2020 vs. 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500: What’s the Difference?

Deciding which new vehicle, especially a truck, to purchase can be challenging. You have plenty of factors to consider, including performance, fuel efficiency, design, and price. And all of this information about various vehicles can become overwhelming. Plus, once you narrow down the make and model you want, you have to decide if you want the current year’s model or an earlier one. Sometimes that choice is easy, but other times it’s much less straightforward. One such vehicle that makes the decision difficult is the Chevy Silverado

Let’s explore the 2020 and 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 to see which might be a better choice

2020 Chevy Silverado 1500

The 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 is an overall excellent truck. The 2019 to 2020 Silverado gained increased towing capacity and the option to upgrade to a turbodiesel engine. 

The 2020 Chevy Silverado also comes standard with a 285-hp V6 engine, producing up to 305 lb-ft of torque. Prospective owners have plenty of other engine options with varying horsepower and torque capabilities. U.S. News notes the base engine is fine for everyday driving, but it recommends opting for one of the V8 engines due to more raw power and enhanced towing abilities. The 6.2-liter V8, for example, can produce up to 420 hp and 469 lb-ft of torque, clearly better-suited to big jobs than the standard version. 

Seating in the 2020 Chevy Silverado is roomy and comfortable in all models, especially in the Silverado Crew Cab. It also now comes standard with the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system. The base model has a 7.0-inch infotainment screen, though higher trims get an upgrade to an 8.0-inch screen, which probably doesn’t feel all that larger. 

2021 Chevy Silverado 1500

The Chevy Silverado 1500 didn’t get tons of upgrades in 2021. But the most notable change is the availability of a multifunction tailgate and the increase in towing capacities for the turbodiesel and turbo-four engines.

The multifunction tailgate, known as the Multi-Flex Tailgate, might be a big deal to some prospective truck owners. It allows you to change the height of the tailgate to accommodate various products and materials you might need to transport in the truck bed, Chevrolet explains. The Multi-Flex Tailgate has six possible configurations, and it’s a welcome addition to the Silverado. 

As noted earlier, some engines saw an upgrade to higher towing capacities, but two engines in the 2021 Chevy Silverado can actually tow less than the prior year’s model. The 5.3-liter V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM) and the 6.2-liter V8 engine with DFM can tow about 100 pounds less than the 2020 Silverado. To some, this might not matter, but to others, this could be a deal-breaker. 

Chevy also got rid of two color options — Havana Brown Metallic and Cajun Red Tintcoat — for 2021. But it added three new exterior colors: Mosaic Black Metallic, Oxford Brown Metallic, and Cherry Red Tintcoat. 

Which model year is the better buy?


Despite Awful Reliability, the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 Satisfies Most Owners, Consumer Reports Shows

In the end, it’s hard to say you can go wrong with purchasing either model. Both the 2020 and 2021 Chevy Silverado are high-quality trucks that can, for the most part, get the job done.

However, the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 falls a bit short of the previous model year in performance. Plus, purchasing a slightly older model, like the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500, can save you a few thousand dollars on the purchase price. Not a bad deal at all.