Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A teal 2021 Chevy Spark is shown parked outside of a modern house after leaving a used Chevrolet dealership.

Which Chevy Models are Your Best Used Options?

The Chevy lineup has several different models available, but they’re not all made equally; some models are definitely better in some situations than others. While your particular needs will ultimately dictate which ones are right for you, there are certain models you should look for at your used Chevrolet dealership over others. Considering the price of a used car or truck these days, it’s more important than ever that you take the time to think about all your options and choose the vehicle that will genuinely best meet your needs.

Things to Consider While Shopping

Before we dig into specific models to keep an eye out for while shopping for a used Chevy, let’s quickly talk about a few basic things to consider. First and foremost, you should always keep the age and mileage of any vehicle you’re looking at in mind and weigh it against the price. While you certainly want a vehicle with low mileage on the odometer, if the price seems cheaper than it should be, then there’s something they’re not telling you.

It’s also essential to research any specific Chevy vehicle you’re interested in to learn more about it. Find out when each generation of the vehicle started, and use that to guide your decision: newer generations will generally have better and more updated features. That being said, I’d suggest skipping the first year of an all-new generation or a brand-new release whenever possible – most cars these days seem to launch with some bugs, so giving them a year to iron those out is a good idea. This rule of thumb will help direct your focus on particular years with great features you want while letting you skip the growing pains often found in the first year of a generation.

Chevy Models to Look For

While only you can know what you need in a vehicle, here are some great models you should look for when shopping for a used Chevy:

The Spark

Is the Chevy Spark glamorous? Absolutely not. However, it is one of the less expensive vehicles on the road and a fantastic choice if you’re on a tight budget. You’ll certainly not want to choose this model if you have a big family, but it’s an excellent choice for a single person – works well for date night too – or if you have a young driver who you want driving a suitable vehicle. Chevy is discontinuing the Spark after this year, so the used market is the only place you’ll find them from here on out.

The Cruze

If you want something a bit bigger than the Spark, the Cruze is an excellent compact car that has four doors and a surprising amount of room inside. The Cruze was only available in the US from 2011 to 2019, but it offered a host of great features and options during that time. Since it was discontinued relatively recently, a used model can have impressive technology, sporty performance, and excellent safety features like any modern car.

The Malibu

For a family-friendly sedan, the Chevy Malibu is a great choice that is still in production and (hopefully) isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Malibu is a midsize sedan, making it the perfect choice for many drivers out there, and it’s been around for decades. In recent years, the Malibu has delivered impressive performance at a very reasonable price, making this a popular model. You’ll find many of them when shopping in the used market.

The Equinox

Chevy offers a lot of SUV and crossover models – some might argue they have too many options and this point and could stand to pare things down a bit. Although the Trailblazer is a fine choice for a small model, I prefer the Equinox, a great option if you’re looking for a crossover that can fit into pretty much any lifestyle. Chevy believes in the future of this model – they’re releasing an electric version in the not-too-distant future – so you can shop for one of these with confidence. Used models can include an excellent selection of tech and safety features, especially from recent years.

The Blazer

If you’re looking for something a bit larger, then the Blazer would be my choice for the best overall SUV to look for while shopping for a used Chevy. The modern incarnation of the Blazer has only been around since 2019 (the last model year before that was 2005, but don’t go that far back), so they all have great features. The Blazer is a fantastic midsize model that’s been incredibly popular since it launched, so you’ll find many of them in excellent condition on used car lots.

A close up shows the Blazer badge on the passenger side door of a red 2019 Chevy Blazer RS.

The Suburban

I’m not a big fan of large or full-size SUVs, but I also don’t have a big family or need one. My friends who need three rows of seating have been huge fans of the Suburban for many years now. This vehicle is an absolute beast and the largest SUV Chevy sells, so make sure you need something this large. If you do, then the Suburban is a fantastic choice. It’s been around for many years, so you’ll find plenty of used models on used vehicle lots with a wide range of options and features.

The Colorado

Chevy trucks are some of the most impressive and popular pickups on the road, so it should come as no surprise that I would strongly recommend the Colorado to anyone looking for a used midsize truck, Chevy or not. The Colorado has changed a bit since hitting the market in 2004, but any model from 2015 or later will be an excellent midsize pickup. These are some of the best trucks for going off-road, especially if you find a ZR2 model, so look for one of these if you want a pickup for hitting the trail.

The Silverado

If you need something larger and with more power than the Colorado, then you’ll be hard-pressed to beat the capability and muscle of a Chevy Silverado. The standard Silverado 1500 is a fantastic full-size work truck; Chevy has offered many (many!) trims and different engines in recent years, so take your time to look at the options out there. With the right combination and setup, you can get massive towing ability with a used Silverado – keep an eye out for a used Silverado 2500 HD or 3500 HD if you need even greater capability.

A black 2018 Chevy Silverado 1500 High Country is shown towing a boat past a lake and mountains.

Chevy Models to Skip

There aren’t too many Chevy models that I’d say to pass on, but a couple are generally not worth your time when there are better options from Chevrolet. These include:

The Bolt EV

I wish I could recommend the Chevy Bolt EV because it’s a very affordable electric model that’s also pretty fun to drive. As you might know, the problem is that every Bolt EV on the road has been recalled to have its battery replaced due to the risk of spontaneous combustion. If you want a used Chevy Bolt EV, then make absolutely sure the recall has been carried out – with supply-chain shortages, however, it could be a while before every model you find has the replacement battery.

The Trax

The Chevy Trax isn’t dangerous or prone to bursting into flames; it’s just not that great compared to the rest of the Chevy lineup. It might’ve had a time and place at one point, but with so many superior crossover and SUV options from Chevy, there’s just no reason to pick it over something like the Equinox. If it’s your best option at an unbeatable price, then go for it – but don’t blame me when you feel bored whenever you get in your car. Now that you have a good sense of what to look for get out there and get shopping!