Along with the Ford F Series, Chevy Silverado is one of the bestselling vehicles in the United States. Despite its success, the highest trim of the 2021 Silverado costs only $57,700. Close rivals such as the Nissan Titan ($59,680), GMC Sierra 1500 ($59,600), Ford F-150 ($74,600), and Ram 1500 ($73,380) all cost higher. So, what makes a good truck like the Chevy Silverado cheap?
The primary reason for the low price of the Silverado is the consumer perception that the vehicle is unreliable. There’s also the issue of its cheap-looking interior and lagging technology. Silverado’s towing and hauling capacity, while good, isn’t the best in the class. Another factor that makes Chevy Silverado cheap is its relatively low production costs.
Chevy Silverado is an excellent truck, but is it reliable? Are they worth a buy? What about the cost of fixing a Silverado? Is it expensive? Here, all these questions are answered.
Factors That Make Chevy Silverado Cheap
Low Production Costs
One of the ways General Motors reduces the production costs of Silverado is by collaborating with other cars they produce. Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra share mechanical traits, including engines. This collaboration saves them on production costs.
This collaboration is a masterstroke, all the money for R and D for both trucks go into a single pot. Lower production costs mean Silverado has a lower price tag and still makes Chevrolet a lot of money.
Silverado’s interior is a poignant reflection of the cost-cutting done. Some of the interior features are using good but not the best materials, lack of luxury trimmings, and great use of plastics.
Lowering production costs while having a bestselling vehicle is a sound business choice. It’s a reason for cheap Silverados.
Compared to most of its rivals, Silverado’s interior is one of the dourest. There is no improvement in the interior of the 2021 Silverado when compared to previous years. There’s also the fact that the materials used in the interior aren’t the best.
While we are not saying that the interior materials are the cheapest available, we say that the interior design and materials don’t measure up to their rivals and glaring. Check the seats. For example, while they are spacious enough, they are as luxurious as some other trucks.
For those who have driven Ford F-150 or Tundra, the interior of Silverado is certainly a downgrade. The Silverado’s interior is another reason why it’s so affordable.
A Consumer Reports list of the top ten most reliable miniature cars has the 2021 Chevy Silverado on the list as the least reliable truck. There are only two pickup trucks on the list. Both come from Chevrolet (Silverado and Colorado).
What makes the report worrisome and credible is that the list uses reviews from owners of these vehicles. One of the most common problems listed is problematic transmission— lousy transmission leads to jerking and hard shifting.
This transmission problem was for the 2017 Silverado. The 2019 model had complaints about problematic brakes. The e-brake prevented acceleration because it was always on.
The reliability rating of the 2021 Silverado is three and a half stars, which is above average. It also costs $714 annually to maintain the truck; this cost is lower than the average maintenance costs for full-sized trucks ($936).
These figures are point to a good car, but the Consumer Report list is usually based on value for money.
Future owners want a good deal and look for feedback to decide on their dream car. A bad review puts people off and leads to low prices.
Mediocre Fuel Mileage
No one expects a truck to go the same mile per gallon as a compact. However, when several trucks have better fuel mileage than Silverado, then it is an issue. Some of the trucks with a better fuel mileage than a Chevy Silverado are—
- 2022 Ram 1500 (19MPG city and 24MPG highway)
- 2022 Ford Maverick (22MPG city and 29 MPG highway)
- 2021 Ford Ranger (20MPG city and 24 MPG highway)
- Hyundai Santa Cruz (21MPG city and 27MPG highway)
- GMC Canyon (19MPG and 25MPG highway)
2021 Silverado has a fuel mileage of 19MPG in the city and 22MPG while on the highway. While these aren’t bad numbers (there are trucks with worse or similar numbers), there are rivals with better numbers.
Especially as there are now hybrid engines with even better fuel efficiency. Furthermore, new realities such as global warming and rising energy costs are a blot against Chevy Silverado.
Parts of the common complaints about the 2021 Silverado are engine and electrical. These complaints range from stalling the engine to a ticking sound, falling A.C.s, and a failed transmission thrown in.
For a new car with the most mileage, less than 15 000 miles, this is worrisome. Engines, transmissions, and electrical parts are supposed to last longer. Having so many complaints affect buyers’ confidence.
Lack of buyer’s confidence will reflect in sales and price.
Slight Road Noise
When driving a Silverado, especially when the truck is empty, there’s usually road noise in the cabin. The road noise might not be loud, but it’s noticeable enough to make driving the Silverado uncomfortable.
What makes the road noise even more irksome is that this type of noise is absent in the most popular trucks (F-150 and RAM 1500). While driving long distances, and you can’t enjoy a peaceful ride or hear your thoughts, then there’s a problem.
The combination of a functional but lacking interior and cabin noise means many people lose interest, affecting the price.
The 2021 Chevy Silverado is built for rough roads and heavy-duty work. So, driving it might be a little uneven is tough. Perhaps it is due to the truck’s suspension. While driving on smooth roads might be better, off-road driving poses a great challenge for drivers.
F-150 beats Silverado in this regard. A smoother driving experience may cost more.
Tech Lagging Behind Rivals
Another issue that affects the value of Silverado is the lack of tech when compared to its rivals.
The lack of a driver-assist, something available in F-150, is one glaring example.
The lack of tech is a reason why Silverado is cheap.
Is Chevy Silverado Reliable?
We have said it earlier, Silverado has an above-average rating, 3.5 stars with 82/100 in J.D. Power’s reliability. These ratings show Silverado is quite reliable.
Is Chevy Silverado Worth It?
In terms of reliability and maintenance costs, owning a Silverado is worth it. Above-average reliability coupled with below-average maintenance costs combines to make Silverado a great buy. When you consider its higher trims are cheaper than its main rivals, buying the truck makes even more sense.
Is Chevy Silverado Cheap To Fix?
The estimated maintenance and fixing costs of the 2021 Silverado are $10,003 over ten years. The average industry cost over the same period is $10,065. It means fixing and repairing Silverado is slightly cheaper than the industry average.
There’s also a 30% chance that a Silverado will require a significant repair in those ten years.
Is Chevy Silverado Expensive?
The answer depends on the target demographic. Though 2021 Silverado targets young adults, few of them can afford the base model’s recommended sales price of $28 900.
Very few young adults can afford to buy a new truck anyway. Still, if you are looking at other new trucks, Silverado is not expensive.
Chevy Silverado might not be expensive, but it is a great truck. One of the great things about Silverado is that it offers buyers an engine, drivetrain, and body type. Potential buyers can pick their preferred truck using the aforementioned components as the criteria.
The interior might be a little Spartan, but it has excellent carrying and towing capacities. The cabin noise and rough driving experience also turn off some people. There’s also the mediocre fuel efficiency.
Overall, Silverado has sold over 12 million in total and is a top-three bestseller. That makes the truck a winner in my book.
Related: Why is a Ford Escape so Cheap?