Consumer Reports Has Been Hesitant to Recommend the Chevy Silverado for Years

When you think of a pickup, there are several that come to mind, but one of the more familiar names out there has to be the Chevy Silverado. Buying one brand-new is pretty expensive, so many opt for a used one instead. But you don’t always know what you’re getting. 

Consumer Reports came up with a list of used vehicles to avoid, and the Silverado is one of them. Why should you avoid it and will the 2021 model be any better?

What did Consumer Reports have to say about the Chevy Silverado?

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The list of used cars Consumer Reports wants you to avoid is made up of several makes and models with worse than average reliability scores. These are configured from data they’ve collected from owners of these vehicles. Included in the list are the specific model years that had more problems than others did.

In that list, there are 100 models of cars, trucks, and SUVs to avoid when buying used. Chevrolet, alone, has 15 of those vehicles that Consumer Reports recommends you avoid at all costs. You’ll find that there are five model years of the Chevy Cruze, four of the Tahoe, four of the Malibu, and only one of the Camaro listed. 

One of the biggest surprises, however, is the Chevy Silverado. The most popular pickup in the Chevy lineup has four model years Consumer Reports wants you to avoid. They list 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020 as the trucks they think you should pass on by when buying used. The Silverado 2500 HD is also listed for 2015 and 2017.

Why was the Chevy Silverado so bad?

According to reports on CarComplaints, there were several problems with the 2015 model. The reports claimed the transmission idled roughly, and it shifted poorly. Others complained the suspension vibrated too much, while many said the brakes would fail without warning. 

The 2017 model continued to be plagued with poor brake performance and transmission problems. Some reported a torque converter problem, which threw off the transmission.

Some owners had to replace it at a cost of approximately $3,000. The brakes fared no better than previous years. They continued to fail. Some owners were told the issue was with the electronic brake control module.

The 2019 and 2020 models had some electronic issues. Some owners complained they couldn’t get their pickup started. Others reported dash lights going out for no reason, the rearview camera would malfunction, and the steering and brakes wouldn’t work until you restarted the pickup. 

It’s important to remember that the majority of Silverados from these model years are probably fine in the grand scheme of things.

When you put the amount of complaints these model years received into context of the total amount of trucks sold by Chevy, it is clear the Silverado isn’t an awful truck by any measure.

Will the 2021 model year be any better?

With the new model coming out, hopes are that this one would fare better than previous models. However, it looks like this may not be the case. It appears that the 2021 may be another model you will need to avoid after it’s passed into the used market. 

So far, there have been complaints from owners regarding the brakes, in-car electronics, engine, and drivetrain. Consumer Reports liked the brake performance, but owners disagreed with it.

They said the brakes fell short of their expectations. While there are a nice amount of tech features available with this model, owners simply had too many problems with them malfunctioning for them to be worth it. 

Other problems owners had with this truck included is its lack of standard safety features and fuel economy. The Silverado only has the rearview camera and the Teen Driver feature as standard equipment. There are plenty of options available, but it will cost extra to get them. 

Overall Chevy Silverado is a good pickup to buy. But if you’re considering getting a used one, be sure to do extra research on the 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020 models. Not eveyr truck from these model years will be awful, but the fact that those years landed on Consumer Report’s list is telling.