Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A white 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 High Country is shown driving on a dirt road.

Which Fourth-Generation Chevy Silverado Is Right for You?

You’re ready to buy a used truck and have set your sights on a Chevy Silverado 1500. Which model year do you get? Which trim do you look for? Let’s narrow down a few of the options you will have if you decide to scour a used Chevrolet dealer for a fourth-generation truck, which is the latest version of the Silverado. This generation has been in production since 2019, so you have quite a few options to choose from at a range of price points. The good news is, you’ve come to the right place to figure out what may or may not work for you. At CarBuyerLabs, we try to do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to figuring out the minutiae and details so that you can drive home in the used truck that’s right for you.

What You’re Willing to Pay Will Determine the Model Year

It should go without saying that newer vehicles are almost always going to cost you more and provide more features. You know that already. However, shopping for used trucks from the same generation means that you can enjoy similar features no matter which model year you choose. This means looking for an older fourth-generation Silverado from 2019 or 2020 will provide the highest value. But there is an exception––the 2022 model year received a substantial update for the LT trim and above.

While the updated 2022 models are still difficult to find at used truck dealers and will cost basically as much as a new truck, the improvements were substantial. These pickups include a brand-new interior with a 13.4-inch central touchscreen and matching 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, taking the Silverado to the next level. The High Country trim offers Super Cruise hands-free driving, and the new ZR2 trim is Chevy’s ultimate off-road machine. If you want any of these updated features and options, that will determine the model year you will be shopping for.

However, be careful when shopping for a used 2022 model because Chevy actually sold two different versions of the truck for that year. If you see a 2022 Silverado 1500 “Limited” or “LTD,” that isn’t a special high-value trim. Because of shortages, Chevy had difficulty launching the redesigned 2022 model on time and continued producing 2021 models as the 2022 Limited for the first half of the year. Still, these odd trucks can be a low-cost way to get a newer used model at a lower price if you don’t need all the latest features.

A red 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 is shown being loaded with construction supplies.

Where and How You Drive Determines What Trim Works for You

The fourth generation Chevy Silverado 1500 is more than just model years and updates. The different trims available for different years will determine what works best for your wants and needs. What sort of Chevy Silverado should you look for if you’re looking to pick one up from a used Chevrolet dealer?

If you need a no-frills work truck and want the cheapest available model, a 2019 Chevy Silverado WT is the way to go. You can get a fairly low-cost WT from most used truck dealers with low mileage and all the basic features you need right out of the box. This will give you some great towing, trailering, and hauling capabilities straight away. It’s a utilitarian option that does what it does well enough for the price point.

If you have the budget for a luxury-oriented pickup, the High Country is the preferred choice for those with a penchant for the finer things in life. However, more practical-minded drivers looking for a daily driver or something that doubles as a family vehicle may prefer the LT or LTZ. These trims offer more interior convenience features, making for a more comfortable ride. There is also the RST, which sits between the LT and LTZ but has a unique sporty look with a body-color grille.

Chevy also offers a selection of off-road trims for the Silverado 1500. The Custom Trail Boss and LT Trail Boss come from the factory with a variety of performance features, including a two-inch suspension lift and underbody skid plates. If you’re an off-roader, these are the trims you will want to look for. The new ZR2 trim is even more capable, with a taller, wider stance and first-in-class front and rear locking differentials for maximum traction. However, this trim was only introduced in 2022 and will be challenging to find used.

Accounting for Convenience and Features

On the subject of comfort and convenience, the fourth-generation Chevy Silverado 1500 received many new technologies, features, and improvements. Even if you don’t opt for the redesigned 2022 model, these trucks are a step up from the third-generation Silverado. Depending on how important these updates are to you will determine whether you will want to spend more for those features. This will be determined by considering which model year and trim you go with.

For instance, 2020 models and later will have more options when it comes to powertrain availability since the powerful 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel joined the lineup that year. The 2022 model made further changes to the engine options, dropping the standard V6 engine the Silverado 1500 had offered since 2014 and upping the output of the 2.7L Turbo from 305 to 348 lb-ft of torque. However, the 5.3L V8 and 6.2L V8 engines that form the backbone of the Silverado engine lineup have remained unchanged throughout the fourth generation.

Another thing to keep in mind is that only the 2021 and newer models come with the available Multi-Flex Tailgate, which can be useful for work-site tasks. The additional trailering features available from 2021 onward are also something to consider if you do a lot of towing. If you feel like you don’t need the additional trailering tech or the Multi-Flex Tailgate, you can certainly opt for the most cost-effective model year to save money when buying a used Chevy Silverado.

A black 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 High Country is shown parked in a dry grassy field with a mountain view.

You Don’t Need to Forfeit Style for Finances

The best part about buying from a used Chevrolet dealer is that what you see is what you get. However, that doesn’t mean that what you get has to be bland. The beauty of buying a used Chevy Silverado is that you can scout through the available selections based on your preferences and what’s already included with that used model. Don’t limit yourself to buying a plain truck because that’s what’s available. You can shop around to find different colors, features, and configurations based on your budget.

Some people buy a brand-new Silverado in a cool color scheme with some unique packages, then decide later that they want something else and sell it to a dealer. Depending on the mileage, year, and trim, it might be more cost-effective to buy that “cool” Silverado over a basic WT trim with low mileage and no additional features that costs more. It just depends on if you’re willing to shop around to find the right combination of features, configurations, and pricing that matches what you want. If you can narrow down what you want to use the truck for and have a flexible budget, you should be able to find some good deals on a used fourth-generation Silverado.