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A silver 2018 Chevy Colorado, which is a popular used Chevy truck for sale, is parked at the ocean.

Three Models to Look at When Buying a Used Chevy Truck

Many looking to purchase a used pickup truck believe that each truck is more or less the same. After all, a pickup truck’s general concept is largely the same even between truck companies: it’s a light truck chassis designed to hold cargo in the back bed. How complicated could that be? In reality, truck models are very diverse, specifically tailored for different purposes and experiences in a number of ways. When looking at used Chevy trucks for sale, it’s important to consider each model in depth, seeing that each model offers something different that you may enjoy more than another similar model.

What’s in a Truck’s Design?

The concept of a truck is not a modern phenomenon and dates back to the very advent of automobiles in general. Like today, each truck was designed for a purpose, especially pulling work that a normal light passenger vehicle wouldn’t be able to handle. While the purpose of a truck model today has largely become less focused, it is still true that trucks are designed with different experiences in mind.

One pickup truck may be designed to drive smoother as a leisure vehicle, while another might be engineered to provide higher towing power for the worker, for example. Naturally, when choosing a used Chevy pickup truck, it’s important to carefully analyze it’s features and statistics so that you pick the perfect vehicle for the type of drive you want.

Chevy Silverado 1500

A black 2018 Chevy Silverado 1500 is driving off-road on a path through dry grass.

Largely the king of the road for pickup trucks, a used Chevy Silverado 1500 may be the first model you look for. Offering superiority in most driving statistics, you may be tempted to buy the Chevy Silverado from the get-go. While that’s fine, it’s important to understand that even a pickup truck as incredible as the Silverado has drawbacks.

First of all, the Silverado does have legitimate reasons to be loved by the public. With a startling high towing power, it outperforms many competitors in its segment. That, mixed with a large bed for plenty of cargo space, makes the Silverado 1500 an ideal vehicle for the working man and contractor. It’s also very well regarded for its performance overall, with a capable V6 as its base engine. And if more power is needed, there is a selection of V8 engines that offer up to 420 hp.

While this power may not make much of a difference to the everyday trip in the city, it is a must if you’re looking to go off-roading or if you enjoy the overnight trip to the mountains, where the terrain will make driving a normal vehicle impossible without a sense of danger. The Chevy Silverado 1500 also shows a solid fuel economy for a full-size truck, able to achieve up to 24 MPG on the highway.

Another innovation added to the model, the Chevy Silverado shows a strong usage of technological features in both comfort and safety. Making for more connectivity, recent models Chevy Silverado 1500 offer a built-in WiFi hotspot, as well as a capable infotainment system for the long road trip. This also makes the off-road trip safer, as you’ll never need to worry about being stranded without a connection to the outside world. In addition, there is optional automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, and forward-collision warning to make every drive safer.

A used Chevy Silverado can also be a bargain if you can find a lightly-used older model. That said, if you’re looking for a long term investment, something from the last few model years may save you money on maintenance and repairs. Not to mention that you’ll be paying for wildly better features than you’ll find in an older pickup truck.

Chevy Avalanche

The Chevy Avalanche is a name that most truck buyers are unfamiliar with, having been out of production since 2013. Despite this, it can be found in the used section of your local Chevy dealership from time to time. The Avalanche itself may not be a very outstanding truck in its own right, but it does have some benefits to take into consideration.

The 2013 Chevy Avalanche, at least for a 7-year-old truck model, is still rather functional. Granted, it’s not overwhelming like a newer Silverado 1500, but it can still get the job done with either of its V8 engine options. Offering up to 8100 lbs in towing power, it’s still very much below the Silverado but has enough capability to haul most trailers. It does, however, have a relatively low fuel economy of just 20 MPG on the highway.

But while a Chevy Avalanche is a somewhat mediocre pickup truck, it does boast a more comfortable and better-equipped cab than other trucks of its era. If you don’t need overwhelming towing power or performance, then the Chevy Avalanche may be the one for you. So, if you’re looking for a pickup truck that will get the job done while offering SUV comfort, then a used Chevy Avalanche may be a better choice than a used Chevy Silverado.

An orange 2011 Chevy Avalanche is parked in front of distant mountains.

Chevy Colorado

If you find yourself stuck in the middle of cost and functionality, then a used Chevy Colorado may be more your speed. Still in production, this model is more advanced than the Chevy Avalanche, both in technology and performance. However, despite being newer, the Chevy Colorado is built to be more affordable than the Chevy Silverado 1500, making it an ideal middle ground between the Avalanche and the Silverado.

Able to tow up to 7,700 lbs, it is still below the 2013 Chevy Avalanche in this regard. However, it does provide plenty of cargo space to make up for its lack of towing capacity. Further, the Colorado handily surpasses the Avalanche in fuel economy and is able to achieve up to 30 MPG on the highway with its optional diesel engine. This means that the Chevy Colorado will be able to drive for longer before needing gas than the Avalanche. Its engine performance is largely competitive with the Chevy Avalanche, with some 308 hp in its top V6 engine option.

While only competitive against the Chevy Avalanche in performance, the Chevy Colorado by far beats the Chevy Avalanche in technology. With a modern infotainment system, the Chevy Colorado often offers wireless charging, as well as a digital assistant to make sure you’re always facing the road. That means that not only will your truck be more convenient, but your drive will also be safer overall. A used Chevy Colorado also offers many safety features, like available collision alert, as well as a stronger frame for better protection in the occurrence of an accident.

While the Chevy Silverado 1500 still reigns supreme in capability for used light pickup trucks, the Chevy Colorado still beats the Silverado in terms of affordability. An early model year used Chevy Colorado can often beat even the Avalanche in terms of price, although the price will increase significantly depending on trim and engine type. Nonetheless, the Chevy Colorado is still rather inexpensive, while offering many of the features expected of a modern pickup truck.

So Which Used Chevy Pickup Truck is For Me?

The answer to this question largely depends on what you’re looking for in a pickup truck. Pickup truck models have always been diverse, even from the beginning of the pickup truck as a concept. Are you looking for top performance, like in the Chevy Silverado? Or are you looking for something more affordable, like an older Chevy Avalanche? Regardless, it’s always important to do your research before you drive your pickup truck off the lot. Pickup trucks aren’t as simple as they look, and making a wrong decision can be the difference between choosing a truck unsuited to your needs and a truck that you absolutely love.