)(2019 pictured)



Includes a second row of seating, with two full-size front doors and smaller back doors. Despite the name, this is the smaller of the two second-row options:

  • 2014 - 2018 legroom: 34.6in
  • 2019 - 2020 legroom: 35.2in



This is the largest of the second row seating options. It is deeper than the Double version with about 6 extra inches of legroom:

  • 2014 - 2018 legroom: 40.9in
  • 2014 - 2020 legroom: 43.4in

(2019 pictured)


Box Sizes (truck bed)

  • Short: 5.75ft
  • Standard: 6.6ft
  • Long: 8ft

The Third Generation Silverado: 2014-2019


When it debuted on showroom floors in mid-2013, the third generation Silverado was an immediate success in reviews. Often scoring close to maximum marks, the variety of trims available, the engine options, the smooth transmission, the multiple cab sizes that could be mixed and matched with bed sizes… all of it garnered well deserved praise.

As well, long-duration testing showed that the Silverado was not a one-hit wonder. From multi-month tests to some sites doing multi-year tests, the light 1500 and heavy duty 2500 and 3500 models all showed excellent reliability and durability. It also reviewed well in terms of ranching and farming applications, able to haul hay, tools and gear, as well as multiple varieties of trailers without incident, be they ball hitch or fifth wheel connectors.

These long-duration tests also showed that the Silverado, at least in the non-leather interior trims, are rough and ready. Seats stood up to mile upon mile of off road and on road travel, the interiors proved easy to clean with either a vacuum or the more common brush to get dirt and gravel out of the footwells. Air conditioning was as strong on day 400 as it was on day 1, keeping the reviewers cool in hot weather tests across Arizona, California, and yes, Texas.

All in all, the Chevy Silverado has proven throughout its life in its third generation that it is a reliable, customizable, durable beast that can do it all, rain or shine.

2014 Silverado

The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado premiered in 2012 at the North American International Auto Show in Motown itself, Detroit, Michigan. At initial offering in 2013 as a 2014 model year vehicle with the 1500 nomenclature, the Silverado was only available with a selection of gas engines, namely the 4.3L EcoTec3 V6 285 HP, L83 5.3L EcoTex3 V8 with 355 HP, or the big L86 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 with a whopping 420 HP.

All three engines produced torque well in excess of 300 lb-ft, with the L86 chucking out 460 lb-ft. All engines also paired with a 6L80 automatic six-speed transmission, with selectable 4WD on specific model trims.

The biggest step above the second generation Silverado was an all new chassis that was hydroformed from very high tensile steel into a boxed frame. That same high-strength steel is used for the cab’s frame as well, offering a safety cell that scored extremely well in side-impact and offset-front crash tests.

The 2014 model also introduced a suite of options that became standard except for the base edition fleet truck. Bluetooth handsfree connectivity, USB ports in the cabin, special inputs for iPhones, and OnStar remote assistance. As well, 2014 saw the introduction of the special edition High Country model, which outfitted the interior with saddle-brown leather throughout the cabin, the L86 engine, and an 8 inch touchscreen with Chevrolet MyLink software.

Unfortunately, there was a first year recall on January 10, 2014, for a faulty sensor-to-software bug that could let parts of the exhaust system overheat. The recall was issued after several Silverado’s and GMC Sierra’s, the sister truck, caught fire.

2015 Silverado Updates

2015 saw the introduction of the heavy-duty models of the Silverado, introduced partway through 2014 as 2015 model year trucks. These could be identified by 2500HD and 3500HD following the model name. These heavy duty versions were equipped with the LY6 6.0L Vortec V8 with 360 HP and 385 lb-ft paired with an 8L90 eight-speed transmission. Of interest, this engine uses the same block and cylinders as the fifth generation Corvette C5, although paired with engine and transmission oil coolers and detuned from 405 HP.

Optionally on the heavy duty versions was the LML 6.6L Duramax Intercooled TurboDiesel with 397 HP and a staggering 765 lb-ft of torque available at 1,000 RPM. As these were intended for long distance heavy hauling, they came with both 150 and 220 amp alternators, as well as uprated DuraLife brakes all around. As well, 4x4 systems came as standard with selectable RWD, 4x4 low, and 4x4 high settings. The rear axle had an optional locking diff for models that carried the off-road or Z/71 terrain packages.

Inside, the 8 inch touchscreen display became optional on almost all models, and standard on uprated trims. A 110-volt AC household style power outlet was added, as well as a full range of safety features such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning system, lane departure warning, and extendable towing mirrors.

Chevrolet also really turned up the special edition dial in 2015, bringing out the Rally Edition 1 and 2, the Black Out Edition, and the Texas Edition. Of course, that last one is of specific interest!

The Texas Edition 1500 LT and LTZ models came with 20 inch polished aluminum wheels, a trailering package, the optional locking rear diff from the heavy duty trucks, body colored mirror caps and door handles, and a big badge on each side stating Texas Edition. It also had reworked steering and suspension to make the ride more comfortable and responsive.

2016 Silverado Updates

The Silverado underwent a mid-cycle facelift in 2016, bringing about a new front grille, new headlights, new front fascia, and on the High Country edition, LED tail lights and cargo lights. The interior was also updated, with HD Radio and Sirius satellite radio added to the infotainment system, as well as the addition of Android Auto to complement the already present Apple CarPlay functionality of the 8 inch touchscreen. That touchscreen also became available on the LT and LTZ models.

The biggest jump for the Silverado, however, was the introduction of the optional L8B 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine to the LT trim level. This engine option added a mild hybrid assist that connects to the L83’s crankshaft via a belt, and provides up to 13% better fuel economy. It also uses a modified version of the 8L90 transmission to gain the most power and torque possible from the electric motor’s assist.

2017 Silverado Updates

The Silverado 2500 and 3500 HD models received a reworked version of the LML Duramax TurboDiesel as a 2017 model year option in mid-2016. Named the L5P 6.6L Duramax TurboDiesel, it is also the most powerful diesel in Chevy’s lineup, with 445 HP and an earth shattering 910 lb-ft available at 1,600 RPM. It has also proved popular with the truck tuning crowd, as it has been shown that with some mild work, the L5P can exceed 555 HP and 1,050 lb-ft.

Other updates for the 2017 model year were subdued, with the fuel filler on gas powered editions becoming capless, low speed braking mitigation being added to the driver safety package, a new aluminum hood with air scoops for the L5P Duramax TurboDiesel, and standard HID headlamps on all trim levels.

New special editions were also introduced, including a High Desert variant of the High Country (magnetically adjustable suspension and water resistant bed and bed cover), Alaskan Heavy Duty (which included a lot of cold-weather items such as fuel line heaters, larger heat exchanger for quicker cabin heat, and reinforced front chassis to mount a snowplow to), and Z71 Redline edition (black wheels with red highlights, black nameplates with red outline, and a blacked out Chevy Bowtie logo).

2018 Silverado Updates

The Silverado remained almost entirely the same as the previous year for the 2018 model year. The only major difference was the introduction of the Centennial Edition, which was built to celebrate 100 years of Chevrolet trucks. The special edition was an uprated 1500 LTZ Z71 with a crew cab and a short box. It included a special blue metallic paint, 22-inch painted aluminum wheels with chromed inserts, special 100 year Chevy Bowtie logos, and special badging.

It came equipped with the L86 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 with a special ECU map, giving it the same 420 HP but with 416 lb-ft instead of the standard 383 lb-ft.

2019 Silverado Updates

For 2019, the third generation Silverado continued production alongside its new fourth generation brother. Renamed as the Silverado LD (or Light Duty), it was available in only one trim, that of the LT 1500 with double cab and a standard length box. Production was also moved to Ontario, Canada, from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to close out the life of the third generation.

The 2500 and 3500 HD models continued production as well, with all available trims, until December 2019, when the third generation took its final bow and drove off into history

TrimYearsMSRPEngineTow Rating (lbs)Review

Recalls & Technical Service Bulletins

Throughout the third generation, there were only two major recalls:

  • 14V614000: Electrical sensor system that can cause a short in the ignition, causing an engine stall that could lead to a crash
  • 14V007000: Exhaust sensor not reliably reporting exhaust temperatures may cause exhaust to overheat and cause nearby plastic components to melt and catch fire

There are multiple minor recalls and service bulletins. The most common of these recalls are in regard to non-critical sensors and software updates to fix bugs. These included the transmission not reporting being shifted into Drive correctly, faulty driver door sensor that would state the door was open when it was closed and locked, automatic headlights not turning on automatically until switch was cycled off automatic and then back, and the airbag sensor for the passenger seat sometimes detecting a passenger when there was none.

Known Problems & Reliability Issues

In terms of known problems, the Silverado does not have any critical issues. Average yearly repair and maintenance costs are estimated to average around $700, making it sit exactly on average for light and mid size trucks.

The 2500 and 3500 HD models do carry a slightly heavier average annual cost of nearer to $1,000, due to the intricacies of extra coolers and slightly more expensive parts if replacements are needed.

Both gas and diesel power units score high on reliability with regular maintenance, and some heavily used 2014 and 2015 model year trucks have already surpassed 200,000 miles without any major issues.

On 4x4 editions, there is a known problem that some of the earlier model years used CV boot covers that were substandard, but unless the owner has seriously thrashed their truck through the harshest of environments, they are able to last throughout their expected lifetime of 100,000 to 150,000 miles.

The Fourth Generation Silverado: 2019+


Changes From the Third Generation

The Chevrolet Silverado in its fourth generation has a few subtle, but significant changes compared to the prior model generation. Primary among these is a redesigned shape, with a much more flowing front grille and quarter panels that are aerodynamic and meet more stringent pedestrian safety requirements.

As well, LED lights are standard all around on all models, including LED daytime running lights midway down the front grille under the primary headlight assemblies.

Every trim level of the fourth generation received an updated version of the 8 inch touchscreen infotainment system. All trims will come with power locks, windows, fully integrated air conditioning, and a rearview backup camera that displays via the infotainment screen.

Uprated trims received a variety of new systems, including GPS navigation, integrated SIriusXM satellite radio, OnStar with 4G LTE in-vehicle wifi, Bose premium audio system, keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, heated and ventilated leather seats, heated steering wheel, and multi-angle 360 camera system to assist with parking.


The 2019 model year saw a carryover of naming styles from the third generation, namely the 1500, 2500HD, and 3500HD model designations. The lowest trim level, WT 1500, comes with a LV3 4.3L EcoTec3 V6 engine with 285 HP. New on the LT 1500 trim is a L3B 2.7L Turbo inline-four, the first time a turbo-four has been available in the Silverado. It produces a hefty 310 HP.

Mid-level models come standard with the L82 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 with 355 HP. This engine comes with standard active fuel management, however, customers can opt for the same engine in the L84 variant, which has dynamic fuel management, which has cylinder shut-down capabilities.

Top spec models come with the L87 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 with 420 HP, which differs from the third generation L86 by adding dynamic fuel management as standard.

All engines mate to a new, standard-across-the-range 10L80 MF6 ten-speed automatic. This transmission is a collaboration between Chevrolet and Ford to design and build a transmission that can be dynamically set to any application needed across a wide range of power and torque curves

Also new for 2019 was an industry first fully powered up/down tailgate that was available on the higher spec trims such as LTZ and High Country.


2020 saw the introduction of the 2500HD and 3500HD models using the new body shape, adapted for heavier duty applications. This includes stronger rolled steel beds, a carryover of the dual alternators, and the availability of interior trims that were in the 1500 range in the third generation, including leather and heated/cooled seats and steering wheels.

The standard engine for the heavy duty range is the L8T 6.6L V8 with 401 HP and 464 lb-ft of torque. It is an evolution of the LY6 Vortec, with a much more suitable compression ratio and using 87 octane fuel to boost torque without the need of a super- or turbo-charger.

The Duramax TurboDiesel crowd were happy to see the venerable L5P continue on in the HD models.

For the 1500 models, a new Duramax TurboDiesel was developed specifically to give the light truck portion of the Silverado lineup the grunt that some customers were asking for. The LM2 3.0L Duramax TurboDiesel inline-six comes with 277 HP but a light truck topping 460 lb-ft of torque. It also features a full aluminum block and head, and borrowing from motorsports, uses a liquid-to-air intercooler to keep the charged air temperature constant.

This new Duramax was also developed mostly in Italy, which is why it is lightweight and borrows some technology from motorsports. Due to the technical expertise used in its design and implementation, it can easily keep above 30 MPG during normal and towing usage, and has been known to break through 40 MPG if the customer wants to travel using hyper-mile rules.

TrimYearsMSRPEngineTow Rating (lbs)Review

Recalls & Technical Service Bulletins

One major recall exists for the Silverado for 2019-2020, across all models:

  • 19V814000: Seat Belt pretensioner on models with carpet flooring may exhaust hot gasses after deployment towards the floor, potentially igniting the carpet and causing a fire

The only moderate TSB was for the first few thousand off the production line that may have had faulty airbag sensors installed, which were replaced under the TSB as well as under warranty.

Known Problems & Reliability

The fourth generation Silverado has proven to be reliable in the two or so years it has been in production. No major issues or known problems exist.

Any issues that could be found are common “everyday problems” that many vehicles of all types encounter, which are treated or prevented with standard maintenance.

Which Silverado Should I Choose?

The greatest thing about the Chevrolet Silverado is that it is so dynamic that you can get the perfect combination for your own personal or commercial use. We’ve listed the best model we can think of for each of the following areas:

Work & Trades

The Silverado WT 1500 is your best bet here. It is designed from the outset to quite literally be a Work Truck (hence the WT name), meant to be easy to maintain, keep working over industrial levels of miles, and be able to take a beating.

The WT can be specced to have a regular cab with a long bed, as well as a double cab with a standard bed, and a crew cab with a standard or short bed. The WT trim can be specified as 2WD only, or 2WD with selectable 4WD.

The WT can be specced to have a regular cab with a long bed, as well as a double cab with a standard bed, and a crew cab with a standard or short bed. The WT trim can be specified as 2WD only, or 2WD with selectable 4WD.


If you need to have the Silverado with the maximum payload amount, the Custom LT 1500 long bed with the 5.3L V8 is your choice. It can take up to 2,250 lbs in pure haulage in the bed, and will not complain overly much.

If you need a double cab or crew cab, the LT 1500 with the 5.3L V8 will be your choice, as it can haul 2,000 to 2,100 lbs depending on bed and cab lengths.

Trailering & Towing

If you want to have the best of the best in terms of what you can drag around behind your truck, the Silverado 3500 HD with the 6.6L Duramax TurboDiesel is the beast for you. With standard ball hitch towing (also known as gooseneck towing), it can handle up to 20,000 lbs in either crew or double cab setups.

For fifth wheel trailering, you also win out with the 3500HD in any trim, as it can pull up to 35,500 lbs! To translate, that is enough to pull a center-pivot CAT 450 backhoe loader (29,500 lbs) and have enough spare trailering weight to bring a few backhoe shovels along for the ride. Or, that is a full horse trailer with enough spare weight for saddles and gear without even making the engine pull h4rd.

Daily Driving

This one is hard to pin a specific recommendation on, because everyone is different in their tastes and choices regarding what is the perfect truck for them.

If we had to recommend a specific truck with the best of both worlds of economy and comfort, the 2020 LT 1500 with the LM2 3.0L Duratec TurboDiesel would be our choice. Either double cab or crew cab with the short or standard bed, it is 2WD standard with optional 4WD when needed, has an extremely efficient engine that can regularly score well into the 30 MPG range, and is also viable for pretty much anything the regular daily driver may need. It can carry a new bed from IKEA one day, and then the groceries the next

Off-Road & Trail Driving

Chevy listened when customers asked for off-roading and trail driving specific versions of the Silverado for the fourth generation. The LT 1500 Z71 Trail Boss is the ultimate Silverado for chewing up some dirt. With a full 2 inch suspension lift from the factory, 18 inch black wheels with mud-terrain tires as standard, full bucket seats so you don’t bounce around the cabin, and included bed lining and triple-flip tonneau cover, it’s designed to take the beating off roading gives, without complaining.


Except for a few problematic years, the Silverado carries a good reputation for longevity and reliability. It ranks at a 3.5 out of 5, which is very good for a truck as the average reliable truck has a rating of 3. Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD, Suburban, and Tahoe are regularly bought and sold at used car dealerships and last up to 200,000+ miles on average.

The 2016 Chevy Silverado 1500 is a pretty good used truck choice with its upgraded technology, easy-to-use infotainment system, and a good reliability rating that other trucks envy. For a more generous budget, 2016-2018 Chevy Silverado provides you all features of a new model at a significantly lower price point.

The 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 with its new 6.2-liter V8 engine leaves most of the competition in the dust. It is incredibly efficient by using its Dynamic Fuel Management system without sacrificing power.

A truck might look great from the outside, but a completely different story when it comes to under the hood. Chevy Silverado has a lot of working parts, and it is important to make sure that they are all in proper working condition. In general, look closely at engine mounts, shocks, ball joints, and make sure headlights, turn signal indicators, and brake lights are working as they should. Test out all of the buttons and mechanical stuff and look out for excessive rust.

Generation/YearPrice RangeAverage Used Price

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