Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 Is Surprisingly Unreliable

As far as brand-new pickup trucks go, the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 is one of the most compelling offerings. With various engine configurations, Chevy’s full-size truck aims to please a wide range of buyers. However, with so many options available, they can’t all be winners. In a recent list published by Consumer Reports, the Silverado 1500 was named one of the least reliable brand-new vehicles you can buy. Aside from a poor reliability rating, the Chevy also didn’t in terms of owner satisfaction.

Here’s what’s wrong with the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500

Chevrolet Silverado Diesel driving on a highway near a mountain
Chevrolet Silverado Diesel | Chevrolet

To determine its reliability ratings, Consumer Reports conducts a widespread survey to see what issues owners have experienced. Additionally, owners can comment on how satisfied they are with their purchase. This is where the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 begins to fail. According to Consumer Reports, buyers reported significant issues with the brakes, in-car electronics, transmission, engine, and drive system.

Oddly enough, while Consumer Reports noted during a road test that the Chevy Silverado’s brakes offered above-average performance. The low rating provided by owners suggests that although the brakes excel in a road test, they suffer in real-world driving.

While the Chevy Silverado boasts a luxurious interior, Consumer Reports notes that the in-car electronics are prone to fail. As a result, you may find that your Silverado’s tech features may stop working due to malfunctions. However, while these issues are certainly significant, the most important are those surrounding the actual powertrains.

Engine and transmission issues are reportedly common

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One of the biggest drawbacks of the Consumer Reports test is that it doesn’t specify exactly which of the various engine and transmission combinations are the most affected. Instead, we get a general overview of the model as a whole, so keep that in mind as we run through these issues.

For starters, both the Chevy Silverado’s major and minor engine components were cited as trouble spots. According to Consumer Reports, a major engine failure relates to the “cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.” In terms of the minor engine components, Consumer Reports define these as “accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.” According to Consumer Reports, their survey showed low scores in these areas, resulting in the low-reliability rating.

It is important to note that the Silverado doesn’t necessarily suffer from all of these issues. Instead, some of the issues experienced have to fall into one of two available categories. Additionally, not all engines suffer from the same issues, and as a result, some may be more reliable than others. The Heavy Duty variant of the Silverado ranks much higher in terms of reliability. The Silverado 2500HD holds third place in terms of new-truck reliability ratings.

How do other full-size pickup trucks stack up?

Chevrolet Silverado seen at the New York International Auto
Chevy Silverado | Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

If the low Consumer Reports reliability rating has made you wary of buying a Chevy Silverado, you’ve got options. As far as full-size trucks, Consumer Reports also has reliability ratings for 2021 pickup trucks such as the 2021 Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra. Since the 2021 Ford F-150 has yet to arrive in dealerships, there’s no rating for it just yet.

If we look at the Ram 1500, reliability is slightly stronger than the Chevy Silverado but not by much. While the Silverado scored a 13 out of 100 in reliability, the Ram 1500 scored a 34 out of 100. If Reliability is your main concern, you’ll want to go for the Toyota Tundra as Consumer Reports gave it an 80 out of 100. Now we’ll have to wait and see how the 2021 Ford F-150 stacks up.