What Are the Worst Years for the Chevy Silverado?

2014 might be the worst year for the Chevy Silverado. Other years considered to be bad are 2005 and 2016. Learn more here.
Written by Rob Shapiro
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Despite being a popular truck, the Chevy Silverado has its not-as-great years—the worst of which is considered to be the 2014 model. Other years to avoid are 2005, 2008, 2015, and 2016. 
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Meet the Chevy Silverado

The Chevy Silverado comes in three different models: 1500, 2500, and 3500. These model types mainly refer to the truck’s capacity. For instance, the 1500 is a light-duty truck with a half-ton capacity, the 2500 is a heavy-duty truck with a three-quarter-ton capacity, and the 3500 is also a heavy-duty truck but with a one-ton capacity.
Each model offers benefits and drawbacks but the most pronounced differences reside in the years in which they were manufactured. That’s why most people shop according to years where the biggest upgrades and the most noticeable problems are found.

What makes a year good or bad for a Silverado?

No one thing makes a year good or bad for the Silverado. The factors that go into rating a Silverado are usually:
  • Reliability
  • Performance
  • Technology and manufacturing improvements
  • Strength of the truck, including features like a hydroformed frame
  • Look and design
  • Safety
Some of what determines the quality of a Silverado are subjective like design. Other aspects like performance need to be a clear improvement over models from not just the prior year but also earlier years. 
The biggest improvements year over year that you should look for are safety features
The 2014 Chevy Silverado is considered to be the worst of them. Many owners complained about its heavy oil consumption, electrical problems, and transmission issues, among other issues. 
Key Takeaway Deciding if a Chevy Silverado from any given year is good or bad comes down to reliability, performance, improvements in technology and manufacturing, strength, safety, and design.
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Chevy Silverado years to avoid

The Silverado has had some bad years but there are a few that really stand out. Here are some years that became known for their recalls and defects. 
  • 2004: The 2004 2500 Silverado had a reported detect where the brakes stopped working.
  • 2005: The 2005 Chevy Silverado has had 14 recalls. These recalls were across all three models and for issues related to the brakes, steering column and transmission.
  • 2008: The 2008 had excessive oil consumption issues. Also, owners complained that the 4-wheel drive impacted its overall utility. The 2500 from 2008 had a problem with the airbags not deploying and the dashboard cracking. 
  • 2012 and 2013:Chevy fielded a lot of complaints for the 1500 from2012 and 2013. The most commonly reported problems were faulty engines and transmissions.
  • 2016 and 2017: The 1500 from 2016 and 2017 became infamous for their transmission issues. Many reported their 1500 to jerk and surge or that their transmission unexpectedly failed.

Was 2014 the worst year for the Silverado?

As mentioned, the year you may want to avoid is 2014 according to
. While this year has some fans, it seems as if a lot went wrong with its production. 
Its biggest issue was its heating and air conditioning system. The AC condensers often leak and require replacing. Compressor failures were also quite common. 
The 2014 Silverado had some pros. Its safety technology was solid with these additions and/or improvements:
  • Forward collision alert
  • Lane departure warning
  • Safety alert seat
  • Front parking sensors
Generally speaking, you want to steer clear of these years. Consider a 1500, 2500, and 3500 from one of Chevy’s more notable years. 
Key Takeaway The worst years for the Chevy Silverado are considered to be 2005, 2007, 2008, 2014, 2015, and 2016. 2014 is viewed as the worst. 

Best years for the Silverado

It’s fun to rag on the bad Silverados, but it’s also important to know which years offer the best models. The truth is that the Silverado has consistently been one of the best-selling pickup trucks on the market, and the main competitor to other popular trucks like the
Ford F150
First, let’s look at what makes a certain year good so you can determine if a particular Silverado is the right truck for you. 
The 2006 Silverado 1500 was the first model with the Silverado Vortec Max and trailering package. This added to the truck’s ruggedness and ability to handle challenging driving and terrains. 
The 2009 Silverado 1500 featured a noticeable improvement concerning its engine. The 6.2 L V8 offered 403 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque—which is pretty impressive.
The 2003 Silverado had a striking new design specifically with the headlights and grille. It looks very different from many similar trucks produced by Chevy’s competitors.  
The 2012 Silverado is a popular choice among truck enthusiasts. The 2012 is viewed by many as one of the most reliable trucks produced by Chevy. To date, it has only had three recalls.
No one year and model is best. That said, the three years you should look into if you’re considering a Silverado are:
  • 2003
  • 2009
  • 2012
Finding a consensus on the best year for the Chevy Silverado is challenging. There is a lot to factor in and some subjectivity. We recommend starting with models from 2003, 2009, and 2012 and then narrowing it down to the features and performance you find to be the most enticing. 

Are newer Chevy Silverados good or bad?

The 2020 Silverado was by no means a runaway hit. Drivers experienced several issues related to performance, such as jerking, downshifting trouble, and tough shifting. These issues were relatively minor compared to issues with other models—lack of safety technology or having to replace an electrical system.
If you want a truck similar to a Silverado then you can opt for the
GMC Sierra 1500
Ram 2500
Nissan Titan
Toyota Tundra

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